What is Priority Keyword Mapping?
Could you focus on hundreds of keywords for your website at once? Maybe, maybe not. But instead, you should focus on the most important ones, so that your brand’s website can show up in the rankings that are most relevant for your target audience. The keywords you choose are your priority keywords: 10 (or so) keywords that really cover your brand’s primary products, core services, benefits, and/or features. With this list in hand, you can focus on your priority keyword mapping.
But why 10? That’s a manageable number of keywords to track when you’re working to improve website SEO and will help push related keywords up with them—you don’t have to focus on every single idea surrounding one benefit, because related keywords will also see improved SEO rankings.
Priority keyword mapping is identifying which page you want search crawlers to show when a phrase is searched. For example, for the keyword phrase “web design agency,” we’d be particular about which page (or pages) we’d want the crawler to grab and display as a result.
A general approach to choosing priority keywords starts with looking at your primary offerings, benefits, challenges and solutions you provide. Look at how your current site visitors are finding you, and try to boost that, researching keyword volume and difficulty to help make a data-driven decision.
Why is Priority Keyword Mapping Important?
IMPROVE WEBSITE SEO
SEO and search results are partly based on relevancy to the original search query. So, figuring out how to translate your biggest focus and broadest goals into choosing web pages to match up (or map) with your priority keywords is vital in helping improve website SEO. Equally vital: tracking your results. Keep an eye out—if search crawlers are confused, it may end up showing an old, outdated blog instead of the product page or homepage that you wanted.
IMPROVE SERP RANKING
Choosing the right keyword or keyword phrase to focus on can help you strategize and build pages around your most important search terms to improve search ranking for lesser-used keywords (and draw up the page ranking for some of your related keywords, as mentioned before).
THE IMPACT VERSUS THE EFFORT
Any marketing effort eventually gets asked the ROI question. Is it worth it? Yes, when done right. The effort SEO takes compared to other marketing efforts helps you home in on what’s most important for your organization and brand. A website is a huge investment. It’s worth putting the time and energy into priority keyword mapping to improve website SEO, thereby improving your page ranking to reach your target audience.
How to Map your Keywords
Mapping priority keywords is a process, but you’ll reap dividends if you follow the steps.
Make a full list of all the keywords you’d like to use on your site around your offerings, services, products, and solutions, and get help with online tools such as Semrush’s keyword generator tool. Then, choose your priority keywords based on data by balancing out search volume and difficulty ratings. Specifically, check into the keywords’ difficulty rankings vs. domain authority.. Aim for a keyword that has lower difficulty and higher volume. (Difficulty can range from 0-100.) A little variety is fine, but make sure you’re tracking everything to help you reach your goals in terms of leads and traffic. Pick your 10-ish keywords. Note that you can pick 1-2 “pie in the sky” keywords, but it will take a lot more effort to rank for those higher difficulty words.
- MAP IT OUT
Create a spreadsheet. Designate the page and keyword combos. Match each keyword phrase up with one page so you know exactly what keywords are being optimized, and which of your pages are the focus. (Priority keyword mapping is now part of your wheelhouse—nice work.)
- PLUG IT IN
Place or update the keywords in the H1s, the meta title, the meta description, and the URL, if possible. Create the internal links with the specific keyword as the linking text. Ensure the keyword is on the page 3+ times on the page.
- LOOK FOR GAPS
If you don’t have a current page focused on a specific keyword you’ve prioritized, you’ll have to do one more step. Update a page you do have or create a new one that can boost the priority keyword or keyword phrase you’ve identified.
- UPDATE THE DESIGNATED PAGES
Make updates to each page to ensure that the keyword you have mapped to it is in fact being used in a way that will improve SEO. The best starting point is including that exact keyword phrase in the page’s H1 (also your page heading), within the content of the page 3 to 4 times, and in the meta.
- TRACK AND ADJUST
Make updates on your spreadsheet as new data comes in to see your change in position over time. It’s best to track your priority keywords regularly. Monthly at minimum, weekly is even better. Also, put up supporting pages; if your priority keywords aren’t moving up in the SERPs, create a content plan for a blog on that keyword phrase and/or create another blog that uses a contextual link with that keyword!
The main goal with priority keyword mapping is to rank in the top 20 (or maintain a high SERPs ranking.) Stay the course to see results. When you have a shift in services offered or want to pivot your customer base, change up your keywords to reflect it. Give it 6 months to run, and then remove or add keywords as needed to get a boost, and improve SEO rankings.
Examples of Priority Keyword Mapping
We working with one of our Digital Growth clients – a B2B SaaS company – to set up priority keyword mapping with huge success. All of their keywords had a 200+ search volume, and they focused their energy on keywords that had a balanced difficulty ranking vs. domain authority.
In one month, they boosted one priority keyword rank from 97 up to 59. Another keyword wasn’t ranked at all on their site, and after only one week, they were in position #35 in the SERPs (and are most recently ranked as #20 for that keyword.)
By choosing a focus of 10 keywords and pages and making relatively small updates to those pages, we were able to hone in without distraction and improve the ranking for their most important search terms and pages.
Organic traffic isn’t exactly free, and it’s often slow-moving. Google’s algorithm can be mysterious, but investing time and resources in your SEO through priority keyword mapping is a winning strategy. Mapping your keywords and looking at the data provides a framework for SEO; it can help you narrow your focus and guide your actions (wait a few months to see progress) based on actual metrics instead of a gut feeling. The difference will show up in your rankings, traffic, conversions and engagement, which is all any marketing department wants. You can do this, too.
If you’re not sure you can go it alone to improve your website’s SEO, our team of digital marketing experts is always happy to help.