Content gap analysis is the process of filling in the gaps for your content marketing and funnel experience. Learn how to discover the gaps you need to improve on and win over your competitors.
Almost everyone’s doing content marketing. Big and small businesses, B2Bs, and B2Cs all now have online websites populated with blog posts, articles, or videos. As you can see, that would make a pretty significant number of data produced every day.
According to Techjury’s report, that’s over 2.5 quintillion bytes of data being created every single day. However, not all content ends up being consumed.
Truth is, a lot of content created is often being buried back on the internet and we are sure you have some old blog posts as well just sitting there with minimal if not non-existent traffic.
If that’s the case, instead of starting out your content creation ideas by doing keyword research, it’s time you start conducting a content gap analysis to find the unfulfilled opportunities lying in your content.
Content gap analysis is the smart way to discover gaps and strategic content ideas to pull in more traffic with your existing strengths, as well as to further boost your content value for your target audiences.
What is Content Gap Analysis?
Content gap analysis is simply the process of evaluating your existing content and understanding if there are any missing components that you can improve on.
You can do a content gap analysis on three levels, based on a content page level, content marketing strategy, or a SERP analysis for a targeted keyword level.
Now let me go into these 3 effective content gap strategies in more detail.
I. Content Page Level – Your content should be optimized for your target keyword and be comprehensive enough to cover all the important elements that answer your user’s search queries. If your content is yet to be ranking on the 1st page of your target keyword, you might need to re-evaluate your content against the Top 10 ranking results and see if there are any missing gaps your content has yet to cover.
II. Content Marketing Level – Your content should be created for every stage of the buyer’s journey, whether they are in the awareness or consideration stage. Many brands focus on creating informative content but often without considering how this content plays in the wider content marketing funnel and fail to lead target audiences to become buyers. This process is a more strategic approach in evaluating your content marketing strategy to make sure your content drives results, in terms of both conversion and sales.
III. SERP Results Level – This refers to gaps based on the available search results. It involves analyzing the search engine result pages (SERPs) for your target keyword if there are any unanswered gaps that you can address in your own content. Is the top-ranking result outdated? Are the top results for the keyword hard to understand or lacking any examples and details?
Why is Analyzing Your Content Gap Important?
So by analyzing your content marketing and the SERP results, essentially you are looking to create better content. And naturally, this will help boost your SEO and social shares.
Besides, when it comes to conducting a gap analysis on the level of your content marketing strategy, it will help you identify if your content connects and actually guide your potential audiences down your marketing funnel.
After all, you wouldn’t want to give users an opportunity to fall through the gaps and land for your competitor’s offering instead.
How to do a Gap Analysis?
If you’re not sure where to start with your content gap analysis, here’s a simple blueprint to point you in the right direction and all it takes is just 5 simple steps.
5 Steps to conduct an SEO gap analysis
1. Map out your buyer’s journey
Not every visitor who comes to your website is ready to buy.
Oftentimes, they will be on the hunt for information, looking to learn more about a specific topic before they even come to the realization that they have a need for the product.
More advanced users, however, will be comparing their options or prices and features to find the best solution on the market. So it’s really important that you are aware of where your target audiences are in their buyer journey and create content accordingly.
When conducting your content gap analysis, you also need to be clear if you have content for all stages of your content marketing funnel: awareness, consideration, decision, and conversion stages.
These are your informative content in the form of blog posts or videos to draw in a wider audience. The main goal of your content here is to build brand awareness and get your audiences to opt-in to your offering and subscribe to your email list.
These are your content where people are aware of their pain point and is considering various solutions. It comes down to a coffee or tea situation to quench their thirst, and here you need to make sure you address the problem your audience is facing and brand yourself as the go-to option for the problem.
At this stage, your audiences might be reading comparison guides, reviews, or the Top 10 posts. You can create content that compares your service or product to your competitors or simply advocate your brand and its unique selling point in a round-up post. Why you and not the others?
The decision stage is your money page. These include your sales landing pages, service pages, testimonials, and use cases. It is often the final checkpoint before a user buys from you or contacts you.
At this stage, it is about providing a service that reassures your customers on how they will achieve their desired outcome using your product or service. This can be as simple as a quick Thank You page or as complex as a follow-up email sequence that connects them with ongoing support or asking for a review. This stage is also important to help them become your advocates or repeated customers.
No matter the stage, you’ve got to make sure you are creating content that gives immense value to your customers, you don’t want to provide users a chance to fall through these gaps.
All in all, conducting a content gap analysis would involve understanding what your audiences are looking for and how you can create content for each stage and make sure these content are interlink between each other.
Also, a quick tip here is to track how effective your CTAs are using a UTM parameter code or by tracking your audience’s footsteps using Google Analytics.
If you spot any low clickthrough rate, check and see if you have too many CTAs on a page, or if there is simply none. Another thing is you might be missing content that bridges the gap between one stage and another.
Let’s say, for example, you are an insurance firm and have a post about “How Does Life Insurance Work?” and your immediate call-to-action is to “Contact your insurance agent”, you may be deterring people who aren’t sure they need an insurance agent yet.
Instead, you may want to link to an article like “How to pick an insurance agency” or “12 things to know before buying your first life insurance” so you can further nurture them before you finally pitch them for sales.
2. Conduct Google First Page research
When it comes to finding the content opportunities in the buyer journey. The best way to find out if there is a content gap opportunity is to see what are the search results ranking on Google’s first page.
This is best explained with some illustrations, so for example, you are looking to create a blog post targeting the keyword “drawing techniques for kids”. Well, start with your query and see what Google’s SERPs have to offer.
Some common content gaps you want to look at are:
- SERP features: Does Google place more emphasis on certain types of content like images or videos?
- Content freshness: When was the content published or last updated?
- Thoroughness: How well does the content cover the topic? Is it comprehensive and detailed?
- Intent: Does the content answer the search query’s intent well enough? Will users stop their search here?
- Usability: Is the content easy to understand and is there a takeaway you can act upon?
- Shareability: Is the content impressive and engaging enough that you’d want to share?
Now you’d want to create your own content to fill in these gaps because this will give you a good chance to rise to the competition on Google’s first page.
However, if you already have existing content targeted for this query but it is not ranking on the first page of Google months after your publish date, then now it’s time to take the process inwards.
You can compare your content to the top-ranking results in SERP? Is there anything this content offers that you lack?
Here’s a tool that I figured might make your work at this stage much more efficient. The tool is RankingGap, which is actually a keyword gap analysis tool.
But hey, content starts with keywords, right? So this will do the trick as well.
Once you create your project in RankingGap (key in the domains you want to compare), you’ll get a bunch of keywords from you and/or your competitors that are actually ranking on the SERP!
After that, pick a keyword and check out the URL that each domain is ranking for that particular keyword.
3. Analyze Your Competitor’s Content
But before anything, you need to make sure you are targeting the right keywords. And where better to start than with your competitors?
Now one of the most impactful strategies you can do, you can use BiQ’s Rank Intelligence to easily discover your competitor’s ranking keywords.
To start, all you have to do is create a new profile using your competitor’s domain URL.
You will then be able to see all the keywords your competitor’s website has that are ranking in the Top 100 positions and to be honest, you don’t need all that.
Set the parameters in your Rank Discovery fields to show only your competitor’s meaningful keyword rankings.
Since we are looking to steal their Google’s first page keywords to find if they have any content gap, set the view for position #1 to #10 with a search volume of at least 100.
Once you have that, you can easily export the data out as a CSV to further sort through the keywords using Excel or Google sheet.
Shift through your keywords and start by checking out the first page of each of those keywords, one-by-one. Start with rewarding keywords that have high search volume and are relevant to your business.
Sometimes you may come across a first-page ranking that’s really solid, where the content is good and there’s not much gap to optimize off.
However, you’ll also find content that is full of gaps, where you know you can create much better content and so there’s your opportunity!
4. Audit Your Own Content
Still, the best place to look for content gaps is always on your own website. To find them, you need to audit your own site content to see what keywords you are already ranking for.
What you are looking for are those existing pages that are underperforming or which are already ranking but hidden on the 2nd page of Google.
Your 2nd-page ranking pages are valuable because this means Google already recognizes that it is answering the intent of the keywords, however, compared to the content ranking on Google page one, it still may be lacking some important elements.
Your content still has a high organic traffic potential, so similarly look at your own content as if it was a competitor’s blog by using BiQ Rank Intelligence again.
But this time, set your parameters to ranking positions #1 to #20 because you want to find high potential blog posts to optimize, then once you get your page URLs, look at them objectively to see what you can improve on-page. Ask yourself:
- Is your content introduction engaging?
- Is it easy to read with enough visual content in between?
- Does your content answer your target query search intent?
You can also look into your Google Analytics to understand the bounce rate or look at the top-ranking result backlink profile.
At the same time, never forget that the end goal of any good content marketing is also about conversion and sales.
When auditing your content, you should also be actively identifying missing content gaps that could help align and guide your users through their buyer’s journey.
See how your content is placed in your funnel and see if you need to create new content to fill the gap that could guide your readers to the point of purchase.
It can be creating new landing pages, ebooks, or a case study directed at visiting users for your high traffic page to convince users to make a purchase from you.
You’re also very likely to find new keyword opportunities you’re not currently taking advantage of with existing content. Especially in Google Search Console, your content might be showing high visibility for certain keywords but low clicks.
5. Reoptimize Your Content
Content gap analysis is ultimately about creating better content, and sometimes it might not be just about how you present your content.
Sometimes, the issue may lie in missing content pieces that Google has deemed as being important to answering this search query, like how you can’t talk about content gap analysis without mentioning how it works for search engine optimization.
To discover this, often you need to compare your content against the Top 10 ranking results to see if you have been fully optimized for the keyword and you can easily do this with BiQ’s Content Intelligence.
Simply paste your blog URL and targeted keyword and our tool will start analyzing your Word Vector against the top 10 rankings to discover what keywords you might be missing.
Often, we’ve seen significant boosts in organic rankings when we update the old content on our blog, so this is definitely a strategy that we highly recommend you to be consistent with.
6. Track Important Keyword Rankings
Lastly, with every content refresh you perform, it is always essential to keep track of your results.
Now complete your content gap analysis process by adding your keywords into our BiQ’s Rank Tracking. Our tool will help you track your daily keyword and page rank movement.
This is necessary to make sure your reoptimization efforts are in the right direction. Besides, refresh content might take as long as 2 to 3 months before it shows any significant results.
So keeping it under tabs is important to see if what you have done has worked, and continue reworking on it to further improve!
By now, you should understand that content gap analysis is more than simply combing through your blog posts to see if you are missing out on any juicy content ideas.
It is a detailed, step-by-step process on how to do a gap analysis and improve your content and website SEO on all levels.
Many marketers often make the mistake of focusing only on informative blog articles to draw in traffic without linking them to the final landing page to convert sales.
This process helps you find clear gaps in your content and fill out any missing holes in your content strategy, so make sure you do not miss out on these lucrative opportunities.
Start conducting your content gap analysis today with BiQ to efficiently connect the dot and generate new traffic down a converting funnel to become a purchase-ready customer.