How to create a topical map in SEO?


Creating a topical map in SEO involves organizing and structuring content around specific topics or themes. This approach ensures that your website comprehensively covers the subjects relevant to your audience and industry. It also helps search engines understand the depth and breadth of content on your website, potentially boosting your authority in those topics.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to create a topical map for SEO:

  1. Identify Core Topics:
    • Start by listing the main topics or themes relevant to your business, industry, or niche. These will be the pillars around which your content will revolve.
  2. Conduct Keyword Research:
    • Use keyword research tools (e.g., SEMrush, Ahrefs, Google Keyword Planner) to identify the main keywords and long-tail variations related to your core topics. This will help you discover the subtopics and questions your audience is searching for.
  3. Map Out Subtopics:
    • For each core topic, list the related subtopics. These will often be narrower subjects or specific questions related to the main topic. Think of these subtopics as the branches stemming from your core topics.
  4. Check Competitor Coverage:
    • Analyze the top-ranking pages for your core topics and subtopics to see how competitors are covering them. Identify any gaps in their content that you can exploit or areas where you can create better, more comprehensive content.
  5. Organize Your Existing Content:
    • Audit your existing content and categorize each piece under its relevant core topic or subtopic. This will help you identify areas where you already have strong coverage and areas that need further development.
  6. Content Creation and Optimization:
    • Based on your topical map, create content for gaps you’ve identified. Ensure that existing content is optimized for relevant keywords and provides in-depth coverage of its respective topic or subtopic.
  7. Interlinking:
    • Establish a strong internal linking structure. Link related subtopic articles to their respective core topic (pillar) pages and vice versa. This not only helps distribute page authority but also provides a better user experience and helps search engines understand the relationship between your content pieces.
  8. Update Regularly:
    • The digital landscape and user queries can evolve. Regularly revisit your topical map, update existing content, and add new content as necessary to ensure that your coverage remains comprehensive and relevant.
  9. Monitor Performance:
    • Use tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console to monitor how your content is performing in terms of traffic, user engagement, and rankings. Adjust your strategy based on the insights you gather.
  10. Visual Representation:
  • Consider creating a visual representation of your topical map using flowcharts or mind-mapping tools. This can help you and your team have a clearer understanding of how topics and subtopics relate to each other.

By creating a topical map and structuring your content around it, you can ensure that your website offers a comprehensive resource on the subjects that matter most to your audience and industry. This can enhance user experience, increase dwell time, and boost your site’s authority and rankings for related queries.


  • Can ChatGPT generate topical maps?

Published on: 2023-10-19
Updated on: 2024-01-12

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Isaac Adams-Hands

Isaac Adams-Hands is the SEO Director at SEO North, a company that provides Search Engine Optimization services. As an SEO Professional, Isaac has considerable expertise in On-page SEO, Off-page SEO, and Technical SEO, which gives him a leg up against the competition.