6 Content Gaps You’ve Been Hearing so Much About (and How to Avoid Them)
In order to ensure the best possible search engine rankings, it’s important to always be aware of how your website is functioning. Diagnosing potential gaps in content is one way to avoid being penalized by Google and suffering a drop in your rankings. Unfortunately, many businesses have gaps in their online content and don’t even know it, and so they’re confused about why they’re not ranked as high as they think they should be despite a lot of extra effort. Here are some common content gaps, as well as solutions for how to solve or avoid them altogether.
1. Gap: Your Content Isn’t Unique
Solution: Use advanced search modifiers to make sure you’re not using the same content ideas as everybody else.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many companies just use the most popular, general topics when publishing content for their website. While there’s nothing wrong with finding out what’s trending, sticking solely to that niche isn’t going to help increase your rankings. You want to make sure you’re putting a spin on common topics to match your particular business or industry. The more unique to you that you can make your articles sound, the more you’ll stand out from the crowd, and the better your rankings will be. SEO clarity suggests using advanced search modifiers in order to search topics in your industry to find out what’s already been covered.
In the end, doing this preliminary research will prevent you from wasting a lot of time and effort publishing content that isn’t going to get you anywhere.
2. Gap: You’re Not Learning from Your Competition
Solution: Research what your competition is by running a competitor analysis in order to find out if they’ve created any really good content that you’re missing.
This may sound like cheating, but it’s not. Chances are your competition is checking out what kind of content you’re publishing, so why shouldn’t you be doing the same in order to fill your gaps? That being said, don’t just copy what they’re writing about or you’ll end up with the problem listed above. Once you come up with (or find) some good ideas, put your own unique spin on them. You’ll know an idea is good if there have been a lot of links generated from the post. Consider doing a competitor analysis and look at backlinked profiles in order to get the information you need to identify any gaps in content. Doing so will help you better understand your competition, it will teach you more about the industry you’re in, and it will provide you with a list of obtainable links. All in all, it’s a step you can’t afford to skip.
3. Gap: You’re Underutilizing Your Target Audience
Solution: Consult your target audience before publishing new content.
If you’re struggling to come up with unique content ideas that are engaging for your audience, start by simply asking them what they want to see published. You can do this in a survey, via email, through an incentive program on your website, or in-person if you have a brick-and-mortar store. Your audience is who’s going to be following your links, so it makes sense to start with them. You can also brainstorm by thinking about common problems your audience faces and then writing content to address those problems and provide solutions; everyone will appreciate a little help with a difficult topic. Tools like Ubersuggest can help you see what people are searching for in your industry which should help you narrow down your focus. And always, make sure you’re content is engaging for readers. Use a catchy headline, include images, and don’t draw out a topic that can be addressed with minimal words.
4. Gap: Your Most Valuable Content is Located at the Bottom of Your Webpage
Solution: Reformat your site so the best content is placed before the fold on page load.
80% of a user’s attention is focused on the content that appears on a webpage while it’s waiting to load. While this (should) only take a few seconds, it’s enough time to either engage your audience or alienate them depending on what’s displayed. If that’s not enough to convince you to reformat your content, keep in mind that Google also knows about this statistic and isn’t going to rank any content well that’s posted below the fold—it doesn’t matter how valuable you might think it is. Make sure your best content has a large chunk visible when your website is loading in order to best reach your audience and increase your SEO. Consider re-running your crawls in order to extract the content blocks that are visible during page load in order to identify any gaps that you might not know to exist.
5. Gap: You Only Publish Content in One Format
Solution: Publish content in a variety of formats.
Written content is still an extremely important, and effective, format, but it shouldn’t be the only one that you’re relying on. Videos and infographics are also incredibly popular ways to display content, and you should definitely be incorporating both into your content strategy. Remember, you want to engage an audience that has a very short attention span, so think about the best way to do that. Is it with a long, written blog post, or a short video published on a social media live platform? There are definitely times when both formats can be appropriate, so it depends on you to know which topics would be best addressed in the written format and which ones might be better sold in a colorful infographic. As long as you utilize a variety of formats in a well-balanced manner, you should be fine.
6. Gap: You Don’t Conduct Keyword Research to Identify Content Gaps
Solution: Do a keyword research to see if there are any gaps not covered by content.
Most businesses that are familiar with SEO are conducting keyword research, but did you know this is a great strategy when trying to identify gaps in content? After you’ve done your usual keyword searches to see what words your business should be ranking for, consider taking your strategy one step further by breaking these words down into sets and matching them with the content that’s published on your site. This should be a quick and easy way to readily see what content you’re missing. Then just create some more that’s centered around the keyword sets that you’re lacking.
Creating content is a difficult, but important, step to putting your business on the map. It’s not uncommon to have gaps in your content; the important thing is that you recognize them and come up with solutions in order to make your strategy more effective.
Do you know of any other common gaps in content? How do you address gaps when they come on your site? Comment in the section below!