Using keyword mapping, we’ll show you how to group all of your keywords to help you determine the total value of your addressable market if you were to dominate the search engines. This strategy can help your business determine a possible return on a search engine optimization investment.
Step 1: Perform Keyword Research
Keyword research is foundational to an effective SEO strategy. There are many ways to approach SEO, but without keyword research you are a boat without a sail; directionless. Thorough keyword research makes the process of determining your potential website value and SEO return on investment possible.
We define valuable keywords as any with volume that signal intent to be in market or near market for what you have to offer.
This research is going to look different for every business (national or local) and in every industry. Sometimes it can be fairly straightforward to execute and in some cases it involves surveying, interviewing, and collecting valuable data from your customer. It’s important to find someone who has experience working with keyword research tools and has a thorough process to investigate and build your list of keywords.
If you don’t perform careful, empathetic keyword research, you’ll miss out on possible opportunities to attract and convert new customers.
To begin, start with a tool like SEMRush’s Keyword Magic Tool. Enter a keyword or phrase that you believe your target customer uses to find you. In the screenshot below, we use “counseling services near me.”
Your keyword research tool should provide ideas and other keywords with a broad match to your initial query. This will start to give you ideas for how your target customer searches for your product or service.
Add your keywords to a list and start getting creative to identify more keywords and content ideas. For example, in the screenshot below you can see we removed the keywords “near me” and then switched to the “Questions” keywords button. This reveals keywords that are asked in Google in the form of a question.
In the example above, we can clearly see that the questions above are mostly not related to the type of counseling services our client offers. The red arrow shows a question of “how to start a credit counseling service.” While it has the term “counseling service” in it, we start to realize that counseling services can mean many different things.
Keyword research is equal parts creative and analytical. Don’t be afraid to click around, investigate, and actually go to Google and search your keywords to see what results show up.
Step 2: Mapping Your Keywords
Once you’ve completed your keyword research, create an Excel or Google Sheet and start organizing your keywords. We call this keyword mapping.
Organize your keywords into natural categories within your business. This could be by type of customer, service, product, or a mix of two or more. In the screenshot below, you’ll see the category, “individual counseling.” This is one of three categories for a local counseling practice we work with (the other two categories being marriage counseling and child counseling). It’s broken up this way because the client preferred to do it this way and the value to the practice is different for each of these categories. As you’ll see later, this matters when you’re trying to determine potential value.
List all of the related keywords that could possibly live under each one of your keyword categories and in a separate column, input the average monthly search volume. We prefer to use SEMRush for keyword research and to get the average monthly search volume. You can easily add keywords to a list and export them to a csv file.
Step 3: Add in the Formulas
After you’ve grouped all your keywords into categories, add additional rows or columns next to each of your keyword categories. (See the image below for reference.)
Total Category Monthly Search Volume
The first cell will be for the total monthly search volume of all of the keywords in that category. Add all volumes together to get this number.
The next cell is for the expected CTR (click through rate) of having the #1 result or position on the search engines for all keywords. We typically put this value at 40%, however, it’s going to be different for every industry and even for every keyword.
Total Addressable Market
The next cell will be your total addressable market, which is determined by multiplying your total monthly search volume by the expected CTR of the #1 result (40%). This number, you can assume, would be how many of those total monthly searchers land on your website organically from SEO.
Expected Conversion Rate
The next cell is for your expected conversion rate. If you already know this then you can add it, otherwise we recommend putting in the industry average 2%.
Total Monthly Conversions
The next cell is your total monthly conversions. This is determined by multiplying your total addressable market by your conversion rate.
Value of a Conversion
Once you have your total monthly conversions you can start to add in the value of a conversion, which in the example above we’ve broken down into top line revenue of one conversion and bottom line revenue of one conversion. This is a simple way to put in the value of a conversion.
Potential Monthly Value
Lastly, we add two more cells. Multiple the top line and bottom line by the total monthly conversions and you’ve got a potential monthly value for dominating that keyword category.
Repeat for all keyword categories and you’ll be able to start seeing the potential value of dominating the search engines.
Remember that keyword mapping is not a perfect science and that getting the number one result for every keyword could take a lot of time depending on how competitive your market is. With that being said, keyword mapping is an incredibly valuable resource to your business.
Keyword mapping takes a lot of the guesswork out of how much capital resources you should be investing into your website and gives you clarity on how many people on a monthly basis are looking or could be looking for what your business has to offer.
Many businesses we have worked with in the past have made this process a priority before building a new website and before investing into inbound marketing and SEO. That has allowed them to move forward towards their growth goals with incredible clarity. This process allows businesses to build websites and publish content based upon actual customer demand and not simply based on what you believe you should be building.
From our experience, any business that is customer-focused enough to go through this process thoroughly will realize the opportunities they have to grow.