Post by Catherine Sullivan, Content Strategist
As search engines get smarter and the World Wide Web grows, it’s becoming more and more important to have a strategy behind all of the content that’s created. Product-focused content alone doesn’t always create engaging dialogue among buyers, especially if the dialogue isn’t reaching consumers at the correct point in the path-to-purchase.
It takes a certain caliber of content to be effective, and effective content needs to align with the buyer’s wants and needs at the right stage of the buying cycle. If a particular customer segment or persona is neglected, key relationship building opportunities and potential conversions could be missed.
So, how do brands create strategic content that attracts multiple personas at different stages of the consumer journey? A Content Gap Analysis is a great place to start, as it allows brands to identify, compare and contrast their strengths and weaknesses, leveraging strategies for improvement.
3 STEPS to ANALYZING CONTENT GAPS
1. Inventory & Audit
By auditing and taking inventory of existing content, brands can better understand their current website’s pages by breaking them out into different levels of the Customer Experience (CX) Loop.
Brands can then evaluate where there are opportunities for new content. If the majority of content is tailored for the purchasing spectrum of the CX Loop, brands will miss out on reaching consumers who have not yet reached the “awareness” stage, and therefore are not familiar with the brand’s products or services.
Brands should first look to make consumers aware of their products before attempting to sell. Broader content or unique long-tailed keywords can help generate traffic to a page built out specifically for unaware consumers. For example, a car salesman may create a page about the best cars to buy for teen drivers. From there, customers can move through the CX Loop and convert once they have had the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the product.
2. Competitor Analysis
Once the audit is complete, brands should take the time to work through a competitive audit. It’s important to ask questions like “what are our competitors writing about that we are not?” We use several tools to help complete the competitive analysis process:
- Buzzsumo: This tool allows brands to analyze what content is performing best for a topic or competitor. It also provides data on how often content is being shared on social media platforms which is a good indicator of whether or not messaging is resonating with consumers.
For example, if we search the topic “healthcare” into Buzzsumo, we’re able to uncover that the highest pieces of content that are trending are all articles, and two of them are from news sources. By understanding what other sources are reporting on, healthcare brands can leverage this to create similar content that is even more appealing.
BrightEdge’s DataCube: This tool allows brands to research competitors’ domains for keywords and content strategy from the industry’s largest data set. Continuing with a healthcare example, if we searched for www.healthcare.gov, we can discover the amount of keywords that are ranked in high positions:
- Open Site Explorer & Ahrefs: These tools allow brands to see what the top link destination pages are on their competitors’ sites. This gives insight into which of their pages are deemed most valuable or relevant from other sites on the Web. To demonstrate, if we use healthcare.gov as an example through Open Site Explorer, we are able to uncover basic information about the page’s authority and page link metrics:
We are also able to uncover the top pages for this domain:
3. Keyword Research
The final step is to explore the depth and search volume of potential keywords from your findings in the previous two steps. By conducting keyword research, brands can fuel new ideas to help build out unique content strategies. The keywords implemented should be relevant, have substantial search volume and be attainable for your site to rank.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
A Content Gap Analysis is a strategic tactic used to outrank competitors on industry related terms and capitalize on terms currently not targeted by a brand’s website. The more valuable content brands have on their site, the more opportunities they have to not only rank organically in search, but also to create a great landing page experience for their paid media efforts. The increase in opportunities and search rankings will likely lead to more traffic, which will lead to more awareness, further exploration of the site and ideally end with conversions by the consumer.
According to research conducted by the Content Marketing Institute, of the companies employing content marketing, fewer than half say their efforts are effective. Many content marketers are turning to Content Gap Analyses to identify and fill gaps in their content inventory. Content Gap Analyses can help improve overall engagement by creating value and dialogue that will resonate with different target audiences and personas at different stages of the consumer journey.
To learn more about Content Gap Analyses, contact your Performics account team today.