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Resources 8 min read

How To Do A Content Gap Analysis in Five Simple Steps

Natalie Yelton photo

Written by Natalie Yelton

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed

Dallin Porter photo

Expert reviewed by Dallin Porter

Marketing Director @ Galactic Fed

Published 10 Mar 2021

Are you looking for a powerful way to boost your website’s search engine optimization? Have you considered performing a content gap analysis? 

No, we are not talking about finding strange spacing you’ve mistakenly included in published articles on your website.

Although we don’t deny the importance of a well-structured blog free of typos, this article is about exploring gaps in your site’s content as a whole and reviewing where it isn’t quite meeting the needs and desires of your target audience. 

Galactic Fed partners with businesses to perform content gap analyses of websites large and small, giving us a thorough understanding of the best tools and techniques for figuring out gaps in your content. It all comes down to data. 

Let’s kick off by defining what exactly a content gap analysis is, followed by explaining why your business will want to undertake one if you haven’t already. Finally, we provide you with five simple steps for performing the perfect content gap analysis of your own website.

What’s a content gap analysis? 

A content gap analysis is an exercise of looking at the existing content on your website and comparing it with the content needs of your target audience. 

The overarching goal is to identify gaps where your business could develop new or revised content to better meet the needs and desires of your target audience.

Why you should perform a content gap analysis

Undertaking a content gap analysis of your site has the potential to greatly impact where your business ends up on a search engine results page, or SERP, which can, in turn, lead to more organic traffic to your website. 

What should a content gap analysis include?

  1. Review your target audience’s needs

If you are reading this first step and thinking to yourself, “I know my audience’s needs,”  remember that customer needs shift and change over time. It’s vital to stress-test your assumptions about what people want and expect to ensure you present your product or service in the best way possible through content that answers customer questions.

Google Analytics data is a strong place to start when it comes to reviewing your target audience. You can create or refresh existing buyer personas and create audience segmentations between location, age, product interest, and more using your audience data found in Google Analytics. Open “Reports” in the left panel once you sign in to your own Google Analytics account to select and view audience data.

By reviewing your target audience and updating your buyer personas, you’ll be able to understand what motivates them, identify pain points, and present the solutions they need.

  1. Map out the buyer journey 

Buyer's journey map showing awareness, consideration, and decision stage.

Source: HubSpot

Every sound content strategy should include a buyer journey that illustrates how your target audience finds solutions to their problems online and how your business solves those problems better than your competitors. 

Performing a content gap analysis will shine a spotlight on missing or weak content that affects some buyer journey stage. It’s vital to understand which point in the buyer journey your content gap exists then develop the appropriate content for that buyer journey stage. 

For example, suppose you find that your content isn’t hitting the mark when potential customers are considering your product or service. In that case, you might want to look at how accessible your comparison whitepaper is at this stage or create one if you don’t have one available. 

Does your competition offer a live demo for customers in the decision-making stage, and you don’t? A content gap at this critical stage could mean the difference between your target audience deciding to go with another business over you. 

  1. Perform a content audit

A content audit is a crucial step in identifying existing content that’s not performing as intended. Content underperformance could be the result of several things, including:

  • your audience’s needs change, 
  • the content isn’t visible online, or 
  • the content is outdated and no longer relevant.

By undertaking a content audit, you’ll be able to identify what content is doing well and why. On the flip side, you’ll identify content that isn’t performing as well. Understanding why a particular piece of content may not be performing as well as intended is key to a successful content gap analysis. Sometimes a piece of content just needs updating to make it relevant and visible to your target audience, or it may also no longer serve your customer’s needs. It may be time to archive certain content that’s not meeting customer needs for the time being or have a plan for making other content evergreen.

  1. Content pairing 

Content pairing is the step in which you bring all the previous work completed in the previous three steps together. 

You pair each piece of existing content with a stage in the buyer’s journey and a need or desire of one of your key buyer personas. 

You can safely archive any leftover content until a later date. It may become useful in the future, so never completely delete underperforming content! 

Once you’ve completed this activity, you’ll most likely see gaps where you don’t have the right content for a specific customer need in one of the buyer journey stages. This data will shape the new content that you create. 

  1. Take a peek at your competitor’s content 

Competitor insight is also essential for a content gap analysis, especially when it comes to filling content gaps where you explain why your product or service stands out from the rest. 

By exploring your competitor’s ranking content, you can begin to understand customer pain points you may have overlooked or missed. 

Ahrefs provides the tools necessary for analyzing competitor keywords with a seven-day trial. Alternatively, you can partner with a digital marketing agency with access to memberships of services like Ahrefs and SEMRush included, gaining thorough competitor insights.  

Don’t just go after the keywords your competitor is ranking for; while this can be a successful strategy, it’s beneficial to explore why your competitor is ranking for those specific keywords in the first place. Analyzing competitor data can help you identify customer pain points or intent as you work to fill gaps in your content and explain what’s unique about your product or service.

Boost your content marketing with a content gap analysis 

Improve where your content appears in organic search by performing a content gap analysis. 

Start with getting a clear picture of your target audience’s needs and desires and mapping out what their buyer journey entails.

Audit your content to understand which pieces of content are doing well and which ones aren’t doing so well and why. Then bring it all together by pairing your content with your customer’s needs at various stages in the buyer journey. 

No content gap analysis is complete without gaining insight into your competition. Review keywords your competitors are ranking for to better articulate your unique product or service offering in the context of customer need. 

Want a helping hand with your next content gap analysis? Galactic Fed would love to assist! Contact us today to grow your business through improved SEO.

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Natalie Yelton photo

Natalie Yelton

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed