An SEO Gap Analysis research project is possibly the most crucial component of an effective SEO strategy. How do you know which keyword groupings are relevant? Want to understand competitor SEO performance? Our guide will help you to devise an effective keyword targeting strategy using the SEO Gap Analysis.

How do I get the keyword ranking data?

  1. Conduct keyword research to identify all of the relevant keywords in your industry.
  2. Add a relevant tag to each keyword from the research so keywords can be grouped together by theme, for example, “Enterprise”.
  3. Upload keywords along with tags into a keyword tracking tool, for example, “GetStat”.
  4. Track the keywords against your own website in order to get the rankings of your website for each keyword.

If your ranking tracking tool does provide a top 20 SERP report….

If your ranking tool provides a top 20 SERP report, you will not need to track the rankings for each of your competitors. A top 20 SERP report will provide you will all the websites ranking for each keyword in the top 20 positions. This is the best way to find out all the websites who rank for a keyword and sometimes it can surprise you!

If your ranking tracking tool does not provide a top 20 SERP report….

Track keywords against competitor websites in order to get their rankings for each keyword. This will only provide you with the rankings for the specified competitors but can still be very useful to compare your domain to a direct competitor.

5. Download ranking report into excel to start the analysis.

If your ranking tracking tool does provide a top 20 SERP report….

Download out the top 20 SERP report in Excel, the spreadsheet should include the below columns, however, if they don’t you will need to VLOOKUP the missing data from appropriate data sources. The one column which may need to be added manually is a “domain” column as a number of tools will provide the ranking URL but not the domain:
  • Keyword
  • Monthly search volume
  • Ranking
  • Domain
  • Ranking URL
  • Tags

If your ranking tracking tool does not provide a top 20 SERP report….

Download out the ranking report for your website and competitors into Excel. As these will be downloaded out separately you will need to create a consolidated data view of all websites which includes the following columns:
  • Keyword
  • Monthly search volume
  • Ranking
  • Domain
  • Ranking URL
  • Tags

Track keywords against competitor websites in order to get their rankings for each keyword.

6. Create a pivot table where the table includes “Domain” as rows, “Count of keyword” and “Average Rank” for values. This will allow you to see which domain is ranking well, the number of keywords they are ranking for and the average rank for those keywords.

7. A filter will need to be applied based on the tags that are included in your research. For example, if I wanted to see all the websites performing best for “White Label” related keywords, I would apply the “White Label” tag filter and the table will show me all the websites ranking for white label terms.

8. To figure out which website is performing best for a tag it is usually the domain which is ranking for the most amount of keywords but also has the best average rank.

Let’s look at an example. If I saw a domain ranking for 30 keywords with an average rank of 6, and another domain ranking for 20 keywords with an average rank of 2. I would be more inclined to review the second website to understand why they are consistently performing well for a large % of the keywords. I can now focus my analysis.

What should I analyse when reviewing domains that are performing well?

When reviewing the domains performing well, you will want to see if the domain has one URL ranking for a number of keywords in that tag or if there are several URLs ranking for keywords in the tag.
  • If there is one URL ranking consistently well for a wide set of keywords this means that the website has one page which is well optimised for different keyword variants or cluster of keywords and one page will serve the users intent.
  • If there is a domain performing really well but when looking at the URLs ranking there are multiple URLs ranking for a tag this could mean separate pages may need to be built in order to rank for different keywords.

When reviewing the specific pages you will want to assess the type of pages ranking as it can help inform the type of page that needs to be created/optimised in order to rank well, for example:
  • Homepage
  • Product page
  • Blog article
  • In-depth guides

Additionally, you want to understand how they have optimised the page with relevant keywords and how the page is being internally linked. For example, has the metadata been optimised for certain keywords and has the page has been linked to from the top navigation of the website. The above process should be taken for the top three/four domains that perform well for that tag. Usually, trends will start to appear where each domain has a similar page template ranking along with similar metadata.