Aug 10, 2015

Keyword Cannibalization Too Much of a Good Thing

Keyword cannibalization.

It sounds terrifying, doesn’t it?

It is.

What is Keyword Cannibalization?

Keyword cannibalization is the process of using the same keyword so much on one website that it dilutes its power, confuses the search engine crawlers and makes your site seem repetitive and unusable.

Essentially, what it causes you to do is compete with yourself.

If you’re like most lawyers, you don’t want to compete with yourself and watch your rankings dip – you want the other firms’ rankings to dip so that yours can replace them in the search engine results pages, or SERPs.

Why it’s Important Not to Compete with Yourself

Search engine spiders will try to find one page on your website that’s going to be relevant to searchers for a particular query.

When you have multiple pages on your website optimized for the term personal injury lawyer Des Moines, what kind of value are you really providing searchers? That’s what Google looks for now – value – and if one page eats the popularity of another, your site is cannibalizing the keyword and making it pages seem less valuable than they really are.

How Can You Avoid Keyword Cannibalization?

Keywords are important. They always will be, to some extent, because they’re what lets a search engine crawler know what your page is about.

That doesn’t mean that you should splatter them indiscriminately all over your pages.

Google’s Hummingbird update turned what now looks like rudimentary search technology into remarkably smart, innovative technology. Since Hummingbird, the crawlers can see what your pages are about and, for the most part, they can tell whether searchers will find them useful… no keyword stuffing necessary.

The key to avoiding (or recovering from) keyword cannibalization is to only put up hyper-targeted, specific pages on your website. That goes for blog posts, website copy and all the other content you use; you don’t need several generic pages – you need specific, relevant content.

What Can a Law Firm Do to Rank Well?

You’re already competing against every other law firm in town, so why would you want to add yourself to that list? Most law firms find that it’s best to work with SEO professionals instead of accidentally making mistakes like this.

(Have you claimed your free, custom 20-minute website audit yet?)

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