If you see multiple competitors ranking for a keyword or topic, ask yourself why you aren’t. Unless the content is irrelevant to your business, most likely you are encountering gaps in your content marketing. How to solve this? You’ll need to do Content Gap Analysis.
Creating a content gap analysis search provides you with a chance to think outside the box and go beyond the norm to create effective, engaging, and relevant content. It is also an SEO process that aims to find all the missing loopholes in your existing website content.
In today’s Truelogic DX Podcast, we will help you find the missing pieces from your content so you can fill them and improve your website’s SEO.
Bernard San Juan: Have you ever suffered from an idea drought? And this is like one of those situations where you must write something, but you don’t know what to write about. Like what topic should you cover? In your vertical, in your niche, how should you pull traffic? How should you attract customers? How do you lead them into your content? How do you stand out from the competition?
Well, one of the strategies that you can do is gap analysis. And if done right, you’ll know how to provide the best value and the best experiences to your target audiences. Welcome to the Truelogic DX Podcast. This is yet another episode where I am joined by Pocholo Torres, who is one of the wordsmiths in the organization. Welcome Poch. Let’s get this podcast started!
What is Content Gap Analysis?
Pocholo Torres: In the work that we do, content gap analysis pertains to the process of the marketer, looking at what they can produce for the brand or the business in their content and identify what is lacking in that content. It involves looking at their competitors, looking at what’s out there and seeing what the content needs for it to succeed.
Bernard San Juan: I’ll do the vulgar definition. To me, gap analysis is making an assumption that the online traffic game is zero sum, like in order for you to gain traffic, you have to steal it from somebody. And this is where the word vulgar comes in.
Importance of Content Gap Analysis
Pocholo Torres: You could look at it this way. When you’re writing content for a campaign and you have no idea how to start it, how much work is necessary for you to succeed. This is where you can start with your content gap analysis. It’s in the research phase, for example, when you’re writing about remittances.
When you’re writing about remittances for a business, start with the search. I look at all the results in the first page, or the ones in the knockback or snippets and look at what makes this content rank.
Bernard San Juan: And if you want to find out what content works for what topic, consult Google. Google will tell you, by the way, I thought these were the most relevant pages. I thought these were the most relevant articles. These were the most relevant pieces against this topic. Sometimes it’s not even a page referral.
Pocholo Torres: Now that you know what Google thinks is working, so that’s the standard you work with.
Bernard San Juan: When you say what’s working, what do you guys look at? You guys look content more algorithmically, just your standard, just the standard writer. When you break down an article that ranks on Google, what are you looking at? Word count, sure.
Pocholo Torres: Does it provide value to the reader? Is it relevant to what they were probably looking for? What’s the relationship of the article to the motivation of the search? And what type of leaders, or what type of audiences are you trying to attract with your content?
I think these are important when you’re crafting the content. You know who you’re talking to.
Bernard San Juan: I agree completely with everything you said, like when you’re performing a gap analysis, what you’re really doing is you’re taking somebody else’s traffic market share and you’re bringing your brand to your website.
Conducting a Gap Analysis
- Identify the type of research
Bernard San Juan: You can’t start to create content without having done any type of research. What kind of research gets involved when you produce content like this?
Pocholo Torres: Since it’s for SEO, you must do keyword research. Alongside that, you also must do competitor research, so you’re looking at the keywords you will be using and the other websites you’re gonna be competing with.
Bernard San Juan: And the keywords because you’re ultimately creating a piece of content for consumption. Do your market research, pick out topics that Filipinos search for, or let’s say you’re not Filipino, let’s just say you’re doing general keyword research global interest. You must perform some market research.
You have to perform it in the way of keyword research, because you want to know that there are people that are interested in that topic in the first place or else, what’s the point of producing the content? And then do you usually have to produce to satisfy a search motivation. When do you utilize already existing content and then just reshape it to make it more algorithmically compatible? Or when do you have to produce content altogether? When do you have to do one versus the other?
- Check your websites’ existing content
Pocholo Torres: If some of these pages have already satisfied the need or the search of your audience, you can build on that page, add more content with, make it beefier, provide more value to the reader and look at the pages that compete with it. And look what element is missing and existing in the page. Otherwise, that’s when you create a new blog and basically structure it in a way that like you have your supporting pages, you have a record.
Bernard San Juan: I’ll give you an example that is a bit more concrete. I’m not going to name the bank because this was done for a bank. But one of the banks that we had worked with, we noticed had a lot of inventory that was published on their website, like their inventory for houses, their inventory for repossessed cars, and then clearly, the bank doesn’t want these assets, they want them sold because a bank is not a car collector. They wanted to move the inventory of the cars and estate inventory, which was one of the goals that they gave us for the market.
The tricky part was they already had a page for it. It’s just that people were not going to the page. And when you started to look at it, it’s because you would land on the page and on the page is a single PDF with all the inventory on it. And to us, it was as simple as no. Why don’t you publish that as a page?
Don’t publish it as a page that holds a PDF of a scanned inventory, publish the inventory in HTML. They ranked for buying second hand cars. This was pretty fast. It happened in two, three weeks. And remember, this was competing with PhilKotse and all the other online stores that sell cars and as a bank, they ranked for it. And the reason we did it that way was because we looked at who they were competing with, and everybody had a listing of inventory that they published. So, it seemed like Google wanted to rank pages that were lists of inventories for that type of commodity.
Because you’re not asking them to perform an action, like downloading a PDF, and so forth, as a result, they’re not making it much of a hassle. But when we say, look at the Google search results, because that’s sort of like a mouthful, what does that mean?
- Check your competitors
Bernard San Juan: What do you guys look for when you look at a competitor’s piece of content in the Google search result?
Pocholo Torres: Of course, you’re not gonna look at just one. You’re gonna look at several of the results in the page, the things that I specifically look for usually range from topics to the keywords. And if there are different types of media, the content formats that are on the page, the way that the article is structured.
Keyword Gap vs Content Gap
Bernard San Juan: You mentioned another thing, you said you look at the content, but you also look at the relationship of the keywords. Is there a difference between a content gap and a keyword gap?
Pocholo Torres: Well for one with keyword gaps, I think what you must look at there is if it’s an informational keyword, or a commercial keyword, transactional keyword, it’ll Google basically what the page is for if it’s a product page or a product feature.
Bernard San Juan: I’ll go back to the old content experiment we did, like way back when, if you guys attend Google SEO training, digital marketing training, SEO Philippines, you’ll see Truelogic on the first page. Yes, we do teach SEO, but we sort of do it with partners. Like we don’t facilitate the training ourselves, but the page was set up as a content experiment.
Because the same thing that you were talking about where there’s a keyword that somebody is ranking for. And we’re wondering why they are in position one, position two. And then why are we on the sixth page? That’s a gap, they’re on the first page, we’re on the sixth.
That’s a gap of like 50, 60 positions. And we’re wondering, what will it take to bridge that gap, like what would it take to get on the first page? What are they doing to satisfy the intent of that keyword? We’re breaking down the pages from what its URL looks like.
What does its H1 look like? What does the contextual relationship of all the remaining pages look like? What do the alt images look like? What do the other content formats look like? Does it use bread crumbs? Is it getting refreshed frequently or is somebody adding fresh content to it? And then you wind up with this one piece of content that’s meant to bridge that gap, like meaning to cross the 40-50 position gaps so that it ranks on positions one to three. It’s usually somewhere between the first to the seventh position, like this SEO training and this digital marketing training keyword.
We did that by looking at who’s ranking and how do we do it better? What trust signals do they use and how do we do that better? And that’s sort of how we bridge that gap. When we’re doing content gap analysis, I think you already touched on one of the items there, where you talked about some of the best practices, like Google is your Oracle. You want to rank on Google? Look at who ranks. If you want to be on number one, number two, number three, you have to be as good as whoever’s currently there, but what else happens in the process of doing a content gap analysis?
- Run a content gap analysis using SEO tools
Bernard San Juan: I think an example of that is like how we use screening to scan a page. Like how much of your content is readable? What meta title, meta descriptions are you using? So that’s one, we also have tools like Ahrefs and I think some of these are more technical. For URL, you can see what keywords are driving traffic to that specific URL so that you steal it or through which pieces of content works. And then what happens? Look at Google and then use tools to verify what you think is the approach that will work. And then what happens next?
- Create a checklist
Pocholo Torres: Basically, if you want to make it easier or more objective, you can create a checklist of the things or elements that you want to look at. And go through every piece of content you have, or if you want to start fresh.
- Audit your own work
Bernard San Juan: When you guys produce original content, fresh content, do you guys still have to plug it through Copyscape just to verify its originality or not really when producing it from scratch?
Pocholo Torres: I still do it.
Bernard San Juan: Why? Because you know, you built the content from scratch. Why plug it into Copyscape?
Pocholo Torres: I wanna see if it sounds like other content.
Bernard San Juan: Like just by sheer coincidence. I think that’s excellent practice by the way. So, you do a Google search. Google is your Oracle. You use some technical tools to figure out, do you have the right algorithmic elements in your content that helps Google understand your content? And then you audit your own work. Like you read through it, you try to find out, does it resonate with the target audience that you were getting after?
I think in, in a previous podcast, we talked about having somebody read through your content which I think falls within this part of the process where you’re auditing your content, plug it into Copyscape just to make sure that even out of some weird chance of coincidence, you don’t sound like somebody else on the internet.
Bridging the Content Gap
Pocholo Torres: If you wanna make sure you’ve completely bridged that gap, you can manually search your competitor’s websites, and check for if any gap still exists.
Bernard San Juan: Do a search against your competitors and see, are they ignoring anything that might drive a traffic benefit to your brand.
It’s a tragedy that we sort of must wrap this up after only a few minutes, but I will say partly because I hope it creates great value to you guys. Poch, thank you for joining me for two podcasts so far. This has been another episode of the Truelogic DX Podcast. If you have any questions, comments, topic suggestions, feel free to give us a shoutout on social media. We’re on Facebook and LinkedIn. We’re also on YouTube and check out our website for more digital marketing resources.
The Truelogic DX Podcast is produced by our friends at Podmachine and don’t forget to tune in and subscribe to our Spotify, Google, and Apple accounts for new episodes. Thank you very much for joining us yet again, I’ll see you guys next week.