The SEO industry has its own language consisting of acronyms and terms outsiders do not understand. One such term is ‘content gap’. Type it into Google and you will find no shortage of articles discussing it at length. This post will add to the discussion by explaining content gaps in simple English. What are they and why do they matter? Keep reading to find out.
Content gaps can be viewed in one of two ways. Both views are legitimate and, in the long run, interrelated. The first view sees content gaps strictly as keywords that a given site is not ranking for despite the fact that competing sites do rank for them. The second view sees content gaps more broadly as missing content that could otherwise help a website rank better in SERPs.
Gaps as Untapped Keywords
Any strong, relevant keywords a site is not utilizing are essentially untapped keywords. They are like the untapped potential of an oil well. Leave them buried and they don’t do you much good. Release them and they will gush forth with abundant results.
Those who view content gaps strictly through the lens of keywords understand that not competing in the keyword game ultimately means not competing in organic searches. This is obviously not good for business. As Salt Lake City’s Webtek explains, a site that does not perform organically will not generate as much traffic as the competition.
So how do you identify these untapped keywords? By using a keyword search tool capable of scraping competitor sites. Such a tool will quickly tell you what keywords your competition is ranking well for. You can scan that list to identify any that your site ignores. Every keyword represents a gap to be filled – which leads us to the broader view of content gaps.
Gaps as Missing Content
Taking the broader view of content gaps forces you to think about the information on your site. For all intents and purposes, the web is a repository of content. Everything on your site is content, whether it is customer-facing or only for search engine consumption. Thus, your website is the content it presents.
Scraping competitor sites to identify untapped keywords also identifies missing content. How? By telling you what keywords your current content is not focusing on. An untapped keyword represents the need to create new content around that keyword.
Why It All Matters
All of this matters because content is still king on the internet. Google only exists because there is content to analyze and rank. People use search engines, not because they need something to do with their time, but because they want a shortcut for finding the content they are after.
If your website is lacking the content your customers need and want, those customers have no reason to visit your site. So it is in your best interests to find content gaps and fill them. It is in your best interest to learn what search terms your customers rely on and create content around them.
The fewer content gaps found on your site, the more relevant your site is to customers. It should also rank better in SERPs for a longer list of keywords. This is what you want. Excellent SERP performance combined with quality content is ultimately that which will separate your site from the competition. To succeed though, you have to close the gaps.
Fortunately, identifying and closing content gaps is not hard. However, it does take some time and effort. It is time and effort well spent once you see the results of your work.