What is a Content Gap?

It’s common to assume that the internet has every single answer to any question you could ask. But you’ve undoubtedly searched for something at some point and come up with nothing that’s actually helpful.

This is often the case of a content gap. When you can’t find what you want online, no matter how you search for a topic, it’s often because that content doesn’t exist.

Or, it could be that the content is out there somewhere, but it’s poorly optimized and isn’t ranked by search engines.

In this article, we’ll be exploring this topic: What is a content gap? We’ll also discuss how you can find and fill those gaps to attract an audience that’s looking for what you offer.

This is an excellent way to plan and create content that will compete!

What is a Content Gap? The Term Defined

A content gap is the space (the “gap”) between what a user is looking for and the results they get for their query. When the user can’t find what they’re after and get off-base results instead, that means there’s a gap in the market.

And that means there’s an opportunity to fill that gap, answer the query and attract the audience that needs that information.

In more technical terms, filling in a content gap means fulfilling search intent . Search intent, also referred to as user intent, is the user’s goal when they search for a query.

For example, the search intent for “order coffee online” is transactional because the user intends to make a purchase. The search intent for “how to make great coffee” is informational because the user wants to find how-to information about the topic.

Do You Need to Find and Fill Content Gaps?

If you want an optimized website that can stand out from the competition, then yes, you should definitely find and fill content gaps. Making your visitors happy by providing what they’re after can improve your website stats, too, specifically bounce rate, conversions and dwell time.

Here are just a few examples of how you can improve your website and business by filling content gaps:

  • Fulfill the purpose of the content so visitors don’t go to another site to get what they need.
  • Provide so much valuable information that visitors trust you and are ready to convert.
  • Become a thorough resource for a topic so other sites want to add backlinks to your content.

Overall, you’ll improve the customer journey by knowing what is a content gap and filling them in, all while taking traffic away from the competition that hasn’t yet provided the information you have.

How to Identify and Fill a Content Gap

To find and fill content gaps, you have to first conduct a gap analysis. To do that, you’ll review several elements of your own website and competitor websites, including:

  • Blog posts
  • Keyword ranking
  • Landing pages
  • Paid ad content
  • Social platforms
  • Website pages

What is a content gap on your website versus other websites? Basically, gap analysis breaks down into two types:

Internal Website Gap Analysis

By analyzing what your website currently offers, you can determine what information you’re missing and need to add. This type of audit may include your:

  • Blog posts
  • Downloadable items
  • Landing pages
  • Social media content
  • Website pages
  • Any other content assets

Competitive Keyword Gap Analysis

By analyzing the keywords that your competitors are ranking for and you are not ranking for, you can create a content strategy based on those keywords.

For example, with Semrush, you can run a keyword analysis on a competitor’s website. Then, you can click on a top-performing keyword and see if the content covers all the bases. When you find an article that doesn’t, that’s your chance to improve upon it.

What is a Content Gap for You? Decide On a Goal First

Before conducting a gap analysis, it’s smart to pick a goal. What do you want to improve by filling in a content gap?

For example, maybe you want to improve your search engine results page (SERP) ranking. Or, maybe your content is ranking high, but your on-site conversions could be better.

Knowing why you’re filling in a content gap will help you decide how to best fill that gap for your own needs.

Conduct Audience Research

What’s the best way to figure out what your audience wants? Ask them! If you have a large enough audience, you can create a survey. Ask about their:

  • Biggest concerns
  • Main goals
  • Pain points
  • Pressing needs
  • Top questions

Then, use the feedback to guide your content strategy and give them what they’re not getting yet.

If you don’t have an audience to tap into, you’ll have to work a bit harder for your market research and to answer what is a content gap for them. For example, you can look up recent polls that competitors have run or read social and blog post comments to see what people still want to know about.

Conduct Competitor Research

When looking into the competition’s content, here are aspects to pay attention to and possibly improve on:

  • Freshness: Was the content published or updated within the past year? If not, you could get more clicks simply by creating newer content.
  • Thoroughness: Does the content completely answer the query and also offer additional related information the user would want to know?
  • User-Friendliness: Is the information presented in a way that’s easy to digest and apply to real life?
  • Wow Factor: Does the content have that special something that impresses and makes people want to share it?

You can either fill in each one of these gaps in your competitive content, or you can pick just one to tackle. Either way, you’ll still be improving on what’s already out there.

What is a Content Gap in Search Results? Inspect the SERP

Content is usually published with the goal of reaching the top spot on the first Google SERP. So to see what’s out there on a topic — and what’s missing — you can look into the first Google results page for a search term.

Here’s a great example. When searching for “paleo food in Disney World,” the goal is to get a list of places in Disney World where you can find paleo-friendly food items. This is the first search result (and it’s the same if you Google “paleo Disney”):

What is a content gap when searching on Google.

When you click on that result, though, you end up on a page with a brief and not-detailed overview of the paleo diet and Disney foods. Not helpful.

The second result, which seems a bit more detailed, also doesn’t provide the needed information.

If you had a website about healthy eating at Disney World, paleo foods at Disney World or even dining options in Disney World, you could compete with the top result by creating a long-form article that thoroughly discusses paleo food options there because there’s clearly a gap in information.

Map the Customer Journey

In a perfect world, every visitor that clicks through to your website would be ready to make a purchase right then. That’s not how it works, though.

Typically, your website visitors (we’ll call them “customers” for our purposes right now) are on a path that may or may not lead to them converting. And your job is to meet them at every stop along that path to give them what they need at that moment.

A lot of websites out there don’t do this. It’s far more common to find sites that cater to two stops along the path:

  • Creating informative content for people who are looking for more information.
  • Creating sales pages to try to convert visitors into buyers.

There’s a big gap between those two stages, though, and in that gap, visitors will lose interest in the site because they’re not getting what they need. Not only will those visitors go elsewhere, but they may not return — and they won’t make it to your sales page.

This article can help you create a customer journey map to fill in the gaps that so many other sites miss.

Perform Website Gap Analysis

Auditing the content on your own website will show you which gaps to fill in. Look at each post on your website and analyze it as you would a competitor’s post. Make a list of everything to improve. For example:

  • Shorten the intro and add your primary keyword.
  • Rearrange sections and add headers to improve flow.
  • Include more visuals to break up the text.
  • Include recent stats to support your claims.
  • Add a FAQ section at the end.

Start by updating the content that’s most relevant to your audience and that your competitors are falling short on.

Perform Keyword Gap Analysis

You can also use an SEO tool to see the keywords your website is ranking for. As you look into those keywords, you’ll uncover related keywords that you’re not yet ranking for. You can then plan to fill in those gaps.

This may mean creating content to target those keywords. Or, you may already have content that’s related to those keywords, but it’s not properly optimized. In that case, you’d take a closer look at your target keyword for that piece, but you may not have to do any in-depth content updating to fill in the gap.

We have a list of 35 free SEO tools to get you started.

What is a Content Gap? Final Thoughts

Creating content that’s better than what’s out there means making search engines and users happy. From showing up higher in search results to getting more shares on social media, finding and filling content gaps is a worthwhile pursuit for your website.

You can also impress your audience by directing them to other topics you’ve covered that relate to their search. Link Whisper makes internal linking easier by suggesting content to connect to.

Build A Powerful Internal Link Strategy Today

Enter your email & we'll send you 8 tips to build an internal link strategy.

And 3 things you should avoid doing with internal links.

    We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.

    What You Should Know About Automatically Generated Content

    Contents1 What is Automatically Generated Content?2 Can Auto-Generated Content Be Harmful?2.1 Auto-Generated Content and the User Experience3 How to Avoid Using Automatically Generated Content3.1 Topic and Keyword Choice3.2 Search Intent3.3 Original Content3.4 High-Quality, High-Value Content3.5 Keyword-Optimized Content3.6 Visually Appealing Content4…

    Read More

    Is Short-Form or Long-Form Content Better?

    Contents1 What Is Short-Form Content?1.1 Short-Form Content Pros1.2 Short-Form Content Cons1.3 When Should I Use Short-Form Content?1.4 3 Tips for Writing Short-Form Content2 What Is Long-Form Content?2.1 Long-Form Content Pros2.2 Long-Form Content Cons2.3 When Should I Use Long-Form Content?2.4 3…

    Read More

    Get Started with LinkWhisper

    Speed Up the Process of Internal Linking and Help You Rank Better in Google

    Get LinkWhisper Now