How to Find Content Gaps and Fill Them | Varn

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17 November 2022

How to Find Content Gaps and Fill Them

In the world of SEO you only have to be better than the competition, which is why it is important to look at competitor websites when creating your initial SEO strategy. 

Content is one of the most important parts of ranking well within Google as they want to serve the best possible content to the searcher queries. If your competition are ranking well for relevant content areas that you are not, this is a content gap that you should look to fill. 

Why should you fix content gaps? Not only will it help optimise your buyer experience and improve conversion rate, it will also help you get better coverage in the SERPs for a wider range of keywords, topics and areas. 

What are the types of content gaps? 

Content gaps can come in a few different forms, identifying and optimising your site for all of them is essential when it comes to building a good long term strategy. 

Type 1: keyword gaps

Keyword gaps are simply where competitors are ranking for relevant keywords that are missing from your website. Whilst many will be irrelevant to your offering (even with some of the most relevant competitors) others will be really good opportunities to go after to try and outcompete the other websites that may be taking traffic away from you. 

SEMRush has a great gap analysis tool which identifies keywords where you are weaker than competitors, areas you are strong in, areas you don’t compete at all and some of the best opportunities to increase traffic by developing better keyword targeting. 

Type 2: Topic gaps 

Topic gaps are where your competitors are covering relevant topics to your niche that you are not ranking for or don’t have content to rank for. Keywords can often be seen as part of a wider topic, and producing good content around these topics will help you rank better in the search engines. 

Keywords within topics can range from shorter to longer tail keywords, all may be worth targeting as part of a robust strategy. 

Topic gaps can often help with the customer journey, if potential site users have questions about your product, answering these can give them the positive reinforcement they need before making a purchase. 

Type 3: Media gaps 

Media gaps refer to areas of the website that are missing content in different forms, be it audio, video or visual. 

Consumers are getting more accustomed to sites with good multimedia content, so looking at competitors and seeing what they are doing in terms of video, visual and audio content will help you identify gaps and fill them. 

Type 4: User generated content gaps 

User generated content in the form or reviews, forums and offsite commentary can be really good opportunities to gain a competitive edge over competitors. When it comes to reviews, consumers want to see reliable ones on different platforms before making a purchase, especially if it’s a big one. 

Offsite commentary, brand mentions and links are also important. If your competitors are generating more awareness outside of their site than you, this can often lead to them gaining the edge over the long run. 

How to identify content gaps | SEMRush guide

So we have covered the different types of content gaps, but how do you identify them and attempt to fill them? 

1. Identify competitors 

The first step is to identify 3-5 competitors that really align with your product or service offering. The more relevant the better, but remember that search competitors may not necessarily be your wider business competitors. Oftentimes content sites can rank well for terms that ecommerce sites are looking to appear for, so take a look at the SERPs for your top 10 terms and see if any common websites keep on appearing. 

After you have done this, take a look at them in SEMRush and see if they are getting a good level of estimated traffic. This will help you find competitors with enough data to run the analysis. 

2. Run a keyword gap analysis report 

To find your gaps when it comes to keywords and phrases, use the SEMRush keyword gap analysis tool. Simply add in your top 3-5 competitors, run the analysis and see what the data returns. 

If you already have data on some of your dream keywords that can drive value, cross reference these with the results from the gap analysis to see where your competitors perform.

The tool will give you data on areas you perform well in, areas your competitors perform well in and the top opportunities for gaps to fill and start to get better positions in the SERPs. 

3. Identify query based content gaps 

General keyword analysis is great when it comes to finding the top keywords that can be mapped to your landing pages, when it comes to identifying topics, segmenting for query based content gaps is important. 

Looking for question based keywords will help you work out what your customers are asking for and from this you can start to group them into topics. This can then be put in a content plan for the site, covering your blog and media strategy. 

4. Analyse competitors sites for media types and UGC 

Looking at your competitor sites and the different types of media they use, will help you better understand where the gaps are and what you should prioritise going forward. If you notice that all the competitors are working hard on their reviews, be it on Google or sites like Trustpilot you should identify this as an area to work on. This can then be fed into the wider gap reduction strategy. 

How to fix content gaps 

1. Pull the keyword data into a targeting strategy

When you have the data from the keyword gap analysis, it is important to incorporate it into your keyword mapping. This is the process of mapping out the website, the different keywords you want to target and assigning them to different pages within the hierarchy. This will help you organise the top priority keywords and ensure you have a strategy to target them for SEO in the future. 

2. Create a bespoke blog/content plan for longer tail question based terms 

In addition to the keyword mapping, you should also create a content plan for longer tail question based keywords. This can come in the form of an FAQs section and if there is enough content a fully formed blog/knowledge base. This is a great tactic as not only does it help better target longer tail and easier to rank keywords, it also helps with conversion rate optimisation for the site by providing customers with reinforcement before they make the purchase. 

3. Develop a plan for acquiring better UGC content and media to fill gaps 

Reviews and other forms of UGC are important when it comes to ranking in Google. Developing a plan to get more of them through one of the top review sites will help you fill this gap in your strategy. Equally importantly, you should develop a plan for getting links and content referencing your site from other platforms to build your offsite authority. 

Make sure it all fits into the root strategy 

The main thing is to remember to fit this all into your longer term strategy. Make sure your keywords fit into the area you are looking for growth in and ensure all your content makes sense from a brand perspective and an SEO perspective. This is how you get long term results in the search engines that support your business goals and keep you on the right track.

Speak to the Varn team for more information regarding Content Gap Analysis for your website

Article by: David, SEO Account Manager More articles by David

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