Keyword Gap Analysis – Strategy + Tools

Keyword Gap Analysis – Strategy + Tools

Keyword Gap Analysis – Strategy + Tools

keyword gap analysis strategy and tools

 

 
  • What is Keyword Gap Analysis?
  • How does finding Keyword Gap help your business?
  • How to perform Keyword Gap Analysis?
  • What are the best Keyword Gap analysis tools?

When it comes to keyword research, we have a plethora of Keyword research tools to help us. However, what matters is the technique you are using for researching the perfect keyword for your business.

Keyword gap analysis is one such technique that is useful for:

  1. Bloggers and E-commerce store owners
  2. Marketing, Ecommerce and Digital marketing managers
  3. Agencies and SEO consultants

This technique is literally the holy grail of finding new keywords. In this guide, I will teach you everything about Keyword Gap analysis and best practices.

Here we go…

What is Keyword Gap Analysis?

Keyword gap analysis is the strategy of comparing two or more competing domains to identify those keywords that competition is ranking for, but you are not.

The key here is to pick 1-2 competitor or top websites in your niche, use any of the below-mentioned competitor keyword gap analysis tools, and find those keywords that are driving traffic to your competitor websites.

Thanks to modern keyword gap analysis tools that made this process simple, and with a few hours of exercise you could possibly find new opportunities to create content for your’s or client website.

There are many benefits of Competitor Keyword gap analysis, such as:

  1. The fastest way to find new opportunities
  2. Find questions that readers ask
  3. Discover keywords that are working for an existing website
  4. Find valuable, and high volume keywords in a minute

How to perform Competition Keyword gap analysis?

To get started with the process, you need the following stuff:

  1. A tool for performing competitive keyword gap analysis (Mentioned @ top and below)
  2. A list of your competitors
  3. 1-2 hour of focused time
  4. An excel sheet or a way to organize your Keywords

Best Tools for Keyword gap analysis

These days, all popular Keyword research tools offer Keyword gap analysis features. Some of the most popular Keyword gap analysis tools these days are:

  1. SEMrush
  2. Serpstat
  3. Ahrefs

Most of these tools function similarly, and it is just a matter of your choice. I personally use SEMRush as it offers a lot more features than others.

How to find List of the competitive domain for Gap analysis

Now, you need a list of domains that are competing with your domain in SERP. You can again find this using any of the tools listed above.

Here is how you can do it on SEMrush:

  • Login to SEMrush dashboard
  • Type your domain name and click on organic research

 

 

Look for “Main Organic Competitors” on the page, and here you will find the list of the organic competitors for the provided domain.

 

 

You can click on view all to see the entire list of competitors. You can make a list of 3-4 domains that are relevant to your business. These domains will work as a seed domain for performing the analysis.

It is a good idea to note down these domains on an excel sheet, so that in the future, you don’t have to repeat the process of finding competitive domains.

For new websites:

If you are starting a new blog or a website, you can pick the top websites in your niche, and use that for competitive gap analysis.

Moving on…

How to perform Keyword Gap analysis

After identifying the domains for competitive keyword analysis, now, let’s jump to the fun part.

The idea here is to, compare your domain with other domain names, and see which keywords they are ranking for, but you are not.

I usually repeat this process by comparing

  1. My domain with a single competitive domain name
  2. My domain with multiple competitive domain name

Both the steps are equally important, and the more time you spent at this stage, will help you to identify profitable high-value keyword opportunities.

For the sake of this tutorial, we will compare one domain with multiple domain names.

Click on the Keyword gap tool and enter your domain name and competitor domain name.

 

 

Now, here you need to click on intersection type to compare your domain with other target domains:

SEMrush offers 4 different options for intersection type:

  • All keywords – view every keyword that the entered domains are ranking for in Google’s top 100.
  • Keywords Unique to the first domain – see the keywords that the first domain ranks for but the second does not.
  • Common keywords – view all the keywords that both domains have rankings for in Google’s top 100 results.
  • Unique keywords – view the keywords that are unique to each domain and not shared by any of the other sites.

 

 

 

You can also, use the filters to further refine the keywords. For example, find keywords with volume > 100

 

 

From here, you can create a list of keywords that make sense for your business. You can also export them using the SEMrush export feature (Top right) and then import it to your keyword management tool.

Tip: Filtering at this stage is essential, and you should also check for search intent to ensure if that keyword is valuable or not in today’s time.

Keyword Gap Analysis on Ahrefs

Ahrefs is another popular SEO tool, and they offer beginner-friendly keyword gap analysis. One of my SEO friends, Robbie Richard, has created this video showing how you can use Ahrefs Keyword gap analysis tool:

 

Ahrefs interface is beginners friendly, and easier to use for even novice.

Content gap analysis 🤔

Often a lot of SEO’s and tools interchangeably keyword gap analysis and content gap analysis.

I believe in the days to come, the content gap analysis should mean only to compare two pieces of content, and finding the gap between them.

Most of the On-page optimizer tools like Frase, SEMrush Writing Assistant, POP are an example of content gap analysis. However, this is just a matter of understanding, and with time we will have a uniform nomenclature.

Until then, enjoy this tutorial on keyword gap analysis. Feel free to ask any questions if you have.

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Why SERP Analysis is Crucial for SEO (Step by Step Guide)

Why SERP Analysis is Crucial for SEO (Step by Step Guide)

Why SERP Analysis is Crucial for SEO (Step by Step Guide)

There’s a popular misconception about keyword research: that the process ends when we’ve found the ideal balance between search volume and keyword difficulty.

Newsflash: no, it doesn’t end there.

There’s this thing called SERP analysis, which is an inseparable part of your keyword research, and if done correctly, can be a true game-changer.

In short, SERP analysis means to check the results you get after you search for relevant keywords and decide if you’re going to optimize for these keywords based on your chances of beating the competition.

I’m not over-exaggerating when I say that it actually doesn’t matter if you’re 100% sure that you’ve found a great keyword with a reasonable search volume and level of competition.

If you skip the search results analysis, it can still be a huge miss that causes you to lose money or time, or both.

I’ve rounded-up the most important aspects of a SERP competitor analysis in 3 points:

  1. Finding the right keywords
  2. Understanding your competition
  3. Doing SERP competitor analysis

Let’s go!

Finding The Right Keywords

Wow, I found the right keywords for my website, they are not too hard to rank for and their aggregated search volume should bring me a lot of relevant traffic! But wait, look at the SERP. The results are different from what I would want to rank in. Oh, it looks like the search intention behind them isn’t what my customers would expect.

Yes, this can happen.

Here’s a simplified example that does not take the metrics into account.

Let’s say you’re optimizing a product landing page for a keyword research tool. Instinctively you may consider “keyword research” to be one of the keywords you’re going for.

But then look what happens on the 1st SERP:

All results lead to blogs and guides on keyword research.

The obvious intention behind this search query is to find free information, and not to buy a product.

If you want to rank for the correct user intention, you’re going to need a different search term. In this case, your best move is to include the word “tool” in your phrase.

The same applies the other way round.

Skipping SERP analysis is a common mistake when doing local SEO keyword research too.

A food blogger reviewing New York pizza restaurants won’t find it useful to rank their article for online pizza delivery services for the same reason as in the first example – the intention mismatch.

SERP analysis basically shows you what users mean when they search for something and it eliminates the need to blind-guess the search queries.

Taking a simple look at the search results for a particular keyword is enough to understand whether it’s relevant or not.

Understanding Your Competition

Let’s focus on your competition now.

What you’re aiming at is to rank on the 1st SERP or at least at the top of the 2nd SERP.

The CTR study chart below shows the average CTR on the 1st and 2nd SERPs. The stats for the top positions on the 2nd SERP are a bit higher compared to those of the last positions from the 1st page.

Turns out it’s not such a bad idea to appear on the second page of Google after all (as long as you nail the top spot).

However, your #1 priority is to have as many engaged organic users as possible by ranking high for similar middle and long-tail keywords in multiple SERPs.

This is what we’ll try to discover now about your competition.

To analyze properly, you’ll need a lot more data than what shows in the search results, that’s why free tools come in handy.

Back in the days there weren’t too many keyword research tools that included SERP analysis. One of the pioneers was KWFinder, and it’s their tool that I used to research “best pizza in new york”.

Thanks to the SERPChecker integration, I can analyze:

  • Link profile strength (LPS)
  • Domain Authority (DA)
  • Page authority (PA)
  • Citation Flow (CF)
  • Trust Flow (TF)
  • Facebook shares (FB)
  • Alexa Rank
  • Number of external backlinks
  • Referring Domains (RD)
  • Referring IP Addresses (RI)

Check what all of these metrics mean here.

Now, let’s talk about Moz. As you see, a bunch of the metrics above refer to them.

These guys produce a range of wildly popular SEO tools and their metrics are still among the most used by SEO managers who want to calculate the authority of websites.

As we all know, the URL link profile remains one of the top three ranking factors. By having all this data you’ve got a chance to outrank high-authoritative sites which have strong backlinks even if you don’t have any backlinks.

All you need to do is produce super relevant and well optimized content. Be useful, offer value and Google will pick you up! That’s the magic of the Google algorithm.

If you don’t work with Moz, you can still check their metrics directly in Google SERP for free with the MozBar extension available for Chrome.

Here’s a glimpse:

Not bad, right?

In a nutshell, the strongest benefits of running a SERP competitor analysis are evaluating your chances of dominating the organic search, and what’s even more important, understanding the search intent behind a keyword, which will give you additional reasons to optimize for it.

Having said this, it’s time to move on to the real action.

Doing SERP Competitor Analysis

You have 2 options:

  1. Analyze Google Search results manually
  2. Use keyword tools with integrated SERP analysis

Doing SERP Analysis in Google Search

It’s all done directly in Google Search and you get to see the results in the same way as any other user. What you’ll do differently than the average searching user, however, is to employ various SEO extensions to get an overview of the most important metrics around your competition – their DA, PA or the number of external links.

Keep in mind that since Google has updated their local results, you won’t be able to inspect the SERP for specific locations unless you use specialized tools or know a couple of hacks.

You can use Nightwatch Search Simulator for instance. It’s a free Chrome extension that helps you simulate search engine queries on Google and compare the rankings of your website to these of your competitors.

Using keyword tools

In order to analyze location-specific SERPs, we have to use either keyword research tools with SERP analysis for selected locations or tools designed to generate accurate search results for these locations.

The few I mentioned earlier – KWFinder (Discount Coupon) or SEMrush (SEMrush Free Trial) can do this and I noticed that Long Tail Pro has incorporated this feature too.

In my opinion, the biggest added value of these tools is that you can do everything in one place. Not need to manually inspect the Google Search or use another tool and stretch your attention.

More and more keyword tools include this single dashboard organisation, so thumbs up for their developers.

They must have realized how important it is to do the SERP competitor analysis in the process of keyword research, so we’ll surely see even more improvements in the future.

Conclusion

To sum it up, here’s a list of things to keep in mind during a SERP analysis:

  • The SERP analysis helps you decide if you’re targeting a relevant keyword
  • Additional SEO metrics will help you analyze your competitors and if you have the potential to beat them
  • Inspect location-specific search results. It is a good idea to use keyword research tools which offer SERP analysis
  • Google SERP features such as answer boxes, featured snippets, AdWords, etc. may lower the CTR of organic results

I hope that this piece gave you new ideas on how to improve your keyword research. If there’s one thing that’s absolutely fundamental to take from this article, it’s to remember that SERP analysis isn’t only about your competition – it’s a crucial step of your own keyword research process.

Maros Kortis

Head of Marketing at Mangools

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