How to avoid cannibalization in SEO?

We talk about keyword cannibalization when the referencing of a site is altered by misuse of keywords and, in particular, by excessive use of the same keyword.

More common on large sites and therefore with more pages, it confuses search engines. How to detect and avoid the phenomenon?

Here’s everything you need to know to better understand and deal with keyword cannibalization.

1. Know everything about keywords

Before explaining how to choose the right keywords, we will remind you what a keyword is. Remember, a few months ago, we offered you a glossary containing 30 definitions of SEO! This indicates that the keywords are the queries written by Internet users in search engines and they should be found on every page of your website. Therefore, before writing your content, you must define the different keywords that should appear in it to improve its natural reference.

Exists various types of keywords :

  • generic keywords;
  • Long tail keywords;
  • Semantic keywords;
  • The perennial keywords;
  • Local keywords;
  • Keywords of the event…

Also read: 30 resources to master the basics of SEO

2. What is keyword cannibalization?

Keyword cannibalization is a strong term used when there is a problem with competition between various pages of a website. It happens, more often on large sites, that the same keywords are used for several pages or that the same topic is covered several times.

This problem can affect the SEO of the site, which is no longer optimized.

Why? Well, because using identical or too similar keywords on different pages of a site creates a form of confusion. Search engines, especially Google, can no longer rank these pages. It is this confusion that hurts SEO.

It is important to differentiate the phenomenon of keyword cannibalization from that of duplicate content. Keyword cannibalization refers to the use of the same keywords on multiple pages, while duplicate content refers to the use of an identical article or part of an article on multiple pages.

3. Keyword Cannibalization and SEO: An Unhappy Marriage

You should know that using the same keywords in multiple posts is not a problem. Keyword cannibalization occurs when, on the same site, a keyword is used more than 10 times in multiple articles.

This process is often used by websites that lack consistency. Hence the distrust of search engines. The latter rank pages based on relevance and do not index posts if, on the same site, other posts have the same or similar keywords. This underlines a lack of information or incomplete content.

Also read: The 10 commandments of content marketing (Infographic)

4. How to identify keyword cannibalization?

keyword cannibalization, SEO, freelance copywriter

Identifying keyword cannibalization is not that difficult. You can do it yourself from a simple Excel document! Just select the keywords of the different articles and compare his presence. At the same time, you should study the traffic of each page and compare their ranking. Thanks to the information obtained, you will be able to identify cases of keyword cannibalization.

It is also possible to use tools provided for this purpose, such as:

  • Success in the quest for Ryte that informs you about any cannibalization present on your site;
  • oncrowl that allows an audit on the referencing of a site;
  • Linkdex offers solutions to optimize the referencing of all your web pages.

5. How to fix keyword cannibalization?

If you notice that a phenomenon of keyword cannibalization is present on your site, you must remedy it to quickly benefit from optimal referencing.

When a case of cannibalization is confirmed, it is first necessary to stop at the rank of each page. Sometimes two contents do not have the same value, or the same potential. If a weaker article is better referenced, it should be corrected.

You have two options:

  • The first is for merging the two contents to create a single one that will be more relevant. Often it is not necessary to change the length of the article because, contrary to popular belief, long articles can be easy to read if they are well-written, comprehensive, and coherent.
  • The second is to rewrite one of the two texts or even both, focusing each of them on a specific topic and a main keyword.

6. Reduce the risk of keyword cannibalization: it’s possible!

cannibalization keyword laptop freelance copywriter

When you write a new page for your website, you need to choose the topic, make sure it’s not already covered, and determine the keywords.

Once this last step is done, make sure that there is no other page on your site that contains the same keywords. Of course, a list of long-tail keywords should also be added for each article.

Also read: 6 things to do to improve your content and your position in Google

Little extra: make a list

Each content must be unique: offer new ideas with a more specific angle so that each of your articles is relevant.

Each article must have a catchy title that differentiates it from the others. In this title, the main keyword must be present.

To reduce the risk of cannibalization, it is also necessary to check the internal mesh.

If you identify high-potential content, insert links in weaker articles to these pages that you want to highlight for your SEO. This technique also has the advantage of keeping the user longer on your site. A page should not be a dead end, it should open up to other content!

Also remember to write the URLs, title tags, meta description, headings, and subheadings. It is not uncommon for one article another to have similar subheadings.

Also read: The definitive guide to boosting the SEO performance of your web pages

7. Beware of overly popular keywords

keyword cannibalization, SEO, freelance copywriter

We mistakenly think that selecting the right keywords for an article is easy. However, if you are writing content for a seaside hotel and want to include generic keywords likehotel near the beach Where sea ​​view hotelyou run the risk of not being well referenced!

Why ? Simply because these queries are too popular! These are the most used and almost all lead to a popular site such as a booking platform or a well-known franchise hotel.

Ideally,include various types of keywords so that Google and other search engines position you on the first two pages.

When you make a query, the first results are sponsored. Then come the sites that enjoy a solid reputation. Therefore, there is little space left on the first page for independent sites.

8. Unpopular keywords: is this a solution?

Since betting on the most popular keywords is not recommended, maybe you should go for the less popular ones? Know that this solution can be beneficial.

Even if the requests are less, you can still attract an audience to your site. targeted (and therefore high-quality) to your place

Betting on quality and not quantity can be a winning strategy because the conversion rate is significantly higher, which positively impacts your business.

Also read: Pillar Page and Topic Cluster: how to use them for your SEO?

9. How to avoid competition between keywords?

Avoiding keyword competition is very possible and even easy. To achieve this, you have to focus on your activity. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Who do you want to attract to your site?
  • What sets you apart from your competitors?

Once you have answered these questions, you will be able to identify keywords that match you and that it will not compete with other sites.

For example, you can replace hotel near the beach through family hotel near the beach either hotel with free parking by the sea.

It is very interesting to exploit long-tail keywords: although they are less referenced, they allow you to position yourself in a less popular niche and, therefore, much less competitive.

10. How to choose the right keywords?

Choosing the right keywords comes down to balancing your chosen keywords. At the beginning of this article, we mentioned the different types of keywords.

For good SEO and less competition, you have to choose:

  • Generic keywords: hotel by the sea;
  • Long tail keywords: hotel with family room; hotel close to shops; Hotel with free parking…
  • Semantic keywords: holidays by the sea; family vacation ; stay on the beach…
  • perennial keywords: book a hotel room; sea ​​View room…
  • Local keywords: hotel in Toulon; Hotel near the Grande Plage…
  • Event Keywords: book summer vacations; weekend by the sea…

Each piece of content should be re-searched for keywords. You will not find the same queries on the home page as in the services.

Also Read: SEO: 3 Proofs You’re Optimizing For The Wrong Keyword

our advice

Knowing the cannibalization of keywords, knowing how to identify it and correct it are tricks to have a perfectly referenced website. Take the time to check your page rank and even before writing an article, determine your keywords and topic!

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