SEO isn’t getting easier.
But the tools available are improving and providing opportunities to help us get ahead.
One strategy I like to rely on is a content gap analysis on competitor websites.
By identifying gaps in my existing content and leveraging untapped opportunities, I’m able to produce more content I didn’t know I needed and improve my overall rankings in the SERPs.
So in this article, I’ll show you how to execute a content gap analysis using Ahrefs.
What is a content gap analysis and how can it help?
A content gap analysis simply shows all of the keywords/content your competitors rank for which you don’t. There is a specific tool called “Content Gap” in Ahrefs that allows you to do this research quickly.
By analyzing these gaps, SEOs can discover potential opportunities to create content that can drive more organic traffic to their website. SEOs should consider using it because it helps uncover missed content opportunities, refine their content strategy, and stay competitive in the search engine results page (SERPs).
Conducting an SEO content gap analysis in Ahrefs
Step 1: Define your target competitors
To begin, clearly define the target websites you want to compete against or outrank. This can be sites you admire or sites that outrank you. If you’re not sure who they are consider using Similarweb to get a quick list of your website competitors.
Step 2: Enter your website into Ahrefs and navigate to “Content gap”
Step 3: Enter the websites you want to analyze
Click “Show keywords” to run the analysis. For larger websites this might take a minute so wait for it to load before navigating elsewhere.
Step 4: Identify content gaps
Now, it's time to identify the gaps in your content.
Look for keywords and topics the other sites are ranking for that you haven't covered or haven't fully explored. These gaps represent opportunities for creating new content or optimizing existing content to target those keywords.
Step 5: Refine the search using the filters
I like to search for the low-hanging fruit first.
I do this by filtering for keywords that are easier to rank for, getting over 100 visitors per month, and also matching my topics. Here’s an example of a filter I’ve used to identify genuine content I think my site is missing.
You can also filter for commercial content by including the words “best” or “review” which will show affiliate-related content.
Step 6: Optimize and create new content
Now you know which keywords your site is missing you can start creating new content or improve existing content so it performs better. I prefer to use tools like SurferSEO to help me cover a keyword/topic properly.
Frequently asked questions
How often should I conduct a content gap analysis?
I recommend conducting a content gap analysis every month, especially when you notice changes in your industry, target audience, or competitor landscape. The more frequently you do them the more likely you'll find better ideas. However, there's no point doing them if you aren’t taking action and improving or creating new content.
Are there any free tools available for conducting a content gap analysis?
Yes, several free and freemium tools offer limited features for conducting a content gap analysis, however, they are not great. I recommend using Ahrefs since it’s been the most comprehensive and accurate content gap tool on the market.
How long does it take to see the results of a content gap analysis?
The timeline for seeing results from a content gap analysis can vary depending on many factors. This includes the competitiveness of your industry/keywords, the quality of your content, and your efforts. Someone who updates their content immediately (using SurferSEO or another), builds backlinks, and creates internal links will see results much faster than someone who doesn't.