Business Marketing Writing/Content

A Step-By-Step Guide to the Content Gap Analysis

Let’s face it: We’re drowning in content. To win the content marketing war and boost brand awareness and conversions, businesses all over the world are pumping out a stunning amount of content. 

The results are not always pretty, and they’re certainly not always what we want: Instead of raising brand awareness and boosting conversions, we’re often left trailing our rivals who are producing better content than us. 

This means we’ve got a content gap on our hands. In other words, we’re not giving our prospects what they want. 

In this article, we take a look at what a content gap is exactly, before showing you how to perform a content gap analysis.

Why a Content Gap Is So Bad 

Search Engine Journal did a pretty bang-up job of explaining what a content gap analysis is: 

“(A content gap) is the process of mapping out your customer’s primary questions, goals and concerns throughout their purchase journey and then measuring against your current offerings for holes.” 

Essentially, a content gap means that there’s a yawning gap between what your customers want and what you’re giving them. When you perform a content gap analysis, you’ll understand what content is missing from your arsenal, and you can then figure out a way to close the gap. 

Sounds simple enough? It is. Basically, a content gap analysis improves your content marketing strategy, ensuring your customers get to see more of what they want. 

On the other hand, performing a content gap analysis can be tricky. However, we can break it down into 3 key steps in this article: The first one deals with maximizing an SEO opportunity, while the second deals with understanding your prospects marketing persona better. 

The third step, meanwhile, concerns what you’re doing wrong in comparison with the rest of the internet.

Here’s what I mean: 

Step 1: Find Keywords Your Rivals Are Ranking For … But You’re Not 

It’s a major bummer when you learn that your competitors are ranking for specific keywords – but you’re not. This means they’re closing the content gap better than you are. 

To find out what these keywords are, you need to use an SEO tool that comes with a competitors report feature (or something similar). This will show you who your closest rivals are, as well as what keywords you’re both trying to rank for. 

It will also show you what keywords they’re ranking for that you aren’t. Bingo.

Once you’ve got these keywords, pop them into a spreadsheet (Google Sheets is great for this), before identifying the keywords that you literally have no content for. You clearly need content for these keywords because your competitors are ranking very well for them, which means your customers have a demand for it. 

Then, fire these keywords over to your content writing team so that they can brainstorm some content ideas. 

Step 2: Uncover Your Audiences Marketing Persona(s)

As well as assessing the content you don’t have, you should also take a look at the content you do have – but which isn’t measuring up too well compared with your rivals. 

The reason for this is highly likely to be because you haven’t understood your prospects marketing personas. 

Again, you can use a premium SEO tool to compare how a piece of content is faring against a similar piece of content produced by a rival. If a rival’s content is performing better than yours, you need to ask yourself why. Perhaps theirs is more in-depth, offers more value? 

Or perhaps it’s simply that their meta descriptions are more compelling?

However, it’s likely to be that you haven’t correctly addressed what it is that the user is looking for at this point in their journey. To this end, take a closer look at your rivals content. Have they approached the same topic from a different angle than you have? Bear in mind that each time a user searches for something on Google they have a specific intent in mind. There are 4 types of user intent: 

  • Informational (the user is searching for info)
  • Navigational (the user is on the hunt for a specific website)
  • Commercial (the user is carrying out a bit of research before buying something)
  • Transactional (the user is ready to buy)

Have you understood the user intent with your content? If you haven’t, the reason you have a content gap is down to poorly understood marketing personas. 

So now you’re in a position to ask yourself: What can I do differently to catch my rivals up, and possibly even overtake them? 

Using your analytics tool, you can get a clearer picture of your prospects marketing personas. Why are people landing on your pages in the first place? And why are they bailing out? What do they really want from you? 

Step 3: Compare Your Content With The Rest 

Let’s say I’ve written an article on digital marketing. I run the keyword “digital marketing” into Google and take a look at what the results are. 

The first three organic results are definition style content. If my content is instead a ‘step-by-step guide’ that’s probably the reason why I’m not ranking too well for this keyword. 

In order to plug the content gap, I should be producing a piece of content that explains to my prospects what digital marketing is. 

The general idea is that you slot your keyword into the SERPs and look for common themes. What are people looking for that you’re not giving them? You might think you’ve got the content they want, but you could be wrong. This is what a content gap analysis helps with. 


By now you should have amassed enough information about your audience, your content and your competitors’ content so as to be in a position to close the content gap. Once you understand exactly what your customers want, it becomes easier to give it to them. Simple, huh? 

Well, now comes the harder bit: Producing said content. 

But, hey, at least you’re moving in the right direction.

About the author


Aljaz Fajmut

Aljaz Fajmut is a digital marketer, internet entrepreneur, and the founder of Nightwatch — a search visibility tool of the next generation. Check out Nightwatch blog and follow him on Twitter: @aljazfajmut