How to fix Keyword Cannibalisation
This is how to increase rankings from position 10 to position 2 on Google by fixing keyword "cannibalisation"
Cannibalisation is a common SEO issue on all websites
The target Keyword has 1300 searches in Ireland and has a pretty good conversion rate for the client. It's one of the main services they provide.
One of the problems was "keyword cannibalisation" where the homepage ranked along with the service page. Home actually ranked above the service page.
There is a theory in SEO that cannibalisation (when you have 2 pages ranking for the same keyword in search results) isn't good and that you would have more success if one dedicated page ranked instead. So let's see what will happen when I try to put all focus on the dedicated page.
You have to make a choice of which of the 2 pages would be better to rank for that keyword. The homepage is often the page ranking high because it has more "link juice". But the dedicated service page can have more content about the specific service. I decided to go all out on the dedicated service page for SEO
7 steps we took to remove cannibalisation and improve rankings:
Add Internal links with anchor text to point to the dedicated page, especially from the other ranking page.
Metadata check, if possible remove the keyword from homepage.
Reduce or remove the target keywords that are found on other pages.
Use google search console and look which pages ranked for the keyword at a certain time. Here we found the about page ranked for some time and when I checked it had a paragraph about the service we target. We suggested removing the paragraph and replace with an image and link in the about page to the dedicated service page.
Make the page more valuable: move it to the top navigation closer to home.
Content: add more content, faq on the subject, possibly add video on the subject
Add Schema code for the service
After around 2 months (longer than expected) the page started to rank better. The first sign was that the service page started to rank above the homepage - still both pages ranked. But this was a positive sign that Google has put the service page above the homepage.
After another month the homepage was gone and so was cannibalisation. From then on the page went to position 6, 5, 4.. and eventually to positon 2!
We changed the meta title and description to accommodate for more general searches like this: "Service keywords" - FAQ & Price which increased CTR.
We didn't focus much on off page SEO, because I often find that you have much more control over on page SEO, and on page done work if done properly like this.
I would focus next on page design, adding a video, more photos so the user experience is the best and "end" people's search with our site. That they don't need to go to another site for more information about the service.