content gap analysis

Content Gap Analysis: Three Uncommon Ways to Fill The Gap

Content gap analysis is strategically understanding the needs of a targeted audience by looking at untapped content opportunities on competitors' website, in industry's content as a whole, and in several micro-niche communities.

content gap analysis

There are many benefits in initiating a content gap analysis to your content marketing campaign. Let me give a few. 

  • Examine overlaps in your content topics with your competitors 
  • Discover new content opportunities your direct competitors haven't grabbed yet (where you can fill in the gap) 
  • Identify content formats your unique industry majorly consumes

In the latest post of Rand Fishkin at Sparktoro, he examines the current blogosphere and if there's still room for companies and other entities to leverage blogging in their online marketing strategy. 

In relation to visibility, content formatting, and authority, not all brands can benefit much from blogging. Out of thousands of people who blog, a few only exists and do well.

Understanding that reality allows you to seek out topical opportunities that are driven by demands (needs) but with less supply of content. 

To start with content gap analysis, you can execute the most conventional approach, which is finding content gaps by plugging in competitors' domains in a content marketing tool. 

With Ahrefs' Content Gap feature, you can discover keywords your competitors have ranked for, but your brand hasn't yet targeted. 

To get the most out of the results, it is best to first include websites you're directly competing with from the highest relevance level. Go very specific with your competitor targeting.

Filter down keywords based on keyword difficulty level, search volume, and relevance. Create content assets that best suit your content marketing resources.

This is the most common way of doing content gap analysis, but there are three more methodologies I'd like to cover in this post.

Let me start with link-based audience overlap.

Link-Based Audience Overlap

One leading indicator of a growth-wise content marketing campaign is the number of links generated to a content asset. Though it's not the primary defining value of a successful campaign, it helps create expectations from a quantity perspective.

Knowing this, , you must also see if the preferred topics have probability of driving links to a page/site. 

The 601 audiences spreadsheet from Citation Labs is not only a good list of potential linkable audiences to tap to in your content, but also a good assessment tool if there are any audiences that haven't been reached out by your competitors through content.

Visit their resources section, or if the blog has massive content pieces, you can use Ahrefs' Top Pages or Best By Links feature to quickly see their most-linked to pages.

Check the 601 Audience spreadsheet alongside your competitors' resource pages. It is best to curate all resources pages of your competitors in one place so you don't have to switch to different tabs/sheets. 

List down linkable audiences untargeted by your competitors. Check using any of these search queries to see if there is a load of resource page link opportunities for that audience. 

  • intitle:links OR inurl:links "keyword"
  • intitle:resources OR inurl:resources "keyword"
  • inurl:links.html "keyword"
  • inurl:links.htm "keyword"
  • "links to resources" "keyword"
  • "of links for" "keyword"
  • intitle:”helpful links” "keyword"
  • intitle:links "keyword"
  • "other helpful links" "keyword"
  • "links to websites" "keyword"

By considering not only keywords per se, but linkability potential of topics, you're better of hitting a good leading indicator - highest links possibly generated for the page. 

Micro-niche Communities (Gaps in the Industry)

You may find industry content gaps in platforms where your targeted people are mostly engaging in. These include micro-niche communities where some of the blogs originated given that they see a significant need of information in the market. 

Sub-reddits is a popular example of a micro-niche community. Examples of targeted sub-reddits are Woodworking  and StopGaming

Given the information is strictly on the most relevant topic, you would often find questions that are too deep and technical in nature. Those questions are likely to have a search volume and/or that demands some content attention. 

You can leverage these sub-reddits to pinpoint technical and niche-oriented keywords and questions either by engaging in the community and plugging your subreddit in a link analysis tool. 

Another good approach is to create a singular page for the topic you've discovered. See if there's a gap other content creators haven't filled in yet. With the use of the advanced search operator, "intitle:keyphrase", you can check if the topic is highly saturated with informational pieces. 

Pre-content Creation Link Jacking

One of the gaps every link-oriented content marketer has to fill in is outdated opportunities in content.

If a page has linked to an outdated study, statistics and article, it will be better off linked to a new referenced content piece. 

This may be overlooked by content creators and more often than not, not taken care of bloggers, unless they do regular content audit of their websites.

It is a gap you can fill in right away. 

If you have published interesting statistics, you can find earlier ones and articles with outdated statistics.

Find them and see the sites that linked to them. Reach out to those sites and ask them to update their links to your new study. 

Improving Your Content and Other Creators' Content

As soon as you update your content piece with new, relevant information, other content formats to make it not just comprehensive but unique for an intended audience, you'll then find ways to fill in gaps of other content creators. By providing them with new content asset to reference to or by crafting content for a certain linkable audience untapped by your competitors, you meet a need in your market. 

link diversity

More Than The Common Factors In Link Diversity

When people discuss link diversity, they basically refer to a methodology of getting links from various kinds of pages of different websites. 

Such link diversity includes a ratio of homepage links to deep page links, mix of do-follow links and no-follow links, anchor text variation, links on different page location (link placement), links from websites with different Domain Authority (DA), and links from websites with different TLDs.

These common factors of link diversity is critically important, but a newbie SEO professional wouldn't have much time to check each one of these factors while they are executing every facet of a link building campaign.

It's hard to diversify if you're into the execution stage. Best that I recommend is to go all-in with the strategy - i.e. understanding what kind of pages need to acquire so you can concentrate your efforts on work alone, when it's execution time. 

Here are some tips to help you diversity your link profile in the strategy phase: 

1. Employ different methods

Every link building tactic is normally targeted to a specific type of page--for example, broken link building for links pages, scholarship link building for scholarship pages, and blogger outreach for guest blogs/articles. 

By applying different link acquisition methods, you are able to target different types of links from different pages — allowing you to diversify your link profile. 

Of course, each link building tacticwill require more than one person to execute all phases of the campaign. If you want better results, your link prospectors and outreach specialists should be well-trained to execute their tasks.

This idea may be turned down by solo link building consultants given that they don't have a huge team to facilitate all of these methods. While that's true in a sense, they could still employ these methods one at a time. 

For instance, it's possible to conduct a blogger outreach for one solid content piece for two months, and then work on a scholarship campaign when all you're doing is waiting for links to live in your blogger outreach campaign. You can then switch your resources to another link building method 

If you discovered one type of link that demands huge opportunities in your space (i.e. summer housing pages on .edu sites).

summer housing link

By doing so, you're not limiting yourself to one or two types of links; you vary your link type through variation of methods. 

2. Have different link building groups working on different tactics

This is an effective strategy that I've found to be true to a few of the clients we're working with. We are not the only outsourced link building provider, they got another one or two link building agencies or teams working with them.

Not only are we working for different pages (dedicated pages to build links to), we also employ link building tactics. 

That allows them to diversify the types of links they're getting on a month-to-month basis. 

So if you've got a huge budget in your plate, you may assign different pages and work towards different tactics with the help of your outsourced teams. 

3. Tap different linkable audiences

In a white-hat style link asking approach, where we prospect for resource pages, the basic idea to scale things up is to tap different linkable audience for each content you create. 

So let's say, you will create a piece about bullying, another piece for kids and teenagers, and there may be content assets dedicated to veterans and PSTD sufferers.


These are linkable audiences you can target for each of your content asset. So it's not just a variety of methods you're applying, you're also targeting resource links from different topically relevant pages.

4. Leverage latest and recent link opportunities

When SEOs talk about link diversity, they focus more on anchor text variation and other common factors I mentioned earlier. While these are all part of our topic today, link diversity is also about finding and pursuing recent or latest and credible link opportunities.

If you can build real links that translate to real business value like getting a coverage for a story on a top industry news outlet, it'll be worth your time receiving additional business exposure and assisted conversions.

Start with the recent links of your competitors. Plug in your competitors' domains in a link analysis tool like Ahrefs. See their recent links for the past few months and identify what they've produced or covered on their blog to assess if these are replicable or could be turned into a unique angle of yours.

backlink reports competitors

By getting a more systematized approach in pursuing authoritative links, you're likely to diversify your link profile — with both organic and manually-built backlinks. 

You can check out this anchor text optimization guide by OutreachMama


When a natural backlink profile is forcefully done, and isn't done really naturally, there's a chance that what has been aimed won't be achieved — a natural backlink profile indeed. 

Employing a variety of white-hat link building techniques, customizing campaigns to suit different linkable audiences , pursuing a variety of links to different webpages and pursuing credible links at your own best are ways to really diverse your backlinks.