Having trouble keeping up with the competition?
Sometimes it’s tough to compete with established players in your niche, especially if they’ve already got years’ worth of content with tons of links and shares.
So how do you catch up with them?
One thing you should definitely do, especially if you started your site before you learned about content marketing in depth, is a content audit.
In a recent SEMRush blog post, the author recommends an approach to auditing that he likes to call a “content gap analysis.”
Content gaps are the things you’re missing, especially when they’re things that your competition already has.
The goal here is to figure out their strategy, then emulate it — except better.
After all, whatever they’re doing is working.
Here’s a basic guide for analyzing content gaps, improving your existing content, and planning future strategy so you can blow the other guys out the water.
What Is Content Gap Analysis?
In the early stages of an SEO campaign, I typically run my SEO clients through a content gap analysis and a content audit.
These processes help lay the foundation for our content strategy by helping to generate topic and keyword ideas for our clients’ campaigns.
The process consists of two primary steps that help answer the following questions:
- Which keywords are your competitors ranking for that you are not?
- Which keywords are your competitors ranking for on the first page that you are for on page 2-10?
Which Keywords Does the Competition Rank for That You Do Not?
The first step is to discover which keywords your competitors rank for, but you do not.
This data will give you great examples of potential keywords that could be valuable to your business and the types of content your competitors are using to rank for those keywords.
Use Google Search Console to Determine if Title Tags & Meta Descriptions Can Be Improved
Once I have identified the keywords and pages that are not performing as well as my competitors from the steps above, I have a pretty good idea about the new content I need to create and which existing content needs reworking.
With our long-term content strategy in place, I shift my focus to low-hanging fruit that can quickly start driving traffic and move the needle.
By analyzing how a website’s title tags and meta descriptions are performing, I can determine quick changes that can lead to fast traffic improvements.
You can find out more about analyzing your own content gaps over at SEMRush.