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SEO Guide to Building a Topical Map and Interlinking Relations

Interlinking and topical maps are both important tools for organizing and representing information on a website.

Interlinking or internal linking involves creating links between different pages or sections of a WebSite, to help visitors navigate the site and find related information.

on the other hand Topical maps involve creating a visual representation of the relationships between different topics or concepts and can be used to understand and communicate the structure and focus of a website or subject area. on other words topical map is your blueprint. It should define all the content you need to create to achieve topical authority for a given topic.

Before constructing a topical map, it is very helpful to first understand and how to achieve semantic model quality for your website.

In this article, we will explore the benefits of using interlinking and topical maps, and how to implement them on a website in order to increase its rank and organic traffic,while we are going to answer the following questions:

What is mapping in the context of semantic SEO?

In the , "mapping" refers to the process of creating relationships between different data sources or vocabularies. This allows data from different sources to be connected and understood in the context of a larger whole.

What is topical mapping?

Topical mapping is a method for organizing and visualizing the relationships between different topics within a particular WebSite, WebSites or set of WebPages to achieve topical authority . It involves creating a blueprint or concept map that shows the relationships between different concepts, ideas, or topics, with the goal of understanding how they relate to one another and how they fit within the broader context of the subject area.

What is topical authority?

Topical authority refers to the level of expertise, credibility, and recognition a website or an individual has in a specific topic or subject area. It is a measure of how well a website or content source is regarded as an authoritative and trusted source of information within a particular field.

Topical authority is built upon a foundation of expertise and in-depth knowledge in a specific subject area. It involves consistently producing high-quality, informative, and reliable content that demonstrates a deep understanding of the topic.

Why do you need a topical map?

In the context of semantic SEO (Search Engine Optimization), a topical map can be a valuable tool for organizing and optimizing website content to improve search engine optimization (SEO), rankings and visibility. Here's why a topical map is important:

  • A topical map helps you identify relevant keywords and plan your content strategy for semantic SEO. By mapping out the main topics and subtopics related to your website or industry
  • A topical map helps you structure your website's content by defining the relationships between different topics and subtopics. By mapping out the relationships between the main topics and subtopics, you can structure your website's content for better organization and navigation.
  • A topical map ensures that your content covers a wide range of related concepts, helping search engines understand the context and relevance of your content.
  • With a topical map, you can strategically interlink your content, improving internal linking and site navigation and architecture for better search engine discoverability.
  • A topical map helps you create a user-friendly website, enhancing the user experience, engagement, and positive signals for search engines.

How to create a topical map?

Topical maps can be created using a variety of tools, including pencil and paper, specialized software, or online concept mapping tools I personally use pencil and paper but if you know of any free topical map tool please do recommend it in the comment section below.

To create a topical map for SEO purposes, you can follow the following steps:

  • Identify the main theme or focus of the website This could be a product, service, or subject area that the website is designed to cover, for instance let's assume the niche is a financial consultancy website.

  • Identify the subtopics related to the seed keywords These should be specific topics or keywords that are relevant to the main theme and that you want to cover on the website.

    There are a few different ways you could organize the subtopics listed above. for instance:

    • Wealth management: This category could include subtopics related to building and maintaining wealth, such as investment strategies, stocks and bonds, and risk management.
    • Planning for the future: This category could include subtopics related to planning for retirement and managing debt, such as retirement planning, estate planning, and budgeting.
    • Taxation and legal matters: This category could include subtopics related to tax planning, insurance planning, and real estate investments
  • Identify the keywords and phrases that are relevant to each subtopic and organize them into categories or These should be the terms that people are likely to use when searching for information about the subtopics, Here are some possible keywords and phrases that could be used to search for information related to each of the topics we listed:

    • Wealth management: keywords include wealth building, asset allocation, portfolio management, passive income, long-term investing, financial independence.
    • Retirement planning: retirement savings, pension plans, 401(k), Social Security, retirement income, retirement age.
    • Debt management: debt reduction, credit card debt, student loan debt, personal loans, debt consolidation, debt-to-income ratio.
    • Tax planning: tax preparation, deductions, tax credits, tax reform, capital gains tax, income tax.
    • Investment strategies: diversification, dollar-cost averaging, value investing, growth investing, active investing, index funds.
    • Stocks and Bonds: stock market, stock picking, bond market, bond prices, yield, dividends.
    • Risk management: risk tolerance, risk-reward ratio, portfolio diversification, hedging, asset allocation.
    • Estate planning: inheritance, wills, trusts, probate, power of attorney, end-of-life planning.
    • Budgeting: budgeting tools, expense tracking, saving money, living within your means, financial goals, frugality.
    • Insurance planning: insurance coverage, life insurance, health insurance, disability insurance, long-term care insurance, umbrella insurance.
    • Real Estate Investments: property investment, real estate market, buy-to-let, property development, real estate financing, rental income.

  • Incorporate the keywords and subtopics into the website's content and structure This can include using the keywords in the website's titles, headings, body content, structured data, hyperlinks, meta title and description, as well as creating separate pages or sections for each subtopic.

  • Connect the subtopics to the main topic using semantic language such as semantic triples and interlinking. These methods can show the relationships between the subtopics and the main topic, such as causation, hierarchy, associate, or similarity, causality, contributory or correlativity.

  • Use linked data standards: Linked data standards, such as RDF and, provide a framework for creating and sharing data on the web. Using these standards can help ensure that your mappings are interoperable with other data sources and can be easily understood by other users.

  • Use existing mappings: In many cases, mappings may already exist between the data sources you are working with. It can be helpful to utilize and enhance existing mappings whenever possible, as this can save time and effort.

  • Review and revise the map as needed. As you create and publish new content, you may need to add or remove subtopics or adjust the relationships between them to ensure that the map reflects the current focus and structure of the website in order to reach a semantic content network.

What is Interlinking?

Interlinking refers to the process of creating links between different web resources. This can be done using techniques such as hyperlinking, anchor text or through the use of semantic annotations, which provide additional context and meaning to the link.

Interlinking allows web resources to be connected and related to one another, enabling users to navigate from one resource to another and discover new information. It is an important part of the semantic web, as it allows for the creation of a web of interconnected data that can be easily explored and understood.

How to create semantic interlinking?

There are several ways to create semantic interlinking between web resources:

  • Use hyperlinks: The most basic form of interlinking is the use of hyperlinks, which allow users to navigate from one web page to another by clicking on a link.

  • Use semantic annotations Semantic annotations such as , and Anchor text provide additional context and meaning to a link. For example, you could use the "rel" attribute in an HTML link to indicate that the linked page is a "stylesheet" or a "license".

  • Use Structured data: is a standardized vocabulary that can be used to mark up the content on your website with structured data. One way to use for interlinking is to use the "BreadcrumbList" type, which allows you to specify a hierarchical structure for the pages on your site.

How to implement interlinking with Hyperlinks?

An example of the hyperlink code looks like this:

<a href=/blog/7/" rel=”prev” title=”guide to semantic modeling”>Semantic Modeling for Semantic SEO</a>.

This actual code looks like this on your browser .

Here is a description of the code:

“a” tag is the simplest form of interlinking and it means its a hyperlink tag and it looks like this <a href=”url“>Your Text Here</a>.

The href attribute specifies the URL of the page the link goes to.

The rel attribute means relations and its with the value 'prev' indicates that the linked page is the previous page in a series.

The title attribute is the anchor text of the hyperlink with another search term, if you hover over the link you will be able to read the anchor text.

Here is a description of each of the attributes that can be used on the hyperlinks.

  • rel=alternate: Indicates that the linked page is an alternative version of the current page, for example, a translation in a different language.
  • rel=author: Indicates that the linked page contains information about the author of the current page.
  • rel=bookmark: Indicates that the linked page is a permanent URL for the current page, which can be used as a bookmark.
  • rel=external: Indicates that the linked page is on a different domain from the current page.
  • rel=help: Indicates that the linked page provides help or assistance related to the current page.
  • rel=license: Indicates that the linked page contains information about the license for the current page.
  • rel=next: Indicates that the linked page is the next page in a series, and should be navigated to after the current page.
  • rel=nofollow: Indicates that the link should not influence the ranking of the linked page in search engine results. This is often used to indicate paid or sponsored links.
  • rel=noreferrer: Indicates that the linked page should not be able to access the referrer information for the current page.
  • rel=noopener: Indicates that the linked page should not be able to access certain properties of the current page, such as the window object.
  • rel=prev: Indicates that the linked page is the previous page in a series, and should be navigated to before the current page.
  • rel=search: Indicates that the linked page provides a search engine or search interface for the current page.
  • rel=tag: Indicates that the linked page is about the same topic as the current page, and can be considered a tag or label for the current page.

How to implement interlinking with structured data?

We can use structured data to describe the relationships between the main entity and sub-entities within the page and or with other pages.

Here is a an SEO case study about how an accurate representation and interlinking of the relationships between entities in a real estate listing company led to an increase in website traffic.

To further optimize your website, consider implementing semantic SEO techniques through the optimization of your structured data.

Structured data interlinking can be easily implemented using , this tool is sameAs schema .org but automated, it contains the full vocabulary of schema org types, you can use it to describe your entities and its relationships with other entities on the page.

For example, we can use the property “isPartOf” to indicate that a product is part of a list of products, or we can use the property “hasOfferCatalog” to indicate that a business has an offer catalog, you can also use “about” and “mention” for topical authority.

For a real-life example check the SEO of this page, This page uses structured data in both RDF and JSON-LD, it also uses semantic HTML, open graph, interlinking, semantic modeling and topical mapping.

Here is a list of the important properties that you can use to connect your entities, and here is a workshop and tutorial about the basics of structured data and how to use Schemantra to describe your entities and their relationships.


Interlinking and topical maps are both useful tools for organizing and presenting information on a website, By combining interlinking and topical maps, you can create a logical and intuitive structure for the content on your website, which can help visitors and search engines understand the relationships between different pages or topics. This can improve the user experience and the visibility of your site in search results.


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  1. Shahzad Hassan

    Shahzad Hassan on #

    I feel lucking while reading the content of your website. So descriptive, in detail, and in-depth. Your contribution to learning Semantic SEO is remarkable.

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