Keyword Cannibalisation: What It Is And How To Avoid It

by | Apr 11, 2017 | SEO

Have you noticed the wrong page from your website appearing in Google for your keywords? Or has a page on your website been losing traffic?

This could be happening due to keyword cannibalisation.

What is keyword cannibalisation?

This occurs when multiple pages on your website are targeting the same keyword. Not unlike actual cannibalisation, this can cause some real problems.

While it may seem good to have several pages from your website appearing for the same keyword, this actually means your website is competing against itself. Those crazy search engine crawlers won’t know what page is most relevant to the keyword, which means the wrong page could end up appearing in the SERPs.

So how do you make sure your website isn’t eating itself (metaphorically speaking)?

Audit Your Content

Review the content on your website to identify pages that are targeting the same keyword. From here you can make changes so that each page is targeting a variation of the keyword.

For example, your home page might target ‘dog toys Brisbane’ while your Dog Toys category page targets ‘where to buy dog toys in Brisbane’.

Use Internal Links

If you have multiple pages for similar products, you should use internal links to point back to a common landing page.

For example, if you have 3 product pages for different kinds of shoes, you could:

  • Create a general ‘Shoes’ landing page
  • Add a link to this landing page on each of the 3 product pages
  • Make sure the anchor text on each product page is a unique variation of the landing page’s keyword.

By doing this, you signal to Google that the landing page is the most important.

You can also look in your Google Search Console to see how many internal links each page has. If a landing page has less internal links than it should, there’s an opportunity to add more links back to that page.

Review Your Meta Descriptions

Ensure each page has a unique page title and meta description that contains the targeted keyword or key phrase. This will help Google return the correct page in the SERPs. Using the example above, your landing page’s meta description would include the primary keyword and the subpages would include variations (in the page titles) or even long-tail keywords (in the meta descriptions).

Still not sure if your website is cannibalistic? Or don’t have time to keep your pages from devouring each other’s traffic? Get in touch for a chat about how we can assess and fix your keyword profile.

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