What Is A Content Gap Analysis?

When it comes to content creation, gaps are inevitable. You can be the best writer out there, but that doesn’t stop the world from continuously evolving.

Information becomes outdated. Keywords fluctuate over time. Customers shift interests. Then, a content gap arises.

It’s not your fault. But if you want to stay ahead of the game, it IS your responsibility to find and fix any content gaps.

Why are content gaps a big deal? Because they’re missed opportunities. When customers can’t find what they’re looking for on your page, you can bet their next step will be in your competition’s direction.

The trick is learning how to do a content gap analysis and knowing what to do when you find one.

Key Takeaways

  • Conducting a content gap analysis can help you identify missing or underperforming content compared to your competitors. Missing content can translate into missed opportunities and lost customers. 
  • To conduct a content gap analysis, start by identifying your target keywords and analyzing your competitors’ content to see what they’re covering that you’re not. 
  • Once you’ve identified content gaps, prioritize which ones to address according to search volume, competition, and relevance to your audience. 
  • Updating and optimizing existing content can be as effective as creating new content to fill content gaps. 
  • Regularly conducting a content gap analysis (at least once a year) can help you stay ahead of the game and keep up with evolving customer interests and search trends. 
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What Is a Content Gap?

A content gap refers to topics your target audience is looking for that are not currently on your website

Your industry may have thousands of topics your target audience is searching for that you haven’t covered.

For example, say you’re an SEO agency that has dozens of blog posts on advanced SEO techniques, but readers are bouncing from your pages quickly and far too often. You might wonder if your content is engaging enough or if your target readers are looking for more basic SEO techniques.

Ubersuggest has a function to look for potential SEO opportunities based on your existing content.

Ubersuggest screenshot showing new content opportunities content gap analysis

Other reasons for content gaps include:

  • Maybe you’re not delivering what your audience wants.
  • You aren’t covering industry trends. If you’re not on top of current events, you’ll likely wind up with a content gap.
  • A lack of resources, resulting in you not having the time to cover everything.

 A quick content gap analysis can give you answers to what you’re missing.

What Are the Different Kinds of Content Gaps?

To perform a content gap analysis, you must first learn how to identify them. Content gaps generally take three forms: keywords, topics, and media. We’ll look at these next.

Keyword Gaps

Not all keywords are created equal.

For instance, the click-through rate (CTR) for the top spot in Google search queries is 39.8 percent, but the CTR for long-tail keywords is 2.5 percent higher than popular keywords.

A chart showing keyword gaps for long tail keywords. content gap analysis

Long-tail keywords are so effective because they reach customers further along the purchasing process. 

If you focus all your marketing resources on short, popular keywords, consider integrating these longer chains of keywords into your content.

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The best part? While short keyword searches are highly competitive and lead to low conversion rates, long-tail keywords typically have less competition; your website will likely rank higher than sites that only optimize their content for generic, overused target phrases.

Check out my free tool, Ubersuggest, for some extra help.

Ubersuggest's keyword suggestions.  content gap analysis

Here’s one more thing to consider: Google is now using generative AI in search (SGE). The new feature allows searchers to ask more complicated questions, grasp topics better, and ask conversational follow-ups. It may change which pages searchers are likely to go to first and possibly create content gaps.

Topic Gaps

When analyzing a content gap, topics are typically the first thing that comes to mind. Each time you run a content gap analysis on your topics, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does my site cover every topic that interests readers?
  • Does my site have comprehensive content for readers at all levels?
  • Are the topics relevant to readers’ current interests?

If you answered “no” to any of those questions, congratulations: you have found a content gap!

Topic gaps present hidden opportunities to add some fresh content to your site. Whether digging deeper into specific aspects previously covered or tackling new topics, filling those gaps is a fast way to give your potential customers top-notch, valuable content. 

Media Gaps

Media gaps refer to a lack of video content on your website. You’re not alone if you have trouble finding time to make video content. However, you are in a swiftly shrinking demographic.

A survey released in 2024 found that 91 percent of businesses use video as a marketing tool.

Why? Because audiences love it!

The survey also shows that video convinces 82 percent of people to buy, and 91 percent have watched an explainer video or demo to learn more.

Some perks of video marketing include increased brand awareness, higher website traffic, lead nurturing, and more direct sales. 

And you can’t overlook short-form video content, either.

If you’re after bang for your buck, short-form content offers the best ROI, according to HubSpot research. It’s also perfect for sharing on social platforms like TikTok, YouTube Shorts, and Instagram Reels. 

Then there’s augmented reality. AR creates immersive, interactive experiences that tug at the heartstrings and drive sales. 

Why Is It Important to Identify Content Gaps?

Content gap analysis sounds like a lot of work, but the results are worth the effort. Here’s why:

  • Improved SEO: Eliminate content gaps to enhance your site rank on search engines. Your placement on the search engine results pages (SERPs) matters because 75 percent of searchers only visit links on page 1 of search engines like Google.
  • Better connect with your target readers: Fixing content gaps can give your readers exactly what they’re looking for, thus establishing a connection with your site. Building a relationship with your audience is important and possible—in a survey of 1,000 American participants, over 65 percent said they felt an emotional connection to a particular brand.
  • An optimized buyer journey: Content gap analysis reduces bounce rates and increases on-site time, improving your conversion rate and resulting in more sales.
content analysis gap analysis chart illustration
  • Enhanced user experience: Visitors might go elsewhere to find answers if content gaps exist on your site.
  • Increased authority: Content gaps can signal to visitors that you lack expertise in that area. Identifying and filling these content gaps gives you extra authority and credibility, helping position you as a go-to source.
  • Added relevance: Conducting a content gap analysis helps you beef up your content to include new trends and topics, and fresh perspectives. This keeps your audience engaged and your content on point.

5 Content Gap Analysis Methods

You’ve learned that an SEO content gap analysis is core to your content game. When you use the right methods, you can spot those content gaps fast and fix them effectively.

In this next section, we’ll detail five analysis methods to hunt out and fix content gaps to ensure you deliver the content your audience craves.

1. Use A Tool For Keyword Content Gap Analysis

If you’re worried about spending hours poring through data manually analyzing every piece of content you’ve ever posted, I have some good news for you.

Free and paid online tools like Ubersuggest will do this job for you.

Ubersuggest generates keyword reports, allows you to browse top-performing content, and even analyzes your competitor’s site to find problems quickly.

Once you have found stronger keywords for your posts, you can fill the content gaps in several ways, like adding new keywords to your latest articles, updating old content with those missing keywords, and reviewing your keyword optimization strategy in case it needs revamping.

You can also use:

  • ScreamingFrog for analyzing your content and finding gaps. Do a crawl and check the titles and meta descriptions. Is there anything missing from your content or could you change the angle to fill a gap?
  • BuzzSumo will show you what your competitors are doing content-wise and how their content performs.
  • Or use the Answerthepublic.com social search tool to find the top questions people are asking in your niche and write content around it.

2. Audit Your Customer Journey and Identify Content Missing from the Funnel

Not all content gaps are as easy to fix as keyword content gaps. The trick here is to dive deeper into your customer journey to figure out what your target readers need at each stage of their buying process.

For the best results, you want to create content for each of these stages.

Let’s use my site as an example. New website visitors wondering what my companies are all about can find everything they need to know with one click.

An example of a Neil Patel website page.

Content gaps are the easiest to find and fix. Once you’ve mapped your customer journey, you’ll have a better idea of which stages in the buying process you need to add to your existing content. Then you can:

  • Create helpful tutorials and interesting industry articles. 
  • Write about the products and services you offer. 
  • Take what you have to offer and compare it to the competition.

3. Search Competitor Websites to Identify Content Gaps

It can be hard to figure out what’s missing from your content on your own. That’s where you can get help from the competition!

It’s pretty simple.

Identify what your competitors are doing right and use it as inspiration. Your aim is to find keyword, topic, and content gaps that your competition fills and look for new perspectives they haven’t covered. 

You can do this with tools like Ubersuggest or Ahrefs or manually by visiting competitor websites and noting what is missing from your own site. Then: 

  1. Make a list of your top competitors. If you aren’t sure who they are, Google some of the most important keywords you target and see who else is ranking for them. You can also use SEO tools to help you find competitors.
  2. Next, visit each competitor’s page and make a list of topics your website is missing.
  3. Finally, brainstorm with your team about how to create a page on the same topic in a different or better way.

4. Use Google Search Console

Did you know you can use the Google Search Console to perform a content gap analysis?

I’ll show you how.

First, log into Search Console and click “Search Results” on the left side of the page.

 NeilPatel.com in Google Search Console.

Next, click the “+ New” next to “Search type” and “Date range” (which you can modify).

Search type and Age range in Google Search Console.

When the box pops up, click “Page.”

Enter the URLs for your top-performing pages, one at a time.

When the results populate, see what keywords you’re ranking for on that page.

Go to the page on your website or in your CMS and search for your top keywords from the Search Console (either top clicks or impressions).

Top keywords from google search console. content gap analysis

Finally, go to the post on your website and ensure the content is related to your top-performing keywords. The odds are that some keywords you rank for will not be covered on the page. Then, revise old posts or write new content.

5. Perform a Self Content Audit

When was the last time you poked around your website to find gaps in your content? Sure, you can use tools, but you can do a manual audit, too.

Before getting your content audit underway, take a moment to get your content strategy in focus. That means asking questions like:

  • Is my content accurate, or do I need to refresh the stats?
  • Does it provide value to readers?
  • Are you covering all stages of the customer journey?

For your audit, you can add your URLs, date published, and metrics like pageviews and social media shares to a spreadsheet. Use ScreamingFrog to make this part easier. Just crawl your site and download the file for a list of your URLs.

Also, tools like Google Analytics 4 are fantastic for finding metrics such as pageviews, engagement, and bounce rates. Once you have assessed all of your content, you can begin to prioritize which pieces to refresh or remove. 

If you’re using WordPress, you can install a plugin like RankMath or Admin Columns to manage your content audit and content gap analysis.

6. Follow Trending Topics

Successful content gap analysis means keeping up with trending topics. After all, if you don’t know what’s new and emerging, you won’t know what your content is missing. Below are some simple ways to spot content gaps.

  • Following thought leaders, publications, blogs, and social media accounts in your niche who regularly update their content and keep up with trending topics.
  • Set up Google news alerts for daily updates in your niche, sign up for press release sites, manually search under your niche, or get press releases delivered directly to your email.
  • Track hashtags on social media. Follow hashtags on your preferred social media channels. You could choose Instagram, Linkedin, X (Twitter), or wherever your niche hangs out.
  • Attend industry events: Conferences, exhibitions, and trade shows are great for networking with peers and learning what’s new. That way, you can stay ahead of the game and fill content gaps before they appear.

7. Find Proprietary Data Opportunities

Your data isn’t just random numbers: It’s ideal for fueling fresh content ideas like white papers, infographics, and blog posts.

By analyzing your proprietary data and creating a targeted content plan, you can provide more helpful content for your readers, improve your search engine rankings, and ultimately drive more traffic and conversions.

Use your website analytics to identify your best-performing pages and view metrics like bounce rates, time on page, and most visited pages to recognize customer behavior. You can also use customer buying patterns data or surveys to understand what your visitors really want.

And as Becky McManus, Sr. SEO Strategist at NP Digital explains, once you’ve found gaps, you can divide content into themes:

“Once I have content gap data, the main thing I try to look for are topical themes rather than singular topics. Themes allow you to see where bigger-picture opportunities exist to help guide the SEO strategy as a whole. From there, I will break each theme down into sub-categories to help prioritize the next steps”.

 FAQs

What tools do I need to find content gaps?

Free and paid SEO tools like Ubersuggest can help find content gaps through competitor analysis, keyword research, and SEO audit features. You can also perform these functions manually with the help of offline tools like spreadsheets.

How do I fill a content gap?

Create content for new topics, update older content with more recent data, and research the best keywords to use. Check the competition for other content gaps. Run a self-content audit on your entire website.

Why is a content gap analysis important for SEO?

An SEO content gap analysis helps identify missing or underperforming content on your website compared to your competitors. By identifying these gaps, you can create new content that fills them and improves your website’s overall performance.

How often should I conduct a content gap analysis?

Aim to do an analysis at least once a year minimum, but if you’re in a fast-moving niche, a quick content gap analysis once a month will keep your content fresh and up-to-date.

Once I’ve identified gaps, how do I decide which topics to prioritize?

You can start with content gaps with high search volume and low competition, as these can be traffic goldmines. You’ll also want to prioritize content that matches with search volume and what your audience is hungry for. Take time to cover hot, new topics, too.

Conclusion

By learning what a content gap analysis is and understanding how to do a content analysis, you can uncover valuable insights to enhance your marketing strategy.

Finding a content gap is a secret opportunity that, when fixed, leads to valuable material that attracts new audiences and potential revenue for your business. And it’s simple enough to find them.

Use content gap analysis on competitor pages or your site to discover what you can change.

You can do this manually by learning to understand your competitors’ approach or using SEO tools like Ubersuggest. 

Your pages will see more traffic than ever before. Examine your keyword strategy with Google Search Console to figure out where you can close the gap.

Using these methods, you can generate plenty of new content ideas and drive more traffic to your website.

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