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How a Content Gap Analysis Can Separate Your Business From the Competition 

By alex December 13, 2023

Content marketer performing gap analysis on a white board

A gap analysis is a method used to identify the differences between the performance of a business and the potential performance. In other words, the difference between the current state of an organization or process and its desired future state. This analysis is commonly used in the context of a marketing strategy, and it involves comparing the organization’s current performance against its competitors or industry benchmarks.

In the context of SEO, a gap analysis can help identify areas where the organization’s website and online presence are lacking compared to its competitors. This analysis can help identify gaps in the organization’s content, keywords, technical optimization, backlinks, and overall online presence. 

WHY IS A CONTENT GAP ANALYSIS IMPORTANT?

By identifying these gaps, the organization can take action to improve its search rankings and increase its visibility in search engine results. You’ll gain insight into why your website doesn’t rank as well as it should. It will reveal missing areas or areas needing improvement. 

Common examples of improvements organizations realize they need to make include:

In the world of SEO, unique content is important because search engines like Google use it to determine the relevance and authority of a website. 

By creating unique, high-quality content, a business can improve its search rankings by showing search engines that its website is a valuable source of information on a particular topic.

PROVIDING UNIQUE CONTENT

Unique content helps a website stand out from its competitors, which can also improve its search rankings in several ways. 

First, search engines prioritize websites that provide superior content, which means they’re more likely to recommend your site at the top of SERPs over competing sites.

Second, valuable and unique content is shared more often, especially on social media. This increases your visibility and signals to search engines that your content is valued by readers, which leads search engines to reward it with a higher ranking. 

INCORPORATING SEO

In addition to good content, the technical SEO needs to be on point. Technical SEO varies significantly by the needs of your niche and your website type. An eCommerce website has fundamentally different requirements for what defines “good technical SEO” versus (for example) a small business website or a SAAS site. 

Another part of the equation is the backlinks pointing to your website. Are they landing from relevant authority sources? In the case of gap analysis, is the mix of links better than your competitors’ backlinks profiles? 

The fundamental advantage is not simply having better links; “better” is a comparative term referring to your competitors’ profiles. 

WHAT ARE THE BEST TOOLS FOR CONTENT GAP ANALYSIS?

Content Gap Analysis involves finding opportunities to improve. This can involve refreshing your old content to bring it up to date or add additional, valuable information, overhauling your technical SEO, or improving your on-page SEO through more relevant and high search volume keywords.  

Plenty of free keyword research tools can get you started, but you’re better off utilizing the advanced features of paid programs. Two of the best tools with features ideal for content gap analysis are Ahrefs and SEMRush. 

Using these tools will allow you to determine the overall SEO score of your articles and compare them against competitors to see which is better optimized. You’ll also be able to input seed keywords and see a variety of related search terms you can use to develop more relevant and useful content. 

Both tools are helpful, but they have their pros and cons. 

Ahrefs Gap Analysis Pros and Cons:

  • Dynamic SEO analysis tools
  • Easy-to-understand interface
  • Comprehensive data on backlink building and keyword analysis
  • No free trial period
  • One of the most costly SEO analysis tools

SEMRush Gap Analysis Pros and Cons:

  • Robust SEO research and tools 
  • Track daily rankings
  • Free plan available
  • Very limited tools available through the free plan
  • Not as intuitive to use as other SEO analysis tools

WHAT IS A COMPETITIVE GAP ANALYSIS

A competitive gap analysis systematically compares your site, products, and/or services with your competitors’ products and/or services. It helps you identify your strengths and weaknesses and provides valuable insight into threats and opportunities in your market.

A competitive gap analysis will help determine areas of improvement beyond your content, although the importance of your content can’t be understated. You can use similar tools to perform a competitive gap analysis, and doing this and a content gap analysis simultaneously is an excellent way to develop a comprehensive overview of your site’s potential and how it stacks up against competitors.

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