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How to Avoid Keyword Cannibalization in SEO

How to Avoid Keyword Cannibalization in SEO

Keyword cannibalization can kill your SEO strategy.

The term “keyword cannibalization” sounds like a B-horror movie, but it’s actually a consequence of sloppy search engine optimization (SEO) planning. Fortunately, there are several valuable ways you can avoid it—and ensure you’re getting the most value for your investment.

What Is Keyword Cannibalization?

Let’s start by defining keyword cannibalization. Generally speaking, your SEO strategy will attempt to target a series of keywords and phrases; these will be the terms you want your content to rank for. It’s not uncommon for small campaigns to have 10-15, with bigger campaigns having a few dozen important terms.

Each page of your site will attempt to prioritize one or two of these phrases, with a secondary emphasis on semantically related phrases. Keyword cannibalization occurs when you have two or more pages of your website focusing on the same keyword phrase.

Why is this a problem? In some ways, it’s an advantage, since more pages focusing on the keyword term will make your entire site more relevant to that term. However, your webpages will be directly competing with each other in the SERPs this way; it would be better if each page was highly ranking for a different term. After all, when people conduct a search, they usually only click one link in the SERPs.

How to Avoid Keyword Cannibalization

There are several tactics you can use to avoid this outcome:

  • Give each page a unique target phrase. First, make sure each page on your website has a unique keyword or phrase that it’s targeting.
  • Use more synonyms and semantically related phrases. Second, try to use more synonyms and semantically related phrases. Not all your keywords have to be exact match. Introduce more variance, and you’ll see better results.
  • Expand your keyword targets. Consider expanding your keyword targets with some lower-competition words and phrases; you’ll find it much easier to rank for these.

Do you need help undoing the effects of keyword cannibalization in your campaign? Or are you interested in a quote for SEO services? Reach out to Quez Media today!

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