Keywords have always been considered for a site’s success, and for a good reason. They are one of the most easily measurable metrics of success, allowing you to quickly check your site’s keyword ranking. If you are successful, you will be able to attract tons of organic traffic to your site. And in turn, it will improve your site and, therefore, your business. In order to shore up your keywords and ensure you rank highly, you need to use a technique referred to as ‘keyword gap analysis’. However, what is a keyword gap analysis, and how does it work?
The definition and importance of keyword gap analysis
Before we get into the details of keyword gap analysis, it is vital to understand why it is required and what purpose it serves. In the simplest terms, keyword gap analysis allows you to get insight into your competitors’ sites. You will get crucial information about their keywords, which are trending, and which are driving the most business towards them. In turn, if you can master the required tech and skills and adequately use the knowledge, you can shore up your site and compensate for its shortcomings.
That’s where the name of the technique comes from: it reveals the ‘gaps’ in your keywords and the ‘gaps’ between the keywords of your site and your competitors’ sites. This will make your marketing strategies, and SEO drives much higher in quality and effectiveness!
Ways to perform the technique
Thankfully, a lot of tools have been developed for the purpose of keyword gap analysis and even for the sake of high-impact keyword research strategies to provide great techniques to use. The most popular examples of such tools are SEMrush, Ahrefs’ Content Gap tool, and Similarweb. Typically speaking, SEMrush is the first choice for most businesses due to its intuitive design and excellent capabilities.
However, both of the other two options are great in their own way as well! And, of course, you can do part of the process through simple, good old Google research. You can learn a lot just by browsing your competitors’ sites and looking them up to see what keywords they are most associated with. This will take out the organic component, which keyword ranking relies on to guide new customers to them, but still makes for a pretty authentic research opportunity.
The essential metrics for keywords gap analysis
There is a lot to pay attention to when doing a keyword gap analysis. Thankfully, though, all the pertinent elements will provide you with a way to improve your local SEO search rankings and more. If you are researching your own first, here’s what to pay attention to:
- Alt tag texts
- Social media tags
- Meta description keywords
On the other hand, the proper software will let you immediately access a lot more information, such as:
- Ranking keywords
- Monthly average search volumes
- Keyword positions
- Landing page and URL keyword ranking
- A score of how hard it is to rank for a particular keyword marked as ‘keyword difficulty’
- Competition density over a keyword
- The number of search engine results for a specific keyword
It may seem daunting to pay attention to so many things at once, but the tabulation of data makes it much more manageable.
Do an audit of your site
The next important step to go through is doing an audit of your site’s keywords and SEO. Dig out the same data you’d gotten on your competitors for your site. How does your site actually stand up to theirs? Does your volume of visitors and, as such, potential conversions to customers match up to their own? If not, you definitely want to take a closer look at your site’s keywords.
Are they doing well? What are the keywords you’d kept investing into with minimal returns? If there are any such keywords, it is wise to consider dropping them or at least changing your approach to them. Sometimes, all that’s required is the latter. Producing more interesting content connected to a keyword can result in more attention being diverted to your site from your competitors.
Utilizing your results
Next comes the tricky part, namely, using the data provided to you by your keyword gap analysis. The audit we’ve recommended will let you spot the differences between your competitors and your own strategies and clearly see your own deficits. However, does that mean you should simply copy what they are doing and try to rise to success that way? Absolutely not. If all you do is copy keywords and even content mindlessly, you are more likely to lag further and further behind.
The best way to capitalize on the data would be to publish original content which offers a new spin on the popular keywords. If you can do that, you will benefit immensely from it. You will also need to consider what you’d like to use between Black Hat vs White Hat SEO, though we recommend the latter.
The importance of other aspects
We concluded the previous paragraph by mentioning SEO. SEO is just one example of what builds on your keyword research and allows you to make the best use of it, but it also has much broader requirements. After all, keywords are just one part of SEO. There’s also the speed of your site, its compatibility with various devices and platforms, and more.
Similarly, it can be somewhat hard to use keywords fully without proper marketing. They need to be used in marketing campaigns such as ads, social media posting, and optimal landing page creation, just to name a few. Tacking the keywords on your site alone will simply not work to produce the desired results. So, make sure your approach to them is holistic.
Understanding what keyword gap analysis is and how it works well, as you can tell, noticeably improve the success of your website. As long as you pay attention and never slack in your research, you will be able to stay on top of your competition and thrive.