A content gap happens when your target audience needs help finding what they need on the web. This occurs because of several factors. This may be due to outdated information, SEO strategy, or changes in your customer or audience’s preference.
It is important to not just know what other brands are writing about to get ahead of the game. You need to have an edge, and addressing content gaps can help you provide more unique content to help you stand out. Here’s how you can identify gaps in a content strategy for you to best address them.
Run a Content Gap Analysis
In today’s digital marketing age, powerful SEO tools now have a functionality to help you identify content gaps. The tools can be free or paid, such as Ahrefs, Semrush and Ubersuggest.
To find gaps, you need to audit everything — from your website to your social media posts and downloadables, like e-books and other content assets. SEO tools can help you conduct effective content gap analysis and audit all these faster so you find loopholes and missing pieces and optimize your content strategy.
Using SEO tools, you can find low-performing pages and find out why. See what content is in there, find out which ones you can optimize and see if the page needs an overhaul. You can also evaluate content based on its traffic. If a piece of content generates significant traffic, keywords and other related ideas may also be interesting to your audience.
Audit Your Customer Journey
Not all content gaps are as easy to fix as keyword content gaps. Sometimes, what you need to publish lies about what you are missing. You have to look at the bigger picture and dive deeper into your customer journey. This can help you determine what your target readers need at each stage of their buying process.
Map your customer journey in full detail. In every phase of your customers’ experience, see if you have all the information they might need – be it a how-to blog, a social media post or other content asset that can be supplementary in a specific part of their journey. This seems tedious, but a highly effective way to find the gaps that will actually yield you positive results when filled.
You can also create a 360-degree visualization of your customer journey. This includes various ways customers engage with a company, including different channels where they initiated their journey. The more detailed map you create, the more gaps you will be able to find and fill.
Search Competitor Websites to Identify Content Gaps
Sometimes, when you have a whole year’s content plan laid out, it can be difficult to determine what content is missing. To gain a new perspective, you can peek at the competition to ascertain likely gaps within your content. Of course, do this fairly and legally. A casual visit to their website or social media pages is not by chance illegal. So take it as an opportunity to learn from competitors as well.
Additionally, there are now tools that can help you do this faster and more efficiently. For instance, you can check out Ahrefs Tool Guide: Using Content Explorer for E-Commerce to not just find keywords competitors are writing about, but also find content with low competition but big backlink potential, research topic trends, use advanced filters to find different types of contents and links, and more.
Using Google Search Console
The Google Search Console can help provide you with tools and reports you may need to audit your content and see how your strategy has been working out. Given that Google remains to be the leading search engine globally, it is just imperative to leverage the tools they offer to analyze your website‘s performance.
The Search Console can help you monitor your content’s performance on the browser. It can also help you optimize your structured data so it can appear as rich results on Google Search, reach more audiences, and be deemed relevant.
You can use the Google Search Console to perform a content gap analysis. You can view which keywords or queries drove audiences toward your content through its reports. You can extract these data and compare the actual number of visits against the total number of searches (impressions). From here, you can see what people are searching for. This can help you optimize your content and further identify the right keywords you need to target.
Perform a Self Content Audit
While using SEO tools to check out the competition can be effective, sometimes it’s easier to audit your content instead. Many marketing strategies focus on posting consistently and ensuring that they have the right SEO strategy and keywords in place. These strategies emphasize writing about everything’s that’s on trend and timely — things that so many people have written so many times.
When the search engine results becomes saturated with almost similar content, it almost becomes irrelevant. It can also cloud your judgment and hinder you from seeing if there is a gap in your content strategy or the content on the SERP.
The best way to avoid this is to do a personal content audit. Using your own eyes and perspective can help you find new views and unique ideas that you can turn into useful content.
Self-auditing your content is a solid practice to perform regularly, as it develops your eye for identifying gaps faster. Your target audience is humans; hence just looking at your strategy from a human’s perspective can help you identify what is missing.
If you are the reader, what will you be looking for? Asking yourself this question can make the difference. The process becomes less technical and artificial and has more of a human touch.
Don’t Forget to Fill Content Gaps
Content gaps becomes missed opportunities when not addressed right away. People are always seeking new information and finding answers on the internet, and when you are developing your strategy, you have to think ahead.
You need to know what they might need once you offer them a product or provided them a content. Giving them the answers they need when they need it can help you be remembered and deemed reliable by your audience.
Refrain from relying on SEO strategy. You need to have a balance between optimizing for the browsers and for your human readers. Always put your audience first, get to know them and find better ways on how you provide them with the information they need throughout their customer journey.