Having a solid content marketing strategy is essential for improving your search engine rankings and driving more organic traffic to your website. But how do you know what kind of content you should be creating? This is where conducting a content gap analysis comes in handy.
A content gap analysis allows you to identify topics and keywords that your competitors are already targeting and ranking for, which your website lacks content for. By creating content for those gaps, you can tap into searches and traffic that your competitors are benefiting from.
In this in-depth guide, we’ll explain exactly how to perform an effective SEO content gap analysis to determine strategic content opportunities for your website.
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Why do Content Gaps Matter?
Before jumping into the actual analysis process, it’s important to understand why identifying and filling content gaps can be so valuable:
- Expands Your Reach – Creating content for popular topics and keywords that you haven’t covered yet allows you to show up in more relevant searches and reach new audiences.
- Matches Intent - When you cover more topics, you increase your chances of matching different user intents and fulfilling their needs better.
- Improves Rankings – Well-optimized content for previously untargeted keywords can drive organic growth by improving your search visibility and positions.
- Builds Authority – More high-quality, comprehensive content focused on what users are searching for makes your site appear as a more authoritative industry resource.
Filling your website's content gaps takes your search marketing and overall content strategy to the next level, making it well worth the effort.
Step-By-Step Guide to Perform an SEO Content Gap Analysis
We highly recommend adding an annual or quarterly content gap analysis to your overall search engine optimization and content planning strategy. Here is a simple six-step process to identify and evaluate gaps so you know what content to create next:
1. Define Your Main Focus Keywords and Topics
Start by compiling a list of the primary keywords, topics, and content themes that your website currently targets and ranks well for. These should be the main terms that draw traffic to your site and align with your most profitable services or products.
Review existing and historical content along with your search analytics data to see which terms bring in the most visitors and conversions. You can also use keyword research tools to find additional related keywords worth exploring.
Having clarity around your current successful focus areas creates a baseline for finding gaps adjacent to those topics.
2. Identify Your Main Competitors
No content gap analysis would be complete without looking at what the competition is doing content-wise. Analysis of their sites to see what kind of topics and terms they are targeting which you aren’t adequately covering yet.
Ideally, analyze 2-4 websites in your space that rank well for relevant keywords. For example, if you sell dog products, key competitors might include Chewy.com, Petsmart, and PetCo.
Research not just their blog and guides, but analyze their overall site content as well. Make note of popular and high-traffic pages that align with your target customers. This intel comes in handy when we get to the prioritization stage.
3. Audit Their Content Against Yours
Now comes the most critical step – conducting an in-depth audit comparing their content to yours.
Go through each competitor site and create a spreadsheet with columns for:
- Keywords/Topics Covered
- Type of Content (blog, video, guides, etc)
- Length and Depth
- Level of Prominence (page views, social shares etc)
Then for your website, note which keywords/themes you also cover along with how in-depth your version is. This breakdown clearly shows not just subjects they target that you miss out on, but also content depth gaps where your articles come up short versus competitors.
4. Identify Exact Content Gaps
Once your research spreadsheet compares their content to yours side-by-side, you can easily spot key gaps around topics and keywords they focus on which your site lacks content.
For example, if a competitor targets the keyword “leather dog harnesses” with a comprehensive 2000-word guide, but you only briefly cover it in a short paragraph, that presents a major gap representing an opportunity.
Make a list of these clear SEO content gaps where creating and optimizing pages or posts around those subjects would boost your organic traffic.
5. Prioritize High-Impact Gaps
The hardest part is now prioritizing which gaps to fill first with the time and resources you have available for content creation. The best way to do this is to focus on three factors:
Search Volume – What gaps align with keywords getting decent search volume where targeting them could drive visits?
Revenue Potential – Will covering a certain topic lead to profitable products and conversions?
Alignment – Does the theme match your existing products/services?
Filter for gaps that meet at least two of those criteria to maximize the impact and ROI of the content you produce. Identify about 5-10 terms/subjects to begin developing content for.
6. Create and Promote Content to Fill Gaps
The final step is to create optimized, in-depth content that fills those critical gaps you identified to boost organic rankings and traffic.
Whether you are producing blog posts, guides, videos, or other content formats, focus on closely aligning with searcher intent and putting together comprehensive, engaging resources.
And don’t forget internal and external promotions to increase discovery and links to new pages. Filling high-impact topical gaps with great content lays the foundation for expanded organic reach and revenues!
Plan to rerun this analysis every 6-12 months to spot any new opportunities as you and your competitors evolve your content. Reliably identifying those strategic white space keywords to target keeps your content development proactive.
Conducting recurring SEO content gap analysis leveraging a process like the one outlined above should become a key piece of your broader content strategy. The insights uncovered around valuable topics that your competition is capitalizing on allow for data-driven content creation.
Remember, the gaps show ideal subjects to create content around that serves searcher intent while expanding your website's reach and domains of expertise. Promoting that new content to earn backlinks compounds those SEO benefits. While the analysis does take some effort and requires research into competitors, identifying those hidden content opportunities pays dividends for years via sustained rankings growth and elevated authority.
Staying on top of your website’s content gaps versus the competition enables you to gain an organic search advantage while providing more value through your content for site visitors. If you find any difficulty in content gap analysis then don’t worry and let MacroHype do it for you.