The Internet has become an integral part of our lives, where everything we need is available at the touch of a button. Businesses benefit from the increasing number of Internet users, as their sales expand beyond the purview of retail stores. To improve their presence online, such brands create websites and release content to establish a connection with their potential and existing customers by encouraging interaction.
Content produced in the form of blogs or post copies can be highly effective when used with the correct keywords using SEO. SEO has become a standard practice for all industries utilizing the power of digital marketing. While all of them publish articles with high ranking keywords to show up on the Search Engine Result Page (SERP), the downside is that when you use the same keywords repeatedly across several Web pages, you run the risk of keyword cannibalization, which is detrimental to your page ranking. In this article , we are going to delve into what keyword cannibalization means and how to prevent it.
What is Keyword Cannibalization?
When you use the same keyword on multiple pages, you end up competing with yourself. Rather, these pages start competing among themselves to be ranked higher. This results in lower rankings, lower click-through rates, and lowered conversions for all the pages.
This is known as keyword cannibalization as you end up cannibalizing your results. Google can no longer identify the depth of information and you end up forsaking the authority of your site on the query. Google has to identify which pages most suit the keyword.
Why is Keyword Cannibalization bad for SEO?
No matter how much time you have spent calibrating the SEO for your website, it will all be for nothing if you suffer from keyword cannibalization. SEO theory is applied so that your Web page ranks high on searches across search engines. When your website struggles with keyword cannibalization, the search engines will identify multiple pages for the same query and will be unable to rank any one of them higher. More importantly, any backlinks and CTR will be diluted across these pages and hence will rank lower.
Keyword cannibalization can also occur if you use different keywords or phrases that have similar meaning. Google and other search engines will not be able to tell which of these pages are more important and will rank both lower.
Impact of Keyword Cannibalization
One of the most difficult aspects of keyword cannibalization is that many are unaware that something is wrong. Some Web pages might rank fourth or fifth and so do not raise alarm. However, the website will do better if you have one authoritative page.
Keyword cannibalization can have many adverse effects on your Web page. These are:
When you have two or more pages competing for the same keywords, then your internal links or external links are probably directing visitors to other pages with the same or similar information. Rather than creating pages that link to one authoritative page with great information, the information gets split across multiple pages, thus lowering the value of your Web pages.
Google might devalue the relevant page
Google tries to pick the ‘right’ page for the relevant information in its search results. Multiple pages with the same keywords confuse the algorithm with the result that a less relevant page may be ranked higher while devaluing others.
One of the biggest effects of keyword cannibalization is the effect it has on page rankings. Multiple Web pages with the same keywords optimized for SEO will result in these pages ranking lower in search engine results.
Low conversion rate
Your aim with SEO should always be to optimize the one page that is the best source of information while providing links to other pages. Since this is spread across different pages, you could experience lower conversion rates since visitors will land on less relevant pages.
How to check keyword cannibalization?
There are some simple steps you can take to ensure you do not end up with keyword cannibalization. The first step is to create a keyword grid with the most important URLs and their corresponding keywords. Ensure that the keywords do not overlap across multiple pages.
You can also use a keyword mapping tool that is freely available. These tools allow you to combine keyword research, relevancy, estimated search volume, and avoid keyword cannibalization. Do cross-check the meta data of your page and remove duplicate keywords.
How to fix or solve keyword cannibalization?
Once you identify that your website is suffering from keyword cannibalization, here are some improvements and organizational restructuring you can do to fix keyword cannibalization.
Restructure the website
One of the easiest solutions for keyword cannibalization is to establish one great authoritative page from which you can link to other relevant pages. For example, a super-page on architecture can provide links to variations on the types of architecture styles.
Create new landing pages
Do take a critical look at your website and determine if your website has a landing page that can consolidate all similar pages with related keywords. This will allow a larger set of visitors to determine which pages they want to explore further.
Consolidate the content
Audit your pages and combine pages that have similar keywords and content, particularly if they are underperforming. This will give the new page more authority and will rank higher in search results.
Find new keywords
Be sure that your keyword strategy is on point. There are several tools available to find a range of keywords that can be incorporated into your website. In most cases, all you require is a new keyword. However, you should make sure that your pages fit the keywords without seeming forced.
Use 301 redirects
Use this option sparingly as too many redirects could turn off visitors. Combine similar pages with the same keyword queries.
Keyword cannibalization and commerce websites
If you have an online shop, product pages with similar keywords are of concern. It is important to structure your site thoughtfully. You must consider internal linking from every product page to your category page. The category page should be the page you optimize to rank. Detect, delete, or fix old product pages that could cannibalize other pages that are more important.
To Summarize It All
Keyword cannibalization is becoming widespread. Content developers intend to optimize their site, but do not fully understand Google’s language. Fortunately, solutions for the problem are not difficult, and the damage isn’t permanent. The right tools can give your website a much-needed boost. SEO and search engines will continue to evolve with time and you must be in a position to utilize these changes effectively. Understanding keyword cannibalization and its intricacies will help you adapt quickly and more efficiently in the future.
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