When it comes to SEO, choosing the right keywords and optimizing your content for them is essential to improve your search engine rankings. However, many website owners and marketers make a common mistake known as “Keyword Cannibalization” that can actually harm their SEO efforts. In simple terms, keyword cannibalization refers to the situation where multiple pages on a website are competing for the same keyword, causing confusion for search engines and weakening the overall search ranking of the site. This article will discuss the common mistakes that lead to keyword cannibalization and provide actionable tips on how to avoid them, in order to achieve better search engine rankings and improve your website’s visibility.
Keyword cannibalization occurs when you have multiple pages or blog posts on your website targeting the same keyword. While it might seem like a good strategy to have more page ranking for a specific keyword, it can actually be detrimental to your website’s SEO.
This is because search engines like Google prioritize delivering the most relevant and informative content to users, and having multiple pages competing for the same keyword can dilute the overall authority of your website. Essentially, instead of one page dominating the search results for a specific keyword, you end up with multiple pages competing for that top spot, which weakens the overall ranking potential of your site. In this article, we’ll dive deeper into the concept of keyword cannibalization, explore its negative impact on your website’s SEO, and provide practical tips on how to avoid this common mistake.
Imagine you have two pages on your website that are both optimized for the same keyword. Despite having great on-page SEO and being part of the same website, these pages are actually competing against each other. This competition can confuse Google’s algorithm and cause it to display both pages in search results, rather than just one.
In addition to harming your website’s SEO, keyword cannibalization can also have negative effects on user engagement. Splitting user traffic between multiple pages can result in lower engagement metrics like higher bounce rates, lower click-through rates, and weaker backlinks. This dilutes the overall performance of your content, which can further harm your SEO rankings.
It’s essential to understand that keyword cannibalization affects not only your keywords but also your content’s intent. If you have two pages optimized for the same keywords and intended for users in the same stage of their buying journey, they may end up competing with each other. This competition can hinder each page’s ability to rank higher in search results.
Once you’ve identified keyword cannibalization in your content gap analysis, it’s crucial to take steps to stop your pages from competing. Failure to do so can lead to negative effects such as decreased search engine rankings, lower click-through rates, and reduced conversions.
Identifying keyword cannibalization is easy with a search engine like Google. To perform a quick content gap analysis, type “site:<your website> <keyword phrase>” on your search bar. It should show you the list of pages ranking for those keywords. If you’re working with experienced content marketing experts and digital marketing professionals, they can take steps to prevent two pages from trying to rank for the same keywords. Webmasters can add this to their on-page SEO checklist by checking their website for cannibalization through Google Search Console.
Finding more than one of your pages for a keyword search result isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If your product or service falls in the same niche or industry, it’s common for more than one page to pop up. For instance, roof inspections and roof maintenance are different types of services, but service providers may provide both, and their scopes can overlap in some areas.
In this case, cannibalization isn’t necessarily bad as long as one is clearly favored over the other in search results. But if you find that both pages are on the same search result and are ranking low, that’s a sign of keyword cannibalization.
At Unthinkable, we take steps to ensure your website isn’t hindering its own potential to rank higher on search engine results. Whether it’s our SEO writing services, CRO audit services or content marketing services, we’re careful to avoid keyword cannibalization from happening.
After identifying keyword cannibalization on prospective clients with a thorough website audit, identify the issue and recommend the necessary solution to minimize cannibalization without sacrificing the visits and user count already accumulated from both pages.
The Importance of Preventing Keyword Cannibalization Through Content Audits and On-Page Optimization Strategies. Our content gap analysis, performed during a content audit, identifies potential keyword cannibalization risks. We recommend solutions like merging pages, and redirects, fixing internal links, and deleting outdated content to prevent keyword cannibalization and improve your website’s SEO performance.
From your content audit, we can recommend a number of solutions. Usually, resolving instances of keyword cannibalization means adding the following on-page optimization strategies to your website content management:
Fixing your internal links:
Deleting outdated content:
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