If you run a website with different pages of the same topic, chances are that some pages of your get more attention than others, even though they represent the same thing. Say you have a blog page and a shop page on your website. When someone searches a keyword on a search engine like Google, how does Google route you to your shop page rather than your blog? How does it know what keyword routes to what page when you’ve used the same few phrases and words for the same pages? When this happens, this is when you’ve started competing with your own pages.
Self-Competition and SEO
Self-competition with your with your pages is a very real phenomenon and it derails engagement of readers from your website. Sure you want attention to your blog section but is that attention worth it if it takes away from your sales pages? Is it worth having dedicated readers frustrated when they’re trying to find an old discussion thread on Google and they’re led to the online store section?
Here is a good example that highlights the problem:
Say you have a sports item website where you sell footballs, sports jerseys, baseball gloves and all other sports related items. You also run a sports discussion forum, a blog section that you regularly update with latest news about, say the world cup and the hottest topics on sports. At the same time, if you are trying rank for different sports players, products or services you are selling, or anything else specific, you should be going after long-tail keywords (ie: any search terms or phrases over 4-5 words).
This is one of the most effective ways to rank content in the search results agains the competition. You will also find several recommended tips and methods on how to accomplish this from many of the top SEO blogs online. It’s not just about using these long tail keywords within your titles and content, it’s also about the quality and quantity of backlinks to your sites as well.
So you website can be broken down into three different sections, an online store where you’re selling your sports goods. This online store is further broken down into different categories, categories of sports, categories for men’s, women’s or children’s and then sub categories for what you actually want to buy, i.e shoes will go in footwear, jerseys in clothing etc. This part will run like any other online store with a range of selection, a cart, a checkout and shipping options.
It’s also recommended to run WordPress with your e-commerce site — especially if you are looking to add a blog or continually create new content. There are also options for using WooCommerce or other e-commerce themes.
The second section of the website is divided into the forum where you have users sign in and comment in other user submitted posts. This section would also allow users to comment on the blog posts. The forum can also be subdivided into other communities. Users signing into this forum section can also have a ‘profile’ and a instant messaging system with other users.
The third section your website is dedicated to is the blog section. The blog is divided by section that allow users to filter through the content they want to look. The categories on a sports blog can be about latest news, new sports equipment, news about players etc.
Where The Problem Lies
Now that we’ve illustrated how your website is divided, it seems like a good division of dedicated parts of the website, where other parts perform their own functions. But here’s the problem. What happens when someone goes on Google and searches the word “football”. Sure your website might be good match and will show up because it’s an active website that updates content regularly.
But here is what the problem is. What page does it show? Where does the word “football” lead you on your website? Does it take you to the blog section of your website, the store or the forum? Google has to make a decision to find what content is more important. This is the pitfall of using the same few words or phrases for SEO. You don’t want your own pages compete against each other on the results page. Google might end up only showing you the blog page, because it has the most content with words and the word ‘football’ might be used the most in context and the blog might be the page where you get the most traffic usually, or the most consistent traffic.
Again, if you want to see the best results with this, refer back to when we were talking about the importance of trying to rank for long tail keywords. If you are using WordPress and Yoast SEO, this will all be easy to set up when writing content.
How To Avoid Competing With Yourself
There is an short and easy fix for this situation and a hard and long one. Both work and depending on your situation, you can avoid having to fix this problem at all. If you’re starting a website or shutting it down for maintenance, try this method (the hard and long method): Key word mapping.
Take all your pages, all the divisions and create a word bank of all the words you use for SEO. All the words like “football” or “soccer” or “footy”, synonyms, antonyms, the whole works. Now take a separate word and assign to each unique page. It isn’t difficult to find word optimizations, there exists tools to help you with it such as Google’s Adword search tool, auto-suggest , SEO for Firefox etc.
It isn’t super difficult and is just a matter of preplanning and organization. If you plan a website with content, a word bank method will keep all your pages separated without having competition with one another.. For example, someone who searches “football” can be led to the blog page, while someone who searches “soccer” can be led to the store. A small example, but the advantages of this are that you’ll capture a larger audience, because some people will search the word “soccer” and some will search “football”.
Keyword mapping will keep content separated in terms of Google’s search result algorithm and all your pages will get equal representation without one page doing better than the other. The point is to not re use the same word sort of phrases for content all over your website. A huge advantage of this is more traffic for your website as well. Since before, anyone searching “football” was the only one that was led to your website. Now people searching “Manchester United”, “Goal”, “Soccer” or “Football studs” will be redirected to different sections of your website. All sections will get traffic and the right traffic. Correct key word mapping is an essential tool to increase engagements since not only are you getting more traffic, you’ll get more sales. The people searching for the correct word you’ve mapped out for your online store will be led to the store.