If you have a business-oriented website, online store, or blog, and you are convinced of the results of an inbound marketing strategy , you know that it is essential to publish content regularly. Because it is your content that will attract and guide Internet users throughout their purchasing journey to select a product or service.
But the content is not something set in stone. In fact, the most successful content strategies should incorporate a regular internal review of your content against the latest research trends and updates.
The goal of this practice is to stay aligned with the ever-changing needs of your audience as they research online to find solutions to their issues and challenges.
The best way to reveal the strengths and weaknesses of your online content, in order to improve it, is to perform what is called a content gap analysis. We will examine what such an analysis consists of below, and provide you with resources and tools to deal with this threat hanging over your website: content that is not optimized, or even unsuited to your target audience.
What is a content gap analysis, and why is it so important?
A content gap analysis is the process of analyzing your content to find the missing information that your audience wants, but is not currently present on your site.
Performing a content gap analysis to detect weaknesses – but also strengths – in your content is essential for three main reasons:
1-? Reinforcement of existing content
A content gap analysis will highlight the strengths of your content while revealing growth opportunities. This includes optimizing existing content to stay on top of both your competition and current trends in search results.
2-? Map your upcoming content strategy
When preparing to launch a new marketing campaign or release new content, performing a content gap analysis can help you plan and define your strategy.
For example, a weaknesses analysis of your content can identify any areas or topics that previous campaigns did not address, and which should be included in the description of your future content.
3-? Connect with your audience
A content gap analysis will reveal whether your existing content provides answers to the questions your audience is asking. It’s not only a central part of the inbound methodology, which will help you attract traffic, but also a great way to build trust with your audience, while also making it easier for them to move up the sales funnel.
When should you perform a content gap analysis to spot weaknesses in your content?
Each company has its own approach to optimizing and developing a new content strategy, and the moments below represent interesting opportunities to take this type of action:
- At the end of a campaign
- At the end of each quarter or year
- When a new update from a search engine like Google is likely to change the SEO environment
- Following a dramatic increase or decrease in search rankings for your content
Generally speaking, performing a content gap analysis following one of these scenarios is beneficial in keeping your content up to date.
The 7 steps to include in your content gap analysis
Using the resources and tools provided below, you can begin to perform successful analysis of your website content. And while each company may differ in its approach to spotting potential gaps in their content, it is generally recommended that you follow the following steps when performing a content gap analysis.
1-? Set SMART goals for your content strategy.
When it comes to determining the success of your content marketing strategy, using SMART (Specific / Measurable / Achievable / Relevant / Time-bound) goals is still a great way to measure your results.
By using SMART goals, your content marketing team can better understand what to do, how to do it, and when the goals are being met. This will make it easier for you to adjust your strategy as you progress through a given marketing campaign, and achieve the highest possible return on investment. This methodology can also be aligned with your broader strategic goals.
2-? Better understand your audience by creating buyer personas
Your content marketing campaigns will never be successful if you don’t know who you are creating content for.
This is where buyer personas will help you a lot. These semi-fictitious representations of your ideal client are based on market research that highlights the tastes and behaviors of users, and that sheds light on their motivations and goals.
Thus, creating buyer personas for your content marketing campaign will help you determine the type of content to produce, so that your message reaches the right customers and takes into account the specific needs and concerns they are looking for online. .
3-? Audit your content using the right tools
A detailed review of your existing content is the basis of any content gap analysis. Even if you don’t regularly post blog posts, you probably have other forms of online content like CTAs, newsletters, eBooks, infographics, photos, etc.
Fortunately for marketers, there are several great tools you can use to perform effective content analysis and spot any weaknesses or gaps.
– SEM Rush
The SEO platform “SEM Rush” offers excellent features to observe how your content performs against the competition. With keyword profiles available for 5 competitors, you can easily review which keywords your rivals are using to rank on Google.
A tool similar to SEM Rush, Ahrefs offers a content gap analysis tool capable of evaluating keywords for you and your competitors. Specifically, Ahrefs offers a comprehensive list of keywords with multiple filters allowing you to find topics or keywords that you should target.
– Google Analytics
The Google Search Console provides a detailed view of your content and breaks down some information that might be useful for your content gap analysis or to find other SEO gaps.
This tool is particularly useful for measuring your return on investment by observing the total number of clicks and impressions over a given period.
4-? Review the technical SEO of your website and your content.
When it comes to content analysis on your website, you shouldn’t neglect the technical aspect of SEO.
Even if you create the most in-depth and comprehensive content on a given topic, flawed or poorly optimized technical elements on your web pages will hurt your search engine rankings.
So remember to test and configure all these technical elements of your website like HTTP header responses, XML sitemaps, redirects, backlinks / outbound links, metadata, etc.) to improve your ranking.
5-? Do some research on your competition.
Researching information about your competition is a key aspect of virtually any successful marketing strategy, regardless of industry.
This is therefore also valid for a content gap analysis. This type of research can not only reveal a lot about your competition, but it can also reveal areas for improvement needed for your SEO strategy.
You will need to look, for example, to see if your competitors have particular content that ranks well, if they provide information to their visitors that you do not currently have in your content, and think about integrating this information into your most content strategy. quickly possible.
6-? Review recent research trends.
Like the technical side of SEO, examining search trends can have a profound impact on your content strategy, because these trends are useful in identifying what your buyer persona is looking for online.
Here are the types of questions you will need to ask yourself: are there new topics your buyer persona is currently discussing on the web and social networks? And what about older subjects? Have there been any significant updates or changes since the start of your campaign?
These are important questions to ask if you want to take advantage of search trends in order to fill in the gaps in your content.
It is also important to remember that the research and design of a buyer person is constantly evolving, just like the content, and must therefore adapt to the most current needs of the users.
7-? Check if your content facilitates the buyer’s journey.
Facilitating the purchase journey of your visitors on the web is arguably the most important aspect of content creation, and even more so when using an inbound marketing methodology.
Remember that your content should serve as a guide to your leads and nurture them by giving them answers and useful information to solve their challenges.
Your content must therefore integrate their issues, provide solutions, and establish itself as a reliable resource with high added value. If your content is lacking in information that could ease the buyer’s journey, it should be updated immediately.
Performing a content gap analysis is essential to the success of your business. By following all of the tips and criteria we’ve covered in this article, you will be able to determine why your current content is not working and work on creating content that will meet the expectations of your target audience.