Have you conducted a content gap analysis before?
Chances are, you don’t even know what I’m talking about. But stick around and I’ll show you how to go about it. It’ll make the difference in your content marketing efforts this year.
Whether you are a small business owner or a professional marketer, you know that the success of digital marketing relies on attracting the right customers to the right content at the right time to increase conversions.
The only way to get found online and drive qualified traffic to your site is by producing content that fills a content gap. This concept is the difference between what people are searching for and what people find online.
Your company can find success with online marketing if it can fulfill a content gap because this is an area where people are looking for information on a subject, but there is not enough content covering that subject matter to address the current demand.
This means that you have an excellent opportunity to get found on Google, drive highly qualified traffic to your site, and close more sales since your customers are searching for specific information that you provide on your site.
While the keywords that your customers use to search for solutions change with their different needs, the overall process will remain the same and can help your company no matter your products, services, or market. Let’s look at some details of a content gap, and the online marketing tools and steps that your business can take to generate more qualified traffic today.
What Is A Content Gap Analysis?
Before we jump in, let’s define what we are doing and what we are looking to accomplish in each step.
A content gap analysis is a process to find opportunities to create content to address questions and needs of your customers. Your business can do this by reviewing information that your competitors have, and compare that to the needs of your audience by evaluating queries, concerns, and anticipated results which you can measure from your content footprint.
Likewise, a content gap analysis can help you pinpoint and connect the gaps between other marketing efforts so you can dominate. A content gap analysis will take into consideration like:
- Website pages
- Blogs posts
- Email marketing campaigns
- Landing page optimization
- Social media content
- PPC ads and Facebook marketing
While a content gap analysis seems overwhelming but taking the time to understand your customers and your competition will provide the information you need to make better content while saving time and money.
How To Perform A Content Gap Analysis
Now that we have gone over what a content gap is and why it is essential for your business, we can start looking at the tools and process to find and optimize content for a content gap in your market.
To show how you can do this, let’s imagine that we own a pool company in Florida and we want to figure out the best content for our needs.
Step 1: Identify Competition In The Market
Understanding your competition is important because you work in a dynamic market where your competition is trying to reach the same customers that you are.
This means that you need to take every opportunity to understand how your competitors are attracting leads.
To do this, we will use Ahrefs to analyze online rankings of our competition by inputting the URLs of our competition in the Batch Analysis tab under the More drop-down menu.
Once this is open, we will put our top competitors, and while I usually like to use 5-10 competitors, for this exercise, we will only work with 3 competitors for simplicity.
Once Ahrefs finishes analyzing the sites, we can see some significant metrics. Specifically, we should look at UR and DR stats for each site.
I usually choose places that are either 5 points above or 5 points below our UR score.
This ensures that we are not working to capture traffic from a site that is too powerful for our abilities, and this conservative range helps us prioritize our marketing strategy and secure some quick wins.
Step 2: Analyze Existing Content From Competitors
Since these UR scores are relatively easy to manage for our business, we will use the above 3 URLs to look at the type of content they are focusing on.
To do this, we will take the URLs over to the Keyword Gap Analysis tool in SEMrush to get an overview of content across the three domains.
This tool is a great way to find unique keywords, common keywords, and other variations across a set of domains. While this is not a detailed description of the content, it is a great way to gain insight by:
- Find an overview of the type of content that your competition is producing.
- Discover relationships between your competition for specific topics.
- Learn the relative strength that your competitors have a specific topic or set of keywords.
As we reference this list, we should keep an eye out for terms that are not highly competitive across our competitors, has high search volume, and has a relatively low Keyword Difficulty.
We should also remember that SEMrush data is based on a third-party database and the results can be much different than how the keywords perform in our geographic area. However, this information is a great way to start picking out the most valuable keywords for our needs, then start documenting and evaluating each subject in greater detail.
Step 3: Document Key Content Topics To Explore
Once we run the Keyword Gap Analysis tool in SEMrush, we can export the findings and document some of the most exciting results that we want to explore.
To do this, we should take into consideration the subject (product, lifestyle, etc.) and how those terms fit into seasonal shifts in the market.
Now that we have a list of potential long tail keywords that match our business and show promise for topics that we can compete for, we can start doing more in-depth reviews of each keyword.
During this process is it essential to keep in mind the type of content we can create to meet the needs of our customers and align our solutions to their search intent. Some of the content types we should think about are:
- Blog posts
- Videos (long-form and short-form)
The subject matter and the form of content that we choose will influence the marketing strategy that we want to utilize. For example, the subject of “ideas for pool party” would be a great blog post or informational video to feature some of our products.
However, something like “pool tiling costs” would be best as an infographic and show the value of our products/services compared to the competition.
We should take a look at the types of content our competition is making for each of these keywords they are ranking for, to understand if we can take a different approach or create content that will supersede their online content strategy.
Step 4: Deep Dive Into Specific Subjects
Now that we have a list of some great subjects with the relative competition and search volume for each, we can begin taking a more detailed look and start creating a solid marketing strategy.
For this, we will go back to Ahrefs Keyword Explorer to dig into the details of specific keywords and subjects.
Since our pool business offers different types of flooring and pools surface options, we should consider creating content for “types of swimming pool surfaces.”
There are many kinds of surfaces for a pool, and SEMrush showed excellent opportunity for our business in that long tail keyword, and the above results from Ahrefs also show that we can rank for this keyword pretty easily.
We should continue doing this deep dive into each keyword and subject that we found from the SEMrush analysis in Step 3. This can take some time, but we will see a lot of great information about the market and the needs of our customers, plus gain a deep understanding of opportunities in our market.
Use Your Content Gap Analysis To Help You Reach Your Business Goals
It can take a lot of time and resources to make amazing content that ranks in Google, engages with your audience, and converts prospects to paying customers.
Since your business operates with limited time and resources, you should take every step necessary to ensure that your content is positioned for success before even starting on content production.
A content gap analysis is an easiest and fastest way to identify opportunities in your market so you can optimize and publish engaging content that contributes to your business goals.
You can use the above steps to determine what subject matter you should pay attention to and build a successful content strategy around the needs of your customers today!
About the author — Chris Giarratana is the owner of StrategyBeam where he helps startups, business owners, and nonprofits drive qualified leads and boost sales with SEO Copywriting, SEO Marketing, and PPC services. Connect with him on Twitter @CJGiarratana.