You’ve worked closely with a WordPress agency to bring your vision to life: your business site is in tune with your company branding, your copy writing is engaging and your design is user-friendly and clean, so why are you consistently ranking below your competitors in search engine results?
If your site is underperforming both in terms of traffic and search engine results it can be incredibly frustrating, particularly as the latter has a sharp impact on the former. It might lead you to think your site design it at fault, or perhaps you aren’t offering the functionality your customers need, or could it be that your product just isn’t having the draw it used to?
Before you surrender yourself to thinking it’s all doom and gloom, take a moment to focus on your site’s SEO, as you may find it’s easier to get to the root of the issue than you thought. More importantly, you’re more than likely to discover that it’s a much simpler (and cheaper!) fix than you might have dreaded.
It might come as a surprise that keyword gaps in your content could wreak so much havoc on your traffic but what might seem a small part of your overall marketing plan can have a huge impact, both positive and negative. In today’s post we’re going to take a look at what keyword gaps are, the problems they can cause and what you can do to fix them.
So what exactly are keyword gaps?
Let’s start with the basics. After all, how can you start making improvements if you don’t understand what you’re fixing? Keyword gaps are, as the name suggests, holes in your content where keywords are missing that your competitors are already capitalising on.
You may think you know your industry inside out but spend some time on keyword research and you may come to discover that there are some key search terms you’ve completely forgotten to build into your site content.
If you are in the position that your traffic and SEO are suffering because of a large number of keyword gaps, don’t be disheartened – now you’ve identified the issue you’re in the perfect position to undertake valuable research and start filling those gaps with engaging keywords that search engines will love.
What issues do keyword gaps cause?
As we touched on above, keywords gaps occur when you WordPress site content is lacking information that’s pertinent to your customer base. When it comes to all things marketing, an old but evergreen adage is ‘divert a river, don’t dig a well’ and this is true when it comes to content creation. Spend time creating content that builds on search terms that are proven to already attract your target audience, rather than putting hours of manpower and research into content that, yes, might be well-crafted but is always going to miss the mark by never bringing the right audience to your website.
It’s simple, if your audience can’t find your website, they won’t know you exist, and keyword gaps in your content will make it so much harder to get your content and, by extension, your products in front of the right people.
Not only do keyword gaps make it harder for you to market your site, they make it easier for your competitors to poach both existing and potential customers from your business. The lower your site appears in the results for key search terms (if it appears at all), the easier it is for competitors to sneak ahead with well-researched keywords.
How do you fix keyword gaps?
The good news is that there are plenty of services online to help you hone in on your missing keywords and determine which will be the most effective at boosting your SEO. While we always suggest trialling services for yourself to see which works best for you personally, here are a couple that are particularly popular with site owners:
Ahrefs is packed full of valuable information for all elements of SEO, so you’ll likely find yourself going down a bit of a rabbit hole the first time you visit – set aside plenty of time to implement all of the new features you’re sure to discover. For now, let’s just look at how they can help with keyword gaps.
Under the ‘Site Explorer’ option you’ll find ‘Content Gap’, which will display a handy list of keywords that currently aren’t featured on your site. As well as this, you’ll get to see helpful information like the search volume and keyword difficulty (KD) to help you narrow down exactly which keywords will bring about the best return.
If you’ve undertaken any research into your site’s SEO you’ve more than likely stumbled across Moz, one of the most powerful SEO resources online.
One of the most important tools you can enjoy while working to fill your keyword gaps is Moz’s ‘Ranking Keywords’ feature, which allows you to plug in a competitor’s URL to see which keywords they’re using. Additionally, you can add your own site as a comparison to see which keywords overlap between both sites and what’s missing on your side.
In a similar vein, SEMRush is another site you’ll want to visit when working to plug your keyword gaps, and this time you want to look our for their ‘Keyword Gap’ feature. Add up to five competitor websites and you’ll be able to see their top keywords and where each of the site’s overlaps. Spot one particularly popular keyword that’s being used by one competitor and not the others? There’s your starting point.
Now you know what keyword gaps are, how they impact your site’s traffic and what you need to do to fix them, the most important question is which keywords are you going to work on first? Don’t forget, it’s not just featuring the keywords that’s important but making sure that they’re integrated into well-written, engaging copy that’s highly relevant to your target audience. Keyword stuffing won’t get you any further than the keyword gaps you’re trying to avoid, so plan carefully, take your time and sit back to enjoy all of that new traffic heading your way.