Content Gap Analysis: A Comprehensive Guide to Elevating Your Digital Presence

Marketer at a table with a monitor (Content Gap Analysis)

These days, it is crucial for businesses to continuously adapt and improve their online presence. One effective way to do this is through content gap analysis, a process that involves identifying opportunities for new or improved content on a website.

Doing this kind of analysis is super important. After all, a recent study showed that 81% of people think less of a brand if its website is not updated.

At WGM, we’ve navigated through this journey ourselves, discovering along the way how vital it is to have a strong content gap analysis strategy in place. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the steps of conducting a content gap analysis and provide tips on how to use it to elevate your digital presence.

What is a Content Gap Analysis?

Simply put, a content gap refers to any topic or keyword that your target audience is searching for, but your website does not currently have content on. This can be due to various reasons such as new trends emerging, changes in search algorithms, or simply overlooking certain topics.

Content gap analysis is the process of identifying these missing elements in your content strategy. It involves comparing your existing content to that of your competitors or industry benchmarks to find opportunities for improvement or differentiation. Through effective content gap analysis, businesses can uncover valuable insights to guide their content creation efforts, ensuring they address the topics, questions, and needs of their potential customers.

Types of Content Gaps

There are a few different types of content gaps that businesses should be aware of when conducting a content gap analysis:

Keyword Gaps

Identifying keyword gaps means discovering the keywords for which competitors rank but your own site does not. These gaps often reveal opportunities for new content or the optimization of existing content to include relevant keywords.


Content that is up-to-date is more likely to rank well on search engines. Analyzing recency gaps involves comparing the freshness of your content with that of competitors, and identifying areas where updates or new content could be beneficial.


This involves assessing whether your content fully addresses a topic or if there are aspects that your competitors cover but you do not. It’s about depth and comprehensiveness.


Ensuring your content is accessible and easy to understand by your target audience is crucial. Readability gaps can occur when content is too complex or not structured effectively.


Different audiences prefer different content formats, from blog posts and articles to video content and infographics. A format gap analysis can help you identify if you’re missing out on engaging with your audience through their preferred mediums.


If you want to be an industry thought leader (which you should) your writers need to have the right kind of experience. Inexperience will show through the content that you are creating. For instance, if you are writing a blog review about a laptop, a writer who has actually worked with the laptop will come across as more trustworthy and knowledgeable than someone who doesn’t have experience with it. 

Helpful Tools to Use for Content Gap Analysis 

It’s crucial to have a set of reliable tools at your disposal for conducting a thorough content gap analysis. These tools not only illuminate areas where your content might be lacking but also offer insights into opportunities for growth and improvement. Let’s explore in more detail about our favorite SEO tools:


By simply entering your domain and those of your competitors within Ahrefs’ “Content Gap” tool, Ahrefs provides a list of keywords that your competitors are ranking for, but your site is not. 

Ahrefs side menu
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This insight is invaluable for uncovering opportunities to create content around these missing keywords, thereby expanding your reach and improving your rankings on search engines.

Ahrefs' content gap feature
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Beyond the Content Gap tool, Ahrefs also offers detailed backlink analysis, keyword research capabilities, and content exploration features that can help you identify trending topics within your industry. By leveraging these tools, you can not only find gaps in your own content but also discover new content ideas that resonate with your target audience, potentially driving more traffic to your site.

Google Search Console 

Google Search Console (GSC) is a free tool provided by Google that offers a wealth of information about how your site performs in Google search results. Here’s how to use it: 

Step 1: Access Google Search Console

First, log into your Google Search Console account. If you haven’t set this up for your website yet, you’ll need to go through the verification process with Google to start collecting data on your site’s performance.

Step 2: Navigate to Search Results

Once logged in, locate and click on the “Performance” report, then select “Search Results” from the left-hand sidebar. This section provides a comprehensive view of how your site performs in Google’s search results.

Google Search Console screenshot
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Step 3: Apply Filters

Click the “+ New” button next to “Search type” and “Date range” at the top of the page. Although the default search type is typically what you’ll use, adjusting the date range can help you analyze performance over specific periods.

Google Search Console
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Step 4: Filter by Page

When the filter options appear, select “Page” to narrow down your analysis to specific URLs. This allows you to examine the search performance of individual pages on your site.

Step 5: Enter URLs

Manually enter the URLs for your top-performing pages, one at a time, into the filter. This step focuses your analysis on the pages that are most important to your site’s success.

Step 6: Analyze Keywords

After applying the page filter, review the keywords your page is ranking for. Pay particular attention to the “Queries” section, which lists the search terms users have typed into Google to find your page.

Google Search Console "Performance" table
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Step 7: Check Content Alignment

Open the web page in question, either directly on your website or through your Content Management System (CMS), and compare the content with the top-performing keywords listed in Google Search Console. Look for both the keywords that generate the most clicks and those that have the highest impressions.


SEMrush distinguishes itself through its unparalleled versatility and depth in competitor analysis, keyword research, and beyond. It offers a panoramic view of the competitive landscape, enriching this overview with detailed insights into advertising, content marketing, and social media engagement. This multifaceted approach equips you with a holistic understanding of your industry’s content ecosystem, empowering you to identify not just keyword opportunities but also to pinpoint gaps across content formats, distribution channels, and promotional strategies.

Keyword Gap Tool

The crown jewel of SEMrush’s toolkit is the Keyword Gap tool.  This powerful feature is instrumental in uncovering two pivotal categories of keywords:

  • Underperformers: Keywords for which your content ranks but not as prominently as desired. Recognizing these allows you to refine and enhance your content, boosting its search engine position.
  • Competitors’ Keywords: Terms that your competitors rank for, possibly unnoticed by your team until now. Identifying these keywords opens up fresh avenues for content creation, facilitating a more direct competition with industry rivals.

You can find the Keyword Gap tool within the SEMrush dashboard. This tool is usually located under the “Competitive Research” section or can be found through the search feature within SEMrush.

Semrush side menu
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By juxtaposing your domain with those of your competitors, the Keyword Gap tool elucidates a side-by-side comparison of keyword rankings, shedding light on areas where your competitors might outperform you. Simply input your website’s domain in the first field and then add up to four competitors’ domains in the subsequent fields.

Content Gap Analysis - Semrush 2
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This will set the stage for a comparative analysis of your keyword performance against your competitors. Just a note- this tool is sometimes an additional cost depending on the plan you have in place. 

The “Missing” Functionality

The “Missing” functionality within the Keyword Gap tool offers a granular analysis, spotlighting the precise keywords your competitors are ranking for that your site overlooks. 

Within the Keyword Gap tool, navigate to the “Missing” tab. This area specifically lists the keywords that your competitors rank for but your site does not.

Semrush filtering
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This feature uncovers hidden gems within your content strategy, presenting lucrative keywords that could significantly boost traffic to your site when addressed appropriately.

Equipped with insights from SEMrush’s Keyword Gap and “Missing” tools, you’re well-positioned to forge a targeted content strategy that adeptly fills crucial gaps. Whether through amplifying underperforming content or innovating around missing keywords, these tools offer guidance for informed decision-making. The ultimate aim is to bolster your site’s visibility, enhance organic traffic, and secure a dominant stance in search engine results pages (SERPs).

Additionally, SEMrush’s Topic Research Tool plays a crucial role in generating content ideas that resonate with your target audience, ensuring your strategy’s relevance and appeal. By dissecting popular headlines and queries associated with your keywords, you’re able to craft content that directly addresses the needs and interests of your audience, further solidifying your authority and engagement in your field.

How to Conduct a Content Gap Analysis 

Now that you understand the importance of a content gap analysis, let’s dive into how to conduct one:

Understand Your Buyer’s Journey

Every piece of content should serve a purpose along your customer’s journey from awareness to decision. Mapping out this journey allows you to identify which stages of the buying process are underrepresented in your content strategy. By understanding the questions, concerns, and information your potential customers seek at each stage, you can create content that addresses these needs, effectively guiding them towards conversion.

Audit Your Current Content

This is a major step in conducting your content gap analysis. It includes a couple of different audits:

Site Level

Utilizing tools like Ahrefs at the site level gives you a bird’s-eye view of how your content stacks up in the digital ecosystem. It highlights what topics and keywords are missing from your content arsenal as a whole. This broad analysis can reveal significant opportunities for new website updates that can attract a wider audience and plug the gaps where your site lacks visibility.

Page Level

Digging deeper, a page-level comparison involves scrutinizing specific pages on your site against those of your competitors. This analysis helps identify both the missing elements in your content and opportunities for enhancing existing pages with additional keywords, updated information, or improved readability and engagement. It’s a meticulous process that can dramatically improve the performance of individual pages in search engine results.

Category Level

Analyzing the structure and content of URLs is a pivotal step in conducting a thorough content gap analysis. This method hinges on understanding the specific segments of your website and how they match up against competitors.

Start by mapping out your main content categories, like “”, and use SEO tools to examine these sections for depth, quality, and freshness. Investigate competitors’ sites for categories and subcategories you may lack. Addressing these gaps can mean adding new categories, enhancing the quality and depth of existing content, and updating older posts to ensure relevance. 

See What Your Competitors Are Missing

Flipping the script and identifying areas where your competitors are lacking presents an opportunity to differentiate your brand. This requires a keen eye for detail and an understanding of your industry’s content landscape. By filling these gaps, you can position your site as a go-to resource for topics that others have overlooked, potentially capturing a larger share of audience attention and search traffic.

Hand typing on a laptop at a table with coffee and water (content gap analysis)
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Ask Your Customers

Direct feedback from your customers is a goldmine of insights. Surveys, social media interactions, and customer service conversations can reveal questions and topics that your content hasn’t addressed. This approach ensures your content strategy is aligned with actual customer needs and interests, enhancing the relevance and impact of your content.

Stay Current with Your Audience

Another important source of content ideas is staying updated on your industry’s news and trends. Keep track of relevant publications, conferences, and thought leaders in your field to stay informed about the latest developments. Additionally, pay attention to discussions and conversations happening on social media platforms – these can provide valuable insights into what topics are currently relevant and popular among your target audience.

Finding Content Gaps Manually

While tools and analytics provide quantitative data, there’s also significant value in qualitative insights gained through manual research. Browsing competitor websites, industry forums, and social media groups can reveal what topics are currently engaging your audience. This hands-on approach allows you to tap into the latest trends, questions, and discussions that might not yet be reflected in keyword research tools, giving you a head start in addressing emerging topics.

If you want to learn in even more detail about this, check out our blog on how to do a content audit that will skyrocket your SEO.

Bringing It All Together

Conducting a comprehensive content gap analysis involves a blend of strategic thinking, analytical tools, and direct engagement with your audience and industry. By understanding your buyer’s journey, auditing your current content at multiple levels, identifying what your competitors are missing, seeking direct customer feedback, and manually scouting for emerging trends, you can uncover a wealth of opportunities to refine and expand your content strategy. This not only improves your SEO and content marketing efforts but also ensures that your brand remains relevant and valuable to your target audience.

If you just getting started and need help with getting content out there in the first place, check out our blog on creating a website content plan.

Why is it Important to Identify Content Gaps? 

If you can’t already tell, identifying content gaps is super important for a number of reasons. Let’s get into why below.

Creates Stronger Topic Clusters

Topic clusters are a great way to organize and optimize your content for SEO. Topic clusters are defined as a group of related content that link together in a hierarchical structure. By identifying content gaps, you can determine what topics are missing from your cluster and fill them in accordingly. This not only strengthens the overall topic cluster but also helps to establish your authority on a particular subject.

Satisfies User Search Intent

At the heart of every search query is a user looking for an answer, and when your content perfectly aligns with their intent, satisfaction follows. By conducting thorough content gap analysis, you’re better positioned to understand and meet these needs. This alignment not only fosters a positive user experience but also increases the likelihood of conversions, as your content directly answers the questions your audience is asking.

An Optimized Buyer’s Journey

The buyer’s journey is a critical framework for any content strategy. From the initial awareness stage through consideration to the final decision stage, your content plays a pivotal role in guiding potential customers. Filling content gaps ensures that at each stage of this journey, your audience finds valuable, relevant content that nudges them closer to making a purchase. This optimization can dramatically improve your conversion rates and foster long-term customer relationships.

Demonstrates Expertise

When your content answers the questions your audience is asking, it showcases your expertise and authority in your industry. By addressing their pain points and providing helpful solutions, you establish yourself as a reliable source of information. This not only builds trust with potential customers but also sets you apart from competitors who may not be as thorough in their content strategies.

Helps You Stay Relevant

By regularly updating and optimizing your content, you can stay relevant in a constantly evolving market. By staying on top of industry trends and continuously providing valuable information, you can attract new customers and retain current ones.

You Can Gain an Advantage Against Competitors

Having a strong and consistent content strategy can give you an advantage over your competitors. By consistently providing high-quality, informative content, you can position yourself as a thought leader in your industry. This can help attract more customers and establish your brand as the go-to source for reliable information.

Improves SEO

Last but certainly not least, a focus on identifying and addressing content gaps is integral to SEO success. Search engines prioritize content that is relevant, comprehensive, and answers user queries effectively. By filling content gaps, you’re directly contributing to these factors, enhancing your site’s SEO. Improved rankings lead to more visibility, more traffic, and, ultimately, more conversions.

Final Thoughts

Four marketers at a table with a large monitor
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Conducting a content gap analysis is not a one-time task but an ongoing strategy to ensure your content remains relevant, competitive, and aligned with your audience’s needs. At WGM, our journey through refining our content strategy using gap analysis has been both challenging and rewarding. We’ve seen firsthand the impact it can have on SEO, user engagement, and ultimately, business success.

This comprehensive guide, drawing from our own experiences and the best practices in the industry, is designed to empower you to take control of your content strategy. Of course, an avenue you may want to explore is getting a content strategy services provider to help you. By identifying and addressing your content gaps, you can create content that not only ranks well on search engines but also truly resonates with your audience, driving more traffic and conversions. Good luck!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best content gap analysis tool?

While there are several excellent tools available, Ahrefs, Google Search Console, and Semrush are among the top choices for conducting an effective content gap analysis.

How can you find content gaps?

Content gaps can be identified through various methods, including SEO tools, competitor analysis, customer feedback, and manual research.

What are the four steps of gap analysis?

The four steps of gap analysis typically involve:
Identify Current State: Assess and document the current condition or performance level of your business, project, or process. This includes understanding where you stand in terms of resources, capabilities, and outcomes.

Define Desired State: Clearly articulate the goals or objectives you aim to achieve. This step involves specifying the ideal future state you want for your business, project, or process in terms of performance, results, and capabilities.

Analyze the Gap: Compare the current state with the desired state to identify the discrepancies or gaps. This involves a detailed examination of the differences between where you are now and where you want to be, including the shortcomings and areas that require improvement.

Develop Action Plans: Based on the identified gaps, devise a strategic plan outlining the actions needed to bridge the gap. This includes setting priorities, allocating resources, and determining timelines for implementing solutions that will move you from the current to the desired state.

These steps provide a structured approach for identifying areas of improvement and strategically planning how to achieve desired outcomes.

Picture of Noelle Thuillier

Noelle Thuillier

Noelle is a Content Specialist for WGM. She writes and edits all business content, including blogs, press releases, social media posts, and technical writing pieces. With over ten years of experience writing, Noelle has been published on many reputable sites during her career, including and Before coming to WGM, she worked as a News Director at KWHI in Brenham, Texas. Noelle oversaw the newsroom writing stories, producing content, and being an on-air personality. In addition to her bachelor’s degree in Political Science, Noelle holds a Master in Arts degree in Communication and Media Studies from the University of Greenwich in London, England. Noelle’s other passion in life is her family. She enjoys spending time with her husband, Joe, daughter, Frankie, and English Bulldog, Alvin. She also loves to travel, with her favorite destinations so far being Ireland and the Czech Republic.

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