Leveling Up with Advanced Keyword Gap Analysis





Blog Date

June 3, 2024


UK, Manchester

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Leveling Up with Advanced Keyword Gap Analysis

Uncovering Valuable Keyword Opportunities Through Competitor Insights

As an SEO professional, I’m always on the hunt for new and exciting ways to uncover hidden keyword gems that can propel my clients’ websites to new heights. The world of search engine optimization is an ever-evolving landscape, and the key to staying ahead of the curve lies in mastering advanced keyword research techniques. One strategy that has consistently proven its worth is the art of keyword gap analysis.

Keyword gap analysis is the process of identifying valuable keywords that your competitors rank highly for, but your website is currently missing out on. This powerful approach can include both organic and paid keyword opportunities, allowing you to gain a comprehensive understanding of the competitive landscape.

Navigating the Keyword Gap Maze

Manually performing this type of keyword gap analysis can be an incredibly daunting task, especially when you’re dealing with thousands of keywords across multiple domains. Fortunately, the Semrush Keyword Gap tool (aff) has made this process much more manageable.

With the Semrush Keyword Gap tool, you can tailor your competitive analysis to uncover the most valuable keyword opportunities for your business. Whether you’re looking to target new services, product categories, or even specific types of user intent, this powerful tool puts the power of keyword gap analysis at your fingertips.

Uncovering Hidden Gems: Advanced Keyword Gap Analysis Tactics

In this in-depth guide, I’m going to share with you five advanced tactics that will help you quickly and efficiently uncover your most valuable keyword gaps, laying the foundation for a winning SEO campaign.

Tactic 1: Leverage Subfolder-Level Analysis

Analyzing your competitors’ keywords at the subfolder level is one of the fastest ways to find new high-value keywords. Depending on your business model, you’ll want to target different search intent. For example, a law firm might focus on service-related keywords in their “/legal-services/” subfolder, while an ecommerce brand might target product-related keywords in their “/products/” subfolder.

Let’s take a closer look at what this looks like for a couple of different business types:

Law Firm Example:
Dolman Law Group lists all its services in the “/legal-services/” subfolder of its website. Their competitor, Fellerman Law, can use subfolder gap analysis to find keywords they’re missing out on. In the Semrush Keyword Gap analysis tool (aff), they can scroll down and select “Competitors in the Top 20” to only get the top-ranking service keywords for which their competitors are ranking. This gives them a list of potential high-value, commercial intent, service keywords they could target for their own site.

Ecommerce Example:
Zeus Beard and Beardbrand are competitors in the beard grooming ecommerce space, but they house their products in different subfolders: https://www.zeusbeard.com/collections/ vs. https://www.beardbrand.com/products/. Using Semrush (aff), Zeus Beard can run a keyword gap analysis of these subfolders, again filtering for “Competitors in the Top 20.” This reveals 295 high-value keywords that Beardbrand ranks for, but Zeus Beard doesn’t.

Tactic 2: Leverage Advanced Filters for Non-Subfolder Sites

The first tactic works great when you have a logical subfolder structure to analyze. But many sites don’t use subfolders and instead house key pages on the root domain. As a result, you’ll need to use advanced filters to find the best opportunities in the gap analysis.

For example, let’s say you’re trying to grow an affiliate website in the coffee niche, like Coffee or Bust. You can analyze a top competitor in the space, such as Home Grounds. Since we know mid-funnel keywords with modifiers like “best” are most valuable for affiliate sites, we can use filters in the Semrush Keyword Gap tool (aff) to quickly uncover those opportunities.

By adding filters for keywords containing phrases like “best” or “review,” Coffee or Bust could target 753 commercial intent keywords that Home Grounds ranks for, but they don’t. And if the list is still too long, you can further refine it by applying a keyword difficulty filter to only focus on low-competition keywords.

Tactic 3: Identify Organic Ranking Opportunities for Paid Search

The third tactic involves analyzing your keywords that rank outside the top 3 organic positions, and you do NOT currently bid on them in paid search. The idea is that you can bid on the high-value keywords that are not at the top of page one until your organic results improve – essentially providing paid aircover while your organic rankings grow.

For example, you can compare Semrush’s paid and organic product keywords. By adding filters to only show organic keywords in the top 20 positions with commercial or transactional intent, you can uncover a list of keywords that Semrush is already ranking for, but not bidding on. You can then select the highest intent ones and bid on them until you hit the top 3, or position #1, organically.

Tactic 4: Leverage Competitor Paid Search Insights

The fourth strategy is another quick way to uncover a shortlist of the highest value money keyword gaps. This tactic highlights keywords your competitors are bidding on (most likely higher intent) that you are missing in your organic strategy.

In the Semrush Keyword Gap tool (aff), you can enter up to 4 competitors at a time and filter for commercial or transactional intent. This reveals a list of keywords that your competitors are bidding on, but you’re not targeting organically. For example, Copper has a potential 203 high-value keywords to target, including “best crm,” “best crm software,” and “crm for commercial real estate.”

Tactic 5: Uncover Secondary Keyword Opportunities

In the final keyword gap strategy, you compare the URL of one of your pages/posts against a higher ranking competitor for an important topic to see if there are any secondary keywords that they rank for, but you don’t. You’re looking for keywords that you could use to optimize your page, such as sprinkling them into the body copy and subheaders or even adding a new section or subsection, like an FAQ, to target a specific term more effectively.

By filtering the competitor keywords by top 20 positions, you can find the most relevant opportunities. Then, simply analyze your URL to see which secondary keywords you can include in your content to improve its relevance and rankings.

Putting It All Together

As you analyze keyword gaps, remember to add any new opportunities to a relevant keyword list in Semrush (aff). You can organize lists by topics, intent, product categories, etc. so that when it comes to the content production phase, it’s easy to find the most valuable or relevant opportunities to start on.

These advanced competitor keyword gap analysis strategies can save you tons of time compared to the typical approach. Plus, with the Semrush advanced filtering options, it’s much faster and easier to find the best opportunities instead of wading through countless irrelevant or low-value keywords.

Let me know how you get on with these 5 advanced keyword gap analysis tactics in the comments below. I’m always eager to learn about new approaches that can help take an SEO strategy to the next level.

And remember, if you’re ever looking for a trusted SEO agency to partner with, be sure to check out MCR SEO – the leading digital marketing experts in Manchester, UK.

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