Keyword Cannibalization – A Detailed Guide
It takes significant time, money, and energy to build a site and develop a comprehensive SEO strategy. The last thing you want is for your well-ranked keywords to cannibalise each other and damage your site's domain authority. The Cannibalization of keywords is an abstract idea that is hard to grasp. Many sites that now engage in the activity had good intentions when they first launched, but their SEO efforts spiralled out of control. And that's precisely why we're here to lend a hand. Keep reading to find out what keyword Cannibalization is, how to see the warning signals affecting your site, and how to fix the problem.
What is keyword cannibalization
When multiple pages on your site attempt to rank for the same set of keywords, this is known as "keyword Cannibalization." This can occur in various ways: A lack of an SEO strategy. Your SEO strategy fails to take into consideration duplicate content.
SEO Cannibalization often goes unnoticed by humans but is not lost on Google's crawling spiders. Search engines aren't always great at picking up on subtleties, so they can mistakenly think you're trying to optimise many pages for the same keyword/structure. Imagine you're the owner of an internet-based gift shop.
How to check keyword cannibalization on a website
Don't fret if you suspect keyword Cannibalization on your site. By taking a few elementary actions, you can quickly locate and rectify them.
Here are some methods you can use to investigate the potential Cannibalization of keywords.
- Check Out Your Site's Search Function
Checking for keyword Cannibalization is as easy as researching popular search terms associated with your business.
Consider conducting a Google search using some of the terms you frequently use if, for instance, your business provides digital marketing services and regularly uploads content on marketing and SEO subjects.
These may be called "search engine optimisation strategies" or "basic marketing principles."
All the websites ranked for your specific query will be returned if you search for this. It's a good idea to double-check to see if any of your postings are vying for the same position.
- Online Search Engines That Focus On Google
If you want to find keyword Cannibalization, try searching for your website's name first.
- Incorporating Third-Party Resources
Keyword research tools can help you gather all the information you need to design your keywords more efficiently. As a result, you may detect term Cannibalization more quickly and eliminate duplicate content with less time, money, and effort.
How to avoid keyword cannibalization
Fixing keyword Cannibalization is shown to be feasible by the examples given above. However, prevention is usually preferable to treatment.
Avoiding content Cannibalization can save you from devoting valuable time to resolving the problem. The question then becomes, "How can one refrain from doing so?" Here are the measures to take:
- Implement a Keyword-Driven Marketing Plan
One of the most effective methods for avoiding keyword Cannibalization is using a well-thought-out keyword strategy. Simply put, it enhances your website's visibility in search engine results pages for various keywords.
Therefore, instead of having many web pages competing for the same set of keywords, you have multiple web pages competing for sets of keywords that are very close. This way, you may provide variety in the form of high-quality material without losing your following.
- Conduct Frequent Content Reviews
To guarantee your published content is meeting the needs of your readers and achieving your marketing goals, you should undertake regular content audits.
The following are some questions that your content audit should answer:
To avoid keyword Cannibalization, you should ensure your content effectively answers these queries.
How to fix keyword cannibalization
There are several options for dealing with keyword Cannibalization once you've discovered it. Identifying the root of the problem is crucial to developing an effective solution. Some will be easy to address, while others would necessitate the use of 301 redirects or perhaps the development of brand-new landing pages. Let's look into some potential answers.
- Rearrange the framework of your website
A simple solution to keyword Cannibalization is to change the structure of your website. Find the highest-ranking page and make that your landing page. You may then provide navigational links to additional pages on your site that focus on different iterations of that keyword.
- Make Use of 301 Redirects
Two pages can compete for the same keyword if you know how to employ a redirect to send visitors from one page to the other. This is a sensible strategy if numerous pages on your site compete for the same keyword. It's also crucial that the material be consistent and that the less authoritative pages point to the authoritative page.
To implement a redirect, you must make changes to the .htaccess file of your website. Here we have an Apache web server configuration file. To set up the redirect, contact your site developer or host if you do not know how to update this file.
- Combine Content
It can be helpful to consolidate content from multiple pages that target the same keyword and feature similar content into a single page. This is a viable alternative if you'd instead not employ a redirect.
Copy and paste the pertinent sections from each page into a new, merged page, and then delete the duplicates. The first step is determining which page will bring you the most visitors and respect.
You may have to choose if several pages offer excellent performance in various metrics. If, for instance, one page has a higher CTR and another has a higher conversion rate, you should direct people to the higher-traffic page and use the more successful page's copy.
A 301 redirect from the old URLs to the new ones is needed when the material has been merged. Doing so can help direct traffic and link equity from the old pages to the new ones.
- Construct Brand-New Landing Pages
The good idea is to have separate landing pages for each set of corresponding keywords. If you want to optimise for specific keywords but don't want to duplicate any of your existing material, this is a smart option to consider.
Writing new copy and images may be necessary when making new landing pages. The effort will be worthwhile if you can achieve a high ranking for several related keywords.
Identifying relevant keywords is the first step in developing a new landing page. The next step in creating the new page is to write the copy.
Make sure that the primary keyword appears in the headings, the meta description, and the body of the text. There should be a variety of keywords and associated keywords included. You can direct visitors to other relevant sections of your site from this landing page.
For instance, if you run a website selling cookware, you might optimise a page for the search term "kitchen utensils." You may then direct customers from this page to another where they can purchase individual cooking implements like spatulas and chef knives.
- Make use of the Rel Canonical Tag
The "canonical" element allows you to specify which of numerous sites optimised for the same keyword should be prioritised by search engines. This is helpful if your e-commerce platform creates many pages for the same product with only minor differences, such as colour.
To make one URL the "canonical" version of a website, add the rel="canonical" element to the page's header. Google may interpret this as a vote of confidence that this page is the definitive resource for this particular keyword. There is no assurance that Google will comply with your request, but you should still use it.
You must modify your page's source code to use the rel="canonical" tag. Contact your web developer or host for assistance if you don't know how to edit code.
You should use the "noindex" tag on pages you don't want to be indexed in search engines so that they don't appear in results.
- Change Your Keywords
Keyword Cannibalization is a sign that your current keyword strategy has to be reevaluated. You may keep going for the exact keywords.
So, compile a list of competing pages that use the exact keywords, and then examine the text to see if any more keywords can be extracted from it. The additional keywords you pick should naturally fit in with the existing text.
In the end, keyword Cannibalization might harm your site's performance. This is still a hot topic in the SEO world, and it's better to be safe than sorry. You can prevent a Google penalty and a lower ranking for your site if you know how to identify and remedy this issue. You may identify and address keyword Cannibalization issues by auditing your site using the above mentioned steps.