What is Keyword Cannibalization and How to Prevent It

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BY Chris Loomis

SEO is not complete without keyword optimization. Using relevant keywords can help rank your content on top of search engine results. For most digital marketers, more keywords equate to better optimization, hence higher ranking on search results. 

Because of this, a lot of marketers tend to use the same keywords on different pages for better chances of ranking. Unfortunately, this could only do more harm to your content and your overall ranking than the other way around. What you are doing is called keyword cannibalization, and every marketer should avoid this. 


What is keyword cannibalization? 

Keyword cannibalization occurs when multiple website pages use the same keywords and optimize for the same query. When this happens, it’s like you’re making your competition. 

This results in poorly-ranked content and placing your website into obscurity. Keyword cannibalization also confuses search engine algorithms and the readers, hence the difficulty in search result rankings. The good news is you can find keyword cannibalization in your content and fix it. 


How to prevent keyword cannibalization 

Here are tips you can use to prevent keyword cannibalization and maximize your website more. 


Use keyword research tools 

It is better to use keyword research tools such as Ubersuggest, Moz Keyword Explorer, or Answer the Public to plan your keywords better. It also helps find and prevent keyword cannibalization. At the same time, lessen wasted time and money from getting rid of competing pages from your website. 


Create a keyword strategy

To prevent keyword cannibalization, learn to create a keyword strategy so that there will be no overlapping with your keywords. Instead of using the same keywords for different content or pages, you can use similar but different wordings. That way, you can stay on topic. 


Aim for topics first, then keywords. 

Keyword cannibalization occurs because marketers tend to focus on keywords rather than creating quality content on related topics. That is why you focus instead on topics more than the keywords you are going to use.

Create content from topics you think your audience will be interested in and make sure you answer their queries. Some ways to determine your audience’s interests include: 

  • Create social media polls or surveys 
  • Ask for feedback 
  • Offer freebies for those who respond to your poll/survey 
  • Use forum sites such as Quora or Reddit to reach your target audience 


Conduct regular content audits

It is also important to conduct regular content audits to see if your content is still relevant to your audience. Check the following during your content audit: 

  • Are the data and other information still updated and correct? 
  • Which keywords and topics perform best? 
  • Is the topic still relevant? 
  • Are you still using the right keywords? 


Break your content down. 

Long-form content can be complex depending on the different topics that need to be covered. In this case, you can divide your content into sub-posts. 

Instead of your target readers looking for different websites talking about the same thing, you can put together all of the covered topics into one post in your content. Readers can also benefit from having a clickable table of contents so they can move on to the specific topics of their interest.


A digital marketing expert in Franklin TN will help utilize keywords and boost your online presence. Contact one today!

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