Content gap analysis is about reaching your content marketing goals.
To be the “go-to” content for prospects and customers.
And in this post, I’ll give you a 360-degree view of content gap analysis, including:
- Tools, and more…
Content Gap Analysis Definition
Content gap analysis looks at two things:
- Your current content driving visitor traffic. Which includes blog posts, landing pages, reports, webinars, etc.
- And content you would like to have.
The “gap” is the topics separating your current content state and future state.
But keep in mind your ultimate goal:
Driving relevant traffic.
Here’s Robert Duckers from BlueGreen Marketing with his insights.
The ‘Content Gap’ itself is not a gap between you and your competitors – it’s a gap between you and your customers.
The content you need to fill the gap can include similar content in topic or keyword-targeting as competitor content, but it doesn’t end there. Don’t focus solely on you vs. competitors. This mindset dismisses the true value of web content – connecting with customers.
Content gap analysis is about developing content topics to drive valuable traffic. And because industries have more than one player, you’ll see overlap between your content and competitor content.
The Benefits of Content Gap Analysis
So now we know what analyzing the content gap is all about.
What’s important are the benefits. So here’s Mike Ryan, Director of Marketing at Keeper Security with the pay-off:
Running a content gap analysis is critical and has two major benefits:
- Communicating with potential buyers through the sales lifecycle
- Maximizing SEO opportunity
The first step is to make sure you’ve thought deeply about your customer and their mindset. That includes customer segmentation, creating customer personas, and understanding their pain points at each stage of the buying process. Lay out the buyers journey from start to finish and map their pain points at each stage. Empathizing with the buyer is key.
Once your understand your customer and the customer journey, do an inventory of your content. Which stages of the buyers journey have you already addressed with content? Which still need to be addressed?
If the content gap analysis is strictly for SEO purposes, it’s still important to understand your customer. But you’ll need to layer in some additional research using some free tools.
These benefits are key when we think back to our original goal:
Being the “go-to” content for prospects and customers.
Not only are Mike’s benefits bang on, but he lays out a nice strategy for analyzing the content gap. Let’s explore it further.
How to Conduct Your Content Gap Analysis
With the benefits of content gap analysis in mind, it’s time to forge your path.
Here’s a process you can use to fill the content gap.
This process shows you that content gap analysis is really about communicating with your customers.
And to do this, you’ll have to compete against existing content. I’ll play out a quick example to give you an idea.
Content Gap Analysis Example
Example Company: Develops a Cloud Security Platform for the Enterprise.
Step One – Analyze Customers: A growing number of customers are mentioning slow technology delivery, resulting in enterprise employees integrating rogue applications into the enterprise system.
Step Two – Content Inventory Check: You find no content touching on rogue apps making its way into the enterprise.
Step Three – Fill the Content Pipeline: You decide to create content focusing on shadow IT. Here’s why:
- Shadow IT is relevant to your business. It’s a topic your customers mention, and it aligns with your business solutions.
- This keyword is popular. It gets over +6.5K searches per month.
- This search term gets low advertising competition combined with +$10 suggested bid. This means two things:
- Not a lot of your competitors are jumping on this keyword.
- But the ones who are, are willing to pay. Adding to the value of this keyword.
Step Four – Analyze Competitor Content: It’s time to review competitor content, and see what’s popular out there. Here’s a SERP Analysis technique you can use:
Let’s break this analysis down.
- Five page one results focus on definition style content.
- Three are checklists and how-to articles.
- And finally, we see one products page and one downloadable report.
Why analyze the search results page? Here’s Chris Hornak, Owner of Blog Hands, with insights on this technique:
Marketers think of keywords they want to target and begin writing content around that subject. But I believe there’s a step between that’s missing. That’s content gap analysis.
Search the topic you plan to write on and review the top 10 search results. What are they doing right? What are common themes? What are they missing that you can fill?
Through this process, you’ll be able to create content that Google may deem valuable based just on the merit of your content.
From our competitor content review, content should follow a definition style. And not only that but adding in a checklist would help.
You now have a content format to work, so it’s time to start writing.
When Should You Analyze Content Gaps?
How often should you analyze your content gaps? I’ll turn it back over to Mike Ryan for the answer:
Companies should conduct a content gap analysis every 6-12 months on average, but it could be a monthly or quarterly exercise depending on the company sector and objectives.
Now you know the process and when to use it. So let’s finish off with your tool set.
Tools You’ll Need
To get your content gap analysis off the ground, you need the right tool set.
So we asked our pool of industry experts to share their top tools to get the job done.
Google Search Console
Using this report can provide insight into the queries (keywords) that Google finds relevant to the page and that searchers are using to find similar content.
It’s common to find new optimization opportunities and also related sub-topics in the report that can be used to enhance the copy and strengthen on-page relevancy for target terms and phrases.
Brian Jensen, Congruent Digital
Google Keyword Planner
Google’s keyword planner provides us with opportunities to look at relevant and longer-tailed options. This helps us achieve organic rankings as well as create great landing page experiences for users by offering the information they need.
Doreen Brown, Digital Visibility Group
Ahrefs has a wonderful ‘Content Gap’ tool built directly into their paid tool that shows keywords a list of competitors rank for that you or your clients may be missing out on.
Sam Kessenich, Rytech
Content Gap Analysis 101
You now have a 360-degree view of content gap analysis. Use the insights and techniques you learned in this post, and start driving customers to your site.
Want to see content gap analysis in action? Then don’t stop here. Check out this related case and learn how one company boosted organic traffic by 500% using techniques you saw here.