The cannibalization of keywords is a common enough issue when facing online stores that have a blog between their sections. This negative SEO factor occurs mainly for two reasons: poor content planning and a bad SEO strategy.
In fact, in my personal case, when you ask the owners of these ecommerce because they have a blog, many of them do not even know what to answer. They simply exonerate themselves by releasing phrases such as “Because I’ve read you have to have it” or “Because if not the web is not updated and that Google does not like it”
Well, I’m going to knock down myths.
- 1 What is a blog and what is it for?
- 2 What is the cannibalization of keywords?
- 3 How to avoid cannibalization of keywords
- 4 How to avoid this factor between the online store and the ecommerce
- 5 Is keyword cannibalization so serious?
What is a blog and what is it for?
A blog is a very important tool for an ecommerce as long as it is done well. That is, if you are going to have a blog for having it, the best thing is that you do not do anything.
On the other hand, claiming that having a blog is the only way to get an updated online store is false.
If your ecommerce is small and only has 20-50 fixed products in the catalog, it is certain that your ecommerce will hardly be updated (unless you are continuously improving the product listings, categories, etc.).
However, if in your online store do not stop entering and leaving new products, the online store will have enough movement and you will not need to have a blog. As I always say, to do things wrong, better not to do them.
Well, once clarified the idea on whether to have a blog or not in an ecommerce we go with today’s topic, the cannibalization of keywords between the online store and the blog.
What is the cannibalization of keywords?
Basically a cannibalization of keywords occurs when searching for a specific search term (keyword) 2 different results appear from the same web page.
This is a negative SEO factor for the following reasons:
- Google is not clear about which page it has to show to answer the user’s question and that indecision may get a bad user experience, thus worsening your bounce rate.
- When competing two pages of the same web for a single click you will be losing CTR for those searches.
- You dilute the authority of the website since you will treat the same topic in two different pages. If instead of treating those two similar / equal topics in two pages, you will treat them in one, gain authority and optimize resources.
Normally, this cannibalization of keywords is generated by a deficient content strategy and limited knowledge of SEO.
In addition, this problem not only usually occurs in the ecommerce / blog relationship, it also occurs very often between different indexed products of similar characteristics within an ecommerce.
Hence the importance of making unique product listings and optimized SEO to avoid mistakes like this. Anyway, in the worst case you can always de-index the product sheets until they meet a minimum of quality.
Therefore, if you do not want to fall into the typical error of cannibalization of keywords in ecommerce, it would be best if you previously planned a correct SEO strategy.
As I always say, the SEO process to be performed is always the same and is repeated constantly in a circular way:
Planning, Implementation, Measurement, Conclusion
Carrying out this process I am sure that you will have much more controlled the cannibalization of keywords within the logical uncontrolled SEO that exists in any online store with a lot of stock.
How to avoid cannibalization of keywords
As you have seen, the cannibalization of keywords occurs when talking about the same topic (or keyword) in different pages of the site.
That is, if you talk about “red heels” on two different pages of your online store it is very likely that they cannibalize each other.
So, if I use the word shoes on a page, can I not use it any more on the entire web? No, you can and should do it. The only thing is that you must be careful not to optimize two pages of the online store for the same keyword.
It is inevitable to repeat words within a web page of a certain size. However, if you do, you should avoid repeating the keyword many times. To do this you must use synonyms and derived keywords, avoid entering the keyword in the headings, etc.
There are many tricks to control the cannibalization of keywords within an online store.
However, it is true that you must be careful when optimizing the contents of an ecommerce especially if you index the product listings. Keep in mind that it is very common to index the same product in several colors … (although for that the best thing would be to use canonicals, a faceted system, etc. …)
The important thing to avoid cannibalization is that you try to avoid as much as possible dealing with the same keyword in two different areas of the website.
How to avoid this factor between the online store and the ecommerce
The key to avoiding the conflict between both parts of the website will be in the intentionality of the keyword. That is, what a user really looks for when typing a keyword.
Under my point of view there are two types of keywords (Some experts quote many more but that is already a decision of each one).
Informational: That is, those in which the user is looking for information on the style How to do …? Where to find…? This type of keywords are general and short tail usually.
Transactional: This type of keywords that are usually long tails are those in which the user searches for said keyword because he wants that particular product. Within these types of keywords could be “Harry Potter magic wand” “Where to buy fans without blades”.
How I suppose you have deduced, the first ones will clearly be the keywords that you will have to attack in the blog of your ecommerce and the second are those that you will use in your online store. We are going to shed it.
Keywords to use within the blog
Within the blog, the strategy will be to attack informational and generalist keywords.
Users who enter from these types of keywords or seek information to later leave or still do not know very well what they want.
That is to say, the users that enter through informational keywords are in the most distant part of the Customer Journey and, therefore, they can convert in a medium or long term but never in the short term.
However, not for that reason you should leave them aside. Having a relevant blog in the sector will allow you to attract a loyal audience and customers in a medium / long term as long as you do well.
In addition, with the blog you can attack other types of more general keywords and in this way attract a greater number of potential customers to your online store.
Keywords to use within an online store
In ecommerce the strategy to be followed will be totally different. Keep in mind that what you are looking for here is a user who is already determined to buy a product. That is to say, in the ecommerce you will not look for a user who enters for “red shoes” and who still does not have very clear what he wants.
That is to say, the user that you get through these transactional keywords must be a determined user of the purchase, who knows what he wants and who comes to be left the money.
For this reason the keywords that you will have to attack here will be long tails and transactional. That is to say, the user that you will attack here will be the one who looks for “red shoes of patent leather size 42” or “online store selling taps tailored”
As you will see, these types of keywords will have a volume of searches much lower than general keywords. However, its conversion power will be much greater compared to the informational keywords.
Is keyword cannibalization so serious?
How everything in SEO depends.
If for example for the same keyword appear 10 results of your web page you will have a serious cannibalization problem.
However, if only a couple of results appear, the best thing would be to check the origin of the problem and modify it if you have time. If you do not have time you will not have to correct that error urgently as it will not be critical. Everything will depend on the resources you have and the seriousness of the problem.
Perhaps, despite having a cannibalization problem in your online store you may have other more important problems within your ecommerce. Therefore, measure and prioritize tasks based on your time, resources and the impact of the action on sales.
The work of prioritizing actions is also a fundamental part of good SEO. In addition, the cannibalization of keywords as long as it is more or less controlled may not be a problem so serious as to treat it urgently.