When it comes to online content, there’s always an area to grow into. You can almost say no topic is necessarily new, but there’s always room for development, especially in response to keeping up with searched keywords, search intent, and under-utilized area of search engine optimization (SEO.) These missing aspects, these unaddressed topics, are what is referred to as content gaps. And with content gap analysis, you can explore and exploit these gaps to one-up the competition and improve your content ranking.
But how do you trawl through hundreds and thousands of content pieces to determine where the gaps are? How do you get your hands on keyword data from all the different variations of keywords you’d like to rank for? To easily and efficiently gather keyword and content data for content gap analysis, you need a data collection solution that moves fast and collects data in big sizes. Web scraping is your best bet for this.
If adequately explored with the aid of web scraping and any other content gap analysis tool, content gap analysis can be the extra push you need to stand out in your niche. This article will tell you all you need to know about content gap analysis and how to explore it with web scraping.
Table of Contents
What Is Content Gap Analysis?
So what is a content gap analysis? It is a process that gathers existing content and evaluates it for possible gaps that you can exploit or improve upon when creating content. You can carry out a content gap analysis on both your content and that of your competitor’s. Either way, it allows you to identify opportunities to improve on a content piece or create content around a high-volume, low-competition keyword that your competitors have ignored. The content gap here may be outdated content, complex content, or content without good examples.
An explanation of content gap analysis will not be complete without mentioning SEO. The entire point of content gap analysis is to improve your content so it ranks higher on search engines—the higher your content ranks, the more people that see it and click on it.
When you carry out a website gap analysis, you are basically conducting an SEO data analysis that shows you which contents are ranking well, which keywords are not properly ranked for, which contents are performing poorly, and the common SEO problems that affect your content in general.
Any content piece that exhibits any of the above faults is a potential content gap that you can fill by rewriting the content piece, refocusing it on different keywords or completely removing the content piece to stop ranking for that keyword.
When analyzing gaps in the content on several websites, it is important to always come from the angle of SEO. This will allow you to identify faulty pieces of content or keywords that you are not ranking for, not just in isolation but also in relation to other content pieces on your digital real-estate. You will also gain insights concerning what keywords your competitors are ranking for that you are not. So how do you carry out a website gap analysis?
How Is a Website Gap Analysis Run?
Run a Search Engine Results Pages Analysis (SERPs Analysis)
The very first step in conducting a website gap analysis is carrying out a SERPs analysis. SERPs stands for Search Engine Results Pages. It includes all the pages of results displayed when you search. Analyzing the first page of SERPs can give you a good insight into the structure and focus of top-ranking content pieces.
Our focus is on the first page because most searchers do not go beyond the first page. If your content is on any page other than the first, then it is performing poorly. Depending on the quality of content being created in your niche; however, the top-ranking content pieces can be of mid- or low quality. This is good news for you. All you have to do is make a concerted effort to create content with slightly better quality, and you rank higher.
However, with the high level of consciousness of both business owners and consumers about SEO nowadays, that is unlikely to happen. That is not all that SERPs analysis is good for, though. Search engines usually display blocks of frequently asked questions and similar questions you can ask. These blocks are a goldmine of keyword data.
Not only do they tell you similar keywords that you could try to rank for, clicking through on the keywords show you the search results for those keywords allowing you to identify a keyword with low competition potentially. Keep in mind that your consumers also see these blocks of data when they search, so ranking for any of those similar keywords is a perfect move, plus you will encounter less competition.
Do a content audit
Once you carry out a SERPs analysis, you obtain data about the form, structure, length and quality of the content pieces ranking for the keywords you want. The next step is to perform a content audit on your content. A content audit produces an overview of your content strategy, the volume, format and quality of content you have been able to create, the content goals you have met and the ones you are yet to meet, the keywords you rank for and the ones you are yet to rank for and so much more.
Funny enough, most of this data can also be obtained from SERPs analysis. If you search a particular keyword and your content doesn’t show up on the first page, then you are not doing well for that keyword (obviously).
At this point, you now have two templates: one showing an overview of the content pieces ranking high for a chosen keyword and the other showing your content strategy and the summary of your own content pieces for that keyword.
Placing the two templates side-by-side will reveal your own content’s weaknesses so you can improve on it and the inadequacies of the ranking content so you can exploit it. For ease, run the analysis on a spreadsheet. Note down every keyword and objective for each page in review and rate their performance on a set scale.
Fix your content
At this point, all that’s left is for you to use the insights gained from your content audit and SERPs analysis to improve your existing content or create new, better-quality content pieces. You can do that by matching data collected on the high-ranking pages with the insights you gathered from your content audit. This action will significantly improve your rankings and the level of organic traffic driven to your website.
One other reason that leads to the formation of content gaps is when the competition creates content that does not actually serve customer needs. Sometimes, a content piece is well-written and of good quality but focused on the wrong keywords or does a poor job of addressing customer issues.
By keeping an eye on consumer needs, wants and complaints, and with gap analysis marketing, you can take the chance to win more customers by addressing their issues directly with your content. Creating content that does not serve your audience properly is also a trap you could fall into, which is why you need to audit your own content.
Tools for Gap Analysis Marketing
You can take your time to carry out analysis on content created by competitors manually, but it isn’t advisable. Instead of that, you can deploy some of the best tools for the operation. You can either pay for these tools or enjoy their free trials while it lasts.
Ahref’s Site Content Gap Tool Is one of the most effective CGA tools today, hence the popularity. You can use this tool to see the keywords that your competitors are ranking high for. To track your competitors, you need to:
- Enter their URL into the search box.
- Click on the content gap tool to add the URLs of your competitors.
- Run your search, and the results will serve you with the needed information.
- In the alternative, you can check on the competing domains report to identify your competitors. There are also filters you can apply to your search query to get more relevant results.
- Ahref’s can also help you audit your content. The Site Explorer tool can help you access simplified information while speeding up your site’s content analysis. This tool will also help you identify your page’s weaknesses while backing it with enough information to make corrections.
The content gap analysis offered by Ahref’s does not stop at just regular websites. It can also analyze socially shared content. Social shares are also a major contributor to traffic to sites. You can also consider the results of the analysis of this option to improve your website’s shares.
SEMRush is another fantastic tool that can help you find topics with many gaps in their contents. By entering the competitor’s domain in the Organic Search Competitor’s bar, the tool runs a search. It presents you with the top-performing keywords for the site. You can then scan the first page of the keywords one after another. Once you hit a page full of gaps, that’s your cue to come in with your content and do something better.
Web Scraping as a Content Gap Analysis Tool
Web scraping allows you to use automated bots to crawl through the source code of given webpages and extract data according to preset parameters. The bots break the webpage down into basic HTML code and then extract data from within the code. The extracted data is downloaded into a CSV file or something similar for easy use.
Like I said earlier, you don’t want to manually go through hundreds of pages of content looking for the gaps and the perfect keywords to rank for. You need a data collection solution that can help you maximize your data collection efforts and leave you to just do the analysis. Web scraping makes it easy for you to do this.
By using a scraping service like Scraping Robot, you can automate your data collection and collect data from SERPs at the click of a button. Our advanced web scraping technology makes it easy for you to collect large volumes of data from multiple websites simultaneously. At Scraping Robot, we have one goal only: make data collection as easy as possible. To get started scraping the data you need to carry out adequate content gap analysis, just send a message to our developers and they’ll get started building your custom web scraping solution.
Web Scraping API
Even better, using Scraping Robot API, you can set up a data collection funnel that transfers data and information from the source into our API and then directly into your analytics software. Our scraping API allows you to integrate our scraping solution into any software or process and feed data directly into it. By serving as an interface between the scraping software and your analysis software, you can collect data in real-time and even set up automated scraping sessions at regular intervals.
Running a content gap analysis is a real eye-opener for creators and businesses alike. The auditing feature helps correct what is necessary and puts you in the right direction towards good results. You get to understand what you are lacking and what your customers want. Content gap analysis truly provides the right insights needed for your business to grow.
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