Without quality content, it can be difficult to rank. Without any content on a particular topic, you’re not going to rank.
A content gap analysis can help you improve existing content on your website. and find missing content topics that you didn’t even know you needed.
When your website content goes from thin and low-quality, to robust and targeted, you can expect a lot of good things to happen with metrics, some of which influence rankings. Most importantly, the people visiting your website will be happy they found you and encouraged to engage in the future. Perhaps, they’ll use your website as a reference, contact you regarding your services, or make a product purchase. Best case, they like what’s on your site so much that they share it with others (which will further benefit your overall SEO strategy and search engine rankings.)
If you’d like to see your site appearing in the search results more often, for more phrases that are relevant to your business, a content gap analysis with follow up action can give you a major boost.
In this post I’ll discuss:
- How You Can Evaluate Your Content to Find Improvements and Gaps
- Specific Strategies and What to Look For
- Software You Can Utilize
- Brief Notes on SEO Best Practices That Will Give You A Better Opportunity to Rank
- How to Track Your Progress & What You Can Expect to See
- Real Client Examples and Results
Identifying Content Gaps and Opportunities to Improve Existing Content
Using SEMrush Competitor and Keyword Content Tools
John Reinesch wrote an excellent article regarding content gap analysis using SEMrush. If you’re looking for a detailed tutorial of how you can utilize SEMrush tools to do a content gap analysis, that is where you should go. Most quality SEO software has a similar tool or tools that you’ll be able to take advantage of.
Tools You’ll Utilize:
- Keywords Gap Tool
- The Organic Competitors Report
- Content Audit
Those will show shared keywords with competitors, search phrases, and content you’re missing out on (gaps), and it will also show you where you rank well, and they don’t (opportunity).
Q & A/Forums
Q & A is everywhere: Google Business Listings, Competitor Websites (online help or FAQ), Reddit/Forums, Wiki’s, Twitter, and anywhere else people may be discussing things relevant to your business. People are asking questions and if you can answer a question, you’ve created an opportunity for brand awareness and a link (to a freshly created piece of content or improved existing site content) that can help you control the start of the customer journey and encourage its continuation.
You can also develop content ideas by considering customer inquiries, and asking customers questions to get a better understanding of your target audience and the content they need.
If you have an idea of some content you may be missing out on, take a look at search engine result pages. If resources are lacking or the resources there are not supplying helpful, high-quality content, you have an opportunity to capture searchers that are currently going elsewhere.
You are an online business with an ecommerce website that sells tools. You’d like to increase relevant traffic from the site, and encourage more sales.
You’ve got your top competitors in SEMrush, and you utilize the tools. You see that your competitors are ranking for a number of tools you don’t sell, but also a lot of tools you do sell, and they’re ranking better than you. Let’s say you’re being outranked for, and there are a lot more varieties of “screwdriver” searches your competitor is appearing for.
Taking a look at their website, they have a variety of screwdrivers with thorough descriptions, tabs for specs, warranty information, etc. Your website just has a 1 sentence description, and you’re seeing that people are leaving if they arrive at most of your screwdriver product pages (but there aren’t many people visiting the site to begin with).
Improving that content can help confirm with searchers that they’d be buying the right product, eliminate hesitations or uncertainties, and make them more likely to purchase. Also, using certain verbiage has helped your competitor rank. Perhaps they describe that the screwdriver is a flathead with a rubber handle made with stainless steel, so they’re appearing for “stainless steel flathead screwdriver with rubber handle” and a lot of variants like it (high-intent), while you’re just ranking poorly for flathead screwdriver.
You’ve also found that there are a lot of searches out there about what tool belts are best for certain projects, and there doesn’t seem to be any good content. You could create that piece of content, and immediately capture relevant traffic where many people are likely in the market for a tool belt.
Improve and create all of your content, then take that to the next level with some SEO best practices (improving meta information, prioritizing the content and how it’s displayed, speed/load improvement, strategic internal links, etc.) and you’ll be on your way to seeing some outstanding position improvements, key metric improvements, and ultimately ranking improvement that will drive quality traffic to your website.
Another Helpful Competitor Gap Tool
If you want to take your competitor analysis a step further and gather additional insights, check out SEMrush’s backlink gap tool.
Tracking Your Progress and What You Should Expect
If you’re creating new content, tracking progress is simple. See if people are visiting your page in Google Analytics. Look at Google Search Console and create a filter for ‘contains: [newly created content topic keyword]’. With this, you’ll see the searches your content appeared for, how often, and other metrics that can help you better understand your audience, and track how your search presence is progressing.
You’ll want to look for a few things:
- Growth in the number of search phrases you’re appearing for in the search results (search console)
- Growth in the number of search phrases you’re appearing for in the top 50 (search console or spyfu)
- Growth in impressions, appearances in search (search console)
- Growth in clicks from search to your content (search console)
- Better engagement metrics (bounce rate, time spent on site, number of pages viewed) on improved content (analytics)
- Good engagement metrics on new content (analytics). Pages with a high bounce rate, low time spent on the page, lack of continuing through the funnel will prompt some additional work.
Have You Run a Content Audit or Content Gap Analysis? Is Your Website Content Thorough, and Strategically Written?
If not, you’ll have a lot of opportunities with a content marketing campaign, that would be enhanced with SEO. Fill out our quote request form and we’ll start the discussion of how some content work can grow your business’s online presence.