How to Do a Content Gap Analysis

March 3, 2024
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How to Do a Content Gap Analysis

‍The industry knows three main types of content gaps that most companies struggle with. They are the keyword, topic, and media gaps. By recognizing the content gap type and understanding what effect it has on one’s business, it is easier to define the type of content that one has to produce.

  • Keyword gaps. It’s not a secret that keywords are the tools that help one’s content rank high on search engine pages. The keyword choice is, however, a frequent challenge. The usual mistake is to incorporate only those with a high global search volume, Keyword Difficulty, or keyword trend. Even though they’re a must-have, it’s critical to dilute them with less competitive long-tail keywords, rank higher, and drive more traffic.
  • Topic gaps. For the business’ potential customers to quickly find the content they’re looking for, it’s a must-do to post relevant topics and cover them to the fullest. Unlike keyword gaps, topic gaps are easier to work with.
  • Media gaps. Gone is the time for long reads. It’s the video content customers are now eager to see. Media gaps are a true challenge for websites with a history whose content is mainly images and text. Approaching video content production is the most difficult part. However, if completed successfully, it helps a business to engage with its audience and keep them interested in relevant products/services. Video content can boost sales better than any other content type.

‍In this article, we’ll show you how to do a content gap analysis and fill in the gaps once the analysis is completed.

Advanced Content Gap Analysis on the Example of Ahrefs

‍For many years, SEO has been one of the best methods for obtaining more new leads. There are diverse tools used for improving one’s SEO campaign: SEMrush, SimilarWeb, Serpstat, Raven Tools, SpyFu, etc. Ahrefs, however, offers more wanted features, so we’ll use it to demonstrate how to perform an SEO content gap analysis.

1. Detect keyword gaps by analyzing competitors’ businesses

‍After logging in, click Ahrefs’ content gap analysis template and make its copy. In this document, you will later store the data research results. Then go to Ahrefs’ Competitive Analysis instrument and choose Keywords (Referring pages and Referring domains are two other options).

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‍Your next step is to specify the domains you’d like to compare. Remember that your company’s domain should be in the first field, whereas the competitor domains will be placed below. You can add 1-3 competitor domains for comparison. Ahrefs’ Competitive Analysis automatically suggests competitor domains in case you don’t know them yet.

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‍Once all the fields are filled in, press Show keyword opportunities to see the list of keywords that your website misses, whereas your competitors’ online pages don’t. In the top-right corner, you will see a toggle called Main Positions Only. After switching it, you’ll sort out the rankings according to alternative search engine results page features.

2. Fine-Tune Research Data and Export It to CSV

‍You will find the total number of found keywords in the top-left corner of the Ahrefs platform. Fine-tune this number if there are 100,000+ keywords. The simplest way to do this is to apply the filter, excluding the names of your competitors, partial matches, and all terms surrounding irrelevant topics.

‍For those, checking on a long list of competitors, it’s advisable to modify their positions to display two sites ranking (at least) in the top ten. If the keyword number is still high, eliminate keywords with a search volume of 20 and below to filter out low-volume keywords. And finally, apply the KD filter by a maximum of 30, thus eliminating all easy targets.

‍After working on the keyword list, you can export the research data to a comma-separated values file format.

3. Import the Researched Data to Ahrefs’ Content Gap Analysis Template

‍To continue your content gap analysis, go back to the copy of Ahrefs’ content gap analysis template. Your next step is to import data into the template in CSV. In your template, navigate to cell A1. Go to the File section in the menu bar, choose Import from the drop-down menu, press Upload, choose the CSV, and append it to the template sheet.

‍Uploading may take from a few seconds to a couple of minutes, depending on the size of your CSV file with keywords.

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4. Do Another Round of Analysis

How to Remove Backlinks

‍(image source)

‍For SEO gaps, there are two types you need to focus on: domain-level vs. page-level. Domain gaps (aka domain disparity) are the distinctions between two separate yet cognate databases. In simple terms, your website lacks content on topics that your competitors have fully covered. Page gaps (aka page disparity) are a more in-depth issue: though you and your competitors have similar pages covering the same topic or industry expertise, your competitors’ platform ranks for more keywords than yours as their content is deeper than yours.

‍For instance, your gap analysis document shows that your closest competitor’s website is listed on the top 100 popular web platforms. It ranks for 100 keywords that your web page lacks. Eventually, its estimated monthly visits are sky-high. Yet, if you go to the URL cell and press the +icon near the competitor’s URL, you’ll see the list of all 100 keywords listed: most of them may be irrelevant to what you offer.

‍No doubt, you’ll see some relevant keywords there, too. Your next step is to check whether you have a published page about the same topic. For this, use the “site:” operator in Google. Say, “landing page”:

  • If you have a published page about the same topic, you need to add a missing keyword or keywords to it to target the relevant audience.
  • In case you do not have a published page about the same topic, add the assignment to create a page to your to-do list.

NB. Sometimes, it’s not enough to simply add a few keywords to a published page about the same topic. Much depends on the keywords themselves. Say you have a page about customer software development, but the list of keys also includes keywords like “what is custom software” or “custom software meaning”. In this case, you can close the existing gaps by adding not only keywords but also relevant explanatory sections. Then, you’ll gain more traffic and more leads.

5. Make a Plan

‍Though this step looks and sounds like an evident one, you’d be surprised at the fact many people actually miss it out on their content gap research. Use tools like Asana, Trello, ClickUp, or any other planner that will help you create tasks with brief descriptions and detailed insights on keywords you gathered.

‍Altogether, this will help those team members responsible for adding new pages or updating existing ones to close gaps more effectively.

What’s Next?

‍Following content gap analysis tips is the preparatory step. Another important phase is to actually create content and/or update it after you have found gaps to target.

‍Our suggestion is to concentrate on using high-volume keywords in your subtopics, in titles, H1, and meta-descriptions. Please keep in mind that users typically input questions rather than sentences in the search bar, so choosing relevant questions and answering them in your blog posts will allow you to create worthy content your audience will be interested in. Alternatively, you can go with the FAQ page and use questions (H2 and H3) for its structure.

‍Though you have studied your competitors’ keywords, it’s not the same as studying their content. Read it, learn it, and research it to then outperform it by delivering a more unique publication on the same topic but with the answers and examples that your competitors’ posts lack. Go with the SEO-optimized brief for every article, for they are easily searchable, bring value to readers, drive traffic that is relevant, and enhance the web platform’s general visibility.


‍With the huge content volumes and long competitor lists accessible online, your team may feel overwhelmed in deciding what to write about next, how to structure your blog post, or in what direction to move. The content gap analysis route that we’ve suggested above will help you work on your previous publications by improving them and will allow you to create new ones with more thoughtfulness in your head. Find the gaps, refine their list, import them into a template for easy work, analyze all the opportunities you have, make a plan for your team, and start implementing it.

‍Don’t wait for a miracle right after filling the gaps: SEO takes 3–6 months before the first results are there. But if you do it right and do it regularly, the results will be well worth it.

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