Last Updated 10 months by Emily Standley
If your current blog content isn’t performing well or you are wondering why your competitors are leaving you in the dust, a content gap analysis will help point you in the right direction. By understanding the state of your content, what’s out there, and what your audience wants, you will have crystal ball insight for improving your content and outranking your competitors.
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If you want to be the go-to site for your topic and keywords, a revealing content gap analysis can take you there. Followed by strategic action, performing content gap analysis is an excellent way to boost the performance of your SEO efforts and increase social shares.
Two things will put you ahead of the competition when it comes to using content gap analysis to create better content.
First, throughout content gap analysis, focus on the most important part of your business: your customers.
Second, remember that SEO is continuous. Yes, we know it’s difficult but absolutely necessary.
Reap the rewards of a content gap analysis several times a year. Or have a professional blog writing service take care of them for you.
A superior SEO tool such as the one we use at My Site Auditor can ensure you are always improving and meeting the needs of your customers.
Here’s the lowdown on what content gap analysis involves and how to do it. Take a look at the benefits and how to get the most out of content gap analysis.
What Is a Content Gap Analysis?
People approach content gap analysis in various ways. Whatever your approach, don’t get sucked into beating your competition just for the sake of it. Remember the main goal; you are improving the content for your target audience.
As the name suggests, content gap analysis is about looking for a gap where customers are under-served or not served at all. You can analyze your competition to see where they are gaining more traffic than you for specific keywords.
The point is to see where and how you could be meeting the needs of your readers more effectively.
Another interpretation of content gap analysis involves performing an SEO audit of your website and comparing a) how it is performing with b) how you would like the pages to perform.
Or you might consider the buyer’s journey of your customers and identify gaps where you don’t satisfy your customers’ needs.
Benefits Of a Content Gap Analysis
Content gap analysis gives you the information you need to focus your efforts. By identifying where you could provide more for your customers, you save yourself time and money.
You will avoid chasing customers who are not suited to your service, for example. And you won’t make the mistake of attempting to educate customers who are ready to buy.
Once you’ve performed a content gap analysis, you now know in which direction to go. You can use the SEO techniques you’ve learned in an actionable way.
Use the information to improve or remove underperforming content. And create new content to please your visitors and beat your competition.
How To Do a Content Gap Analysis?
First, it’s time to identify the gaps. With the customer and your content objectives in mind, take the following steps.
- SERP analysis – A search engine results page analysis involves you examining the top pages that rank for particular keywords. Many tools exist to help you find this information.
- SERP tools include – SEMRush, Moz’s SERP Analysis, Ahrefs, SpyFu’s SERP Analysis, SEOQuake’s SERP Overlay browser plugin. Use Google or Jaaxy keywords tool to uncover the current popularity of keywords, what people are searching for, which businesses are ranking for it, and how they are achieving their results.
- Perform a content audit – if you don’t know what you’ve got and how it’s doing, you won’t know what to improve. It’s time to pull out your web analytics. Use it to consider if your content is achieving its objectives to the extent you’d like.
- Identify content strengths and weaknesses – we recommend putting every item of content into a spreadsheet. Against each page, note its keywords and objectives. Add columns to mark how well each page is performing and how you would like them to perform on a scale of 1-5.
- Develop content – with the insight you gain from your content audit, you can identify your best-performing content and play to existing strengths. Your review will also allow you to improve areas of weakness. These two activities will help you move your site up the rankings in a focused way so that you can enjoy more organic traffic.
Popular Content Gap Analysis Tools
It’s possible to perform content gap analysis manually, but we wouldn’t recommend it! Among many SEO and CGA analysis tools, two popular tools are particularly well-suited to this task and offer you powerful analysis during a free trial period.
Enter your domain or that of a competitor into the Organic Research Competitors Report to discover which businesses are competing with you for organic search engine traffic.
Then use the Keyword Gap Tool.
Enter any competitor followed by your URL, then another competitor.
By selecting “Unique to the first domain’s keywords” for the first competitor and “Common Keywords” for the third URL, you can generate a report of the keywords both your competitors rank for, but that you do not.
You can use Ahref’s Site Content Gap Tool to discover the keywords that your competitors are ranking for. It even has a dedicated content gap tool in the sidebar.
- Analyze your competitors – enter a competitors’ URL into the search box, then click the content gap tool and add the URLs of competitors. There’s also a competing domains report if you need help identifying the competition. In either case, tweak the reporting conditions to make the results more relevant to your needs. Then hit “Show keywords.”
- Analyze your own content – Site Explorer’s facility to make complex information easily accessible and understandable helps you speed up analysis of your content. The tool will help you quickly identify areas where your competitors are ranking better than you, with plenty of information to help you pinpoint not only the what but the how, why, and when.
- Analyze top socially shared content – social shares can be a significant source of traffic. This aspect is well worth examining because you can take immediate action to improve your shares. Some of these activities start with visiting Buzzsumo and taking advantage of a 14-day free trial to gain access to its powerful suite of tools.Use Buzzsumo to find out what content from competitors is most successful on social media by examining their shares and engagement. You’ll need to do this manually, but it’s well worth it so that you can add relevant content that worked well to your content strategy.
How Will You Close the Gap?
When you look for gaps, always think about what is missing from the viewpoint of your customers.
After all, it doesn’t matter if you keep churning out posts about email marketing for new bloggers, when they really want to read more about branding and design right?
Remember that just because your competition may be ranking better than you for a particular keyword or topic doesn’t mean it will work better for you. Consider whether that keyword or topic is genuinely useful to your customers.
If you have an ecommerce website and you need to get automated insights into how to turn your website into a conversion machine, we recommend the software PROOF!