Content gap analysis is critical for improving website SEO by optimizing the existing content, finding gaps between you and your competitors, and mapping the user journey on the website.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of content gap analysis and even in advanced strategy, let's first go over what content gap analysis is.
In this article, I will give you detailed information on content gap analysis, the purpose, and the content gap analysis process.
Let's get right into it.
What is Content Gap Analysis?
Content gap analysis is the method of analyzing the existing content on the website and finding the gaps in our website compared to competitors.
There are two ways we can look at content gap analysis:
- Repurposing the old content on the website
- Finding the content topics missing on the website with respect to competitors
Analyzing the existing content will help you identify the following types of content:
- Outdated content
- Content lacking recent examples
- Content with fewer details
- Complex content
And, scrutinizing the competitors content will help us in finding out:
- Missing Content Topics
- You will be able to create a content calendar based on competitor content gap analysis
- Keywords targeted by competitors and our website is missing on those opportunities
Content gap analysis is not only done on website blogs but can also be done for the following content types:
- Website pages
- Landing pages
- Lead magnets like downloadable materials (e-books, ppt & reports)
- Social media content
- And, other content assets
We now know what kind of content is analyzed in the process and what we can achieve through content gap analysis. Let's discuss the purpose and process of content gap analysis.
Purpose of Content Gap Analysis
Content gap analysis is done to improve the overall SEO of the website, strengthen the SERP presence with improved content relevance and map the right user journey. Here are the main purposes:
Improve Overall Content Strategy and SEO for Website
The content gap analysis will help you improve the overall content structure on the website create new content topics which will bring additional keywords and traffic opportunities.
Competitor keyword gap analysis helps you know the keywords you are already ranking better than competitors, and you need to keep an upper hand on them by strengthening the SEO.
You will also be able to find the keywords where you are not ranking and competitors are ranking. This allows creating new content and outranking the competitors on SERP.
Not to forget, content gap analysis is not only done for finding the competitor gap and you but also between you and your customers.
Mapping the User Journey with the Right Intent
Every visitor on your website can have a different intent; not everyone who visits the website is looking to buy something. The website visitor can be looking for some information or comparing two brands or products, maybe purchasing something.
Content audit on your website will give you insights into loopholes between your user journey and the content.
You need to verify whether content on the website satisfies all the users' intent or not.
You should be looking at four main intents while creating your content strategy or doing the content audit.
Awareness: Awareness intent pages should target information-related keywords. This intent content is created to serve the users looking for information. Creating content on product information or general awareness topics around your product or niche will help satisfy awareness intent.
Consideration: This intent comes into play just before the purchasing stage, visitors looking to compare different products. Here, you will have to create content like best products lists and comparisons.
The perfect example for this can be content for buyers looking for an API analytics solution to build a good customer experience. Buyers will be searching for terms like best API analytics solutions.
Purchase: This is the decision intent where the buyer has selected the product, and now they are in the buying stage. Purchase intent is satisfied by product pages, landing pages, or sales pages.
The keyword type for this intent is:- buy, apply, get, and purchase. An example of this can be “buy hosting for WordPress.”
Loyalty: Loyal intent is the last in the customer journey funnel. This intent satisfies the needs of visitors after purchase. Here content is more branded than generic because customers are looking for queries related to your product, service, or brand.
So, these are the four buyer intent that you need to serve as a website owner to map the perfect user journey on your website. A content audit will help you know the gaps within the intent and identify the focus area.
Mapping the user journey helps identify whether our website has content to suffice the user intent at each funnel stage or not
As you know the purpose of content gap analysis, let's start digging deeper into the process.
Content Gap Analysis Process
Step #1: Detailed Keyword Research
Detailed keyword research will give you the whole keyword universe related to your product or niche. These keywords need to be mapped against different buyer intent.
For example, keywords with questions like what, how, where can be mapped to awareness intent, keywords with vs., best can be mapped to consideration, keywords with the buy, get, purchase, apply will go against purchase intent.
After the intent mapping, divide the keywords into subtopics & topics. For example, keywords that belong to the same subject and intent can be one subtopic, and similar subtopics will be in one topic.
Keyword research can be done using tools like Semrush, Ahrefs, or Ubersuggest.
After completing the keyword research, map your current ranks and URL against the keywords.
URL mapping activity will give you the list of topics where the website is currently ranking, but ranks are not good, and there will be some topics where no content exists, which means you will need to create new content for those keywords according to the intent.
The striking distance keywords are the keywords ranking on page 2 or page 3 which can be optimized.
Step #2 Content Audit on Your Website
You have done keyword research and mapped ranking URLs against each keyword. Now what? You will have to audit the content manually to check the gaps in the existing content.
Once you have a list of all the keywords and mapped URLs that need to be optimized, you will have to look for primary relevant keywords for the web pages selected for the content optimization.
Now, search that particular keyword in the Google search to scan the SERP results, look at the SERP competitors, what content they are writing, and what kind of topics and heading they are covering.
Analyze the gaps within your content by comparing it with competitors.
As AI has grown smarter and penetrating in every field, it has also enrolled its presence in marketing and content tools.
With AI-based tools like Market Muse, you can easily compare your content score with the competitor's content score.
Market Muse insights are really helpful while analyzing the content. It also gives us the data such as average word count, targeted word count, average content score, and targeted content score and suggests keyword distribution.
All these data points make it easy for content writers and SEOs to analyze content. With the content scores for each page, you can look for the highest content gaps and start working on those content pieces on priority.
Step #3 Competitors Analysis
This is the final step while doing the content gap analysis. The competitor gap analysis will help you find the additional gaps in your content.
What do you need to analyze while looking at competitors' websites?
You need to look at the competitors' content and topics covered by them. Peek into competitor's keywords where they are ranking well, and you are not.
The Semrush keyword gap tool can easily find these competitor keyword gaps. It will give the list of all the keywords competitors are ranking, but your website is not.
The difference between a competitor's content and your existing content can be measured using AI-based predictive content tools such as Market Muse. Market Muse gives your content scores and target score based on the analysis of the top 20 results on the SERP.
Analyze the competitor's website and look for the customer journey they are navigating across the website for visitors.
For instance, are they directly sending their visitors from blog pages to the contact page, or are they rerouting them to the pages like e-books, FAQs, case studies, etc., for nurturing the users?
If your website is also following the same funnel, you have to focus only on content audit, but if there are cracks in your website funnel strategy, you might need to audit your content and funnel strategy.
Hopefully, you must have understood the process and purpose of competitor gap analysis. Content gap analysis improves your SEO and fixes the clefts in the content and user journey.
We discussed the manual process for doing the gap analysis, but a part of it can also be done using tools that save time and make the job easier.
So, let's have a quick look at tools that can help us in this process.
Tools for Content Gap Analysis
Doing the content gap analysis manually is the best process that gives you all the issues in detail, but if you lack time and resources, keyword gap analysis can be done using tools.
Tools used for content gap analysis are:
You can add up to 5 competitors to compare the data.
It gives you the data of the shared keywords,
Missing Keywords: You are not ranking, and competitor is ranking.,
Weak keywords: Your competitors have better ranking positions compared to you
Strong keywords: You have better ranks on the keywords compared to your competitor
Untapped Keywords: Your competitors are ranking, but you don't have any rank on those keywords
Unique Keywords: You have ranked on them, but your competitor doesn't have any ranks.
All these data points help you analyze the data in the way you want and also give you the flexibility to filter the data using advanced filters such as filter by keywords, position, volume, keyword difficulty, and intent.
Overall, the Semrush keyword gap tool makes the process easy by providing the in-depth keyword gap.
Ahrefs content gap tool can also do the same job as the Semrush keyword gap tool. It also analyzes the keywords ranking for all the websites and finds the gaps in your website keywords.
It also gives the keywords, search volume, keyword difficulty, your rank, and competitor's rank. It lets you filter the data by keyword intersection, search volume, difficulty, CPC, word count, and keywords.
These two are the most reliable SEO tools in the industry that serve your purpose for almost everything SEO needs.
Market Muse can be used to analyze the content gap between the existing content on your website and the top-ranking results on the SERP.
Using AI algorithms, this platform allocates the score out of 100 to the results on the SERP. Based on that, it provides us with the target content score word count and suggests the keyword distribution strategy. It works similarly for the new content as well.
This tool can be a great addition to your arsenal of digital marketing tools as it makes it easy to analyze the competitor's content.
Content Gap Analysis FAQ
What is Content Gap Analysis in SEO?
Content gap analysis is the process of finding gaps in the existing content compared to competitors and identifying the issues in the user journey on the website. It includes finding the missing topics that should line up with the intent of the visitor journey.
How Can You Fill the Content Gap?
The content gap can be filled by mapping the user journey according to the target audience's goals and intent. And it can also be done by doing the content audit of the existing content on the website and analyzing the competitor's content to see what's working for them.
Content gap analysis gives the exact details on the missing content and patch holes in the user journey, which helps to improve the content structure further.
It will help you improve the website traffic and improve the organic conversions from the website as it fixes the gap between user journeys. Content gap analysis is an important activity every webmaster should look to improve the SEO of the website.
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