What is Keyword Cannibalization:  How to Find and Fix Cannibalization.

Written by Rahil Joshi

Rahil Joshi, a seasoned digital marketing expert with over a decade of experience, excels in driving innovative online strategies.

SEO

August 1, 2023

Keyword Cannibalization

Keyword cannibalization is a common problem that many website owners face when they try to rank for the same or similar keywords on multiple pages. Keyword cannibalization can hurt your SEO performance and confuse your visitors. In this blog, we will explain what keyword cannibalization is, how to check for it, and how to fix it using keyword clustering.

What is Keyword Cannibalization?

Keyword cannibalization occurs when you have two or more pages on your website that target the same or similar keywords. For example, if you have a page about “cannibalization seo” and another page about “keyword cannibalism”, you are essentially competing with yourself for the same search queries. This can result in:

  • Lower rankings: Google may not know which page to rank higher for the relevant keywords, and may end up ranking both pages lower than they deserve.
  • Lower click-through rates: Users may see multiple pages from your website in the search results, but they may not click on any of them because they are not sure which one is more relevant or authoritative.
  • Lower conversion rates: Users who land on your pages may not find what they are looking for, or they may get confused by the conflicting or duplicate information. This can lead to higher bounce rates and lower engagement.

Keyword cannibalization can also affect your internal linking structure, your site architecture, and your content quality. Therefore, it is important to avoid keyword cannibalization and optimize your pages for unique and relevant keywords.

How to Check for Keyword Cannibalization?

There are several ways to check for keyword cannibalization on your website. One of the easiest ways is to find a keyword cannibalization manually or use  tool, Such as SemRush or Ahref

To check keyword cannibalization manually, you can follow these steps:

Check Cannibalization Manually

1. Make a list of the keywords that you want to rank for and that are relevant to your site and industry. You can use tools like Semrush or Ahrefs to do keyword research and find the best keywords for your site.

2. For each keyword, search for it on Google and see if more than one page from your site appears in the results. If yes, then you have a keyword cannibalization issue. For example, if you see two pages from your site with titles like “How to Write a Blog Post” and “Blog Writing Tips”, then they are competing for the same keyword and intent.

3. Alternatively, you can use Google Search Console to find keyword cannibalization issues. Go to the Performance report and see your site’s performance on Google Search. You can filter the results by clicks or impressions and sort them by queries. Then, click on any query that you want to analyse and select the Pages option.If you see more than one page ranking for that query, then you have a keyword cannibalization issue.

4. Repeat this process for any other keywords that you want to check for cannibalization. These are the steps to check keyword cannibalization manually. However, this method can be time-consuming and tedious, especially if you have a large site with many pages and keywords. Therefore, it is recommended to use tools like Semrush or Ahrefs that can automate this process and help you find and fix keyword cannibalization issues more easily and effectively.

How To Check Keyword Cannibalization From Semrush

Here Are The Steps:

  1. Go to Semrush and enter your domain name in the search bar. Click on “Set up tracking” to create a position tracking campaign for your site.
  1. Enter the location you want to track rankings in, such as a country, state, or city. Then click on “Continue to keywords”.
  1. Add your target keywords that you want to monitor for cannibalization. You can import them from Google Analytics, Google Search Console, or a file, or enter them manually. Then click on “Start tracking”.
  1. Go to the Cannibalization report under Position Tracking. Here you will see your cannibalization health score, which is a percentage that indicates how much cannibalization is affecting your site. A score of 100% means no cannibalization, while a lower score means more.
  1. You can view the report by pages or by keywords. The pages view shows you which URLs are ranking for multiple keywords and how they affect your average position, estimated traffic, and total volume.The keywords view shows you which keywords have more than one page ranking for them and how they affect your position, URL, estimated traffic, and volume.
  1. You can click on any page or keyword to see more details, such as the trend of how the pages were ranking over time, the volume and difficulty of the keywords, and the SERP features available for them.
  1. You can also use filters and sorting options to narrow down your results and focus on the most important or problematic pages or keywords

These are the steps to check keyword cannibalization with Semrush

How to Fix Keyword Cannibalization?

Don’t worry, you can fix this problem with some easy steps. Here are some of the ways you can stop your pages from cannibalising each other and boost your SEO:

 Combine your pages into one awesome page: that has everything your readers need to know about the topic. Then, redirect the old pages to the new one so that Google and your visitors can find it easily. This will help you avoid having duplicate or low-quality content and show Google that you are an expert on that topic.

•  Make your pages different from each other: by using different keywords or covering different angles of the topic. This will help you reach more people who have different needs or questions about the topic. You can use tools like Semrush or Ahrefs to find new keywords that are related to your main keyword but have different features or difficulty levels.

To learn more about this topic, read this article: SEO Keyword Research: What, How and Why

 Tell Google which page is the best: one to rank for a certain keyword by using a canonical tag. This is a code that you can add to your pages to tell Google which one is the original or main one, and which ones are copies or variations. This will help you keep your pages on your site without deleting or merging them, but avoid confusing Google or splitting your traffic.

•  Link from your other pages: to the main page by using the keyword as the link text. This will help you pass some of the power and relevance from your other pages to the main page and show Google which one is more important and relevant for that keyword.

These are some of the ways you can fix keyword cannibalization on your site. But before you do any of these, you should first find out if you have any keyword cannibalization issues on your site. You can use tools like Semrush or Ahrefs, or do it yourself by using Google Search or Google Search Console. You should also check your rankings and traffic after making any changes to see if they work for you.

You may also be interested in this guide: Guide to Robots.txt: How to Use for SEO & Site Protection

Keyword Clustring method to Fix Cannibalization

The best way to fix keyword cannibalization is to use keyword clustering. Keyword clustering is a technique that involves grouping related keywords into clusters and assigning each cluster to a specific page on your website. This way, you can avoid targeting the same keywords on multiple pages and create more focused and relevant content for each topic.

Keyword clustering can also help you improve your site architecture, as you can create logical categories and subcategories based on your keyword clusters. This can make it easier for users and search engines to navigate your website and find what they are looking for.

To create keyword clusters, you need to do some keyword research and analysis. You can use tools like SEmRush, Ahrefs, or Google Keyword Planner to find relevant keywords for your niche and see how they are related to each other. You can also use tools like Google Analytics or Search Console to see what keywords are driving traffic to your website and how they are performing.

Once you have a list of keywords, you can start grouping them into clusters based on their similarity, relevance, and intent. For example, if you have a website about digital marketing, you can create clusters like:

•  SEO: seo cannibalization, seo best practices, seo audit

•  Content Marketing: content marketing strategy, content marketing examples

•  Social Media Marketing: social media marketing plan

•  Email Marketing: email marketing campaign

You can then assign each cluster to a page on your website that covers the topic in depth. For example:

•  SEO: /seo-guide/

•  Content Marketing: /content-marketing-guide/

•  Social Media Marketing: /social-media-marketing-guide/

•  Email Marketing: /email-marketing-guide/

You can also create subpages for each cluster if you want to cover more specific aspects of the topic. For example:

•  SEO: /seo-guide/seo-cannibalization/, /seo-guide/seo-best-practices/, /seo-guide/seo-audit/ 

•  Content Marketing: /content-marketing-guide/content-marketing-strategy/, /content-marketing-guide/content-marketing-examples/ 

•  Social Media Marketing: /social-media-marketing-guide/social-media-marketing-plan/   

•  Email Marketing: /email-marketing-guide/email-marketing-campaign/ 

By using keyword clustering, you can create a clear and consistent structure for your website and optimise each page for a specific set of keywords. This can help you rank higher for your target keywords, attract more qualified traffic, and increase your conversions.

Conclusion

Keyword cannibalization is a common SEO problem that can hurt your website’s performance and user experience. To avoid keyword cannibalization, you need to use keyword clustering and create unique and relevant content for each keyword cluster. 

If you need help with keyword clustering or any other aspect of SEO, you can contact us at Web Zodiac. We are a team of experienced and professional digital marketers who can help you grow your online presence and achieve your business goals. We offer a range of services, including SEO, content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, and more. Contact us today and get a free consultation and quote. We look forward to hearing from you!

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