Keyword cannibalization confuses the search engine. When a visitor looking for a product or service through the search engine, they search for a keyword.
When the same keyword is used for several articles on a single website, the search engine gets confused which one it should show first to its search results.
What is Keyword Cannibalization?
You will face keyword cannibalization if several contents of your blog compete for the same keyword. It happens when you start producing more contents and repeat the same keyword on several pages.
If you use a similar keyword for several posts, you are sacrificing tons of ranking factors. Google may show one or two results and if you are having a high authority site, it may show you the highest three articles for a single query.
You might be happy that you can rank more contents using a single keyword. Let me tell you that this is very bad for you as it may cause a bad user experience.
Using similar keyword for different contents means you are competing yourself. To enjoy conversions try to compete with your competitors, not with yourself.
For example, you have a site that sells clothes. Your target keyword for every page is “clothing”. Now Google will understand every page of you sells clothing where every page differently sells kids clothes, women’s clothes, men’s cloth.
The more separate and specific keyword you will use, the more you will rank on the SERPs.
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Negative Impact Of Keyword Cannibalization
Keyword Cannibalization is something you should never dream of experiencing. This can harm your SEO very badly.
The sad thing about this issues is many bloggers are facing keyword cannibalization but aren’t aware that something is going wrong with their site.
They are happy that their post is ranking on the top where there is a more authoritative page that is not on the top because of keyword cannibalization and they are losing tons of sales.
This a very simple calculation. Leading traffic to the wrong page means losing traffic, changing in SERPs ranking and finally losing tons of sales.
How To Identify Keyword Cannibalization
You can easily identify keyword cannibalization by using a spreadsheet. For example, you have an online store that sells clothes. All you need to do is a collection all of your keywords and make a spreadsheet of that.
Then your spreadsheet should look like the following image:
Now conduct a search for the term you have added your keyword with your domain. The domain+keyword will ensure the data you are looking for.
Or you can use SEMrush SEO tool to conduct a site audit that will help you to find out the keyword cannibalization.
Using SEMrush you can find out all the organic keywords that are driving traffic to your site then run a keyword cannibalization test using the keywords.
How To Solve Keyword Cannibalization Issue
If you are using a rank tracking tool, it will be easy for you to search for the weak contents and the content where you mistakenly repeated the same keyword.
If you are thinking of establishing a long term business online. Don’t hesitate to invest some bucks for an SEO tool. It will help you to keep track of your site and your competitor’s site. That will pay you back more money than your investment.
Let’s drive in little deeper to know how to avoid this issue:
Run A Site Audit
You can run a site audit to check which pages have a similar keyword issue. Export all the keywords into a spreadsheet. Then you can change the keyword with a unique keyword phrase. But it’s better to redirect the URL.
You should redirect if you are ranking for the weak content instead of the depth in the article. Redirect the content to a better article that can drive more conversions.
If you are looking for my recommendation for running a site audit, SEMrush is my first choice. Grab their Free trial Here.
Check Content Performance
You can go to the Google Search Console to find out which keyword is performing how on your site. You need to add “Query” to check the keyword performance. This is how it looks like:
From the keyword query, you will find the following useful data that will help to decide which keyword you should keep or which one you should delete.
- You will find here which of the keywords are shown in the SERPs and CTR for those keywords.
- You will find here the list of the contents that are getting traffic and the volume of traffic each page received.
If there is any page that is getting traffic except the target page, you need to redirect the keyword immediately to avoid the keyword cannibalization or you can change the keyword.
It’s a good idea to redirect if the weak content is getting tons of traffic than the good one
you can also use Page filter to check a group of URLs or a special URL. If you are the owner of a larger site, then use this filter to check every post individually.
Create A Landing Page
When you are seeing that the single keywords are causing the ranking of several pages, don’t bother to create a landing page where you will cover everything related to the search query.
You should try this landing page idea. Because sometimes the users get confused when they see several pages for the same keywords from the same domain.
When they visit anyone of the ranked article and don’t get their desired information they immediately live your site. That causes a high bounce rate and you loose tons of sales.
Try To Use 301 Redirection
You can use 301 redirection plugin to consolidate your cannibalized article by linking them with less relevant pages to a single and make the page more authoritative.
Use the 301 to redirect only the similar contents using the same cannibalized keyword.
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If there are two pages ranking on the SERPs for the same keywords, you should not be that panic about keyword cannibalization until the ranked pages are matter of your concern.
You should be concern about this issue when there is any low-quality content that is ranking on the top where you have another amazing article that can boost sales from the same keyword.
In this case, you have to work on the high-quality content to rank on the top instead of the low-quality one. You have to avoid keyword cannibalization in this fact to boost your sales.
I hope now you know when you should avoid keyword cannibalization and how you can fix the issue. If you have loved this content. Please feel free to share with your friends.