Content gap analysis often gets relegated to the “I’ll get to it someday” bin. For one thing, it sounds sort of vague and overwhelming. For another, it seems time consuming.

And you’re right: It can be time consuming and overwhelming, even for pros.

How Do You Eat an Elephant? (Poor Elephant)

But it doesn’t have to be — I mean, you don’t have to do your whole site at a time (though I’ve done that, too). One section, one tag or category, or even one topic is helpful.

How do you eat an elephant graphicPhoto: Joshua Hook

But Wait … What’s Content Gap Analysis?

So, content gap analysis is just what it sounds like: finding gaps in your content. Filling them can help you strategically expand content, improve search engine optimization (SEO), increase page views and grow your audience.

To Add a Page or Not to Add a Page

Let me give you an example. Recently I was working for one of my clients, The University of Tennessee Medical Center. One of their departments approached me asking to create a page for them. I always pause when someone asks me to add a page to a website because adding another page isn’t always the right solution. Sometimes the content can be added to existing sections or pages, or even handled better on another platform, like social media.

Fall Into the Gap

So I did a market analysis, looking not just at the existing content on the medical center’s site but at that of similar sites across the country. What I found was a content gap. This department actually did need a page — but more than that, the new page needed a framework to put it in.

Let the Metrics Drive

As always, the metrics were our guide. After a deep dive into keywords, I helped the stakeholders — now from multiple departments — land on a strong keyword list. The keywords led us to a SEO-friendly section navigation, and from there, the content flowed.

Woman researcher with test tubesPhoto: The University of Tennessee Medical Center

The resulting section, Research, makes a home for several pages of new, analytics-driven content designed to help people learn more about one of the medical center’s mission points, discovery.

It also helps people looking for clinical trials find one to participate in, as well as giving more info about the departments who do them.

No matter how many times I do this, I find the process fascinating. Identifying a content gap, reviewing and analyzing site metrics, and doing a market analysis strengthened the site. It added to the existing SEO, increased readership and showcases the great work the medical center does for the community. A win-win-win!