How to Prevent Keyword Cannibalization

Running a website for an extended period may lead to a wide array of issues one of them is keyword cannibalization or topic duplication. Keyword cannibalization occurs when you have multiple pages or posts that are targeting the same topic or keyword phrase.

Topic duplication is usually unintentional and happens when you create a regular stream of content. However, it is something all marketing experts should be wary of, considering it can be bad for SEO.

To keep the website performing optimally in Google or elsewhere online, you should always ensure this major issue is kept to a minimum or eliminated completely. Here are a few ways to prevent this issue from ever rearing its ugly head.

How to Identify Keyword Cannibalization

Use a reliable tool, like SEMrush, to locate your site’s organic keywords list and export the list to a spreadsheet. Filter the results so that the keyword column is alphabetized. When it occurs, you will be able to analyze if any pages and URLs are targeting the same keyword. If all the URLs are targeting similar keywords, the website could be experiencing keyword cannibalization.

The targeted keywords can be copied across many different web pages, in subdomains, and on blog posts, causing them to compete with one another. There is also International keyword cannibalization, where you have keyword-rich pages targeting different countries. Then there is semantic flux, where two websites are owned by the same company, and both show up in the rankings, causing them to compete.

When Cannibalization Doesn’t Matter

If the website has two or more pages that are ranking in the first and second positions in the SERPs, then don’t worry too much about the keyword cannibalization issue. It is better to monitor the pages, rankings, and click-through rates. If nothing changes and your rankings hold, then you should move on. Keyword cannibalization shouldn’t be a big problem for you as far as the high-ranking pages are concerned.

When Cannibalization Does Matter

Those websites should worry about keyword cannibalization that has a low-quality web page ranking above the one you intend. For instance, you have a highly-converting landing page, and a secondary inner page that isn’t performing at all, and they are both targeting the same keyword. Which one of the page you want to rank higher? In this instance, the non-performing page should not be ranked to allow the highly-converting page to attract more attention in the SERPs.

The Negative Impact of Cannibalization

Unintentional Rankings

One of the massive complaints about cannibalization is when two pages are ranking for the same keyword, and a lower-performing page is ranking higher on the SERP than the one that does perform. In such a scenario, you should take immediate steps to prevent the problem.

Diminished Authority

When it comes to cannibalization, not only will you be giving up valuable organic traffic to your quality page, but any lower quality pages ranking higher will split your click-through-rates, and suddenly you have turned yourself into your own competitor. In this way, you are also diluting the power of your links and anchor text. Different pages that target the same keyword tell Google that your site might have content with no added value or at least content that doesn’t exactly match the keyword on each page.

Lowering Conversion Rates

If cannibalizing pages are converting better than your quality pages, you will be losing potential leads when they land on less relevant or low-quality pages.

Whether you require help related to on-page optimization or social media campaigns, contact one of our professionals at SEO Solution 24×7 today.

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