Are you looking for new ways to improve your website’s content? If you are struggling to find suitable topics to blog about or pages to add, then content gap analysis can do just the trick!
When it comes to producing online content, gaps are normal. In fact, they are inevitable as trends keep emerging, keywords keep changing their metrics, and customers’ interests shift constantly.
So, to be ahead of the game and have a competitive advantage, monitoring and filling content gaps (i.e. topics your target audience seeks but are not in your website) is a surefire way to success.
In this article, we will explain what content gap analysis is and its benefits for business. We will also outline the steps to do it properly, and illustrate the process with examples.
What Is Content Gap Analysis?
Content gap analysis is the process of identifying topics that are in demand in your industry and your competitors have provided content on them but you haven’t. It helps marketers spot opportunities they may be missing out on.
By watching your competitors’ content closely, you can get a better idea of what your potential customers are interested in reading about, and plan your articles accordingly. Also, it gives you the chance to “surpass” the competition by adding more value to your content. This way you can make greater strides on SERPs.
For example, DevriX as a WordPress development agency covers topics similar to https://wptavern.com/ – a renowned source of authority for all things WordPress. Their latest article is on a topic we haven’t yet covered. This is quite understandable as it is news that just came out from the oven –
What we can do next is perform a Google search on the keyword of this article – ”Yoast SEO 20.0”. Then, go through the top results of other sites that have covered the topic:
Once we have a list of them, we can go through each one. Manually find out what they have in common in terms of structure and content, and what they are lacking.
After a quick look, we noticed a few things. They are all way too short. They do not really include a detailed step-by-step tutorial on how to use the new version of Yoast and its new functionalities. Also, they lack an in-depth compare-and-contrast analysis between Yoast 20.0 vs the versions that preceded it.
So, when we (potentially) plan our Yoast SEO 20.0 article, we need to make sure we not only fill in the content gap but also include that extra bit of information which adds more value!
Benefits of Content Gap Analysis
Apart from keeping up to date with the trendy topics within your field, and the chance to raise the bar with higher quality content than your competitors to rank better, content gap analysis brings several other benefits to the table. It helps you:
Match Content to Buyer’s Journey
Content gap analysis helps you craft content that fits every stage of the buyer’s journey – from creating awareness to making a purchase. Therefore, you need to be able to recognize the different search intent types. Then, identify in which ones you need to invest more effort.
As search intent is a ranking factor, when you carry out a content gap analysis, classify each piece of content your competitors have published to one of the 4 stages of the buyer’s journey. This way, you can gauge where to put more effort when planning your publishing schedule.
For example, articles such as “How to Increase eCommerce Customer Retention [2023 Tips]” are usually best suited to the awareness stage of the buyer’s journey when the search intent is purely informational. If you see any gaps in the topics that fall in this “how-to” category and your competitors have already covered them, and you haven’t, make sure not to fall behind.
Search intent may also be commercial. This is when the user knows of your brand. So, they are looking for social proof such as comparison articles, roundup posts, reviews, and testimonials. This is the consideration stage of the buyer’s journey and is one step towards making a sale. Again, keep note of what your competitors are doing. Fill in the gaps so you have enough of this type of content, too.
Once the potential buyer has enough information on your brand and on your expertise within the industry, they may enter the decision stage. This is where their intent is navigational – they search for specific pages within your website. Make sure your product/service pages are well-optimized. It also needs to be easy for users to find their way from the SERPS to them, as well as within the website itself. The rule of thumb is to have your “money” pages as close to the Home page as your site structure allows.
The final stage of the buyer’s journey is when the user makes a purchase. To get to this stage, their intent is transactional. Thus, they would usually seek content that reassures them that their investment was indeed a good one. This could be a thank-you page with helpful links, a CTA for leaving a review, or an email sequence with tips.
To make sure you have enough relevant content to match each of these stages, keep a close eye on your competitors. Also, perform content gap analysis consistently.
Grow Your Audience
Content gap analysis between you and your competitors can be a powerful tool to help you grow your audience. By monitoring the content that is trendy within your niche, you can identify potential opportunities that you may have missed otherwise. This allows you to create more engaging and relevant content to offer your readers and expand your reach.
If you diversify your content and are among the first ones out there to cover news from your industry, users may come straight to your blog to get updated, and thus, boost your SEO traffic. And if you appear at a top position for the hot topics with more information than what your competitors offer, your audience will grow even more!
By sprucing up your existing content or by creating new pieces of content to fill any gaps, you can make sure that your website stands out from the crowd and is more likely to be found by potential customers. This will help to draw in a larger audience and increase your brand’s visibility.
Stay Up-to-Date With Industry Trends
Content gap analysis can also be used to stay on top of industry trends and keep your content current. By researching what content is performing well for your competitors, you can understand what topics people are engaging with and then create similar pieces that are relevant to your brand. Monitoring industry trends will help you to stay ahead of the competition and ensure that you’re providing your readers with fresh, interesting content that is relevant.
Keep in mind that this doesn’t necessarily mean writing new articles from scratch. If you’ve already touched on a topic within your blog, it may just be enough to update it with fresh information and boost it on social media. This will not only show that you are aware of new developments but it also demonstrates that you care about giving your audience correct, useful information.
Discover New Niches and Sub-Niches
It may be hard to zero in on a new niche or sub-niche regardless of whether you have to start from scratch, or are a veteran content publisher. However, it is always better to keep your topics broad to avoid the need to rebrand if you decide to jump from one specific niche to another.
A deep content gap analysis can help you identify niches and sub-niches that neither you nor your competitors have covered. This way you can expand your target audience and set the standards for your competitor instead of the opposite.
4 Main Content Gap Types
In order to analyze content gaps in your strategy, let’s first explain the different types of content gaps – keywords, topics, media and backlinks.
Although keyword research is far from enough to build a robust SEO strategy in 2023, it is a great starting point. A common mistake marketers make is not analyzing keywords with low search volumes. Instead, they tend to focus on the short, popular phrases that are almost impossible to rank for.
However, zero search volume keywords that are usually long-tail search terms (4+ words) that tools show no search data for, or have minimal keyword difficulty, can actually be your “shortcut” to the top.
Readers Also Enjoy: 7 Incredibly Useful Keyword Gap Analysis Tips for Small Businesses – DevriX
For example, if you provide link building services, the obvious keywords to base your content gap analysis on may be too hard to compete on:
However, if we go for a more “low-profile” keywords that customers are likely to also search for, such as “manual link building services”, we may stand bigger chance to rank first:
Content gap analysis doesn’t have to be restricted to keywords alone. With the right set of tools, you can also compare your content and see what topics are popular among competitors.
Compile a list of topics and compare it against the list of your competitor’s blog titles. If they cover certain topics that you don’t, then you may be missing out on some opportunities.
Readers Also Enjoy: How to Find Trending Topics Online? [Tips & Tools] – DevriX
The type of media used also plays an important role in how successful a piece of content will be. It’s no longer enough to just write articles. To stay ahead of the competition you need to think outside the box and be creative when it comes to multimedia content, such as videos, podcasts, visuals, infographics etc.
Readers Also Enjoy: Best Practices for Adding Visuals to Blog Posts – DevriX
As part of your content gap analysis you should check how many backlinks competitors’ articles have. Also, investigate what websites they got them from. It’s vital to track down pages that have few or no backlinks. This will allow you to use this information to inform your link building and content promotion strategy.
To do this, you can use the Backlink Gap Tool on Semrush to identify backlink opportunities you might be missing out on. Remember, a good off-page SEO profile is as important as site content. After all, it demonstrates to search engines that authority websites see you as a valuable resource.
For example, let’s compare https://devrix.com/tutorial/4-seo-myths-hold-back-online-success/ with a competing article – https://www.searchenginejournal.com/seo-guide/seo-myths/ and find websites that could also link to us and boost our rankings:
How to Do a Content Gap Analysis in 5 Steps
1. Audit Your Online Assets
First, do an audit of your online assets. Take stock of what you have published on your website. Also, don’t forget your other channels such as social media platforms or blogs. This should include content type, titles, topic tags, target keywords and links to external sources.
2. Identify Your Competitors
Once you know what you have created so far, it’s time to identify your top competitors. Research their websites and social media profiles to locate any content that you may have missed. Compare the performance of each one as well as the topics, titles and target keywords used.
3. Analyze Your Competitors’ Content
Now, take a closer look at the content created by your competitors. Identify the types of content they are creating, their most popular topics and target keywords. In addition, take note of the media formats they use (videos, infographics, etc). Also, go through any backlinks they have acquired from external sources.
4. Use a Content Gap Analysis Tool
After you have investigated what your website and your competitors are currently ranking for, use a content gap analysis tool. These tools will identify opportunities for keyword optimization, topic exploration, and backlink acquisition that can give you an edge over the competition.
5. Optimize New Content
Finally, once you have identified the content gaps in your strategy, it’s time to optimize new content. Take full advantage of any new topics or keywords that you have identified. Create fresh content for your blog and website. This will help to keep your content current and maximize its reach within the search engine results pages.
For best results, make sure to adhere to SEO best practices. Also, include relevant visuals such as images or videos and optimize your content for any target keywords. Additionally, use internal links within each post and backlink to quality external sources whenever possible. Doing so will help you stand out from the competition and increase engagement on your website.
To sum it up, conducting a content gap analysis can help improve your content strategy in several ways. By understanding what topics you need to cover and which ones you don’t, you can save time and effort. This way, you can still deliver quality information to your audience.
Additionally, staying ahead of industry trends will keep you relevant. Also, you will prevent users from going to your competitors for their needs. And finally, you can explore new niches and sub-niches and broaden the reach of your website or blog.
These five steps can serve as a guide the next time you run out of fresh content ideas. Use it to step up your game and stay ahead of the competition!