Actionable SEO Gap Analysis





Blog Date

June 3, 2024


UK, Manchester

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Actionable SEO Gap Analysis

The Constant Battle for the Spotlight

In the ever-evolving world of search engine optimization (SEO), ranking on Google is not just about having great content, some backlinks, and solid technical optimization. No, my friends, it’s a constant battle for the spotlight – a fierce competition to outrank your rivals and claim that coveted first-page real estate.

You see, the search engine results page (SERP) is like a crowded stage, and not everyone can be the star. It’s all about understanding the context, identifying your true competitors, and strategizing to claim your rightful place in the limelight. That’s where the almighty SEO gap analysis comes into play.

Divide and Conquer: The Three Pillars of SEO

As an SEO consultant, I’ve learned that the key to a successful gap analysis lies in breaking down your SEO efforts into three distinct pillars: content, technical SEO, and backlinks. Our agency swears by this approach, as it allows us to pinpoint the exact areas where our clients are falling short and devise a targeted strategy to outshine the competition.

You see, there’s a ceiling to how much optimizing one aspect of your SEO can improve your rankings. Be it content, technical SEO, or links, the returns on your efforts diminish as you become better and better at one particular area. That’s why it’s crucial to maintain a balanced approach, addressing each pillar with equal vigor.

Step 1: Identify Your Rivals

Ah, the first step in our SEO gap analysis journey – identifying your true competitors. This is no easy feat, my friends, as the digital landscape is constantly shifting, and new players are constantly entering the fray.

The folks over at Salt Agency have a great approach – start by searching your primary keywords and taking note of the domains that consistently rank in the top spots. These are the sites you’ll want to keep a close eye on.

But don’t stop there! Venture beyond the obvious contenders and explore the keywords that drive traffic to your site. You might be surprised to find some unexpected SERP rivals that you’ll need to factor into your analysis.

Benchmarking Your SEO Performance

Now that you’ve identified your competitors, it’s time to take a long, hard look at your own SEO performance. I like to use a good old-fashioned spreadsheet to keep everything organized and easy to analyze.

Let’s dive into each of the three pillars, shall we?

Content Conundrum

When it comes to content, the name of the game is understanding your competitors’ strategies. Start by looking at their estimated monthly traffic, the number of keywords they rank for, and the types of content they’re focusing on (e.g., branded, editorial, or product-focused).

The team at Wix suggests taking a deep dive into the traffic sources for your competitors’ content. Are they crushing it with their branded content, or are they dominating the editorial space? Knowing their strengths and weaknesses can give you a major advantage in crafting your own content strategy.

Backlink Blitz

Next up, let’s talk about the backbone of your SEO efforts – backlinks. Using tools like Linkody, you can analyze your competitors’ link profiles to uncover their secret sauce.

Look at the number of links and referring domains they have, their link growth over time, and the quality of those backlinks. This information can help you identify link-building opportunities and guide your off-site SEO strategy.

Technical Triage

Last but certainly not least, we have the elusive technical SEO pillar. This one can be a bit tricky, as each industry and tech stack has its own unique challenges.

The Wix team suggests focusing on key metrics like site audit scores, Core Web Vitals, and page speed. These can give you a good indication of how much your competitors are investing in the technical side of their SEO.

Don’t forget to take a closer look at the nitty-gritty details, like their robots.txt file, sitemaps, and canonical tags. These little details can make a big difference in how search engines perceive and rank your site.

Identifying Your Weakest Link

Alright, now that you’ve got all your competitor data neatly organized in your trusty spreadsheet, it’s time to identify your weakest SEO pillar. This is where the real magic happens, my friends.

Take a good, hard look at the numbers and see where you’re falling short compared to your rivals. Is it your content? Your backlink profile? Or is it your technical SEO that’s holding you back?

Once you’ve pinpointed your Achilles’ heel, it’s time to dive deeper and develop a targeted strategy to address the issue. Whether it’s creating a content gap analysis, optimizing your link-building efforts, or tackling your technical woes, this is where the real work begins.

Turning Insights into Action

Congratulations, you’ve completed your SEO gap analysis! But the real challenge lies in transforming all that juicy data into tangible results. After all, what good is a gap analysis if it doesn’t spark any action?

Use your competitor’s performance to set some SMART goals and work backwards from there. Craft a detailed plan of attack that covers the next three to six months, and then reevaluate your chosen pillar. Don’t forget to share your findings with your stakeholders – they’ll be impressed by how you’re bridging the gap (or creating a larger one in your favor) and bringing real value to the business.

Remember, the digital landscape is constantly evolving, so it’s crucial to schedule regular content gap analyses to stay ahead of the curve. With a little dedication and a whole lot of strategy, you can outpace your competitors and claim your rightful spot in the SERP spotlight.

So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to dive into the world of actionable SEO gap analysis and leave your rivals in the dust!

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