Keyword Gap Analysis Tools for Planning Your Strategy

Lauren Oliver


December 29, 2022 (Updated: May 4, 2023)

Magnifying glass on laptop keyboard, SEO and keyword gap analysis concept.

Keyword gap analysis tools help you get a leg up on your competition. Instead of planning a strategy that you hope works, gap analysis tools ensure your team crafts high-impact content marketing campaigns every single time. Creating content with purpose allows you to fill keyword gaps, strengthen your brand’s online presence, and boost organic traffic to your brand site. In this guide, we’re covering everything you need to know about keyword gap analysis tools, including:

Advantages of Using Keyword Gap Analysis Tools

Keyword gap analysis tools give you a complete view of the current keyword landscape of your brand’s content marketing strategies. These tools comb through search data and collect results that would take days or even weeks for a human to gather manually. With this information, your team can improve keyword strategies for your brand. Aside from this, keyword gap analysis tools come with a range of advantages:


Keyword analysis tools are fast and save hours of manual research. While you can investigate a few keywords here and there, manual research takes more time. And your marketing team has enough to focus on without having to devote hours to gathering keyword search data by hand. By using an analysis tool, you can dramatically reduce the time it takes to produce insightful reports. What would take days of research takes an automated tool only a couple of seconds.

Faster results also mean your team can run a more in-depth analysis in less time. This further enables you to dig into different keywords and how they link together in topic clusters. And not only is research faster, but your gap analysis tools can help you target high-quality opportunities to reach your brand’s audience.

Quantitative Analysis

Content analysis has changed the face of most industries. Marketing isn’t an outlier in how integral data has become. When faced with a long list of keyword ideas, most teams won’t know where to start. Perhaps they go for the one that’s closely related to other published content, or maybe they pick a new topic cluster.

Without a keyword gap analysis tool, you will be making this decision based on personal preference. Tools provide us with quantitative data that we can use to make smarter decisions. Instead of picking randomly, we can create more structured SEO and content plans that hit the most important keywords first.

By focusing on high-volume keywords, your team can create a solid base to bring in new traffic. Keyword gap analysis tools also provide insight into where to begin. Instead of wasting time, they allow businesses to be more effective in their content efforts.

Longtail Keywords

Image from Semrush showing how longtail keywords work. Concept for keyword gap analysis.

Image via Semrush

Longtail keywords are vital, especially for smaller businesses that are trying to break into a new digital space. While search volume decreases as a keyword gets longer, there is also much less competition. Using a keyword gap analysis tool will allow you to find longtail keywords that you may have overlooked.

When reviewing previous content, you’re likely going to notice keyword clusters that you’ve covered. Once you tick off a keyword, you probably forget about it and move on to your next batch. Just because you have an article on a topic doesn’t mean you’ve completely exhausted the niche.

You can always get more detailed, with longtail keywords often paving the way toward new content. Finding new longtails is easier said than done, especially when working manually. But, by investigating a keyword, most tools will generate a list of longtails that you could then focus on.

By organizing these according to search volume, you’re likely to stumble on a content idea that you’ve yet to explore. You’ll boost traffic, secure a spot on the first page, and create more high-quality content for your audience.

Competitor Information

Conducting content gap analysis often results in marketing teams combing through their own content. To identify new areas for expansion, you need to know what you’ve already published. While this works on paper, marketing isn’t a solo-player experience. Every piece of content you create is competing with hundreds of other companies.

With that in mind, using the competitor information that keyword gap analysis tools generate can help you navigate your entire industry. Although a competitor might currently outrank you, that doesn’t mean their content strategy is full-proof. Conducting keyword gap analysis on their sites will reveal low-hanging fruits that you can then target.

Automatic analysis tools will comb through competitor sites and create detailed reports in a matter of seconds. Using these can help you navigate through this digital space, cultivating content that people are searching for but not currently receiving. By continually comparing your own content gaps to your competitors’, you’ll be able to improve your digital marketing strategy.

Related: How To Use Competitor Analysis Metrics for SEO

What to Look for in Keyword Gap Analysis Tools

Nowadays, there’s a tool for absolutely everything. When it comes to the best SEO tools, we’re spoiled for choice. With so many keyword gap analysis tools out there, we need to prioritize the ones with the most useful features. You can throw your entire research plan off if a core element is missing. Here are several elements that all of the best keyword gap analysis tools share:

Competitor Analysis Comparisons

Keyword gap analysis tools need to be able to understand the entire digital landscape, not just the one located on your blog. The ability to enter competitor sites and generate comparative reports will help you understand the market. You’re not creating content in isolation. Turning to competitor data will help you find new keyword groups, structure your content, and push you to create even better informational articles.

When it comes to competitor research, starting with just one company is normally fine. Use a competitor of a similar size and comb through their ranking keywords. However, the best tools will be flexible to compare many companies at once.

No competitor is perfect. They may be much larger than you, focus on different channels, or have a distinct target audience. Due to this, it’s better to take a broader approach, nestling yourself within a comparison of three or more competitors. When you find competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, your team can improve your content plans to cover your brand’s keyword gaps going forward.

Keyword Type Variations

A great keyword gap analysis tool should be able to distinguish between distinct types of keywords. From a consumer perspective, all keywords look the same. You type something into Google, and Google generates the results. However, on the backend, things are a little more complicated. There are three main keyword types that tools can filter through:

  • Organic: Organic keywords are those that a site currently places within the top 100 for. They’ve done this through search engine optimization, creating high-quality content, and consistently building their platform.
  • Paid: Paid keywords are where a business gets onto the first page of Google by paying to be there. For every click they receive on a page from this, they will pay a certain amount.
  • Product Listing Ads (PLAs): You’ll often see brands target PLA keywords to sell products. They’re like paid keywords, only they feature photos of the product and appear at the top of SERPs.

Depending on your current keyword strategy, organic or paid might be your most important area. Understanding how competitors are getting traffic—whether they do so organically or pay for it—can really help to contextualize opportunities. For example, a large-scale competitor might not look as threatening if you discover they’re paying thousands of dollars a month and have almost no organic traffic.

Contextualizing keywords into these categories can also help you clarify which are best to go for. Although a competitor might have high traffic from a keyword, if they’re paying for it, you could still have a great chance of ranking organically. If your keyword gap analysis tool cannot make these definitions, you’re missing a huge piece of the puzzle.

Read more: How To Do Keyword Research: An Introduction to SEO

Individual Keyword Data

Almost every keyword gap analysis tool will give you a breakdown of relevant keywords in a table format. Across the board, they’ll tell you about:

  • Search Volume
  • Relative Competition
  • CPC
  • Search Intent

This is fairly standard. A great tool will take this one step further, providing a detailed breakdown of individual keywords. Take a look at the Semrush data below. For the individual search term ‘Farmers Market,’ the tool creates a range of additional information that you could use to rank.

While the term itself is extremely difficult to rank for, there are some keyword questions that are slightly easier. For example, focusing an article on “how to sell at a farmers market” is a relatively easy keyword that still has lots of search traffic.

Image showing data behind keyword research. Concept for keyword gap analysis.

Without this additional information, you might count out a keyword for being too difficult. Despite there being an opportunity, you won’t have all the information to make this clear. When choosing a keyword gap analysis tool, be sure to consider the extent of the information they deliver. If you want additional information on how to understand keyword gap analysis data and plan your marketing strategies, be sure to download your copy of our recent eBook How To Analyze Your Content and Craft a Winning Content Strategy for 2023.

Advanced Filters

Keyword gap analysis tools that generate lots of information are fantastic. But, if you’re not able to filter this information down, it can be a whole lot of noise. You want a tool that allows you to apply several filters to your data. At the very least, your tool should:

  • Create custom ranking ranges
  • Focus on keyword difficulty ranges
  • Specific volume ranges
  • Select search intent categories
  • Exclude certain keywords or content areas

These will allow you to cut down the thousands of keywords into a smaller pool. Once there, you can spend time closely analyzing each and finding valuable opportunities. Without these filters, you’ll waste time on keywords that end up not being viable for your strategy.

The best keyword gap analysis tools can juggle all the above filters simultaneously. You shouldn’t only be able to filter for informational traffic. You should be able to filter for informational traffic with an easy keyword difficulty with over 10,000 clicks a month. The more filters you can apply at once, the more specific your final data product will be.

Exporting and Reporting Functions

Once you’ve conducted your research, you’re likely going to need to export it. Most companies will export to an Excel sheet, helping to maintain a similar format. However, the ability to create detailed reports right from your data also comes in handy.

If you can export your reports as a PDF file, you can then recycle data and graphics into other areas. As marketing managers, we need to explain to others why exactly we’re targeting certain keywords. Without an accessible way of visualizing data, that can be hard to communicate. Be sure to find tools that are compatible with your workflow. Digital platforms should help us, not hold us back.

Related: 11 Types of Competitive Analysis Frameworks To Find an Edge

Keyword Gap Analysis Tools for Effective Planning

An SEO research document is only as good as the tools that were used to create it. To save you the time of looking through 10s of different solutions, we’ve documented the pros of leading tools. Let’s take a look at three killer keyword gap analysis tools currently available:

CopyPress Analysis Tool

The CopyPress content marketing analysis tool provides a business with a customized report that gives them everything they need to know in seconds. Enter your website and the domains of your top three competitors to generate your report.

The tool helps identify your brand’s content gaps and compares these areas with your top competitors. Beyond outlining these gaps, the tool shows you the high-impact keywords and low-hanging fruit that could help you outrank your competitors. You’ll also get insights into other content competitors you didn’t know you had. Your report also highlights brands and businesses for potential content partnerships.

Your team also gets insights into your backlink health, taking a holistic approach to your SEO. With clear recommendations and tailored information on how your site can improve its content strategy, this is an all-in-one solution. If you want to save time and target relevant, high-quality content areas for your business, this is the tool for you.

Semrush Keyword Gap Tool

Semrush, the all-in-one SEO tool, offers a keyword gap section that many marketing teams use. Across marketing, content planning, and search engine optimization, it covers all of your bases. The keyword gap function will allow you to dive into your own site or compare multiple competitors at once.

From there, you can filter through the results based on search volume, competition, ranking position, and pretty much any other metric you may have in mind. Its winning feature here is the “Top Opportunities” section, which will show high-impact keywords you can incorporate into your strategy.

Semrush also allows you to find pages on your site that currently rank below where they should. This form of identifying potential content gaps in your weaker content will help you improve your site holistically. Beyond this range of useful features, its direct integration into other SEO tools makes it a great option.

Ahrefs Content Gap Tool

Ahrefs is a complex tool that comes in very simple packaging. Even if you’re completely new to the world of SEO, this tool is straightforward to use and will help you plan for future content. Their “Content Gap” section allows you to put in a range of competitor URLs. From there, it’ll generate a table of keywords that you’re currently not ranking for.

The exclusion feature is particularly useful here. It allows you to get rid of certain words – like your competitor’s brand name – which could be skewing your results. Just like with Semrush, you can use multiple filters you can use to receive more specific information. Ahrefs goes for broad analysis, making it great if you’re just getting started with a keyword campaign.

Not all keyword gap analysis tools deliver the same information. Finding one that works for you can take some trial and error. Work out what your main priorities in gap analysis are, first. Then, you can evaluate if your chosen tool does what your team needs it to do. If you want to hit the ground running in 2023, be sure to schedule a strategy call with CopyPress. We’ll show you how to conduct your content gap analysis to improve your content marketing efforts and create a winning strategy for your business or agency.

Author Image - Lauren Oliver
Lauren Oliver

Content Manager at CopyPress

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