How to Avoid Keyword Cannibalization in Search Queries
You have done your homework, researched the topics, and found the right keywords to target your audience in your SEO and SEM campaigns. Only to find out that you are a victim of your own accord. You have become a keyword cannibal.
Keyword cannibalization, what’s that?
Keyword cannibalization occurs when you have multiple webpages or PPC ad groups that are competing for the same keyword. When your keywords compete against each other, Google shows the page or ad that it determines to be the most relevant. The relevancy of an ad is dependent upon ad rank, which in turn is comprised of the quality score and the CPC bid attached to the keyword.
Will keyword cannibalization negatively impact me?
When keyword cannibalization occurs, you can expect to see a few things happen to your overall campaign (and none of it is all that good).
- Loss of page authority
- Decreased CTR
- Drop in conversion rate
- Unintentional ranking of lower quality pages
The negative impact of keyword cannibalization may be difficult to notice right away. Over time, it will start to eat into your costs, and cause you to miss out on ample lead and conversion opportunities.
How do I stop myself from becoming a keyword cannibal?
- Update current content
Ask yourself which articles on your website may rank for the same search query. Would a new primary keyword better serve this article? Finding the answer to these questions will help you modify the content in your article to rank higher, and prevent keyword cannibalization.
Another way to combat keyword cannibalization on similar articles that show up in search queries is to combine them. Creating a lengthier, content-rich article will boost your rankings for your keywords. Your consolidated article will rank higher on page authority, drive more traffic, and deliver an increased CTR. The other competing article can be redirected to the consolidated article before it is deleted.
- Eliminate old content
If a page that is targeting the same keywords as another is ranked with a lower quality page, it may make more sense to remove it altogether. The lower quality page will steal the traffic you were hoping to direct towards a higher quality page. You need to ask yourself, how much value does this page offer? If it is not enough, then it should be eliminated to make way for a higher quality page.
You may think that it’s a win to have content with multiple rankings for the same keyword. Inevitably, this strategy will backfire, and cause you more harm than good. Don’t let your keywords attack each other. Optimize efficiently, and watch your content drive traffic that convert.