December 16, 2022 (Updated: May 4, 2023)
Marketing teams have potentially endless options for content creation. How do you choose where to start? Content gap analysis is an effective way of reviewing your current pieces and channels and identifying opportunities to improve. Instead of creating pieces on random topics, this form of SEO planning converts your strategy ideas into high-impact content marketing pieces. Today, we’re touching on:
A content gap analysis is a process that identifies holes in your content strategy and gives suggestions for how your team can fill them. Running an analysis helps you work out what your content strategy and offerings are missing. Even if you’ve got the best blog in the world, you can’t cover every industry area possible. At least not right away. As your audience grows, their content expectations from your brand also expand. Creating content isn’t a one-and-done project. You’ll never finish developing content for your channels because there’s always room to grow.
A content gap analysis provides a comprehensive audit of your published content. It outlines what you do well, highlights weak links, and reveals areas you’ve yet to break into. Even seasoned marketers confuse a content gap analysis with a keyword gap analysis because of their similarities, but a keyword analysis focuses on what your competitors do instead of your internal opportunities. A gap analysis looks at all the content you produce, not just your blog or website. Other channels and assets to review include:
Identifying what content areas you should cover is challenging. The longer your team has worked in content marketing, the fewer new ideas they’ll have. Your initial research and enthusiasm might have produced tens, if not hundreds, of ideas. But then what? A content gap analysis clears a path directly through the maze of opportunities, showing you exactly where to go next. Using content gap analysis when planning a strategy helps businesses reap benefits like:
Customers rarely make a purchase or start a partnership the first time they engage with your brand. The marketing rule of seven backs up this theory that it takes at least seven interactions before your leads want to become clients or customers. That means you have to keep them engaged and coming back for more. Repeated exposure helps customer build familiarity with your brand. If your content doesn’t cover a topic or is missing important information in your niche, your audience will turn to a competitor that covers the topic. The more gaps you fill, the more well-rounded experience you can provide for your audience.
As you increase the total number of keywords that your brand targets through a content gap analysis, you increase your chance of upping your search engine positioning. New businesses especially have a harder time securing a top ranking for highly competitive industry keywords. By increasing the breadth of content you create, you increase the odds of new leads finding your channels and your brand. Once Google recognizes your site as an authority in the industry, you’ll rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs) more consistently.
When we discuss content gaps, most people automatically think of written content like blogs, articles, and reports. But all your content marketing isn’t (or shouldn’t be), writing. If it is, your content gap analysis may reveal you’re missing out on big traffic sources from different content streams. To get a better idea of where you should expand your content channels, look at the competition. Do they publish audio, video, or other content your brand doesn’t? If so, consider if these new content opportunities and channels are right for your brand and your audience.
While you can go through the motions of the analysis process, finding gaps doesn’t help if you don’t know what to do with them at the end of the process. Here are our top tips for performing content gap analysis effectively:
Content gap analysis results can reveal some big keyword and topic oversights in your current portfolio. But you can’t go off and try to address the oversights without a plan. Before starting your analysis, review your team and company goals. What are some things your brand wants to achieve? And how can content marketing help you get there? Having clear brand goals helps you prioritize which content gaps to address first. Start with those that directly affect critical areas of your business.
Marketing teams almost always identify content gaps by themselves. As the group responsible for producing and distributing content, that makes sense. But other departments have valuable insight that can help you out, too. Sales often act as the main point of contract between a company and its customers. Ask your representatives if they’ve noticed any areas where customers consistently want more information. Maybe they want to know more about how your products work, or they can’t find the right solution to their pain points.
The data you get from other departments is likely qualitative, but it’s just as important as any quantitative metrics you get from your analysis and tracking programs. Remember, filling content gaps is all about providing a better experience for your customers. If you hear exactly what they want from the customers themselves (or team members who interact with them) you have a better chance of finding and addressing the right topics.
While it’s important to focus on areas where you have no content, don’t forget about your areas of weak content either. Finding weak content through your gap analysis–or areas where you offer content but it’s underperforming or not thorough enough–helps improve your search engine positioning for the term. This is an especially critical process for topic areas that directly affect your business or industry. Use what you find in your gap analysis to update older content you already have on your channels. Doing so helps improve your rankings and your user experience.
There are many ways to interpret a content gap analysis. The right plan format changes depending on your company’s goals. Here are three key ways you can use the information from your gap analysis in your content marketing strategy:
Your gap analysis may reveal holes in your already-published content. You’ll be able to spot this situation if your report shows keywords and topic suggestions for information you’ve already covered, but you don’t have the rankings to go with them. Take this information as an opportunity to expand the pieces you’ve already created. For example, this may include setting up a topic cluster model for written content to expand basic informational pieces into more content on related niche topics.
Most times, a content gap analysis reveals topic areas that your brand hasn’t covered in content at all. Maybe only one other brand in your niche even mentions it in their content. These are the areas ripe with brand-new possibilities. Here are a few ways you can address general content gaps with information from your analysis:
With general content gaps, don’t expect instant results. It can take between three and six months to achieve decent SERP rankings for new content and keywords. If your site doesn’t already have a high domain authority score, it could take even longer to see traffic and positive change.
Related: How To Analyze Your Content and Craft a Winning Strategy for 2023 [Free eBook Download]
A content gap analysis focuses on your internal content strategy, but it’s helpful to pair it with a competitor content analysis to learn how your keywords and pieces may fare in the greater industry market. Look at information like your competitors’ search volume, ranking position, and overall keyword profiles. These pillars provide insight into content gap areas and how well your rivals cover them.
For example, if you find a content gap that your competitor already has a strong foothold in, it might make more sense to prioritize one of their areas of weakness. Then you can rise through the ranks for those keywords before attacking other, more competitive topics. To get even more insight into what your competitors are doing and how your gaps align with theirs, request your free content marketing analysis report from CopyPress today.
Content gap analysis can be your north star for idea generation. Instead of scrambling to come up with new takes on topics you’ve already covered, use the analysis to highlight holes in your strategy. From there, it’s time to get planning and publish high-quality content.
To get started, schedule a 1:1 strategy call with CopyPress. During this brief 30-minute call, our client success and strategy team work with you to learn about your current SERP standings, goals, and content gaps to plan a world-class SEO strategy. And, with the new year approaching, there’s never been a better time to take SEO planning seriously.
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