Search engine optimization is so much more than simply knowing where to put SEO keywords in your web content. While that’s definitely important, you have to go well beyond that by selecting all the right keywords for each page.
If you’re simply using the same keywords for all the pages on your website, then you’re committing a grave mistake in the content marketing world: keyword cannibalization. The punishment is dire, too, coming in the form of poor search ranking results and a lackluster customer experience.
So, if you’d rather not have your website known by search engines as a keyword cannibal, it’s time to make a change. Fortunately, we’re here to help with this guide on why you should stop using the same keywords over and over again and where to put SEO keywords – as well as how to fix it if you’ve already gone down a dark SEO path.
What is Keyword Cannibalization?
Keyword cannibalization is the use of the same search phrases throughout the majority of the pages on your website. This might look like using the same or similar keywords on your service pages, purpose-built landing pages, and blogs.
When that happens, Google and other search engines cannot decide how to best rank your content. The wrong web pages may get prioritized as a result, causing the end user to have an overall poor browsing experience.
Importance of Using New Keywords for Each Page
Avoiding keyword cannibalization is simple. You just have to assign a different keyword to every piece of content on your site. By doing that, the following benefits will come your way.
Stop Competing with Yourself
Using the same keywords across your website pits your own pages against each other – and confuses search engines. Instead of ranking all the pages high in search results, the search engine will usually try to figure out which one is more relevant to the query. And it might not be the one you want.
If you’re incredibly lucky, you can get two pages to rank high on the same search results page. But, that’s quite rare. It’s not at all ideal for your customers either because then it’ll leave them trying to figure out which page to visit.
Improve the Customer Experience
When people search for content online, they want to find the desired info fast and without digging through multiple pages. In fact, over 25% of people will only click the very first result, and then try a new search if that page doesn’t fully answer their query. The rest might explore the top five results at most.
So, the best way to support your customers in that journey is by getting quality content to the top of the search results for many relevant keywords. As your customers see your website appear before them with each search, your content can better aid them in their buyer’s journey, leading to more brand awareness, loyalty, and trust.
With different focus keywords on every page, your website will no longer confuse search engines or your target audience. You’ll then find it easier to achieve your content marketing goals, especially if your highly optimized content satisfies the search query better than any other competing page.
How to Avoid Keyword Cannibalization on Your Website
If you already have a website, you’re undoubtedly wondering how to undo your tangled web of similarly optimized content. Although the process is not quick, you can easily move through it from start to finish by simply following these four steps.
1. Do a Site Audit to Find Problematic Pages
A site audit is a must if you want to track down all your most problematic pages. You can do this in a number of ways, such as:
- Generate a Google Search Console report to see the top 50 keywords on your site
- Use the SEO Spider Tool from Screaming Frog to find all your duplicate title tags
- Input your site into the Moz Keyword Explorer to see your top-ranking search terms
As you gather the keyword ranking data for your site, build out a spreadsheet filled with all your pages and their top ranking search terms. Then, analyze the data to see where to improve.
2. Complete Keyword Research for Your Brand
To spread your wings and target different search terms on every page, you need to do keyword research for your brand. This process allows you to really zero in on what search terms your customers use to find products, services, and web content similar to your own.
As with website audits, there are many fantastic keyword research tools to use, including:
If you want to go even deeper into the conversations about each keyword, consider using Answer the Public to take a peek.
3. Pick a Focus Keyword for Each Web Page
Next, you need to match your existing pages with new focus keywords. To do this effectively, you need to reflect on search intent by putting yourself in your customers’ shoes. Then, use those reflections to decide which query each piece of content would answer best.
Don’t forget to take a look at your existing traffic as well when analyzing where to put SEO keywords. If a particular page performs well for a search term in question, match up that page and keyword. Then, aim to reoptimize all your other similar pages for different terms.
4. Optimize the Content to Best Address the Keyword
After matching all your web pages to their very own keywords, make sure that the content addresses the query better than any other high-ranking sites. You can do that by simply performing a search for the keyword in question, and then looking at the top five sites.
Compare your content to theirs to confirm that you provide more helpful, in-depth information than they do. Look at your content layout, imagery, and other on-page elements to figure out what other changes you could make.
Then, get to work on improving your content to ensure your web page will stop your target audience in their tracks by fully satisfying their search query. You can then use internal links to help move them through the buyer’s journey with your brand – and only your brand – by their side.
The Final Touch: Where to Put SEO Keywords for the Best Results
As you begin reoptimizing and otherwise improving your content, it’s time to add the final touch by learning just where to put SEO keywords for the best results. To start, you’ll want to add your focus keyword to the title and within the first 100 words of content. Also, use the keyword exactly as written in your meta title and description for the page.
After that, change things up by using semantically-related keywords throughout the rest of the content. Use the semantic equivalents naturally by adding them every 250 words at most. On top of that, remember to actively avoid using focus keywords assigned to your other pages.
If all this sounds like quite a chore, you can definitely skip doing all the work on your own. Instead, leave the content audits, keyword research, and web content writing to our skilled professionals at WriterAccess.
Our content strategists and freelancer writers eagerly await the chance to help you move through each step. With their help, every page on your website will soon have its own focus keyword and handcrafted content designed to answer every search query in full.
Ready to get started? Just sign up for your 14-day free trial today!