There are plenty of articles about mind mapping as a means to keyword discovery. Using the mind mapping strategy for all avenues of SEO assists greatly especially if you are more graphically inclined.

Google has created result pages around the mind map ethos.

Mind mapping amplifies to creative minds the need to energise ideas, helps them do this and keep them flowing.

Mind mapping is based on a central idea and from an SEO angle that may be to increase traffic, increase revenue or even decrease traffic in the case of negative SEO.

For example take the keywords surrounding ‘Hotels in Bristol‘.  An average search engine user might be forgiven in thinking that there are only two phrases for this competitive term, i.e. ‘Hotels in Bristol’ and ‘Bristol Hotels’.  However, let’s expand on these.

Consider the following sub-categories:

  • Localities
  • Cost
  • Type
  • Places of Interest (POI)
  • Brand

The localities include Filton, Patchway, Bradley Stoke,  Kingswood, Mangotsfield, Stoke Gifford, Winterbourne and Frampton Cotterell.  Other localities are Almondsbury, Easton-in-Gordano, Westbury On Trym and Clifton. These locations can now placed within the mind map shown above.  To continue the visual process, why not zoom out on a Google Maps search for Bristol Hotels and view the rash of hotels within the centre for further inspiration.

Cost would merge into Type, but we are looking at the Budget keywords, Cheap, Deals, Bargain, Half-priced, Irregular, Low-cost, Low-priced, Lowered, Voucher, Reduced, Sale.

Type would include Luxury Hotels, Hotels with Swimming Pool, Hotels with Car Parking, Boutique, Cool, Small hotels, Family hotels, Country hotel, Pub accommodation, Romantic hotels, Weekend breaks, Theatre breaks, Spa Breaks, Bargain Breaks, City breaks, Pamper Days. Within this sub-category, there is the opportunity for many others, say gradings such as 5 Star, 4 Star, 3 Star, AA and others.

POI requires local knowledge, most of which can be obtained from WikiTravel, Trip Advisor and Wikipedia.  With Place of Interest search you are handling proximity related phrases, Near, Close to, Around. The mind map enables us to break down these POI sub-categories into types such as Academia, Transport, Entertainment, Businesses.

Brand will often include “recovery” searches due to either visiting the hotel chain before or visiting the actual hotel before. The brands would include Holiday Inn, Hilton, Marriott, Best Western, Premier Inn, Holiday Inn, Ibis, Travelodge.

We now have a strong mind map that can continue to be reused throughout many geographic regions. The POIs constitute the most effort.  Clients are often impressed with the clear visual communication of the thought processes behind and your team benefit from the clear direction provided.

Tools for creating mind maps will be provided in further posts.