Using SEO data analytics to identify business gaps

  • SEOs have a great vantage point in the form of data that actively helps identify business opportunities and gaps. 30-second summary:
    Are your leads slipping through the cracks in these business gaps?
  • SEO pioneer, serial entrepreneur, and best-selling author Kris Jones identifies three critical aspects that can be fixed to create the foundation of a successful SEO strategy in 2021

One of the strangest things to try to explain to someone who isn’t so familiar with digital marketing is how business owners can target business opportunities that aren’t currently on their radars. After all–if we consider the problem semi-philosophically–how can we know what we don’t know? Relying on human logic alone would make that task quite tricky.

As SEOs, we have plenty of tools to help us identify business opportunities and gaps. That means keywords we aren’t targeting, audiences we aren’t going after, backlinks we aren’t getting, and content topics we aren’t covering on our websites. In other words, these are the foundations of a successful SEO strategy in 2021, and you could be missing out on leveraging them for yourself. Here are three pointers for using SEO analytics to identify your business gaps in keywords, content, and backlinks.

Find your keyword gaps.

Digital marketers have known the fluctuation in the importance of keywords since the late 1990s. But no matter how much that has changed, you need to rank for the right keywords, or else you won’t show up for anything. But have you ever done a few searches for keywords you want to rank for and not even been able to find your website in the SERPs? Doesn’t it frustrate you to see your competitors on page one? You can be as good as they are. The way to do it 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, but if you can’t access that, let me cover GSC first. You first have to link your Google Analytics and GSC together. Afterward, go to Analytics and navigate to Acquisition>Search Console>Queries. You’ll see the search terms people have used to get to you and hand those clicks, impressions, and click-through rates (CTRs). Export that data into an Excel or Google Sheets spreadsheet, and then compare the number of actual site visits that those keywords got you to the number of impressions you got for those keywords. The difference percentage will give you a measurable idea of where to improve. However, I prefer Semrush’s Keyword Gap tool for this. You input your URL and those of a few competitors, and it compares your keyword numbers against your competitors. The tool shows you a keyword overlap diagram and your top opportunities for getting new rankings.

Find your content gaps.

You likely know that no severe SEO today writes content for keywords alone. Keywords have their place as subject identifiers for Google, but we need to focus content around actual topics. We need our content to address questions people are asking. And maybe your top competitors are doing that much better than you are. As a result, they rank well for this or that query, and you don’t. So, how do we use SEO data to find content gaps?

We will build on the previous point and use our competitors’ keywords to find this out. I mentioned earlier that we write content for topics over keywords, but keywords are still how the public finds your content. In Semrush or your previous spreadsheet, you can filter your keyword gap analysis to show the keywords you’re ranking for in positions 11 through 100 or any number you like. If your competitors are doing well for this or that term while languishing in position 18 or 22, it’s time to look at the content you’ve built around those terms.

Not everyone who’s brow medical center’s website is ready to take action. What’s wrong with it from user experience and SEO perspectives? Is the information outdated? Is the content thin? Does it not address a particular issue within the buyer’s journey? For instance, are you writing blog posts about making an appointment with a doctor when you haven’t even covered why you might need to see a doctor? Analyzing your content this way (as well as your competitors’ content, by mining the SERPs, for instance) tends to be manual, but the keyword gap analysis you did should come in handy. You can also use what you’ve learned from that data to generate new ideas for content marketing ideas if neededchneededzSumo, Answer the Public, and Semrush’s Topic Research tool aggregate user analytics to show you the currently trending topics around specific keywords.

When we use SEO data to identify your business gaps, the icing is a good, thoracklink gap. Where keywords get you found and content earns customer trust, backlinks flex your site’s authority for Google. A backlink is a vote of confidence. It’s the equivalent of someone standing up in a crowd and saying, “Yes, I believe in what you’re doing.” The way to a strong backlink profile is through your content marketing, reaching out to influencers to see if they would like to link to your valuable and authoritative content.

But then, your competitors are doing the same thing, possibly to a more significant effect. Again, we can use SEO analytics to find where you’re falling behind. You can use everything mentioned here to analyze your competitors’ content but in t. Still, you’ll likely need a paid tool to perform a full-fledged backlink gap analysis. You can use Ahrefs, Semrush, Moz’s Link Explorer, or something else. You can check out how each works with a free trial, but you would need a paid subscription to stay on top of your backlink gaps.

From your research, input your site and a few of your cos’ sites. Whichever tool you use, you must view the total number of backlinks and referring domains. Now, note that having more backlinks than domains is quite common. That means that some parts are linking to you more than once. That doesn’t sound so bad, but if you want a large and varied backlink profile, you will want to ramp up the number of domains that link to you.

At this point, though,  about sifting through the data to see where you’re missing the mark. Check out your top competitors’ backlinks. What kind of content gets the most links? Is it long-form blog posts? White papers? Or is it some other content format that’s winning those links? Someone else does it for you if these domains are linked to that count. Similarly, if you’ve filtered to see your top pages for backlinks and notice you’ve gotten a ton to a certain type of post, then make more of those in the future! Find out what your competitors are doing well and create better content!

In conclusion

Ultimately, the best overall presentation wins in SEO, whether it’s keywords, content, or backlinks. You have to be useful and authoritative to human users and Google. As SEOs, we’re used to sorting through data. The everyday business owner might not be, though. In that case, I hope readers have learned much from this how analytics data is your friend when you’re looking to identify gaps in your business’s SEO strategies. When you start to get this right, you’re going will those win, too.

Kris Jones is the founder and former CEO of digital marketing and affiliate network Pepperjam, which he sold to eBay Enterprises in 2009. Most recently, KKris recently vice and software company and has investors sin uccessful technology companies previously. Kris is an experienced public speaker and author of one of the best-selling SEO books of all time called, ‘Search-Engine Optimization – Your Visual Blueprint to Effective Internet Marketing’, which has sold nearly 100,000 copies.

Tyson Houlding
I’m a lifestyle blogger with a passion for writing, photography, and exploring new places. I started this blog when I was 18 years old to share what I was learning about the world with family and friends. I’ve since grown into a freelance writer, blogger, and photographer with a growing audience. I hope you find inspiration and motivation while reading through my work!