Summary: Here in this post on content gap analysis we explained the following:
- Reasons for content gap analysis
- Role of a content gap analysis on SEO
- Two methods of content gap analysis
- Best practices for content gap analysis
Content is still the king on all digital platforms. Naturally, content marketers keep researching the lost opportunities in content. This is why content gap analysis is important. Despite having a great content strategy, marketers often find flaws or shortcomings that can be improved to attract more traffic resulting in more lead generation and business conversion.
The sole objective of content gap analysis is to find areas needing more effort to make content more appealing and more optimised for search results. The gap analysis also helps in improving older content and updating them with more information and value to improve organic traffic footfall and boost their SEO ranking potential.
Why is content gap analysis so important and what steps and considerations does it involve? What are the best practices for a professional content gap analysis? These are the things we are going to discuss throughout this blog.
Key Reasons To Do Content Gap Analysis
The principal objective of researching content gaps and shortcomings is to improve content ranking in search engine listings and boost social media interactions with the content. By detecting the areas in content that can be improved marketers can update existing content with more value additions and changes or they can create fresh content addressing the user needs and expectations. This ultimately results in an improved content strategy ensuring better SEO ranking and user traction.
The focus of gap analysis corresponds to the contents of website landing pages, blogs, website home pages, social media content, content in third-party publications, etc. Generally, content gap analysis focuses on one area at a time to ensure visible improvements and the corresponding impact on search engine results and social media engagement.
Content Gap Analysis And SEO: How Do They Work Hand in Hand?
Content gap analysis is a key component of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) efforts and it is done from time to time by the marketers to deliver better SEO results. Content gap analysis is now a key part of the long term SEO endeavours and plays a key role in fine-tuning the SEO content strategy. Content gap analysis is done by the SEO experts through the following steps.
- Finding the keywords targeted and ranked by the competitors while you could not.
- Analysing the keywords that help your competitors to secure better SEO rank.
- Analysing the target keywords in your content that failed to secure better search rank compared to the competitors.
- You also need to analyse the latest trending and popular topics and potential keywords to help you rank better in search engine results.
When this research and analysis are done meticulously, you can have a clear direction for your content strategy and the key ways to improve your content. Deeper you plunge with your analysis, the more gaps or scopes of improvement you detect with the content, the better and more useful contents you can deliver to rank higher in search engine result pages (SERP).
Syncing Your Content Strategy with the Customer Journey
Your content must stay in complete sync with the customer journey by catering to them with the right content against their searches. This requires having an understanding of what customers want, the solutions you provide and the factors to influence the buying decisions of the customers. You need to find fault lines in the content that do not sync with this customer journey and underperform in influencing the purchasing decisions.
These stages in the buyer journey can be summed up as the awareness stage, consideration stage and conversion stage. The content should make customers aware of the problem and possible solutions, it should showcase your solution to the customer problem convincingly and finally, you need to help customers seamlessly make purchases.
Your content should cater to this buyer journey to help customers move on from having the awareness to considering solutions to deciding to purchase. If your content fails to motivate customers to complete this journey, there must be some gaps and shortcomings that you need to detect and address with changes and value additions.
One must remember that a successful content strategy never fails to reassure the target customers that their concerns are being addressed and they are getting the solutions they want for their problems. This can be best evaluated through a thank-you page requesting customers for reviews or feedback or for any further support they need.
Now to understand aligning the content strategy with the target audience, it is important to explain with a credible example. Here we provide examples of content strategy making its journey from point A to B to C.
Take an example of a small entrepreneur who is already coming up with a solution to bring the company’s slowing down retail business on the right pedestal. Now, he is rightly searching the web with a search term like “how to boost my small store retail sales quickly.”
Now as a result of this web search, the business owner can see a lot of articles proposing different solutions to the problem. Now he clicks one article titled “ key methods to boost your retail sales quickly.” Among several tips, the article mentions the need for using retail ERP software.
Now the same user searches on the web for “best ERP software for small retailers.” Again he finds several articles on the topic and finds one with content on top ERP retail software. As soon as the customer clicks on software through the link provided in the article, he is guided to the software provider page. Within a week the person is flooded with a lot of emails and messages from the ERP service provider. Now, one fine morning the conversation turns into sales.
Now the moral of the story is, that quality content can be created for each step of the customer journey with ease. Apart from the tricks and tips, it is content to cater to what the user needs.
Principal Types of Content Gap Analysis
The SEO experts can analyse content either based upon the competitor keywords or by surveying the new relevant keywords in the market. After analysing content by these two methods, you can have a comprehensive picture of the content gaps that you need to improve.
Analysing Competitor Keywords
This is the immediate step in content gap analysis to give you a clear idea of the keywords where you lag behind the competition. This analysis is best done by keyword analysis tools. Here are some steps to carry out this analysis.
- Select some great keyword research tools.
- Find out all the keywords helping to bring your page to search ranks.
- Finding keywords that helped competitors secure better search ranks.
- Make a list of all unranked keywords from competitors and your content.
Analysing Market-Relevant And Trending Keywords
The second important method of content gap analysis is to carry out fresh research of all relevant keyword options. It is more about finding keywords that are still relevant and not used by you and your competitors. Apart from using keyword research tools, here you need a lot of creative brainstorming to find a lot of keyword options.
For finding fresh new relevant keyword options you need to think of different ways to relate the topics to the target audience's needs. You should also use permutations and combinations of different search terms and find how by using new keywords your content can be optimised.
Analyzing the First Page of Google
Since most SEO efforts focus on ranking on the Google search engine, the importance of the first page of Google stands out from all other aspects. Many websites simply try all out with a content strategy for ranking on the Google first page against their target keywords.
So the content gap analysis can easily focus on the things that first-page ranked content did but you didn’t. What are the particular things they did with content to rank on the first page of Google that you missed with your content while targeting the same keywords? This is the trajectory of analysis here that can help you to find content gaps.
Such an analysis can help you find content gaps such as the ones mentioned below.
- Freshness: Find out the last time the content has been updated and whether it needs fresh new information and viewpoints.
- Exhaustiveness: Is the content exhaustive enough to cover all the relevant points?
- Readability: Is the content structured enough and linguistically easy to read for the users?
- Impactfulness: Does the content has any Wow elements to leave a lasting impression on the users?
Generally, these are crucial gaps in your content that prevented your content to rank on the first page while a few because of addressing these gaps rank higher.
Finding Keywords That Your Competitors Rank For, But You Do Not
This is another important approach to finding the competitive gap your content strategy is suffering from. Just find out the keywords that your competitors rank for while you fail to do so. Such a competitive analysis will also allow you to find all the valuable keywords that you still left to utilise properly for search rank.
Just use a tool like SEMrush and they provide an Organic Competitors Report showcasing all the common keywords you have in common with your top competitors. Focus particularly on competitors with the highest number of common keywords and a high volume of target keywords as well as traffic. You can also use the Google Keyword Tool to find keyword options targeted successfully by your competitors.
Once you have the data in front of you, filter the most important keywords that still didn’t target with adequate content. Now create high-quality content better than the ones ranked on the first page by targeting these keywords.
Content Gap Analysis Is Also About Improving Content Writing
As of now, we are mostly focused on improving keyword targeting and keyword strategy as part of the content gap analysis. But it is equally important to finding content that can still be optimised by covering additional information, viewpoints and analysis.
Apart from targeting the right keywords, it is also important to improve copywriting to create permanent value resulting in higher domain authority in the long run. Content quality influencing the domain authority metric can also impact the search rank potential of your website.
Analyse the readability of the content, reduce redundancy and optimise the content format for quick, “at-a-glance” visibility. Ensure relevant interlinking with other internal contents and offer relevant outbound links. Enhance the visual aspects of the content by introducing infographics, relevant graphics and charts creating additional value.
Do You Need To Improve Title Tags And Meta Descriptions?
What are the low-hanging fruits in the SEO domain to bear results quickly? Well, without much research and much raking of brains around keywords your SEO team simply can improve the title tags and meta descriptions. Find out how the title tags and meta descriptions are performing and whether they can be improved. Sometimes, a few simple tweaks with these two elements can result in a considerable boost in terms of website traffic.
It is frequently observed that contents way down in the search engine pages can significantly come high up in the ranking just after changing the meta-information and title tag. Even the so-called first page ranked content can achieve better Click Through Rate (CTR) and traffic flow just with a few changes in the title tag and meta description.
Make Use Of Appropriate Tools To Scale Up A Gap Analysis
There are several tools to help you in your efforts to find content gaps and the right insights for improving content strategy. For example, SEMRush comes allows you to detect all the contents that need improvement. It is easy to use, and highly effective to detect keywords for which your content is still ranking low.
To make use of any tool effectively whether Ahref or Semrush, all you need is to choose any of your top competitors and find all their best ranking keywords by using this tool. Now detect the first search engine page rank against each of these keywords.
Now there will be search engine first pages full of quality content and there will still be first page ranking with just a few quality contents and a lot of trash. These are the opportune keywords you can target. These are the keywords that can easily help you to rank on the first page.
So, using high-quality SEO research tools is a must for effective content gap analysis. These tools are also highly efficient in scaling up your gap analysis and for detecting search engine ranking opportunities.
A Quick Look At The Best Content Gap Analysis Practices
As of now, we have explained almost every aspect of content gap analysis, how it can improve your content strategy and SEO and how it needs to be done professionally. Here below we try to recap the best content gap analysis practices.
- First, carry out extensive research of the google first page rank against the most commonly targeted keywords and search terms of your niche and analyse where despite targeting the same keywords you need to improve.
- Make use of quality SEO tools to find out the high performing keywords of your niche with ease. Find out which of these keywords you have already targeted and which are still left.
- Carry out a full content audit covering every aspect of content creation including readability, keywords, originality and relevance, the unique value proposition for the readers and users, redundancy, visibility and content format, content loading time, etc.
With the meticulous analysis following all these best gap analysis practices, you can easily find out the shortcomings or gaps that you need to improve upon. These practices followed without exception will reveal all your weak points corresponding to keywords research, use of wrong keywords, content quality, content readability and content relevance for the audience.
On A Final Note
A thorough content gap analysis is necessary to stay in sync with the audience's expectations and market trends. If you want to increase audience footfall and boost business conversion steadily, you need to examine your website content frequently and fulfil the gaps as early as possible. Since achieving search engine ranks is increasingly getting tougher, you just cannot leave flaws with your content unattended. This is precisely why content gap analysis is so crucial.