Keyword cannibalization is one Search Engine Optimization issue that has been around since the emergence of digital age to date. It comes around when a website’s information structure uses a very similar or the same keyword/ phrase on multiple pages. You might do it unintentionally for your header tags, title, or anchor, but it can turn into unpleasant troubles.
When keyword cannibalization hits your digital marketing website, search engines will not know which query is the most relevant and eventually they will choose one that fits their criteria perfectly. If that is the case, your optimization efforts for other pages are for nothing! Worst yet, you will miss out every SEO opportunity you may gain in the future. Thus, in order to fend off keyword cannibalization, you should try out these inbound marketing tips below!
Identifying Keyword Cannibalization
You can fix your problem once you have found the causes. So you should identify keyword cannibalization before you move on to the next stage. To identify keyword cannibalization is quite easy. You only have to create a spreadsheet containing the lists of your website’s crucial URLs and their related keywords or phrases. Or you can also use a keyword mapping tool to simplify it even more.
Once you have listed them out, analyze the list and search for any duplicate entries. If you found them, specifically on your main pages, then obviously you are hit by keyword cannibalization. Do not forget to check your meta information in your title tags as well because keyword cannibalization can happen there too.
In case you have a rank tracking tool, you can use it to look for mistakenly applied keywords on certain pages and thin content. Just do thorough search to optimize your website better and avoid keyword cannibalization altogether.
Avoid Keyword Cannibalization
Keyword cannibalization can happen to you even without you realizing it. So to ensure your website is safe from it, you can use some methods to solve or avoid it. First you can use canonicals. Rather than using the same keywords or phrases on your pages, you should make it more varied and link back to the canonical source for the certain term. By doing so, search engines can identify which one is the most relevant for each query. Remember that targeting the same keyword for every page is a no go for user experience, but with this method, you are able to provide more relevant information and a better user experience.
Besides canonicals, many marketers have relied on 301 redirects to deal with keyword cannibalization. It comes in handy to send the associated links to one single page. Done with that, you have to choose the best version out of the links. Use a 301 on every duplicate keyword to your chosen version. With this, your website visitors will come to the right version and search engines will assess you based on the most valuable page for a search query.
If you think by using the same keyword or phrase for every page on your website is such a brilliant idea, then you have made a grave mistake. Instead of getting a better rank on search engines, you will miss out many SEO opportunities that will damage your overall inbound marketing campaign. Fortunately, keyword cannibalization can be easily fixed and identified so you can get back on the right track. Complete your knowledge in your SEO campaigns especially in keywords research by downloading our free white paper about How to Create Effective Keywords Research.