The quote ‘Content is King’ has been thrown one too many times around a marketer’s table. The backbone of any marketing strategy is its content. Similarly, the term SEO will seize to exist without a top-notch content strategy.
Building a content strategy that actually works is like a game of puzzles. Once you know what the missing piece is, all you have to figure out is where it goes. Finding these blind spots in your content strategy is an opportunity.
What Is Content Gap Analysis?
It is an intricate process to find a window of opportunity to improve and enhance the content on your website as a measure to increase customer relations.
You could find a gap in your buyer’s journey, buyer persona or even the information on your website. They all require a thought out content plan that does not deter the goal of the business. All of these lead to a content gap in your content marketing strategy. This, in turn, will hamper the relationship with the consumers or potential leads.
Before we head on to different ways to conduct an effective content gap analysis, let us come in terms with why it is beneficial.
Benefits of Content Gap Analysis:
- A stellar content makes sure your website ranks organically on the search.
- A great content plan can help outrank competitors by obtaining benefits the brand is currently not targeting.
- Filling gaps in the content inventory can help drive more traffic and increase engagement organically.
Mentioned above are only a few of the benefits of content gap analysis. We will have a clearer approach once we venture into the methods on how to use it to better your websites SEO.
How to Perform an Effective Content Gap Analysis
The following are the surefire methods for content gap analysis for SEO.
Performing an inventory audit entails grabbing data from all over the website and breaking them down into different levels to understand where the gap exists. Often the content we hold gets lost in translation within the buyer’s journey.
With the help of a customer’s experience loop, companies can figure out at what stage their content is at. The obvious step is to bring your customers to the awareness stage. The content you possess must tell you customer’s about who you are and what you do. Later stages include acquisition and then retention.
If your website has a massive amount of content, then the next step is to find out what your competitors are writing about, and you’re not. These keyword audits help in analyzing the top keywords the competitors are using to fare well on the search engines.
The first step is to ask yourself the right questions. ‘What is competition doing that I am not?’ ‘What is the bigger picture?’
This is termed as competitive analysis. In this method we know how high we want to rank; hence we scavenge for those keywords that will help us in doing so. A great way to do this is to look into your competitor’s keywords.
It is impractical to search their blogs and websites to find the keywords they are ranking well for. This where the various tools come into the picture. A few of the tools that could help achieve this are SEMrush, MutualMind and ahrefs.
At ahrefs.com you can perform a prefix on a URL or domain on their Site Explorer page. They have a ‘content gap’ sections that will compare keywords based on the URL inserted in the search column. And if you do not have a clear picture of who your competitors are you can always select the ‘Competing Domains’ button to find websites that rank for the similar keywords you use. Once the search is narrowed down, it will display a list of keywords ranking high on Google. The next smart step is to incorporate it into the content you wish to curate for your website.
This step primarily involves updating the old content with new and fresh ideas that are more relevant to your business. One way to do this is to search for the blog that has generated maximum engagement amongst your customers. Use this link to perform yet another keyword audit as mentioned above. A list of a potential keyword which you could have used in your blogs will show up.
If you have a large website, with a lot of content, the trick is to look at it as one single entity. This way you can create a more thorough analysis without getting buried in details.
On a more general tone, identifying the keywords that could fare well for a content topic can help in unimaginable ways. For example, the blog title ‘How to make chocolate cake’ could be your top rated article on your website. The URL for this blog post is posted on the Site Explorer page and compared with the competitors URLs. A list of potential keywords is displayed along with its rank. For example, ‘No eggs’ or ‘No oven’ are a few keywords which are missing from your article but your competitors are using. You can now use these to enhance and update your blog content.
While updating old content, make sure the quality is as good as the current ones. It’s simple, lower the quality, lower the rank. Remember, not every keyword your competitor ranks for will work for your business. This is where prioritization comes into the picture. Trying to rank for every keyword your competitor does is never a wise move.
After the keyword analysis. If you will be adding 2-3 paragraphs of extra content in your blog, don’t forget to consider the design factors. Add in images, infographics, or even a video. One of the key steps during content refresh is link building. Various tools like ahrefs and Majestic help in doing so.
Document to Explore
Once you run the keyword analysis tool, the next step is to document them on an excel sheet or wherever you deem fit.
You can tabulate the data as shown above. A column for the keywords you wish to use, the type of keyword with regard to your business, the search volume and the keyword density. The information above will provide a clear picture on which keyword to focus first on. Before curating content, you must align your thought process to the customer’s needs and whether your content can provide them with solutions.
Of course, a more in-depth review on each keyword is a must. Once we have a more detailed look into the keywords, we can begin creating a stellar content marketing strategy. Different types of content like Blog posts, Infographics, Videos etc. must be incorporated depending on the title of the content. For example, ‘Top 10 chocolate cake recipes’ could be a blog post or a video. On the other hand, ‘Nutritional value of chocolate cake’ is best being an infographic as it resonates well with the topic.
Another stellar approach is to look into how the competitors are creating content for a specific keyword. Then figure out different ways to dominate that niche by creating content with a different approach. While selecting a competitor, choose the direct ones. There won’t be much of an opportunity to fill the gap if you select one too many competitors from different niches. Similarly, it is hard to analyze your competitor if they are from massive brands, as they deal with more than one type of product.
To Wrap Up
It takes a lot of effort to create content that ranks well in Google. The key is to not focus on just the rank but on the quality of the content. It must reach the audience to engage them and convert them to possible customers. A content gap analysis is one of the easiest ways to identify where and how your business can flourish. It is important you bridge this gap in your content strategy around the customer’s needs.
Never stop scrutinizing the quality and quantity of your own content. Performing a content gap analysis every forequarter will prevent you from missing out on the game. After you have documented your keyword analysis, marking which one works best for you and working around that will help in dominating your business niche. Add them all to our content strategy and see what works best for you.
At the final stage, you must ask yourself the following questions. ‘Does my content rank higher in Google search engines for my customer’s query?’ ‘Is my content doing a decent job in letting the search engines know what my company is all about?’
Always remember, just when you think your content is top-notch, there is a better one out there that ranks much higher than yours.