Conducting online searches is the fastest way people look for products and services that they need. If the users know the exact search terms that they can use to get their desired results, the searching process becomes faster and effortless. The best and most appropriate keywords help customers find you quickly and improve the likelihood of not missing out on potential sales.
When performing their online searches, users can input keywords by typing a series of words that are relevant to the products and services they seek. They can also use speech recognition technology and virtual assistants to conduct their searches. The search engines, like Google, require to type in words to match the most relevant content, as displayed. If you are in the business of hair care products, some appropriate keywords to use include hair, hair oil, conditioner, hair shampoos, etc. Failure to highlight these keywords means your website may not be displayed on the search results when the search engine performs a search. The result of which is missed opportunities for brand awareness and sales.
Identifying Keyword Cannibalization
Keyword Cannibalization is where Google may choose to give a higher ranking to pages that are not ‘high priority while lowering the ranking of the pages you wish to have higher rankings. Google does this to punish those who have the habit of using many identical keywords all over their website content (keyword stuffing). This malpractice renders Google incapable of establishing what content it should rank higher.
Identifying keyword cannibalization on your website requires that you search your website and your keywords. Suppose your business deals in hair care products, one possible name for your website would be haircare.com. Let us assume you want to discover the keyword cannibalization for hair conditioners. You will be required to search for haircare.com together with ‘hair conditioner’ and other keywords. From the results, you can conclude whether there are traces of keyword cannibalization. If you happen to see a particular post you uploaded some time ago outranking a more recent post, this is a sure sign of keyword cannibalization.
5 Ways to Prevent Keyword Cannibalization
- Merge Content
Merging your website content can maximize the search engine optimization of your website. This technique works best for a situation where two of your pages have related content. In the hair car example, one of the pages may be highlighting the best hair care products your users should try. Another page may provide details about the haircare products that will not be very suitable for your users. Merging these two pages will reduce the likelihood that keyword cannibalization occurs.
- Delete Content
Deleting content that is not relevant to your website anymore can also work. As your business grows, you will find it likely that you need the old content less. If this content outranks your most recent website content that you wish would rank higher, you should delete this old content altogether.
- Remove Keywords
This tactic will be effective when you wish to remain with specific content but not others. The removal of the unwanted keyword is not detrimental to the website. An easy-to-do technique, this strategy is slow but proves very effective in keeping keyword cannibalization at bay.
- Alter Your Internal Linking
Having a link to another web page on your web page makes Google rank the linked web page higher. To prevent keyword cannibalization, you should improve these internal links. You can do this by modifying the internal links so that content is perceived as ‘less valuable’ links to the particular content you deem high priority and valuable. Therefore, when the search engine (like Google or Bing) picks up on this, the linked, high-priority content ranks higher on the search engine results pages.
- Change The Inbound Link Request
Changing the inbound link request becomes necessary when less valuable and old content ranks higher than your recent, more helpful content because of links created by other websites. To correct this, you need to first use software that can track backlinks. The second step is to communicate with the relevant webmasters of the linked websites to alter the links or delete them altogether. Your search engine rankings will improve if the webmasters successfully replace the old links with the links that you consider high priority.
What do we do now with all this information?
In reality, keyword cannibalism can happen on any website page because users might search for a product or service using different keywords over time. This means you should always check your analytics data to identify which pages may have been impacted by this issue and the search terms used by visitors who clicked on those links. Use the strategies listed above to minimize keyword cannibalism on your website.
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