How To Avoid Keyword Cannibalisation

UK Search Engine Optimisation Services

Researching and managing keywords is something that we accept as part of our continued search engine optimisation strategies. However, there are times when we just keep adding optimisation to our websites – over and over again. Before we know it, our pages are packed with SEO. Great, right? Well, not quite. As any good provider of UK search engine optimisation services will tell you, this strategy can end up seeing your website essentially eating itself.

This is called keyword cannibalisation (or SEO cannibalization). This process can occur when multiple pages on a website give an equal exposure to a keyword – leading to many problems with your white hat search engine optimisation efforts. One of the primary problems this causes is that Google’s algorithms won’t be able to identify what page from your website best corresponds to a search query from a user. While you will often see keywords spread across multiple pages, and that seems to be successful, the hierarchy of these keywords is usually carefully constructed in order to fit Google’s keyword guidelines. This approach cannot simply be replicated through repetitious, unstructured keyphrasing. It also leads to many other problems too. You basically might be splitting a keyword between multiple pages – having spent time setting this up – only for your pages to be competing with one another. Instead of one being elevated, this could lead to both pages detracting from each other’s traffic – stopping either from getting to the top of the front page results. Additionally, pages that share the same keyword may share the same topic. And if the pages share the same topic, you risk duplicating content – with one likely to be poorer than the other. There’s no point in having this committed website optimisation strategy in place when it is, as the name suggests, cannibalising itself.

There are many more advanced, negative drawbacks that can also explain why this approach will not lead to success. But let’s focus on how we started: how do you avoid cannibalisation with your UK search engine optimisation efforts? Firstly, you can separate these pages from one another by slightly skewing each one to a different intended audience and having them attack different phrases or micro-categories. Say you have two pages on ‘baby toys’ – but you have variety within that category. Why not shift one to, for instance, ‘baby toys for 12 months’ and the other to ‘baby toys for 24 months’. Tweak the content on the pages to reflect the differences in the mindset of parents buying for a child who is 1 year-old and a child who is 2 years-old. This is very similar to the long-tail keyword mindset, but different too – because, these days, you need to start thinking about how people are using their voice to search online via voice assistants too (such as Alexa and Siri). How would a busy, young parent phrase that they want a cuddly toy for their 2 year-old when talking to a search engine with their voice? That’s what you need to target – the variety of ways in which your potential customers say or write phrases, in order to find the right solution. You need your website to be a constant presence in all of these phrase results, as opposed to focusing on just a few of the same keyphrases over and over again. A good provider of UK search engine optimisation services can help you do this.

Cannibalisation is a sign that your SEO efforts have become tired and outdated. An expert agency offering up to date UK search engine optimisation services can help you revitalise and refresh your approach to keyphrases.