Searchmetrics Glossary – The Dictionary of Search Engine Optimization and Content Marketing

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Content Gap Analysis

A content gap analysis is a strategic method for checking and optimizing the content of a website. Here the current content performance is compared with the desired content performance. Subsequently the difference between the actual state and the target state can be identified and measures can be defined on this basis in order to close the gaps. With the results of this gap analysis companies can uncover and activate hidden and unused potential. This applies to both the optimization of existing content as well as the creation of new content. This makes content marketing more efficient, increases the ROI and raises profits.

Existing content

In the first step of the content gap analysis strategic goals are set. This could be the increase of SEO visibility and traffic or user signals and social signals for publishers. In the e-commerce sector an increased conversion rate is often aspired to, with a focus on a certain target group or phase in the sales funnel. Subsequently, an inventory of all content takes place, including current performance. With data-driven approaches, such as the Searchmetrics Research Cloud, the performance is easy to measure. The software identifies the content that performs well, i.e. that attains a good ranking and generate lots of traffic as well as pages that have high potential but do not optimally use it. Furthermore, it shows quick-win URLs that rank on the second page for strong keywords on Google. Even content that does not perform well becomes visible for the content gap analysis. All content is sorted in a matrix: Keep, delete and optimize.

New content

In the next step of the content gap analysis the gap is identified: Does the existing content cover all the requirements of the target group and all relevant topics? Which ones are not covered? Does the website offer content for every phase of the sales funnel or every customer type? The same applies to your own business goals. Which content, based on analysis and insights, has to be produced in order to address new user requirements or interests? Which holistic content on topic x is missing in order to motivate the buyer in phase y? Which content is missing in order to close the gap between actual and target?

For this, all content is compared to an inventory of targets defined by the company. Clarity regarding the personas provide information about requirements, behaviors and interactions of the users. The user requirements are filled in for every field, such as information on a certain topic. By adding your business goals, it can be ensured that the content contains the right appeal (such as call to action). In this matrix it becomes apparent what requirements are not yet addressed by existing content.

Resources thanks to market research

As it is impossible to individually attend to every customer and user in content marketing, it is that much more important to identify and address personas and user groups: If the content strategy neglects these, opportunities to create connections are lost. Market research can be undertaken to identify the personas and the requirements as well as for feedback on the website. Who are the buyers, what are their interests, which products, services and information are they looking for when they visit the website? Which are missing? This creates an understanding for which topics customers respond to and which fields promise success.

If you do not have these resources, data-driven approaches provide valuable insights: The Searchmetrics Content Experience Suite (SCE) is an instrument for topic research and creation of high-quality content that meets the user’s interests. Promising topics matching the content strategy can be easily researched and selected to improve your own presence in the search engines. Topics can be analyzed per their semantic relationships, as well as by their rankings, their seasonality and competitiveness as well as by search intention and sales funnel phases.

The various viewing options help to create content that bridges the gap to previously neglected topics. This allows content for in demand and valuable topics to be created, which is coordinated to the purpose of the page, fulfills user expectation and considers the purchase cycle phase. Furthermore, the content can then be published when demand is at its highest. This means the text is not only high quality and holistic, but also relevant, as it is received at the right time by the right user.

The competitor analysis of the Searchmetrics Content Experience shows how the content of selected benchmark domains performs compared to your website, where your site is performing well and where your competitors are better. The structure and variety of the content on competitor websites are inspected. This allows gaps in your own content to be detected, potential to be developed and new high-potential topics to be activated. Finally, in the content gap analysis, specific strategic measures are determined, from which the bridging of the difference and the development of actual and target conditions are expected.

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