Keyword Research & Optimization

How To Perform Keyword Gap Analysis for SEO?

Performing keyword gap analysis for SEO involves identifying the keywords your competitors rank for but your website does not. It’s a strategic method to discover opportunities where you can improve your content and SEO efforts to gain visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs). At its core, conducting a keyword gap analysis allows you to refine your keyword strategy by leveraging the competitive landscape in your niche.

Understanding Keyword Gap Analysis

What is Keyword Gap Analysis?

Keyword gap analysis, also known as competitive keyword analysis, is the process of comparing the keywords your website ranks for against the keywords that competitors rank for in search engine results. This analysis can reveal the “gaps” in your SEO strategy where your competitors are outperforming you.

Why Is It Important?

By performing a keyword gap analysis, you can:

  • Identify missed opportunities in your current keyword strategy.
  • Discover new, high-traffic keywords that are relevant to your audience.
  • Gain insights into your competitors’ content and SEO strategies.
  • Expand your organic reach by targeting keywords that can bring you high-converting traffic.
  • Stay ahead of emerging trends and topics within your industry.

The Step-by-Step Process of Keyword Gap Analysis

Step 1: Define Your Competitors

The first crucial step is to identify who your competitors are. These could be direct competitors (other businesses offering the same products or services), or indirect competitors (websites that are fighting for the same keywords in your niche but may not offer the same services).

Step 2: Select the Right Tools

Several SEO tools can help automate and streamline the keyword gap analysis process, including Ahrefs, SEMrush, Moz, and Google’s Keyword Planner. Choose a tool that aligns with your budget and functionality requirements.

Step 3: Extract Your Keywords

Using the chosen tool, extract your website’s current keyword rankings. Look for keywords that are driving the most traffic to your site and ones where you have a strong ranking position.

Step 4: Extract Competitor Keywords

Similarly, extract the keywords that your competitors are ranking for. Ensure to look at the whole spectrum, from high-traffic keywords to long-tail phrases that may have less competition but are more targeted.

Step 5: Identify the Gaps

Compare your keyword list with your competitors’. Identify the keywords that they rank for but you don’t. These are your “gaps”.

Step 6: Analyze Keyword Relevance and Intent

Not all keywords will be relevant to your brand or products. Analyze the intent behind the gap keywords and filter out those that do not align with your audience’s interests or the solutions you provide.

Step 7: Evaluate the Competition Level

Some keywords may be highly competitive, meaning it might be challenging to rank for them. Use your SEO tool to assess keyword difficulty and prioritize the ones that have a balance of high traffic potential and a moderate competition level.

Step 8: Create Content Strategies

For the chosen gap keywords, develop content ideas that can help you rank for those keywords. This could include creating new blog posts, revising existing content, or developing new landing pages.

Step 9: Implement and Monitor

Once you’ve created and optimized your content for the gap keywords, continuously monitor the performance. Track your rankings for these keywords and analyze the traffic and conversion rates to measure success.

Best Practices for Keyword Gap Analysis

Regularly Update Your Keyword List

Search trends evolve, and new competitors may enter the market. Regularly update your keyword gap analysis to stay current and competitive.

Look Beyond Volume

Keyword volume is important, but so is relevance and intent. Focus on keywords that will attract the right kind of traffic to your website.

Consider SERP Features

Some keywords trigger special features in the SERP, like featured snippets or local packs. Aim to optimize for these as they can improve visibility and click-through rates.

Use Multiple Data Sources

Don’t rely on a single tool for your analysis. Cross-reference data from different sources to get a well-rounded view of keyword opportunities.

Integrate with Other SEO Strategies

Combine keyword gap analysis with other SEO techniques such as onsite optimization, link building, and technical SEO for comprehensive results.

Common Challenges and Solutions

Challenge: Large Volumes of Data

Handling extensive keyword lists can be overwhelming. Prioritize your analysis based on goals and segment keywords into manageable categories.

Challenge: Aligning to User Intent

Sometimes the intent behind a keyword may not be clear. Use search results and tools to understand the context and align your content accordingly.

Challenge: Choosing the Right Competitors

If you’re targeting too many competitors, or the wrong ones, your analysis may be off-target. Regularly reassess and refine your competitive set based on market dynamics.

Finishing Thoughts

Keyword gap analysis is a powerful tactic in the SEO arsenal, enabling you to uncover hidden opportunities and direct your content efforts more effectively. By understanding your competitive landscape and the keywords your potential customers are using, you can craft a smarter, more targeted SEO strategy that delivers measurable results. Remember, SEO is a marathon, not a sprint, and it requires ongoing analysis and optimization. By keeping your finger on the pulse of keyword trends and continuously adapting your approach, you’ll be well-positioned to elevate your online presence and drive the kind of traffic that converts.“`html

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Keyword Gap Analysis?

A Keyword Gap Analysis is a method used in SEO to identify keywords that your competitors are ranking for, but your website is not. It helps to uncover opportunities to improve your content strategy and boost your website’s visibility on search engines.

Why is Keyword Gap Analysis important for SEO?

Performing a Keyword Gap Analysis is important because it allows you to discover potential areas for improvement in your SEO strategy. By understanding which keywords your competitors are successfully targeting, you can adjust your own keyword strategy to compete more effectively for search traffic.

How do I start a Keyword Gap Analysis?

To start a Keyword Gap Analysis, you first need to identify your main competitors. Then use SEO tools to compare your keyword profile against theirs to see which important keywords you might be missing.

What tools can I use to perform a Keyword Gap Analysis?

Several SEO tools can help with a Keyword Gap Analysis, including Ahrefs, SEMrush, Moz, and Google’s Keyword Planner. These tools can help you identify the keywords your competitors rank for and provide data on search volumes and competition levels.

How do I identify who my competitors are?

To identify your competitors, start by searching for your main products or services on search engines and see which websites are ranking on the first page. Also, look at who is advertising against your target keywords. Finally, use competitive intelligence tools to get a broader picture of your competitive landscape.

Can I perform a Keyword Gap Analysis if I’m new to SEO?

Yes, even if you are new to SEO, you can perform a basic Keyword Gap Analysis. It involves using simple tools like Google Keyword Planner to find keyword ideas and manually comparing them to your website content. However, for more advanced analysis, you may want to consult an SEO professional or learn to use more sophisticated tools.

What do I do with the keywords I find from my Keyword Gap Analysis?

Once you’ve identified keywords from your Gap Analysis, you should incorporate them into your website’s content strategy. This could involve creating new content or optimizing existing content to include these keywords while ensuring they fit naturally within the context of your site.

How often should I perform Keyword Gap Analysis?

SEO and online competition are always changing, so it’s a good idea to perform a Keyword Gap Analysis regularly — typically every quarter or twice a year. This helps you stay on top of changes in search trends and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Should I focus on every keyword that my competitors are ranking for?

Not necessarily. It’s important to prioritize your efforts on keywords that are relevant to your business and have the potential to drive qualified traffic. Additionally, focus on keywords where you have a realistic chance of competing effectively.

How do I measure the success of my SEO strategy after using Keyword Gap Analysis?

You can measure the success of your SEO strategy post-Keyword Gap Analysis by tracking changes in your search rankings, website traffic, and conversions for the targeted keywords. Using analytics tools will help you determine whether you’re seeing an improvement in your SEO performance.


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Joe Fares

Founder of UltraSEOSolutions and a Digital Marketing Consultant, a great advocate of educating beginners on the competency of SEO, and helping small businesses dominate their niche. Joe is known for public speaking on SEO and online entrepreneurship, and has been awarded by Payoneer in 2017/2018, for being the most successful entrepreneur in the MENA region.