March 28, 2023

Deciding whether or not a key phrase must be focused by a separate web page or clustered with different key phrases is a standard downside in Search engine optimisation. Key phrase mapping is a course of aimed toward fixing this.

Key phrase mapping is popularly outlined as assigning key phrases to pages. However what you actually need to resolve the issue is assigning subjects to content material varieties

On this article, I’ll clarify the advantages of this strategy and, extra importantly, I’ll present you the method. No templates required.

Advantages of key phrase mapping (the choice approach) 

Truth 1. Google might even see seemingly completely different key phrases as the identical matter.

For instance, we rank for these key phrases within the high 10 with a single web page: 

  • search engine marketing fundamentals”
  • find out how to use search engine marketing” 
  • newbie’s information to search engine marketing”
  • getting began with search engine marketing”
  • search engine marketing information”

Truth 2. Conversely, Google might even see seemingly related key phrases as completely different subjects. 

For instance, let’s evaluate “digital advertising” with “on-line advertising.” I’d say these two key phrases are fairly shut to one another. Google disagrees. 

Low SERP similarity score signals potentially different topics
In every single place you look, the identical story. Prime-ranking pages and our SERP similarity rating (100-point scale; the extra, the upper similarity) say that these are utterly completely different subjects Search engine optimisation-wise.

The above two info are additionally the reason why key phrase mapping by simply counting on key phrases is just not the optimum approach. You received’t know whether or not you’re losing your time concentrating on the identical matter with completely different key phrases or simply “complicated” Google. 

However why content material varieties as an alternative of pages and even URLs? As a result of earlier than you resolve what web page will probably be used to focus on the key phrase, you’ll must establish the search intent of the key phrase. And an excellent place to begin for that’s figuring out the dominating sort of content material on the primary web page of Google. 

To sum up, the advantages of key phrase mapping utilizing subjects and content material varieties are: 

  • Seeing key phrases the identical approach Google sees them: as subjects and subtopics. 
  • Incorporating search intent into the method. 
  • Retaining an organized listing of subjects, which additionally helps to stop duplicating content material.


Key phrase mapping can’t substitute key phrase analysis. Whereas key phrase mapping is principally a type of organizing key phrases, key phrase analysis supplies you the key phrases and the boldness that: 

  • Your key phrases have site visitors potential.
  • You’ll be able to match the search intent behind your key phrases.
  • Your key phrases will deliver helpful site visitors. 
  • You’ll be able to rank for these key phrases. 

Discover ways to select the proper key phrases with our full information.

Going additional, we’ll have a look at two ranges of utilizing this methodology: the quick lane and the extra thorough one. 

Study extra: What Is Semantic Search? How It Impacts Search engine optimisation 

Degree 1 – Quick, cheap job

You’ll want a key phrase analysis instrument that may do key phrase grouping primarily based on what’s on the SERP, reminiscent of Ahrefs’ Key phrases Explorer. Within the case of this instrument: 

  1. Enter your key phrases
  2. Open Matching phrases report
  3. Go to the Mum or dad subjects tab 
Three steps to find Parent Topics via Keywords Explorer

When you click on on a Mum or dad Matter, you’ll find separate subjects “distilled” out of your key phrases. So for instance, you will note key phrases like “can infants get covid” and “infants and covid” grouped beneath the identical matter. 

Keywords grouped under the same Parent Topic


To establish the Mum or dad Matter, we take the #1 rating web page on your key phrase and discover the key phrase chargeable for sending essentially the most site visitors to that web page.

At this degree of key phrase mapping, your goal key phrase is the Mum or dad Matter (not the key phrases inside that Mum or dad Matter). 

The following step is to establish the content material sort. The best approach to do that is to see what sort of content material dominates the primary three to 5 leads to Google. 

Typical content material varieties are:

  • Articles
  • Movies
  • Product pages
  • Product class pages
  • Touchdown pages 
Top-ranking pages with a dominating content type
For instance, the dominating content material sort for “teething signs” is the article.

Because of this, assigning subjects to content material varieties provides you with a brilliant easy but extremely actionable database.

Matter Content material sort
Teething signs Article
When do infants roll over Article
Child system Combined (product pages on high)
When can infants have water Article


What about secondary key phrases or supporting key phrases? We suggest selecting them within the content material creation section as subtopics wanted to cowl a subject in full. Study just a few methods you could find them right here.

So that is the quick methodology. The beauty of it’s that it automates key phrase grouping by utilizing actual SERP information (and never simply semantics). 

Nonetheless, it has its downsides too. Generally, it “hides” much less widespread subjects that would probably be focused with a separate web page. Right here’s why. 

The father or mother key phrase is derived from the top-ranking web page on the SERP. If Google thinks that the perfect reply to the question is discovered on a web page that’s concentrating on a broader matter, it should nonetheless use it. This may increasingly end in a complicated SERP like this one: 

Confusing SERP example
The highest result’s a featured snippet taken from a web page with a broader matter. Therefore, the Mum or dad Matter (right here seen as “Prime key phrase”) in Ahrefs. However just about each different web page on the SERP targets the key phrases straight.

This sort of scenario in all probability received’t occur too typically. However if you wish to squeeze the whole lot out of your key phrase mapping course of, it is advisable to go to degree 2. 

Degree 2 – Thorough however time consuming

In degree 2, we’re going to take a better have a look at the Mum or dad Subjects to see what’s in them. 

  1. First, you need to choose a Mum or dad Matter.
  2. Type key phrases inside the subject by KD (Key phrase Problem). Massive variations in KD will probably be a sign of a special set of pages on the SERP.
  3. When you see a key phrase with a considerably completely different KD than the Mum or dad Matter, click on on the SERP button.
  4. See if the top-ranking pages, excluding the primary end result, speak concerning the key phrase as an alternative of the Mum or dad Matter. You need to use the Examine with function for a fast overview of the scenario. The decrease the SERP similarity rating, the upper the likelihood you’re two completely different subjects. 
How to investigate Parent Topics

Let’s have a look at a few examples. 

Within the first instance, we’ve bought a key phrase with a KD rating that’s 20 greater than the Mum or dad Matter. Upon investigating, we see that we could also be coping with two separate subjects: The SERP similarity is sort of low. Additionally, there is just one frequent end result, whereas different pages goal the key phrase straight. 

Keywords grouped under the same topic but have dissimilar SERPs

Subsequent instance. Right here we now have “teething signs” (KD 65) and “when do infants get molars” (KD 28). Taking a look at SERP similarity, we see that this, once more, could also be a case of two subjects. 

Low SERP similarity between two keywords

However there’s extra. Solely the underside outcomes goal the key phrase straight. Others speak about teething timelines, phases, charts, and so forth. It is a trace for one more strategy to rank for the key phrase. 

Only bottom results target the keyword directly

Usually talking, while you see that you just’re coping with a separate matter “in disguise,” the choice comes down to:

  1. Concentrating on the Mum or dad Matter anyway. For instance, if the highest result’s a featured snippet, you might be able to win it with a web page on a related broader matter. 
  2. Marking the key phrase as a separate matter and concentrating on it straight with a separate web page. On this case, add that key phrase as a subject to focus on and be aware down the content material sort. 
  3. Turning to SERP evaluation in harder circumstances (like our instance above). 

Last ideas 

Be at liberty to customise the method and add your personal information factors. When you really feel like going a step additional and assigning URLs, your web site folders, or introducing some sort of prioritization (e.g., enterprise potential), this received’t harm. 

Nonetheless, take into account that key phrase mapping is just not a great way to design your total web site construction. Most frequently than not, not all pages in your web site must be search-based. 

What are the subsequent steps after key phrase mapping? 

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