Keyword Cannibalization: How To Fix Issues & Improve Your SEO

In 2021, websites that Google finds easier to crawl are ones that rank better. If you have been trying to rank higher in the search engine results pages (SERPs), you should ensure that keyword cannibalization is not an issue that you are facing.

For those who are new to this topic, keyword cannibalization happens when you unintentionally target the same keyword across multiple posts and pages. A practice like this confuses Google, especially when two or more content pieces are similar in their structure.

In order not to confuse your website visitors, you should work on your keyword placement. Below, we are listing actionable tips to help you with that.

 

A past example of keyword cannibalization (Source: CognitiveSEO)

Identifying Keyword Cannibalization: How To Detect Problems

First of all, you need to identify all of the cannibalized pages. Doing this is as easy as one search along the lines of “your domain + keywords” and you will see your rankings.

For instance, if you are a call center, typing your brand name and keyword in the following format – [BRAND NAME + “call center”] – can give you a good idea of which pages are ranking for that specific keyword. You will get a list of results, but are they the ones you want?

More importantly, Google can get confused in the future and not know which page to prioritize in the rankings. As a result, you might even lose all rankings for the keyword at once. To stop this from happening, we recommend the following.

 

An example of our rankings

Merge Your Content

Merging your content can help you rank the page you want for the specific keyword. To do that, you should take all of the relevant content and put it on a single page. 

You should know that this solution is useful, but doesn’t work for every situation. However, in most cases, merging your content from multiple pages into a single page will simplify and increase your website’s SEO. We recommend adding the content to the page that ranks highest in the SERPs.

Delete Some Content (If Needed)

Deleting web pages may not be something you want to do at first, but it can help you with your rankings. For instance, if a blog post for a specific product or service that you offer ranks a lot higher than the actual product/service page, you may want to delete the content or change the keyword.

Remove Keywords

As we mentioned in the tip above, one of the better ways to maintain specific content is through removing its keyword and replacing it with another one. Altering the keyword on the page or post is a good idea if you don’t want to lose its rankings. However, it is also a slower and more tedious process.

 

The right internal URL structure (Source: Neil Patel)

Change Your Internal Linking

Internal linking is always good for SEO but can also be a problem that leads to keyword cannibalization. If your web content links to other pages on your website, the links may be the elements that you can also improve.

We recommend adding or changing your internal linking so that the less critical content links to the one you want to highlight and prioritize. Doing this will send a signal to Google and, hopefully, get the change you wish to see in the SERPs, with your linked content being the one that should prioritize.

TIP: Speaking of backlinks, check out our handy post on how to build a good backlink strategy.

Alter Your Inbound Link Requests

Last in our list of tips is the one focused on link requests. This one requires a more difficult approach, but it can be very important. If you have the time, you should research all related keywords with your brand name and get some software to track your backlinks.

The idea is simple – some of your pages might rank better because they have more (or better quality) backlinks. Contacting the webmasters of those sources and telling them to alter the link requests to the pages you want to prioritize is what you should do. Doing this can also help you increase your on-page SEO and strengthen your rankings.

In the end, it is safe to say that Google and other search engines use algorithms that are far more sophisticated and advanced than before. While it is always good to be more prominent in the search results, it can also direct your visitors to the pages you don’t essentially want them to see, or not the right ones.

At Devine Solutions Group, we have an in-house team that specializes in on-page and off-page SEO. We can help you with issues such as keyword cannibalization and help you strengthen your overall rankings. 

Want to learn more and get a free SEO audit? Book your 30-minute consultation with us on this link – and see what we can do to make sure your rankings are safe and sound.

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Beth

Beth

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