The SaaS Marketers Guide to Keyword Cannibalisation: SaaS SEO Explained

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    Keyword cannibalisation is a phenomenon that occurs when multiple web pages on the same website compete for the same or similar keywords. This can lead to a dilution of SEO value, confusion for search engines, and a less than optimal user experience. In the context of Software as a Service (SaaS) marketing, understanding and avoiding keyword cannibalisation is crucial for achieving high search engine rankings and driving organic traffic to your product.

    This comprehensive guide will delve into the intricacies of keyword cannibalisation, its implications for SaaS SEO, and strategies to prevent it. By understanding these concepts, SaaS marketers can optimise their content strategy, improve their search engine visibility, and ultimately drive more sign-ups and conversions.

    Understanding Keyword Cannibalisation

    Keyword cannibalisation is not a new concept in the world of SEO. It occurs when two or more pages on your website target the same keyword. This can confuse search engines as they struggle to determine which page is more relevant for the targeted keyword. As a result, your pages may compete against each other in search engine rankings, diluting your SEO efforts and reducing your visibility.

    For SaaS companies, where content marketing is often a key strategy for attracting and converting users, keyword cannibalisation can be particularly damaging. It can lead to lower rankings, decreased web traffic, and a reduction in the number of qualified leads entering your sales funnel.

    Why Keyword Cannibalisation is a Problem

    Keyword cannibalisation can lead to several issues. Firstly, it can confuse search engines. When multiple pages target the same keyword, search engines struggle to determine which page is the most relevant. This can result in lower rankings for all of the pages involved.

    Secondly, keyword cannibalisation can dilute your SEO efforts. Each time you create a new page targeting the same keyword, you’re essentially competing with yourself for search engine visibility. This can spread your inbound links and page authority thin, reducing the overall SEO value of your site.

    Identifying Keyword Cannibalisation

    Identifying keyword cannibalisation can be challenging, especially for larger SaaS companies with extensive websites. One method is to conduct a site-wide audit of your content and keywords. This involves analysing each page of your website to identify any overlapping keywords.

    Another method is to use SEO tools such as SEMrush or Ahrefs. These tools can provide insights into your keyword rankings and highlight any potential instances of keyword cannibalisation. By regularly monitoring your keyword performance, you can identify and address keyword cannibalisation before it impacts your SEO.

    Preventing Keyword Cannibalisation

    Preventing keyword cannibalisation involves careful planning and strategic keyword usage. This starts with keyword research. By understanding the search intent behind your target keywords, you can create content that directly answers your audience’s queries and avoids competition with other pages on your site.

    Another strategy is to use long-tail keywords. These are longer, more specific keyword phrases that visitors are more likely to use when they’re closer to a point-of-purchase or when they’re using voice search. By targeting long-tail keywords, you can reduce the risk of keyword cannibalisation and attract more qualified leads.

    Using Canonical Tags

    Canonical tags can be a useful tool for preventing keyword cannibalisation. A canonical tag is a piece of HTML code that tells search engines which version of a URL you want to appear in search results. By using canonical tags, you can direct search engines to your preferred page and prevent other pages from competing for the same keyword.

    However, it’s important to use canonical tags correctly. Incorrect usage can lead to duplicate content issues, which can further harm your SEO. Therefore, it’s recommended to seek advice from an SEO expert or use an SEO tool that can guide you through the process.

    Creating a Content Hierarchy

    Creating a content hierarchy can also help prevent keyword cannibalisation. This involves structuring your website in a way that clearly distinguishes between main pages and subpages. By doing this, you can ensure that each page targets a unique keyword and reduce the risk of keyword cannibalisation.

    For example, you might have a main page about your SaaS product, with subpages covering specific features or benefits. Each of these pages would target a unique keyword, ensuring that they don’t compete with each other in search engine rankings.


    Keyword cannibalisation is a common issue that can hinder your SaaS company’s SEO efforts. However, with careful planning and strategic keyword usage, you can avoid this problem and improve your search engine visibility.

    By understanding the concept of keyword cannibalisation, identifying potential issues, and implementing strategies to prevent it, you can optimise your content strategy, drive more organic traffic to your site, and ultimately increase your SaaS sign-ups and conversions.