How to Do a Content Gap Analysis [With Template]

word-image-169147-1 How to Do a Content Gap Analysis [With Template]

A content gap analysis is the process of finding topics your competitors have covered but you haven’t.

It helps you: 

  • Get more traffic to existing content 
  • Find the best new topics to cover 
  • Steal traffic from competitors 

In this guide, you’ll learn how to use

Take a look at the number of keywords in the content gap report. 

word-image-169147-5 How to Do a Content Gap Analysis [With Template]

If there are more than 100,000, you’ll need to refine the list. Otherwise, it’ll probably break the Google Sheets template.

To do that, start by excluding mentions of your competitor’s brand name(s) in the keyword filter. Consider misspellings or spaces added and set the filter to pick up “partial matches” to ensure it removes as many mentions as possible. 

word-image-169147-6 How to Do a Content Gap Analysis [With Template]

In the same filter, you can also exclude terms related to topics that are irrelevant to your website. 

word-image-169147-7 How to Do a Content Gap Analysis [With Template]

If you are checking multiple competitors, it may also be worth adjusting the competitors’ positions to display at least two sites ranking in the top 10. 

word-image-169147-8 How to Do a Content Gap Analysis [With Template]

You can also weed out super low-volume keywords by filtering for keywords with a monthly search volume of at least 20. 

word-image-169147-9 How to Do a Content Gap Analysis [With Template]

Or, you can use the Keyword Difficulty (KD) filter to reveal low-hanging fruit by setting a maximum KD of 30. 

word-image-169147-10 How to Do a Content Gap Analysis [With Template]

Once all your filters are applied, export the data to CSV. 

If you haven’t already, make a copy of our content gap analysis template. Then, import the data you downloaded from Ahrefs. To do this, navigate to the “Data” tab and click on cell A1. Then go to File > Import > Upload > Choose your Ahrefs data > Select “Append to current sheet.” 

word-image-169147-11 How to Do a Content Gap Analysis [With Template]

You can leave all other options untouched and proceed with importing the data. This may take a few moments depending on how large your keyword list is. 

Once your data’s imported, move to the “Results” tab. It should look something like this: 

word-image-169147-12 How to Do a Content Gap Analysis [With Template]

In general, there are two common types of content gaps you’ll need to fill: domain-level and page-level. 

  • Domain-level gaps occur when competitors have content about topics you don’t. 
  • Page-level gaps occur when you and a competitor both have a page about the same topic, but they are ranking for more keywords than you are. In most cases, this happens because they have more in-depth content than you do. 

Here’s our process that will help you identify both types of gaps, starting with domain-level gaps and working your way down to specific page-level gaps. 

content-gap-analysis-process How to Do a Content Gap Analysis [With Template]

For example, our gap analysis report shows that Moz has a page listing the top 500 most popular websites. 

word-image-169147-14 How to Do a Content Gap Analysis [With Template]

It ranks for 120 keywords that our site doesn’t and gets 2,187 estimated monthly search visits from them. This seems like a great opportunity so far! 

However, if we press the + icon on the left of this row, we can see these 120 keywords listed out. At a quick glance, it looks like they aren’t very relevant to our business. 

word-image-169147-15 How to Do a Content Gap Analysis [With Template]

In this case, we move to the next page in the pivot table and repeat the process. 

Let’s assume that you see keywords relevant to your business for this one. The next step is to check to see if you already have an existing page about the topic using the “site:” operator in Google. 

word-image-169147-16 How to Do a Content Gap Analysis [With Template]
  • If yes → you need to consider adding new sections to target common themes from the missing keywords. 
  • If not → you need to create a new page. 

For example, we already have a page on the topic of landing pages but are missing some keywords. 

If we dig a little deeper, we see that many relate to the definition of a landing page. 

word-image-169147-17 How to Do a Content Gap Analysis [With Template]

This tells us that we probably don’t define the term on our page, so we could probably close this gap just by adding that. That may help us to rank for these terms and get more traffic. 

As you do the content gap analysis, you will likely need to create a list of action items for new pages to create or existing pages to optimize. 

To get the most out of this process, it helps to create specific tasks in your project management tool (like Clickup or Asana) along with a content brief that includes the insights you’ve gathered as you do the page-by-page analysis. 

The brief can be simple and can look something like this: 

word-image-169147-18 How to Do a Content Gap Analysis [With Template]

I recommend adding a list of the suggested sections and keywords you think are worth including in either new pages or existing pages so that whoever creates the content is able to close the content gap you identified effectively. 

Final thoughts

Completing a content gap analysis is a critical strategic SEO task to help you or your clients catch up to competitors. The process is fairly methodical and easy to implement, even if you’re a beginner. 

It’s important that you go beyond simply exporting a list of missing keywords. By using our gap analysis template, you can better assess opportunities and assign the correct action item to close the gap. 

Got questions? Ping me on LinkedIn.


Find Out More

Marketing Tips You Need

Keep In Touch

Quick Subscribe

Client Reviews Tell The Tale.

Nicole NoblesApril 18, 2024
Dan was a delight to work with. I needed a few headshots taken for my LinkedIn profile and Dan provided the easiest and most comfortable experience using state-of-the art equipment in a very professional setting. Also, the turn-around time on results was quick and I felt completely engaged and satisfied during the entire process. I highly recommend his services.Donny RitcharoenDecember 19, 2023
I got headshots taken and they turned out so well! The lighting was amazing.Tessa ChanMay 31, 2023
We used Appture to build a lodging website, and they were awesome! Dan went above and beyond to show us the functions and make all of our changes. Appture is our go to for web design from now on!Abigail HaleOctober 26, 2022
Dan did a fantastic job making me feel comfortable while shooting. He also made me look great! I don't photograph well, so I am very pleased with the results and speed at which I got the final product.Lily GostinSeptember 13, 2022
Appture knows their business and will go the extra mile for their customers. They do high quality work and provide great ongoing support.Chris McCorkindaleMay 25, 2022
Anita CauthornMay 24, 2022
It’s so rare in these times to find one man with so much wow factor and more rare to find men with similar interest and passion in their life journey as myself . Dan Elliott has been introduced to many in what is now considered as the Terror Dome , a place where many dreams are not deferred they are detoured to routes that lead to dead ends , he comes in full of optimism so infectious that he, maybe with out knowing is energizing those who have ventured where others would fear going with just the right jolt to forge on in the way of helping fallen humanity … His various fields of expertise has helped many in my region and I can only imagine the number he has effected beyond those I know … from day one I knew “ this was a man of kindred spirit “ Dan Elliott is a Gem and adds glimmer to things he touches … I’m a Witness ….and eternally grateful….L.Rashaan RichMay 21, 2022
Dan and his group are highly capable and knowledgeable. They work fast and get the job done. I highly recommend Appture.Justin FrankMarch 26, 2022
They are highly specialized in their work and constantly seek innovation.Ismail YenigulMarch 14, 2022
Dan is a marketing wizard. Honest, Experienced and a read deal. I am blessed to have him in my journey online :) Highly recommended.Sabbir HasanMarch 7, 2022
So much to say. Creative, Intelligent, Talented, Limitless, Affordable. It's amazing what these guys can do.Hack mackMay 17, 2019
We'd used some other agencies before, but man, they simply knocked us all over. After being in business for 30 years, I wonder how much more business we'd be doing if we'd hired them earlier.Rebecca HoneaMay 17, 2019