Keywords are king with regards to engaging users and increasing your search engine ranking.
As a result, search engine optimization (SEO) has become a multi-million dollar company with a host of specialists offering advice on how better to move up the search engine results web page (SERP) and claim the coveted number one spot.
The majority of actionable SEO advice boils down to a few solid suggestions: Do your market research so you understand which keywords are highly relevant to your target audience, and create content material that’s timely and related.
Something that doesn’t make the SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION rounds quite so often will be keyword cannibalization . While this unpleasant-sounding problem won’t sink your website, it could cause your pages plus posts to rank less than they should and — when left unchecked — can harm the overall reputation of your web site.
Here’s what you need to know about choosing, evaluating, and eliminating keyword cannibalization.
What is Keyword Cannibalization in SEO?
Keyword cannibalization occurs when two or more webpages on your website end up contending for the same keyword.
Let’s say your company sells roof shingles. Your blog content will likely include blogposts about how to extend shingle existence through proper care and servicing — with the right combination of authority and actionable insight, this kind of content can catch the attention of the attention of your target audience and lead them to purchase shingles from your site when their home needs repair or replacement.
To ensure you’re capturing the right market, you do a keyword search and find that “roof shingle prices” ranks extremely higher. You then create multiple web pages that all leverage this key phrase — one piece may deal with the most costly shingle types, another with less-expensive options, and a third with all the costs of potential fixes if shingles are broken.
The problem? By using the same key word for each page, you’re essentially stealing search engine ranking positions from yourself.
This why: From the perspective associated with search engines each of these pages is usually its own separate entity with its own authority and website ranking, meaning your pages are usually fighting for SEO interest.
What’s more, these similar-but-different web pages will split your click-through rate (CTR) across multiple links, in turn decreasing the cost of each page. As a result, these three pages might position sixth, seventh, and 8th in SERPs while a single page could rank second or even first.
Methods to Detect Keyword Cannibalization
The simplest way to detect key phrase cannibalization is to create a spreadsheet containing the keyword(s) for virtually every content you create.
Before making a new post, check your spreadsheet and see if you’ve already used the same keyword. If so, consider tweaking your content to focus on one more keyword or ensure that the information you’re creating is considerably different than that of previous content.
You can also check for keyword cannibalization with a quick online search of your most relevant keywords. If you see multiple pages out of your site listed close to one another in SERPs for the same key word, you have a cannibalization problem.
Additionally , keyword cannibalization checker tools can help ensure you’re not missing potential overlap — preferable to know ASAP and alter your content before it gets pushed down the search rankings simply by more targeted posts from the competitors.
How to Remove Keyword Cannibalization
So what happens if you discover keyword cannibalization on your site?
First, take a look at the content on each page. Wherever possible, combine the information from both pages into a single publish to boost search rankings and raise authority.
In the case of our shingle company, for example , it’s worth combining the “most costly” and “least expensive” shingle pages into a single post that targets the “roof shingle prices” keyword. If there are specific aspects of low-cost or high-priced shingles that could help clients make their decision, develop new posts with new keywords, and link to all of them in the original post.
In other cases, you may find that old posts on your site continue to be ranking highly thanks to focused keyword use but shall no longer be relevant to your company’s products or service offering. Right here, it’s a good idea to integrate any kind of useful data from older posts into newer content and then delete the original, subsequently allowing search engines to rank up your most relevant post.
Really worth noting? As with anything within SEO, there are exceptions to the keyword cannibalization rule.
For instance , if you have two posts using the same keyword that are both highly ranked and their particular ranking position isn’t fluctuating, there’s no need to combine all of them.
If competitors’ pages start to rank higher, however , or in case your top-ranked page stops providing sustained click-through rates, this might indicate the need for action.
Keyword Cannibalization Checker Tools
While keeping the spreadsheet of page Web addresses, metadata, and keyword make use of can help reduce the risk associated with unintentional cannibalization, this becomes prohibitively complex as sites scale up.
Consider a good ecommerce site that markets multiple types of winter spencer — with a product page for each jacket, category pages for each jacket type, and blog posts around jacket care, storage, and repair, they have easy for keywords to overlap and SERP to endure.
Keyword cannibalization checker tools can help streamline this process and reduce the risk of missing a potential keyword problem. Some popular options include:
1 . Keylogs Key word Cannibalization Checker
The Keylogs Cannibalization Checker offers a free trial offer — simply log in using a Google account that’s linked to your website(s) and the Band does the rest.
You’ll get outcomes about any pages on the site that are competing for the same ranked keyword along with strategies to resolve the issue. Worth observing? The free tier of this tool only tracks 3 keywords across one web site. Paid plans are required meant for multiple sites and limitless keyword tracking.
2 . SEMrush Position Tracking Tool
SEMrush is a popular SEO tracking plus monitoring toolset. With a paid plan, site owners have access to a Cannibalization report within the SEMrush Position Tracking Tool, which provides the cannibalization score for the keywords entered.
A 100% score means no cannibalization continues to be detected — lower ratings indicate potential problems and will specify both affected keywords and cannibal pages.
three or more. Google Search Console
Using the overall performance report section of Google Search Console lets you view the queries that have earned your site impressions and clicks from Google lookups.
Drill down into these inquiries with the “pages” tab to get a list of URLs that rank for specific keywords and queries — if you observe more than one URL from your web site listed for the same keyword, you might have a cannibalization issue.
4. SEOScout Cannibalization Checker
SEOScout’s Cannibalization Checker offers an replacement for managing keyword spreadsheets. Merely create an account for a 7-day free trial, enter your site’s domain and the tool will certainly create a report detailing any duplicate keyword rankings, allowing you to quickly track down and eliminate cannibal content.
5. Moz Keyword Explorer
The Moz Keyword Explorer lets you find ranking keywords, determine page ranking positions, and make choices about which pages to help keep and which ones need to be reworked or eliminated. Moz furthermore makes it easy to download CSV spreadsheet files which can then be analyzed offline regarding duplicate keyword listings.
Staying Aware of Keyword Cannibalization
For site owners and admins, cannibal keyword content is problematic — multiple URLs ranking for the same key phrase can negatively impact web page authority, frustrate potential customers, and minimize SERPs.
Solve for keyword cannibalization by finding copy keyword use, then combining or deleting content because needed to ensure your best content earns the highest SERP placement with popular search engines.