What Is Keyword Cannibalization?

Updated: Aug 20

A Lawyer SEO Guide To Keywords Cannibalization, Why It's Bad, And How To Fix It


Keyword cannibalization occurs when multiple blog posts or articles on your site compete for the same Google search terms. Either because they cover the same topic or because you optimized them for the same keyword. When you optimize posts or articles for similar search terms, you're reducing their chances of ranking.


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Why is Keyword Cannibalization Bad For Lawyer SEO?


Say you have two blog posts covering the same topic. If you're using the same keywords for both, they will compete with each other in the search results.

Not only will Google be unable to determine which of the two should be ranked first, but backlinks and CTR are also dispersed throughout multiple pages rather than a single one. As a result, they'll most likely both fall in rankings.

Many SEO practitioners believe that having as many pages optimized for the same keywords can increase their chances of ranking. In theory, the more pages you have under the same search terms, the more likely one of them will rank high, right?

However, rather than concentrating on keyword optimization, it disperses them.


Remember: Search engine crawlers cannot decide which pages have the most relevant information for each keyword.

When you optimize your website for a single keyword, it forces your pages to compete with one another. Instead of competing with your competitors' domains for top rankings, your pages must compete with each other.


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How Do You Avoid Keyword Cannibalization?


1. Audit Your Site Regularly

To determine the state of your keywords, run an SEO audit report. Once you have the data, form a strategy to clean up your Lawyer SEO.

You can do this by creating a spreadsheet that contains your website's URLs and anything that might use keywords—such as your headlines, headings, meta description, and internal links.


Decide top keywords for primary pages. You can also conduct another run of keyword research to see if you have other keyword options to optimize for. Then, you'll need to optimize the content on that pages to target a specific term.

Remember: As your site grows in size, you're more likely to experience keyword cannibalization. You'll be writing about law-related topics and might end up repeating them.

Conducting regular site audits helps you spot problems and mistakes. This is especially important if your law firm's website is beginning to gain more traffic and you produce more content.

Now and then, you'll undoubtedly need to make some adjustments to your site's structure or rewrite some articles. So check to see if you've fallen victim to keyword cannibalization, and do them frequently.

2. Merge Similar Blogs And Articles

If you have 2 or more articles that appeal to the same audience and discuss the same topic, merge them. This is perhaps the easiest solution to keyword cannibalization.

Remember: Long, high-quality content tends to do better in search rankings. This is because longer blog posts are more likely to be complete and informative.

Instead of having separate discussions about the two different aspects of a single topic, combine them into a complete guide. Doing so will give readers everything they need to know in one place.


Not only will merging your content improve its quality, but it can also eliminate keyword cannibalism.


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3. Improve Your Internal Linking Strategy

Links tell search engines where and what things are. Your internal links can tell crawlers many things about your On-page SEO—including page hierarchy and the relevance between pages. You can also use internal links to organize your website.

Setting up a good internal linking structure helps the search engines determine which of your pages are the most important. For example, you should add links from additional subtopics to your more exhaustive legal content. That way, Google can figure out which ones you want users to see first in search results.

Your internal linking structure might be able to alleviate some of your keyword cannibalism issues. So even if you're using related keywords for multiple pages, differentiating the main content from its subtopics helps search engines know which one to rank first.

What Can LawyerLeadMachine Do For You?

Lawyer SEO can help boost site traffic and conversions. If you do regular audits, updates, and refresh, you can start climbing up the search engine rankings.

If you want to learn more, you can read our Free Lawyer SEO Guides for quick and easy tips on On-page and Off-page SEO for Law Firms.

To get started on your SEO strategy, review your options here.

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