What is Keyword Cannibalization?

Brands can be their own worst enemy when it comes to ranking on the world’s largest search engine.

Keyword cannibalization: What is it and why should brands care? 

Simply put, keyword cannibalization is one of the biggest (and most impactful pitfalls) when it comes to improving your SEO health and subsequent brand presence online. It occurs whenever more than one site page shows for a specific keyword or query—forcing your brand to compete with itself and diverting traffic. 

Many may believe that it’s not a big deal to have this happen, though, as this still retains key clicks and traffic for your page. However, this has the potential to wreak havoc on your data points, skewing A/B split tests and providing users with a suboptimal user experience on your website and prevent them from taking key actions.

What are the risk factors of keyword cannibalization? 

Even if you find your strategy to be airtight, you can still potentially be at risk for causal factors of keyword cannibalization. These can include steps that many marketers take, including: 

  • Too heavy of a content schedule: When you publish multiple “close” pieces of content over time, keyword cannibalization can occur unintentionally. It might also take longer for either page to appear for a specific query. Reunion Marketing prioritizes keeping content consistent but varied and information-rich.
  • Avoiding redirects: While adding in a redirect is an extra step in your production cycle, it is a worthwhile one—as it can prevent keyword cannibalization and reduce the overall competition that your brand might have with itself online. 
  • Direct competition: It can be tempting to have the market share. However, directly competing yourself can harm your efforts in the long run, potentially confusing your data points and leading to complications later. 

Frequently asked questions: Keyword Cannibalization FAQs 

Can I still target a keyword on multiple pages while avoiding keyword cannibalization? 

Yes, you can absolutely target a keyword on different site pages, so long as the actual intent of the pages range. Doing this can help you to avoid keyword cannibalization. 

How can I improve my keyword strategy? 

If you aren’t at the stage of hiring a professional service, keyword strategy services and tech can be helpful. Additionally, you can always check into what people are currently discussing in your industry, using their input and focus as a basis for your next targeted set of keywords. 

How to prevent keyword cannibalization? 

Working with a professional service is often the best way to prevent cannibalization. Additionally, if you’re doing it yourself, you can try a site search to avoid creating duplicative or competing content. 

How to avoid keyword cannibalization 

While there is no foolproof way to completely omit your risk, many choose to trust content strategists and marketing firms to mitigate their brand’s risk. 

Reunion Marketing is the leading SEO provider for automotive and niche service specialists—supporting you throughout your marketing journey and refining your digital approach. For more information and to get started today, schedule a demo today!

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