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Mapping Keywords to Existing Sites

Once you’ve selected the keywords you want to track, you’re ready to start optimizing your site.

The first step is keyword mapping which simply put is deciding which pages should be optimized for which keywords. It’s helpful to remember that when people enter keywords into a search engine, they are really asking a question. For example, if someone types in “coffee shop near me,” they mean, “Where can get a cup of coffee that’s close by?” You want to match your keywords to the pages that answer the question best. To continue with this example, if you run a small coffee shop, you’d want to attract people who are close to you and enter this keyword to find your website’s home page.

Sometimes you won’t have a page on your website that makes sense to optimize for a particular keyword. For example, if you run a diner, you might mention you sell coffee on a menu you’ve posted to your website, but you might not have a page that specifically talks about coffee. Generally speaking, if you don’t have a page that answers the question the keyword search is asking as well as other pages already appearing in the search results, you won’t rank well. If you want searchers to find you, you have to create a new page to generate traffic and business from this keyword.

A common question people ask is how many keywords can you target and assign to a single page? The answer is it depends. Pages that are more general, like home pages or category pages, might be optimized for several keywords. Other more targeted pages might lend themselves to just one keyword. If you are just beginning to optimize your site, try to choose one or two keywords per page. Also keep in mind that search engines have gotten pretty sophisticated. If you optimize for “coffee shop,” you’ll also show up for searches for “coffee shops.” As long as you put your location in the footer of your website, you don’t have to specifically optimize your site for searches that include “near me.” Search engines are smart enough to know where you are and will automatically prioritize your pages when the people searching are in close proximity to you.

Once your keyword research and mapping is done, it’s time to start editing your site. Visit our next tutorial to learn how to add your keywords to your web pages.

View the next previous tutorial, Set up Keyword Tracking.

Return to the SEO Course page.

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