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30-second summary:

  • Are your prospects slipping through the cracks in these business gaps?
  • SEOs have a great insight in the form of data that actively helps identify business opportunities and gaps
  • SEO pioneer, serial entrepreneur and best-selling author, Kris Jones identifies three critical aspects that can be corrected to create the foundation for a successful SEO strategy in 2021

One of the strangest things to try to explain to someone who is not so familiar with digital marketing is how business owners can start targeting business opportunities that are not currently on the market. their radars. After all, if we look at the problem in a semi-philosophical way, how can we know what we don’t know? Relying on human logic alone would make this task quite difficult.

Fortunately, as SEOs we have many tools that can help us identify business opportunities and gaps. This means keywords we don’t target, audiences we don’t research, backlinks we don’t get, and content topics we don’t cover on our websites. In other words, these are the foundations of a successful SEO strategy in 2021, and you might miss out on tapping them for yourself. Here are three tips for using SEO analysis to identify gaps in your business, in keywords, content, and backlinks.

Find your keyword gaps

Digital marketers have known about the fluctuation in keyword importance since the late 1990s. But no matter how much that has changed, you still have to rank for the right keywords or else you won’t show up. for nothing.

But have you ever done a few searches for keywords you want to rank for and couldn’t even find your website in the SERPs? Doesn’t it frustrate you to see your competition on the front page?

You can be as good as them. The way to do this is to run a keyword gap analysis in a tool such as Semrush or Google Search Console (GSC).

Semrush is better and more user-friendly for this, but if you don’t have access to it, let me cover GSC first.

First you need to link your Google Analytics and your GSC. After that, go to Analytics and go to Acquisition> Search Console> Queries.

Analyze SEO data and identify missed keyword targeting opportunities

You’ll see the search terms people used to find you, along with the clicks, impressions, and click-through rates (CTRs) of those queries.

Export that data to an Excel spreadsheet or Google Sheets, then compare the number of actual site visits those keywords got to you with the number of impressions you got for those keywords. The percentage difference between them will give you a measurable idea of ​​where you need to improve.

However, I prefer Semrush’s Keyword Gap tool for this. You just enter your URLs and those of a few competitors, and it compares your keyword numbers to those of your competition. The tool shows you a keyword overlap diagram as well as your best opportunities for getting new rankings.

Find your content gaps

You probably know that no serious SEO today writes content just for keywords. Keywords have their place as topic identifiers for Google, but we need to focus the content on real topics. We need our content to answer the questions people are asking.

And maybe your main competition is doing a lot better than you are.

As a result, they rank well on this or that query, and you don’t. So how do we use SEO data to find content gaps?

Well, let’s build on the previous point and use our competitor’s keywords to find out. I mentioned earlier that we write content for topics rather than keywords, but keywords are still how audiences find your content.

In Semrush or your spreadsheet from before, you can filter your Keyword Gap Analysis to show the keywords you rank for in positions 11 to 100 or any number you like. If your competition is doing well on such and such a term, while you’re languishing in position 18 or 22, then it’s time to take a look at the content you’ve built around those terms.

What’s the problem from a user experience and SEO perspective? Is the information out of date? Is the content thin? Doesn’t it address a certain issue in the buyer’s journey?

For example, are you writing blog posts about scheduling a doctor’s appointment when you haven’t even explained why you might need to see a doctor? Not everyone who browses a medical center’s website is ready to take action.

Analyzing your content this way (as well as your competitor’s content, leveraging SERPs, for example) tends to be a more manual approach, but the keyword gap analysis you’ve done should really help.

You can also use what you have learned from this data to generate new ideas for content marketing If you need. Tools like BuzzSumo, Answer the Public, and Semrush’s Topic Research tool aggregate user analytics to show you what’s currently trending around certain keywords.

Find your backlink gaps

When we discuss using SEO data to identify gaps in your business, the icing on the cake is a good full backlink gap.

Where keywords get you found and content earns the trust of customers, backlinks flex your site’s authority to Google. A backlink is a vote of confidence. It’s the equivalent of someone standing in a crowd and saying, “Yeah, I believe in what you’re doing. « 

The path to a strong backlink profile is through your content marketing, reaching out to influencers to see if they want to link to your useful and authoritative content.

But then your competitors do the same, and perhaps with a much greater effect.

Here again we can use SEO analysis to find where you are falling behind.

You can certainly use everything that has already been mentioned here to analyze your competitor’s content, but in the end, you will probably need a paid tool to do a full backlink gap analysis.

You can use Ahrefs, Semrush, Moz’s Link Explorer, or whatever. You can check out how each one works with a free trial, but to stay on top of your backlink gaps you would need a paid membership.

From your research, enter your site and some of your competitor’s sites. Whichever tool you use, you will need to display the total number of backlinks and referring domains.

Now note that it is quite common to have more backlinks than domains. It just means that certain areas are linked to you more than once. It doesn’t sound so bad, but if you want a wide and varied backlink profile, you’ll want to increase the number of domains that link you.

SEO data analysis and identification of backlinking opportunities

At this point, however, it’s all about sifting through the data to see where you are missing the mark. Check the backlinks of your main competitors. What type of content gets the most links? Are these long blog posts? White papers? Or is it another content format that wins these links?

Find out what your competition is doing well, then create better content! If these domains are related to this type of content for someone else, they can definitely do that for you.

Likewise, if you’ve filtered to see your top backlink pages and noticed that you’ve received a ton of a certain type of post, do more in the future!

In conclusion

In the end, whether it’s keywords, content, or backlinks, the best overall presentation wins in SEO. You need to be useful and authoritative for human users and Google.

As SEOs, we are used to sorting data. The everyday business owner might not be, however. In this case, I hope the readers have learned a lot about how analytical data is your ally when looking to identify gaps in your business’s SEO strategies.

When you start to do it right, you will share these victories as well.

Kris Jones is the founder and former CEO of digital marketing and the Pepperjam Affiliate Network, which he sold to eBay Enterprises in 2009. Most recently, Kris founded an SEO services and software company. LSEO.com and has already invested in many successful technology companies. Kris is a seasoned speaker and the author of one of the best-selling SEO books of all time titled « Search-Engine Optimization – Your Visual Blueprint to Effective Internet Marketing » which has sold nearly 100,000 copies.

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