What is Keyword Cannibalization?

Posted on October 22nd, 2021 by nms

In this digital age, it’s vital to have an online edge against your competition, especially in the insurance industry. Many insurance companies have turned to the internet to increase visibility and attract potential clients. When a company decides to set up a website, one popular insurance SEO strategy to improve its search engine rank is keywords.

Keywords are the words or phrases a person enters into a search engine before looking for a specific website. Obviously, insurance companies would want to rank high on the results page to increase their chances of being noticed by prospective clients. In doing so, they resort to using keywords as one of their strategies towards achieving a higher ranking.

However, there are instances when companies commit mistakes that can be detrimental to their online presence and search engine ranking. One of these is called Keyword Cannibalization.

What Is Keyword Cannibalization?

Keyword cannibalization means that you have blog posts on your site that target the exact keywords. When this happens, Google sees every page on your site that uses that term as a duplicate and therefore discounts them. In other words, all the efforts you’ve been putting in to rank for those terms are wasted because they’re not considered unique pages by Google’s algorithm.

When you optimize articles and posts for similar search queries, you’re reducing their chances of ranking. This can hurt your site’s overall performance because all those posts compete against each other for the same rank. Google will be confused when pages with similar content appear for one query, so if you allow this to happen, your rankings will suffer, and traffic will drop as a result.

Why Is It Bad For SEO?

If you’re cannibalizing your keywords, you’re competing with yourself to rank. And of course, Google doesn’t like it when you compete with yourself. What Google does is give preference to websites that target unique keywords and specific search queries rather than those that try to use the same ones repeatedly. If you do not optimize your site for multiple keywords, you will never rank well on search engine result pages (SERPs).

In addition, your website becomes less appealing to readers when there are duplicate posts with similar content ranking in SERPs. You’ll be losing out on targeted traffic, and this can affect your conversion rate as well. Converting a reader into a client depends on how attractive your web copy is; if all your blog post talks about one or similar topics, the chance of losing interest is high.

How to Identify Keyword Cannibalization

It’s very easy to identify if you’re committing keyword cannibalization on your site. Just type ‘site:domain.com “keyword” into Google’s search box, then check its suggested results.

You will get a list of pages within your site that contain the exact keywords. If you notice several of your articles are ranking in the same search query, you should be concerned about keyword cannibalization.

Fixing Keyword Cannibalization

Once you recognize the problem, it’s time to fix it. If you’ve got two articles that target the same audience, they can be combined into a single piece of content. You can do this by rewriting the two posts into one article. Google loves long and well-written pieces of web copy, so you’ll instantly improve your chances of ranking on SERPs. Once you merge a post into another, you need to remove one of them from your site.

Another way you can fix the issue is by changing the keywords of your blog posts. The idea here is to find new related terms but not identical to the keyword you’re targeting. You can also use long-tailed or modified versions of your keyword to rank better.

For example, if you have a service page that uses the keyword ‘Life Insurance in Arizona’ and another blog post about The Cost of Life Insurance Arizona, you can use ‘Life Insurance Pricing Guide in Arizona’ as a keyword for the said blog post. This way, you avoid any web copy overlap and rank better on SERPs.

In Conclusion

As you can see, keyword cannibalization is not good for SEO. Google is constantly evolving to accommodate changes in how people use the Internet, so your website’s lack of uniqueness will hurt your efforts to rank high over time.

Make sure you identify cases of keyword cannibalization on your site and fix them as soon as possible to improve your search engine performance. By doing so, you’ll get more targeted traffic, increase your conversion rate and see better returns in the long run!

About Agency Tsunami

Agency Tsunami is the digital marketing division of Neilson Marketing Services, who has provided the insurance distribution sector with innovative marketing and communication solutions for over twenty-five years. With our Agency Tsunami program, we have implemented an integrated marketing strategy that includes optimized, professional websites supported by high-quality SEO and Social Media for hundreds of insurance retailers and wholesalers. Our goal is to help your insurance business perform and generate new opportunities. Give us a call at (800) 736-9741 to learn more about how we can do that for you.