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As a website owner, you probably know that search engine optimisation (SEO) is crucial for driving traffic and generating leads. However, one problem that can arise with SEO is keyword cannibalisation. In this post, we'll discuss the importance of SEO strategies in preventing and recovering from keyword cannibalisation and provide tips for both prevention and recovery.
Before we dive into prevention and recovery tips, let's first define what keyword cannibalisation is and how it can impact your website's SEO. Keyword cannibalisation occurs when multiple pages on your website target the same keyword or keyword phrase. This can happen accidentally when multiple pages are optimised for similar topics or intentionally when you're trying to rank for a specific keyword across multiple pages.
However, this competition between pages can lead to confusion for search engines and cause them to not know which page to rank for that particular keyword. As a result, your rankings can suffer, and your website can lose traffic and potential leads.
For example, if a website has two blog posts targeting the keyword "SEO services," Google may not know which one to rank higher, leading to confusion and potentially lower rankings for both pages.
While it is generally recommended to avoid keyword cannibalisation and ensure that each page on your site is optimised for a unique set of keywords, there are some rare instances when having two pieces of content ranking for the same keyword can be advantageous. Such rare instances are as follows:
If search engine results pages (SERPs) are indented, having multiple pages ranking for the same keyword can help increase your website's visibility. SERP indentation is when a search engine displays multiple results from the same website in a stacked format. In such cases, having more than one-page ranking for the same keyword can occupy more real estate on the SERP, thereby increasing your visibility and driving more clicks to your site.
Sometimes, a single keyword can have multiple search intentions. For instance, the keyword "fitness" can be used to search for gym memberships, workout routines, diet plans, and more. In such cases, having multiple pages ranking for the same keyword can help you target each of those intentions separately. By optimising each page for a unique intention, you can potentially drive more relevant traffic to your site and increase your chances of converting those visitors into customers.
If you have a strong brand presence and want to dominate the search results for a particular keyword, having multiple pages ranking for the same keyword can be beneficial. By doing so, you can show your dominance in the industry and establish your brand as an authority on the topic. This can not only increase your visibility but also help you build trust with your target audience.
To prevent keyword cannibalisation from occurring in the first place, you need to have a solid SEO strategy in place. This should involve conducting thorough keyword research and creating a content plan that ensures each page on your website is optimised for a unique keyword or keyword phrase. Here are some additional tips for preventing keyword cannibalisation:
Use long-tail keywords: Instead of targeting broad, competitive keywords, focus on long-tail keywords that are more specific and have less competition. This will help ensure that each page on your website is targeting a unique keyword.
Create high-quality, unique content: Each page on your website should have unique, high-quality content that isn't competing with other pages on your website. Avoid duplicating content or creating pages with similar content.
Optimise each page for a unique keyword: When creating new pages or optimising existing ones, ensure that each page is targeting a unique keyword or keyword phrase. Use keyword research tools to find related keywords that are less competitive.
Work with an SEO agency: An experienced SEO agency can help you develop a comprehensive SEO strategy that prevents keyword cannibalisation from occurring.
If you suspect that your website has already been impacted by keyword cannibalisation, there are ways to recover. Here are some tips for recovering from keyword cannibalisation:
Identify affected pages: Use Google Search Console or other SEO tools to identify which pages on your website are competing for the same keyword.
Consolidate duplicate content: If you have multiple pages with similar content, consider consolidating them into one page that targets the keyword. This will eliminate the competition between pages.
Reoptimize pages: If you have multiple pages that are targeting the same keyword, consider reoptimising them for different, unique keywords.
Create a recovery plan: Develop a plan for recovering from keyword cannibalisation, and track your progress using analytics tools.
Work with an SEO agency: An experienced SEO agency can help you recover from keyword cannibalisation by providing expert guidance and support.
Keyword cannibalisation can be a significant hindrance to your website's SEO rankings, causing search engines to become confused about which page should be ranked for a particular keyword.
However, by following the tips outlined in this article, you can prevent keyword cannibalisation from occurring in the first place or recover from it if it has already affected your website.
Remember to use long-tail keywords, create high-quality and unique content, optimise each page for a unique keyword, and work with an experienced SEO agency. By doing so, you'll ensure that each page on your website is targeting a unique keyword and optimise your website for maximum traffic and lead generation.
While it is best to avoid keyword overlap, there are some rare instances when having multiple pages ranking for the same keyword can be advantageous.
Don't let keyword cannibalisation kill your SEO rankings, take proactive steps to avoid it and improve your website's performance.
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