Daily Archives: October 16, 2021

How to Automate Your SEO: A Beginner’s Guide

By | October 16, 2021


There is no question, effective SEO can be a gigantic task.

With content marketers flooding the internet with weekly and even daily content it’s becoming more and more difficult to stand out from the crowd.

What’s more, if you regularly publish content your site will rapidly gain in size, making SEO optimization an unwieldy task.

And…

If you imagine an enterprise site with literally thousands of pages, it isn’t difficult to see why SEO automation is a necessary part of your SEO strategy.

With that in mind, in this beginner’s guide to SEO automation I’ll be getting into:

  • What SEO automation is
  • How you can easily get started with SEO automation
  • Some basic tasks you can quickly automate to speed up your SEO process



What is Automated SEO? 

SEO automation is the process of using tools and programs to automate the many SEO tasks necessary to rank a site at the top of search engine results.

Tasks that you would otherwise do manually. This means SEO automation tools could save you time and money, two of a marketer’s most valuable assets.

Additionally, SEO professionals understand the need for automating tasks, as most of them are repetitive.

And…

When handled right, automating your SEO will allow you to operate your businesses on a much larger scale.

I mean, wouldn’t you **** to multiply yourself?

via GIPHY

Getting Started With SEO Automation 

In order to get started with SEO automation, the first step is to understand your SEO process. This means start with your goals and big picture strategy.

Once you understand that, it’s time to break down your process into a series of action steps. Having this clear will allow you to evaluate tasks. This will allow you to group them into:

  • High-level tasks
  • Mid-tier tasks
  • Low-level tasks   

High-Level SEO Tasks 

A high-level task is one that can only be achieved by an experienced SEO. So, for instance, evaluating your data and coming up with an action plan would be considered a high-level task.

Another example would be problem-solving when things go wrong.

As you can imagine, you wouldn’t leave these tasks to automation.

Instead, you should automate lower-level tasks in order to free yourself up to focus on these high-level ones.


Mid Tier SEO Tasks 

A mid-tier task requires some skill, but they don’t require your best team members to implement them.

Examples of these tasks are things like writing title tags and meta descriptions.

Yes, you can automate these tasks, but since with automation things do go wrong, you should get one of your team members to edit the results.



Low-Level Tasks 

A low-level task, on the other hand, is one that requires little to no thinking.

Imagine all of those repetitive tasks that SEOs do on a daily basis. Think about all of that copy and pasting you do or checking on your rankings to make sure they aren’t tanking.

These are all good candidates for automation and as a beginner, they are the easiest place to get started.

Once you have broken your tasks into these three categories, you can now objectively see what can be automated and what can’t.

Simply speaking, you can automate the low-level and mid-tier tasks. This will free you up for high-level tasks.

The next step is to evaluate which tasks are gobbling up the most time. Consider these tasks your high-priority automation tasks.






What SEO Tasks Can You Automate? 

The truth is, you can automate many SEO tasks for your business, and there are various ways to do it.

When you are getting started the best place to start is to use ready-made software. If you need something customized, you can always configure them as per your business needs.

However, automating SEO can also be done with the helping hand of programming. You can easily use Python to write scripts that help you automate and customize SEO tasks by yourself.

Some of the SEO tasks you can automate include:

Now, since this is a beginner’s guide to automation, I’m going to focus on platforms for the rest of the article.

On the other hand, if you want to learn how to automate your SEO using tools like Python, check out my guide to Python for SEO.




Finding the Right Automated SEO Platform 

Many automated SEO tasks can best be achieved by using an SEO automation platform. This is a great way to get started with SEO automation which will leave all major SEO automation tasks in the hands of experts while you run your business as usual.

Investing in an automated SEO provider is a must, especially if you care to boost your site in all the right ways. These tools will help you track your site ranking, audit your site for technical problems, enhance your content and your audience targeting, and more.

Here are a few examples of what a top-notch SEO automation provider should offer as part of its service.


SEO Rank Tracking 

Manual keyword tracking is, to say the least, tedious. But, a professional SEO automation platform can tackle the task for you – and seamlessly too. Tracking your SEO rank is crucial as it gives you insight into your site’s progress.

SEO ranking remains a critical KPI that you should measure daily, even when using a long-term strategy. Keeping an eye on your rankings will help you diagnose when your site is losing rankings and will help you create strategies to bring in more traffic.

A rank tracking tool can automatically do the digging for you by providing you with the data you need.

This can easily be done by picking relevant keywords for all of your pages and entering them into your rank tracking tool.

Rank Ranger rank tracking tool

Once you have this up and running, you can easily set up email notifications to let you know when there are any changes in your rankings.

So, for instance, you can set up the Rank Ranger email notifications to notify you when your URL has:

  • Changed position
  • Increased its ranking
  • Decreased its ranking
  • Reached a ranking goal

Rank tracking email notifications

Once you have your rank tracking automation set up, your next step is to set up regular site audits.




Site Auditing 

Keeping up with technical issues is vital in SEO.

If Google can’t properly track and index your site, you’ll have trouble scoring the rank you were hoping for. Because spotting and reporting site problems manually is a burden, you’ll need to use a tool to automate the auditing process.

By automating a technical audit, you can easily identify site problems, especially those that might go unnoticed. Top-quality SEO automation platforms come prepared with their own Site Audit which you can put to excellent use for your site.

These tools can configure your SEO tracking, and gather plenty of information. Once you detect any potential issues, you can immediately move on to troubleshooting.

Automated site audit tool

Once you’ve set up your site audits, it’s time to monitor your brand mentions.




Monitoring Your Brand 

When someone mentions your brand online, you want to know about it at once. Especially since people make buying decisions based on reviews.

Well, checking the search engines for links and mentions can be a pretty dull task to do manually. Luckily, a brand monitoring tool can help you automate this process.

These tools will help you find links and mentions quickly. What’s more, you can easily set up the software to send these mentions to your email.

Brand monitoring software

As you can see in the screenshot above, the Rank Ranger reputation management tool gives your site a Reputation Score out of 100. The score represents the general sentiment of the mentions.

Once you are tracking your mentions, you can use Rank Ranger to set up email notifications. These notifications can be set to send to your email address daily, weekly, or monthly.

Reputation management email notifications

Once you have this set up, you will get the mentions sent directly to your inbox. You will be able to see the title tag, URL, and the actual mention itself.

Reputation management email showing brand mentions






Backlink Audit 

To understand your backlink profile, monitoring new links when you acquire them isn’t enough. An equally important task automated SEO platforms can manage on your behalf is backlink tracking.

As we all know, content managers often delete pages. This becomes a potential danger to you the business owner as those pages might include links to your site.

What’s more, those links might provide big SEO value to your business, and losing them might cause your site to lose rankings.

You can manage this risk by setting up backlink tracking. To do this, you’ll have to upload your most valuable links into link management software.

For instance, our Link Manager tells you if any of your best links have been lost. This will allow you to notify the site owner and have them reinstated.

Rank Ranger Link Manager tool

Another link management task you can leave to automation is auditing existing backlinks.

This is essential as it helps you determine link oversaturation or misuse on your site.

Harmful backlinks can and often do cause problems.

For that, an automated SEO tool can keep an eye on your backlink quality. The tool will also perform significant actions to disallow harmful backlinks from your site or remove them entirely.

Finding the time to do regular audits of your backlink profile is multilayered. Therefore, a provider’s automated Backlink Audit tool can keep them in shape at all times and without requiring any manual work.




Reporting 

Lastly, it’s crucial for your chosen automated SEO platform to report back regularly.
Collecting SEO reports used to be a manual task and an exhausting one at that, but SEO automation providers can easily take the burden off your shoulders.

Automated reports help you identify areas of improvement as well as areas that require more readjusting. Thanks to these reports you can automatically create a unique marketing strategy and act upon any arising issue.

For instance, the Rank Ranger marketing dashboards can present all aspects of your marketing campaigns.

It does this by gathering data from:

  • Google Analytics
  • Search Console
  • Social Media
  • Google My Business
  • Call Tracking

…and way more.

You can easily set this up by integrating your various data sources with Rank Ranger.

Once you have this set up, you can set up an automated, fully integrated marketing dashboard.

Rank Ranger automated marketing dashboard

As you can see in the screenshot above, this particular dashboard includes social media, Google Ads, and email marketing data.

However, you can set it up to include almost any data you want.




Automate Your Business and Save Time and Money 

An intelligent SEO strategy takes time.

At the end of the day, automating SEO for your site will save you the trouble of manually managing a plethora of tasks. Through automation, you will also cut down your spending but grow your profitability as a business.

All in all, there’s nothing automated SEO can’t do.

It boosts your site’s performance. It scores you that desired Google ranking. It attracts the right audience to your site, and finally, it kicks your online business experience up a few notches!

About The Author

Liraz Postan

Liraz is an international SEO and content expert, helping brands and publishers grow through search engines. She is Outbrain’s former SEO and Content Director and previously worked in the gaming, B2C and B2B industries for more than a decade.



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The 4 Bulletproof Keyword Gap Analysis Strategies

By | October 16, 2021


Ranking high and getting on the first page of Google is one of the quickest ways to drive more traffic, capture leads, and boost sales. But what should you do if you’re getting smashed down by your competitors all the time? 

In this article, you’ll discover exactly how to use keyword gap analysis to rank on the first page of Google and get the results you desire. 

I’ll help you steal competitors’ tactics, find their weaknesses, and build a solid strategy.

What to Know Before Conducting Keyword Gap Analysis?

There are certain things you should be aware of before conducting keyword gap analysis. Not knowing them could be disastrous and lead to unpleasant results.

Let’s prevent that by clarifying the most important SEO competitor analysis terms.

Why Do Keywords Matter?

Keywords are the building block of any SEO strategy. Every time people search for something on Google, they type in the keywords to the search box.

When they hit enter, they’ll get the results for the keyword they typed in. These results are shown and sorted by the search engine by the relevance, quality, etc.

If you’re looking to rank high and get as much traffic as possible, you must discover what keywords people search for and create high-quality content around them. 

It’s the only way to rank high, get more traffic, and maximize your potential.

What to Look for When Picking Keywords?

Picking the right keywords is vital for running a bulletproof SEO strategy. Yet, most people keep picking the wrong keyword and wonder why they aren’t getting any traffic.

The first thing you must realize is that contrary to common belief, you shouldn’t pick the keywords with the highest traffic. This is because these keywords are usually impossible to rank for and will only waste your time.

Instead, it’s much better to pick keywords with moderate traffic and less competition. 

Also, the more specific the keyword is, the better you zero in on your audience and tailor your content to them, which will increase the quality and relevance.

That’s the reason why you should always pick long-tail keywords over short-tail ones.

Why pick long-tail keywords over short-tail ones

In essence, long-tail keywords are 3+ words long and specific, unlike short-tail keywords.  You can see examples of both short-tail and long-tail keywords below.

Example of long-tail and short-tail keywords

You should also care about the searcher’s intent. In other words, why is somebody looking for this keyword?

If somebody is looking to learn more about how antivirus works, there is no reason to sell these people the best antivirus on the market, right? They don’t care about that. They are just looking for more information, not buying.

If you mess up the searcher’s intent, your content will become less relevant, and the quality will suffer. So be sure to avoid that at any cost.

Here are the three search intents you can use with your keywords.

Three main user intent you need to know.

Make your content aligned with the searcher’s intent and pick long-tail keywords that are much easier to rank.

What Is an SEO Competitor Analysis?

There are multiple ways you can go about researching keywords, such as brainstorming, using keyword research tools, competitive keyword research, etc.

Source: RankingGap

But these techniques only assume that you’ll rank high – THERE IS NO GUARANTEE.

Unfortunately, in today’s world, you can’t afford to only guess and hope your strategy will work. And that’s why you must conduct a competitor analysis…

Competitor analysis allows you to analyze your competitors and find out what works. It takes away all the guesswork and helps you find out proven strategies that have shown results to your competitors. 

There are multiple ways you can go about competitor analysis which you can see below.

In this article, we’ll be looking closely at the first technique – keyword gap analysis. It will help you close the gap between you and your competitors and rank higher fast.

What Is a Keyword Gap Analysis?

Keyword gap analysis allows you to find out what keywords your competitors rank that you don’t. It can help you discover missed opportunities and find keywords that your audience searches for.

Source: RankingGap

It can also give you insights into what your readers want and give you new content ideas. 

This can make your content strategy more complete, fix your weaknesses, and fill in the gap between you and your competitors.

It’s one of the most effective ways to find great keywords and create useful content. But if you’re looking to make the most out of it, you must pick the right competitors, study them relentlessly and discover their strengths and weaknesses. 

This may not always be as straightforward as it may sound. Keep on reading to discover how to do it properly and supercharge your results.

The Fundamentals of Keyword Gap Analysis

Now that you know what keyword gap analysis is, let’s look at some of the juicy benefits that can motivate you to pursue it with your business.

Here are a couple of reasons why you must use keyword gap analysis in your SEO.

BETTER SEARCH VISIBILITY

Spying on your competitors can help you discover why they are getting more traffic than you do and find lucrative keywords you aren’t using in your strategy. 

You can then use them in your content, move up in the rankings, and beat competitors.

Google click-through-rate per ranking

MORE CONTENT IDEAS

Coming up with new content ideas isn’t easy, especially when you have already created a lot of content.

But we all know how important publishing content regularly is.

Source: MediaDigi

Competitor keyword analysis can give you a hand and help you develop tons of fresh content ideas you can use in your strategy.

OPTIMIZED CONTENT

Compare your content with the competitors’ content and find out what they do differently. For example, what keywords are they using, and what are the structure and the length of the content?

Competitor keyword analysis table forcomparison
Source: Content Marketing Institute

Conducting a competitor keyword analysis will help you discover all these things, better optimize your content, and make it high-quality. 

It’s the easiest way to improve your content and drive more substantial results.

BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF YOUR AUDIENCE

Finding out related keywords you aren’t using can uncover new opportunities to go deeper about the topic and answer your audience’s questions.

This can make your content more valuable and help you rank in People Also Ask snippets.

Google's people also ask

Creating high-quality content that answers all of your readers’ questions should be your number one priority, and that’s why you must conduct competitor keyword analysis.

What Areas of Competitor’s Website Should You Analyze?

There are a lot of things you can analyze with the keyword gap analysis. However, you definitely shouldn’t focus on only one area – the written content.

There are a lot of other areas you should consider which we will cover next.

TITLE

The title or the headline of your content is the most critical part of content. It will help you hook the readers, make them click, and also assist you in ranking high.

Follow the 80-20 rule

This is because the title is the first indicator by which the search engine tries to understand what your content is about and if it’s relevant to the search query.

And to make it as relevant as possible, you’ll need to include keywords in it.

Source: Databox

A keyword gap analysis will help you compare your titles with competitors, find out the differences, and fix any issues. It can also help you discover how to create better titles that can maximize your results.

URL

Another area (which is often overlooked) is the URL of the content. Whether you believe it or not, including the right keywords in there can make a massive difference in the long run.

Fortunately for you, a lot of companies skip it, which can give you a competitive advantage.

Be sure to analyze it, find the differences, and use more appropriate keywords inside the URL of your content.

Quick Tip: Don’t make your URLs too long. It’s not optimal and can hurt your rankings.

Short URL outrank long URL

META DESCRIPTION

A meta description is another area you should pay attention to. The meta description is the subtext of your search result.

It should act as a quick summary of your page and present a hook and a strong benefit for the searchers to click. It’s also an ideal place to include related keywords that describe your page so Google can rank it properly.

Comparing your keywords to the competitors’ can help you spot the inaccuracies that may cost you the search result position.

ALT TEXT

Image alt text is not only something most bloggers ignore. It’s also something most bloggers avoid totally.

But this is not optimal, and if that’s you, you should start adding alt text to your images.

The alt text describes the image and helps the search engine better understand what’s on it.

It won’t make a huge difference but can give you a slight advantage that can be just enough to rank you higher. That’s why you should incorporate it into your keyword gap analysis.

Remember, it’s small details like keywords in the URL, alt texts, and meta description that make all the difference. You and your competitor’s keywords in these four areas can easily be analyzed and compared using a keyword gap analysis tool like RangkingGap

If you’re wondering how to do that, here are the four core strategies of keyword gap analysis that you need to know.

4 Keyword Gap Analysis Strategies You Need to Know

Now that you know what areas to analyze and work on let’s look at the four best keyword gap analysis strategies you must use.

They will allow you to perform the complete competitor analysis from scratch and give you the desired results in no time. So be sure to follow these strategies in the order we’re listing them to get the best results faster. 

#1 Keywords That You Rank, But Your Competitors Don’t

The first strategy of keyword gap analysis is finding out what keywords you are already ranking. There are multiple ways you can do that, such as manually typing the keywords you are trying to rank for to Google and getting your data there.

As you can see, if your site is neilpatel.com and your target keyword is “keyword gap analysis,” then you’re ranking in the 3rd position for that keyword.

However, doing it that way is extremely ineffective, inaccurate, and time-consuming.

I highly recommend using the proper tool to analyze your website and give you the ranking keywords automatically. It can save you countless hours that you can invest into improving your site and SEO game.

If you use the dedicated solution, all you need to do is type in your domain’s URL, click on the search button, and automatically get the full report generated.

You can see an example of that below.

RankingGap can easily generate out your competitor keyword as well.
Source: RankingGap

If you use a keyword gap analysis tool, you can easily make comparisons of you and your competitor’s keywords. You’ll be able to find out their rankings and compare your results to discover the keywords only you rank.

These are the most vital keywords you should invest the majority of your time in. 

You should also track them to see whether your rankings are increasing or dropping. If they’re falling, you should update your content to stay on top.

All of this is what most bloggers do, though. Unfortunately, they stop there. However, if you’re looking to get the best results with the keyword gap analysis, you shouldn’t…

You should also look at the historical data of the keyword to predict future behavior. 

This is important because let’s say you’re ranking for a keyword in the 10th position. You decide that you want to rank it higher, so you start creating more content around it.

But what you may not know is that this keyword is declining in the searches and will slowly go flat. That’s why you must check the historical data of all your keywords. For that, you can either use your competitor analysis tool or Google Trends.

You simply go to Google Trends, type in your keyword, and set the time range.

As you can see above, “competitor analysis” is still worth pursuing because it keeps its position over time and is very stable. Do so for all your keywords to discover their value, predict future behavior, and avoid headaches with pursuing dead keywords.

Find your unique keywords, build your content around them, and rank higher effortlessly.

#2 Keywords That Competitors Rank, But You Don’t

Finding every high-volume keyword and ranking for it is close to impossible. There are many keywords you can rank for, and you certainly didn’t catch every valuable one.

And that’s why you should check up on your competitors and find out their keywords.

Specifically, you should look at keywords only your competitors rank, and you don’t. Go to your keyword gap analysis tool and get a list of competitors’ keywords ranking in the top 10 results on Google.

Competitor keyword analysis
Source: RankingGap

Compare them with yours and find keywords your competitors rank for but you don’t.

You should then sort them by the ranking position and determine why you aren’t ranking for them. Here are a couple of reasons for that.

  1. You haven’t covered that part of your niche yet
  2. You used a synonym or related keywords
  3. It’s a new keyword, and you haven’t optimized your content yet.

Either way now is the best time to fix it, get ahead, and beat your competitors.

Let’s go over two strategies you can use to leverage these valuable keywords you aren’t ranking.

PRODUCE NEW CONTENT

If you compile a list of competitors’ unique keywords, you will quickly discover the parts of your niche you haven’t covered yet.

That can help you come up with new content ideas that have shown results.

Therefore, you should start creating new content to widen your reach, attract more people, and make your website more authoritative.

If you plan to do so, it’s ideal for connecting multiple keywords. Consider the table below. The website isn’t ranking for “SEO responsive design,” “SEO recent update,” and “SEO inbound marketing.”

You don’t need to create three articles about these keywords – it would only take a lot of time. Instead, you can merge them into one piece.

For instance, you can write an article about Recent SEO Updates in Inbound Marketing and discuss the importance of responsiveness due to the rise of mobile traffic. Just like that, you save yourself a lot of time and effort while you get the same results.

On top of that, you also create high-quality articles that will make your site more helpful.

REOPTIMIZE YOUR OLD CONTENT

Optimizing your content should be among the top priorities. Delivering accurate and fresh information will help you be more authoritative and prevent confusing or misleading your audience.

And you get a big juicy ranking boost from Google too…

The process of reoptimizing your article is pretty self-explanatory. You go through your old content, add a few sections, spit in new keywords, and make it more relevant.

After that, you can expect a significant boost in traffic, higher ranking, and beating competitors.

These keywords are crucial. You must start creating or re-optimizing content around them as soon as possible and filling in the competitive gap.

#3 Keywords That Both of You Rank

If you compare your keywords with your competitors’ keywords, you will have many keywords in common. However, you may find out that a specific competitor can be beating you in almost all of them.

It can be very frustrating, so let’s discover why that is and how to fix it…

COMPILE A LIST OF COMMON KEYWORDS

The first step of this competitor analysis strategy is finding out keywords you both rank. It’s similar to the previous strategy, except you’re looking for keywords both of you rank.

After you get that, it’s time to visit competitors’ websites.

FIND ARTICLES CONTAINING THE KEYWORD

Once on their website, it’s time to locate the articles that contain these keywords. This should be no problem because most of these keywords can give you a pretty good idea of what to look for.

For instance, if you see keywords like below, you know what to look for, right?

There should be no problem in identifying the articles with these keywords. However, going through all of your competitors’ posts manually and looking for suitable ones can be very overwhelming and time-consuming.

Fortunately, you can automate it by using Google search operators.

All you need to do is type site: your site name “target keyword” to Google. So if you’re looking for the keyword “whiskey decanter” and your competitor is surprisesandgifts.com, it would look like below.

Competitor keyword analysis: Find website articles containing a keyword.

This allows you to narrow down the articles to only those that use the target keyword. You can also search for articles that contain more than one keyword.

I did exactly that below and narrowed down the 160 results we got previously to only four.

Do the same and list down all of the articles that contain these keywords. You should also do likewise with your site and compare the search result number.

If you have created only one article with the keyword, while the competitors have created over 100 of them, it’s obvious that they will rank higher than you. 

Check it out before you move on to the next step.

COMPARE THE ARTICLES

Once you find the articles, it’s time to study them and discover what makes them superior to those you have created.

There are a lot of things that you need to inspect.

First, you should look at the keyword density and compare it to yours. For example, if you include a keyword in your article only two times while your competitors use it 15 times, there is a big chance that they will outrank you.

You should also check the word count – longer articles tend to outrank the shorter ones.

Statistical performance of

Second, you should inspect the header tags and find out what audience they are targeting. You might’ve missed the search intent or forgot to include a critical section.

All of that can cost you a ranking position in the SERP – Google is very strict.

You should also look at the article as a whole and find out what makes it different or better. The more you study it, the better results you get. So don’t be lazy on this step. Take your time and analyze it as much as possible.

It will go a long way in moving you up the ladder and making you the people’s go-to.

#4 Keywords That You & Most of Your Competitors Don’t Rank

These keywords are the gems of your SEO game. If you can spot them quickly, they may lead to extreme growth and many new readers. In addition to that, they can separate you from the rest and help you stand out.

But they are also extremely rare and hard to discover…

Fortunately, there are still ways and strategies to find them and leverage them. Here are a few actionable steps you can take to use them in your strategy.

CREATE A LIST OF COMPETITORS

If you’re looking to make this strategy successful, you can’t be comparing your site to only two or three competitors. Instead, compare it with at least 5 to 10 competing websites.

Source: SEP

The more competitors you compare, the higher the chances of finding a unique keyword.

FIND UNIQUE KEYWORDS

Compare your competitors’ keywords and find some that only one or two of your competitors rank.

The fewer competitors rank for it, the better.

GROUP SIMILAR KEYWORDS

It’s ideal when you find multiple unique keywords that you can group together. You can then come up with unique content ideas and be more well-rounded.

It will help you with increasing your authority and getting new readers only you can serve.

5 Keyword Gap Analysis Best Practices

Now that you know about the four best keyword gap analysis strategies let’s look at some of the best practices you should follow. Doing so will allow you to get better results, prevent blunders, and stay on top of your SEO competitor analysis.

Here are the five best keyword gap analysis best practices to follow.

1. List Out & Analyze Your Competitors

Starting keyword gap analysis without having a clear picture of who your competitors are can lead to poor results. Moreover, it will only waste your time and effort. 

That’s why it’s critical to establish competing websites from the early beginning.

If you’re not sure who your competitors are or how to find them, don’t worry, we got you covered with the four best strategies for finding your competitors.

MARKET RESEARCH

Take a look at other companies selling similar products that you do. You can talk to your sales team to find out which or search for it manually with Google.

For instance, you could type something like below to Google if you’re in an SEO niche.

You’ll immediately get a huge list of all your competitors in a matter of a few seconds. 

After you get the list of competitors, you should reduce it to only the businesses that are similar in size and sell to the same audience.

CUSTOMER FEEDBACK

Another technique you can employ to get even more precise results is to ask your readers which other businesses they were evaluated. Again, this technique is superior to market research because it allows you to see your biggest rivals.

You don’t have to go through hundreds of brands and reduce them to the most relevant ones.

Instead, your readers will do the job for you, saving you time to invest in more important tasks.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media is one of the best places for brands to connect with their audience and build an online presence. 

For you, as a business owner, it can also be an opportunity to find similar brands in your niche and identify competitors.

You can also go to forums like Quora or Reddit and find customers’ favorite brands.

ONLINE TOOLS

If you’re not on a tight budget, you can invest in online tools to analyze and list out the most relevant competitors automatically. It can drastically cut time, bring better results, and help you run a more solid keyword gap analysis.

If you decide to go with this option, I highly suggest you go with SimilarWeb or Contently.

They are highly intuitive and have the best combination of price and features. Both of them also feature the demo version, which you can try for free to see whether you like it.

No matter which option you choose, the quantity of competitors isn’t nearly as important as the quality. You must analyze the results, throw away companies that aren’t within your reach and focus only on the similar, more relevant ones. 

2. Identify & Compare Keywords

The four keyword gap analysis strategies we’ve talked about earlier work great. But maybe you just want to know what keywords your competitors use that you don’t and don’t care about the other three strategies.

However, if you’re looking to unlock the godly power of keyword gap analysis, you should think again…

Leveraging just one of these strategies will get you only so far, but using all of them combined will get you on the legendary level.

It will be more time-consuming, but the results are definitely worth it.

Here’s a brief yet comprehensive step-by-step method on how you can utilize RankingGap in uncovering these 4 amazing strategies:

STEP 1: CREATE YOUR PROJECT

First thing first, go to your dashboard. You’ll see a pretty straightforward user interface that easily tells you what to do. So here, select your preferred location and language, then indicate you and your competitors’ domain.

You would want to make sure that your domain is entered correctly. Instead of say, “https://www.freshworks.com”, the correct input would be “freshworks.com”.

comparing 5 websites simultaneously would be more effective as you can just straight up select the best keywords among your competitors.

Once done, you’re ready to create a new project.

STEP 2: START WITH A KEYWORD VIEW

Here’s the main biggest part that makes RankingGap what it is; The FOUR keyword views that accomplish all your keyword gap analyses.

Basically, you can start off with any of the views. But let’s just go with the flow below:

Common keyword view – This shows you keywords that both you and your competitors share. But here’s the catch…you could be ranking higher or lower than your competitors do. So, find a way to maintain or outrank those keywords.

Missing keyword view – This shows the keywords that all your competitors are ranking for except YOU! So, find the best and most performing ones to include in your own content.

Gap keyword view – This view uncovers keywords that only some of your competitors have. This means that these keywords are less competitive and in fact, valuable in discovering a new audience.

 Unique keyword view – This view lists out all the keywords that only you are ranking for. Amazingly, you are ahead of most of your competitors for these search queries.

STEP 3: REFINE KEYWORDS

While you’re in one of the views, you may scroll past some unwanted keywords. you may choose to sort it out if you’re just trying to get a quick glance at certain data (the most and least of the results).

But this method isn’t entirely effective. 

So, a better way here is to make good use of the “Advanced filter.” Just include the range that you want for the ranking position, volume, competition, or CPC.

STEP 4: STAR YOUR FAVORITE KEYWORD

If you are a fan of collecting and bookmarking things that you like, you can choose to star the keywords that you find valuable for later use or export.

You can choose to skip this step if you like. But the star feature definitely helps you organize and declutter your keywords by folds!

STEP 5: EXPORT KEYWORDS

Finally, you may want to consider exporting the keywords. You can do a quick export of 1,000 keywords (if there is), or if you’re the type that wants things fast, just export all.

And as I’ve mentioned in step 4, you can try to make clear what keywords you want first, star it, only then do you export them.

Once you’ve done the necessary, it’s time to move on to the 3rd best practice.

3. Further Refine And Filter Keywords Based on What You Identify

Now it’s time to look at the keywords you got from the four keyword gap analysis techniques and observe them further. There are three simple questions you should be able to answer.

1.What Are the Ranking Keywords Like?

Take a list of the keywords your competitors use and find out what are they like. For example, are they mostly plural or singular?

You should also discover the type of keywords they rank for.

Are they long-tail or short-tail keywords? Continue studying them and compare as many metrics as possible. In ideal circumstances, you would compare all of the metrics you see in the table below.

These will help you discover what your audience searches for and the lucrative keywords that work well within your niche.

2. What Is the Amount of Keywords Your Competitors Include per Page?

The second important thing to observe is how many keywords your competitors place on a single page. There are two parts to it.

First, you should find out how many different keywords they place on the page. You can easily find that out with the SEO Review Tool. Then, you hop on the page, type in the competitor’s URL, and hit enter.

You’ll get a list of the most common keywords they used on their page.

Second, you should also care about the keyword density – how often are keywords used on a single page. Again, you can see that in the SEO Review Tool too. 

You should be inspired by your competitors and analyze it, however…

Many companies overuse keywords, so don’t necessarily copy their density if it’s too high. Instead, I suggest shooting for 1 – 2% keyword density, which means using a keyword once or twice every 100 words.

Find out both of these metrics, compare them, and consider the change if necessary.

3. What Is the Content Surrounding a Particular High-Ranking Keyword?

Another key thing to look out for is the content surrounding the keyword. You should observe competitors find out how they place keywords on their webpage.

Is it natural, are they forcing it, or do they use it as an anchor text?

You should also care about whether they highlight it with bold or italics or just leave it blank to make it fit into the content.

Whatever it is, find that out, discover what works and use it in your strategy.

4. Categorize and Label Your Filtered Keywords

This step is especially great if you plan on creating new content with the keywords you’ve stolen from your competitors. The first thing you should do is sort out keywords by volume, CPC, competition, etc.

You should counter all of these together to get the keyword value.

Source: BiQ.cloud

Keywords with the highest value should be your main keywords, while the lower value keywords should act as related keywords supporting the main term.

You should then create a label for every keyword you have. I suggest you create two labels. First, mark it as the main or supporting keyword, and the second is to describe the topic you plan to use.  

After a while, you come to realize that some keywords don’t belong anywhere. They may have disastrous value, or you can’t fit them in any content you plan on creating.

Competitor keyword analysis - Semrush vs Ahref
Use RankingGap to uncover the keyword gap between Semrush and Ahrefs.

These are usually irrelevant keywords you should get rid of because they’re worthless.

5. Recognize a Pattern in Your Final Keyword Group

Competitor keyword gap analysis shouldn’t end just with getting the list of relevant keywords you should use in your content. Instead, if done correctly, you should learn more about your audience and get to know them better.

If you look closely at the keywords you’ve stolen from competitors, you’ll come to realize a thing or two…

You should start realizing who your target audience is, how they think, and even predict the future behavior to discover what keywords will work in the future. The easiest way to do so is to create an ideal persona if you haven’t already.

I highly suggest using the Make My Persona tool from HubSpot for that.

It’s a 7-step process where you start by picking the persona’s profile picture and name and finish with the desires, problems, and education.

You can create your persona and be finished within a few minutes. After you get that, you can better personalize your content and maximize the results.

After you get that, you’ll get a clearer picture of who you are serving and what these people want. This will help you spot a pattern in your keywords, predict keywords that will improve your next content, and develop a winning strategy.

Content Gap VS Keyword Gap Analysis

What Is Content Gap Analysis?

Content gap analysis links your current content and the content that would drive desired results and fulfill your marketing goals.

It’s about identifying content you need to fill the gap between current and desired results.

There are multiple ways you can use to implement it in your business. In my opinion, one of the best ways to get the desired results quickly is to study your competitors. If they perform better, they most likely created a better piece of content than you did.

And all you need to do to fix it is compare your content to theirs, spot the difference, and make it better.

What’s the Difference Between the Two?

While content gap analysis focuses only on content, keyword gap analysis focuses on the search terms people type into Google and the way they think.

With content gap analysis, you can spot the difference between your content and the content that works, close the gap, and drive stronger results.

Keyword gap analysis works differently, though…

It focuses mainly on the keywords your site’s competitors rank for. It helps you get better insights into your audience, helps you discover how they think, and predicts their decisions in the future.

They work great hand in hand. Keyword gap analysis helps you get readers to your site, while content gap analysis will help you keep them reading longer.

Why Should You Be Focusing on Keyword Gap Analysis in Your SEO Practice?

Content gap analysis can do wonders for your content. It can fill in the gap on the market, make your content better, and help you retain more readers. 

However, it has not as near an impact as the keyword gap analysis…

While it can help you retain readers, keyword gap analysis is what gets them to your site. And that’s precisely why keyword gap analysis should be the cornerstone of your SEO practice if you’re looking to get substantial results.

You can have the best content, but you won’t get far if nobody types in your keywords.

If you want to incorporate both of them in your content, start with the keyword gap analysis and slowly progress to the content gap analysis.

Conclusion

Keyword gap analysis is vital for long-term success and getting to the desired results. But, unfortunately, it’s often overlooked by the SEO practice.

The reason behind it is simple – it’s tedious and a long process if you do it properly.

However, without getting a complete grasp of what your competitors do, you will not win in the race up the SERP. It’s definitely worth your time, and if you employ keyword gap analysis tools such as RankingGap, you should give it a go if you haven’t already.

Updated: 16 October 2021

kai Wern

Have a **** for coffee, travels, and anything horror, Kai Wern is a digital marketer who is also eager to explore the world through digitalized content.







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How to Pick Keywords For SEO

By | October 16, 2021


There is a point in every SEO’s development where you graduate from Google Search Console to a paid Rank Tracking tool.

That point usually comes when you realize that rank trackers don’t just offer you an accurate picture of your rankings, but also give you a host of analytics tools you can use to get a deeper understanding of your rankings.

And who doesn’t **** gleaning actionable insights from data?

However, one of the difficulties you might find when making the transition is that Search Console picks keywords for you. Rank Trackers, on the other hand, only give you data based on the keywords you choose.

This leaves you with a difficulty. How do you pick SEO keywords to track? 

Where do you even begin?

What’s more, getting this wrong can affect your entire campaign.

In this post, I’ll show you a tried and tested method of finding laser-focused keywords (so that you don’t waste your time tracking low-impact keywords).

I’ll also show you a nifty shortcut in Rank Ranger. 🙂

And…

On with the show.

Why do you Track the Keywords You Track? 

As with anything in SEO (or life), it’s not enough to find a few tactics on the internet and call it a day.

No.

That kind of approach could lead to many hours of wasted time.

The reason is, not every tactic is appropriate for every situation.

Instead, you should think strategically. Think of strategy as the lever that allows you to lift a load much heavier than your own weight.

Tactics on the other hand are like brute strength. In other words, tactics are great when used in the right situation.

What I’m getting at is, when choosing keywords to track, you must be strategic.

What do you want to understand when you log into your dashboard?

What keywords will give you the insights that you need to help you achieve your SEO goals?

Picking the Right Keywords for Your Strategy 

So, the question is, what is your strategy for improving your rankings and visibility?

Whether it’s on-page optimization or link building, whatever tactics you use, it always helps to have a strategic advantage. That way you can surf with the wave rather than swimming against it.

Yes, SEO and surfing have so many similarities. 🙂


via GIPHY

In general, there are three approaches to picking keywords. Two of them offer you a strategic advantage and one doesn’t.

The Spray and Pray Approach 

Firstly there is the spray and pray approach. Using this approach, the SEO does some keyword research into any relevant keywords related to their niche.

They then track pretty much anything and everything they find.

Don’t laugh.

We’ve probably all been there.

The problem with this method is that most of the keywords are either irrelevant or make little impact on your overall traffic. I’ll get into what low and high impact keywords are later on in this post.

And that brings us to the second option.

The Target Keyword Approach 

When creating content designed to rank in search engines, generally the process starts with keyword research.

Once you know what keywords you want to target, you should go about creating the perfect piece of content that answers the search intent thoroughly. After doing a little competitor research, you should be able to guess what the search intent is. This will help you create content that users and search engines ****.

When this is your overall content creation process, deciding what to track in your rank tracking software is a no-brainer.

Track your target keyword.

This makes sense when you are creating new content. You generally design your content to rank on a SERP, taking search intent and competitor analysis into account.

At this point, I wouldn’t recommend digging around your keyword research tool to find some long-tail variations. Not unless you are specifically trying to rank on those SERPs as well.

The reason is…

When your content starts ranking in search engines, it will also naturally rank for long-tail variations. This means it makes sense to publish your content and then do nothing with it for a while.

After a little time, your content will start to get impressions.

This is because Google will start to test where your content should feature in its search results pages. These tests include:

  • Which SERPs to feature your content on
  • Where to rank your content
  • What SERP features your content should feature

When Google has done its magic, it’s time to do a second round of keyword picking.

But this time, you should go cherry-picking.

Cherry Picking – Keywords as a Benchmark 

Now, I have to admit, this section was inspired by Lukasz Zelezny’s video on selecting keywords. He says you should use keywords as a benchmark.


So what on earth does that mean?

Think about this…

Have you ever been cherry-picking?

If you have, I’m sure your process looked something like this.

You find a cherry and probe it for blemishes and examine its color. Once you think you’ve found a diamond, you place it in your basket and move on.

Well, picking keywords should look the same way.

Since your content has been on the SERPs for a little while, there is pre-existing data to work with.

Where do you find it?

In Google’s good old rank tracking software, Search Console.


via GIPHY

If you’ve been using Search Console for a while, you’ll know that it’ll tell you what SERPs your content is showing up on.

This makes it a great tool for understanding how Google understands your content and where Google thinks it should be.

Use this to your advantage.

This is your chance to go cherry-picking.

To do this, log into your Search Console account, click the ‘+ NEW’ button and enter the URL that you want to benchmark.

Once you do that you’ll see all of the search engine results pages your content is showing up on. You can now choose your best-performing keywords.

To decide what are the best-performing keywords, look for the ones that offer your URL the most growth potential.

These should be keywords that feature your URL somewhere on the top three pages of Google. They should preferably be getting impressions and your content should be directly or indirectly satisfying user intent.

Don’t worry too much if they are not yet getting clicks. By working on these pages your rankings and visibility should increase and when that happens, clickability increases.

Remember, you are looking for diamonds in the rough.

You can polish them later.

Since SEO is an ongoing process, you are looking for quick-win opportunities.

Once you’ve found the right keywords for that page, go onto the next page and repeat the process.

You should finish off with around five to ten keyword clusters per page.

Once you have this, it’s time to move onto the next step.

Enter Your Keywords into Your Rank Tracker 

Take your keyword clusters and add them into your rank tracker.

When you add keywords, tag each cluster and set a target URL.

By linking your keywords to your URL, your rank tracker will not only tell you a story about your rankings, but it’ll give you a host of analytics tools to help you generate more traffic.

And since you have high potential keyword opportunities, you can start to optimize them so that they rank higher.

Once you’ve done that, your rank tracker will show you how your optimizations are affecting your rankings, traffic, and organic visibility.

Now, as I mentioned at the beginning of this article, I will reveal a nifty shortcut if you are using Rank Ranger.

So here it is…

Rank Ranger Search Console Keywords Report 

Well, since at Rank Ranger, our greatest superpower is advanced rank tracking, it would make no sense for us to leave out a Search Console integration.

This means you can see your Search Console data in many reports.

What’s more, since as I’ve mentioned in this article so far, the best way to find high-impact keywords is to use Search Console, we’ve also included an easy way to track your best keywords with just a click of a button.

So, check this out.

Go to the Google Search Console Analytics Keywords report.

Then click the filters button and enter the URL you want to benchmark.

Once you’ve done that, you can see all of the keywords the page is ranking for from within the Rank Ranger software.

You can then pick your high-impact keywords by using metrics such as:

  • Impressions
  • Clicks
  • CTR
  • Position

Once you have picked the keywords you want to track, you can easily add them to your campaign by clicking the Add Keyword button.

Your High-Impact Keyword Approach 

As you can see from everything I’ve shared above, to get the most out of your rank tracker you should be focusing on two things:

  • Tracking Target Keywords
  • Tracking High impact keywords

Doing this will integrate your keywords into your overall ranking strategy giving you a strategic advantage. This will help you evaluate which high-impact tasks will drive your online success and which vampire tasks will devour your time and suck you dry.

And in this crazy ADD world, where there are so many shiny objects to chase after, having a laser-focused keyword strategy is crucial.

About The Author

Darrell Mordecai

Darrell is a content marketer at Rank Ranger. While working as the SEO manager at a small marketing agency, Darrell discovered his **** of marketing and SEO.



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Content Gap Analysis vs Keyword Gap Analysis – What’s The Difference?

By | October 16, 2021


Imagine being able to reverse engineer someone else’s ranking strategy and identify their weaknesses so you can win big? Well, there’s a way and that is through SEO gap analysis. 

You are not creating content in a vacuum after all. 

In addition to keyword research and identifying potential high-traffic keywords to target, you also need to be looking at what the internet has to offer and how your competitors stand to find better keywords and content opportunities. 

SEOs and marketers have a toolbox full of strategies to help you identify these gaps, but among the two most popular tactics are content gap analysis and keyword gap analysis.

Sounds similar? Don’t worry, we will guide you through the differences in these two approaches and how you can use them to inform your keyword strategy.

Now let’s start with a quick definition and how they work. 

What is Content Gap Analysis?

A content gap analysis is a great way to start your search campaign. It analyzes your existing content and allows you to discover potential content pieces and topics that your readers want, but are missing from your site. 

Usually, this is done through finding the keywords your competitors are ranking for but you don’t. The idea is simple and that is to discover and fill in the content gap between you and your competitors. 

Besides, if your competitors are targeting these keywords, chances are prospects searching for these keywords could be looking for your business too. 

What is Keyword Gap Analysis?

Keyword gap analysis, otherwise known as competitive keyword analysis, is a more thorough approach to analyzing the gap between you and your competitor’s ranking keywords.

Instead of only identifying the keywords that you are not ranking for, the process is more centered on bridging the gap and discovering valuable keyword opportunities that you should target for better search visibility and traffic.

Like content gap analysis, it adopts competitors’ keywords that you are not ranking for but extends to common keywords as well. 

It takes into consideration your ranking keywords and how it is performing compared to your competition. Through this practice, you are not only looking for search terms you have yet to target or rank but identifying and understanding how you can better optimize your content.

Moreover, the process identifies questions that users may be asking related to your keyword that will help you uncover new content insights. 

Content vs Keyword Gap Analysis

To better illustrate the difference between content gap vs keyword gap analysis, think of content gap as part of keyword gap analysis framework. 

While both gap analysis compares your existing keyword strategy to your competitors, content gap focuses on keywords you do not rank while keyword gap analysis focuses on wider areas of opportunities to improve your overall search visibility. 

How Does Content Gap Analysis Work?

Though content gap analysis was previously done manually, Ahrefs has introduced a Content Gap tool that automated the whole process.

It allows you to compare your ranking keywords with a bunch of competitors at the same time, and you can filter the keyword results into:

  • Keywords that any of your competitors are ranking for
  • Keywords that a certain number of your competitors are ranking for
  • Keywords that all of your competitors are ranking for

This data can help you get insight into understanding each website’s business model, keyword strategy, competition, as well as what is missing from your target keyword list.

Using this filter, you can easily access all the keywords that your competitors rank for in search results, but you do not. 

The only caveat to this is that you might be trying to rank for search terms that aren’t related to your products or target audience, so think twice before you target them.

In addition to the domain level, you can also conduct content gap analysis on a page level using Ahrefs Content Explorer which allows you to uncover all the ranking keywords for a page. 

Compare this with your content on the topic to see if there are any missing keywords you can include to better optimize your content. 

How Does Keyword Gap Analysis Work? 

With keyword gap analysis, you are looking to discover better ranking opportunities, and that can be for new keywords or improving on existing rankings.

When conducting your competitive keyword analysis, you are looking to find valuable and relevant keyword opportunities. Keep in mind to assess their ranking difficulty and identify only keywords that can truly bring value to your business. 

Now we know it’s not always easy to rank high for the keywords you are competing with, but some keywords that might be more worth the effort than others.

Here are four categories of keywords that you should focus on to better close the gap between you and your competitors:

1. Keywords that you rank for, but your competitors don’t

There are thousands of websites out there trying to steal your rankings, and of course, you want to avoid that at all costs.

That’s why knowing what your top ranking keywords are and consistently tracking their SERP results is fundamental to prevent your competitors from stealing them. You can use rank tracking tools like BiQ Rank Tracker to be on alert.

Besides, when you know which are your top-ranking keywords, you can also play on your home turf leverage to further optimize and easily rank for related keywords. 

Let’s say you are ranking for a long-tail keyword like “what is the best shaving cream for men”. In this scenario, you can create skyscraper content to target related short tail keywords like “shaving cream for men” or “men’s shaving lotion”

Just make sure to interlink your content to strengthen your authority on the subject. 

On the other hand, if you are already ranking for a short tail keyword, you might find that the page is simultaneously holding various top positions for similar ranking keywords. 

This is proven by an Ahrefs study noting that the average top-ranking page in the top 10 search results is ranking for almost 1,000 related search terms. 

But still, some might be ranked lower than others. 

In that case, creating an in-depth content that directly answers the keyword’s search intent would land you on a better ranking, especially given your authority in the subject. 

2. Keywords that your competitors rank for, but you don’t 

If your competitors are targeting these keywords to rank, it’s most likely highly relevant to your business too. 

Find the keywords with decent or high volume and steal them to employ in your content. Most importantly, understand the strategy that your competitors are using and replicate them to get high traffic. 

Still, it’s unlikely that all the keywords are relevant to your business so make sure to sift through them to find the only relevant opportunities. 

There are three things to consider when targeting these keywords: 

  1. Business value – Is this search term made by potential customer prospects? How likely will these searchers buy what you sell?
  2. Search volume – What is the average number of monthly searches for the keyword? Does the search volume have high organic traffic potential that justifies content creation? 
  3. Buyer journey – What is the search intent behind the keyword? What stage of the buyer’s journey are they at?

Answering these questions will help you understand if the keyword will fit into your content strategy and how.

3. Keywords that both you and your competitors rank for

Where you rank on search matters. If you and your competitors are both ranking for the same keywords, you must rank closer if not in the #1 position. 

Backlinko studies have pointed out that the #1 ranking result is likely to be driving 10X more clicks and traffic compared to the #10 ranking content. So make sure to prioritize reoptimization in your content strategy especially for keywords on the first page. 

You can identify these keywords by using BiQ’s Rank Intelligence to uncover your keywords that are ranking on the 1st page and further improve them. 

Just input your domain URL and set the filter to show only those results positioning from #2 to #10. Arrange the keyword list according to potential traffic volume and kickstart your content re-optimization from there. 

At the same time, you can also check in on your #1 position rankings and strategize methods to stay ahead of your competition. Always make sure your content is updated and relevant to avoid competitors from stealing your spot. 

One SEO tool that can help you improve your content relevance and performance is BiQ’s Content Intelligence

Using its Word Vector mode, you can optimize based on the suggestions to further improve your contextual relevance as compared to the top 10 ranking search results.

Using BiQ's Content Intelligence to measure your content gap analysis.

4. Ranking keywords that you and most of your competitors don’t have

Everyone wants to rank for competitive keywords, but that’s impossible in the short term, especially when your website is just starting out. 

When analyzing your competitors’ keyword list, you also want to find low competition keywords that are easy to rank for. 

These searches are often very specific, and you want to find a keyword that is in the sweet spot of being not popular enough to be overly crowded with competitors, but still common enough to send you website traffic. 

Sometimes, you may uncover hidden keyword gems or new trending keywords that your competitors have yet to realize. 

Just take the search term “growth *******” for example. Although it was first coined by Dropbox marketer Sean Ellis back in 2013, the term only started gaining popularity a few years later and is seeing its peak now. 

Now, the keyword has almost a thousand related keywords and over 669K total monthly search volume.

Key Takeaway: Start Your Gap Analysis

As the web gets more competitive and many are evolving in using keyword research and great content to benefit their business, you need to evaluate what your competitors are doing.

Doing a content and keyword gap analysis will help you see how your site stands comparatively and discover untapped keywords and ranking opportunities. 

Performing a keyword gap analysis especially can help you pinpoint ways you can further expand your existing content and bridge the keyword gap based on your strengths and weaknesses. 

So take action now and once you identify your gap keywords, strategize with creativity to close the gap or start a business from an angle your competitors never thought of.

If you want to know more about the amazing strategies and steps in conquering your competitor keywords, head straight to our Ultimate Keyword Gap Analysis Strategies blog post.

Updated: 16 October 2021

kai Wern

Have a **** for coffee, travels, and anything horror, Kai Wern is a digital marketer who is also eager to explore the world through digitalized content.







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Core Web Vitals: How The New Ranking Signals Impact SEO

By | October 16, 2021


Google has always been user-centric. From eliminating keyword stuffing to making page load time a ranking factor, to mobile-first ranking, they’ve constantly pushed for a better user experience. Core Web Vitals are yet another push in that direction.

Read on to learn what Core Web Vitals are, why they matter, and how you can improve the associated scores for your web pages.

What are Core Web Vitals?

Core Web Vitals (CWV)

Definition

Core Web Vitals (CWV) are a set of quantitative performance metrics Google developed to measure qualitative users experiences on a web page. These metrics specifically measure loading experience (LCP), interactivity (FID), and visual stability (CLS) of web page content.

In May 2020, Google announced that page experience signals would become an organic ranking factor. More specifically, Google’s algorithm would begin to measure the following metrics to calculate user experience:

  • Mobile friendliness
  • Safe browsing
  • HTTPS
  • Content accessibility via a lack of intrusive interstitials (pop-ups) 

In November 2020, Google added three new metrics to their page experience signals called Core Web Vitals:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
  • First Input Delay (FID)
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

When did Core Web Vitals roll out?

Core Web Vitals became a Google ranking factor for top stories on Thursday June 17 2021, and they’ll be fully rolled out as part of a page experience update by the end of August 2021. However, Google has stated that they will update page experience signals each year. So, expect these to evolve over time. 

Why Core Web Vitals are important 

Why do Google Core Web Vitals matter? Because they help web developers provide a great user experience. As a result, users are more satisfied, more likely to return, and more likely to recommend your website to others. Conversely, if pages are slow, unstable, or cluttered with popups, users will hesitate to return.

Now, think about how that impacts Google’s brand and revenue. If you repeatedly click on links in the SERP that deliver a bad experience, you’ll become frustrated with Google. Eventually, you may try alternative search engines, and that means less advertising revenue for Google.

Google Core Web Vitals are measurable SEO performance metrics that give you a sense of how people experience your website. They provide you with specific, measurable data points to improve the overall user experience on your website. When users have a better experience, they’re more likely to return.

Ultimately, CWV doesn’t just improve your organic rankings, although that’s part of it. It provides your audience with a superior experience. And that translates into more engaged customers, higher conversion rates, and potentially other positive benefits.

It’s also important to note that, although Core Web Vitals are important, “Google still seeks to rank pages with the best information overall, even if the page experience is subpar.”

Great page experience doesn’t override having great page content. However, in cases where there are many pages that may be similar in relevance, page experience can be much more important for visibility in Search.

The three components of Google’s Core Web Vitals

Now let’s look at each of the 3 Core Web Vitals components, including thresholds and target ranges.

LCP: Largest Contentful Paint

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)

Definition

LCP is a Core Web Vitals metric that measures loading time. More specifically, it measures the amount of time it takes to render the largest content element within the viewable area of a user’s screen. It does not measure the entire page.

Depending on the page, this element could be:

  • Featured image
  • H1
  • Blocks of text
  • <img> element
  • <image> element inside an <svg> element
  • Image inside a <video> element
  • Background image loaded with the url() function

Google considers an LCP of 2.5 seconds or less to be a “good” URL (segmented by mobile and desktop). A score between 2.5 seconds and four seconds needs improvement. And, a score higher than four seconds is considered poor.

How can you improve LCP scores? Start by reviewing Google’s LCP optimization overview.

Ways to improve your LCP score

  • Remove any unnecessarily third-party scripts
  • Upgrade to a faster web host
  • Install a CDN
  • Cache assets
  • Set up lazy loading of images
  • Remove large page elements that take more time to load (large images, GIFs, etc.)
  • Minify your CSS
  • Follow Google’s advice for your specific URL (See how to measure Core Web Vitals below.)

Two other related metrics to consider when diagnosing page speed issues are First Contentful Paint (FCP), and Time to First Byte (TTFB).

FID: First Input Delay

First Input Delay (FID)

Definition

FID is a Core Web Vitals metric that measures time to interactive. Specifically, it measures the time between the first user input with a web page (clicking, tapping, swiping, etc.) and when that page responds.

Think of interactivity as page responsiveness. The longer the delay, the more likely a user will be frustrated since the page seems unresponsive.

What is a good FID score?

Google considers an FID of 100 milliseconds or less to be “good”. A page needs to hit this mark 75% of the time from collected field data on both mobile and desktop.

Where should you begin? Start by reviewing Google’s FID optimization overview

Ways to improve your FID score

  • Minimize (or defer) JavaScript since it’s difficult, if not impossible, for users to interact with your site when JS is running
  • Remove non-essential third-party scripts that have to load before a user can interact with your site (heat maps, analytics, etc.)
  • Implement browser caching, which stores certain elements in a user’s browser so that they don’t have to be reloaded every time
  • Follow Google’s advice for your specific URL (See how to measure Core Web Vitals below.)

CLS: Cumulative Layout Shift

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

Definition

CLS is a Core Web Vitals metric that measures the visual stability of a page. It looks at the proportion of the screen that shifts, and how far elements move.

Few things are more frustrating than trying to interact with page elements that jump around unexpectedly. Unexpected layout shifts are especially problematic when they have real-world consequences like accidentally ordering something, or clicking on an ad that takes you to another website.

As a site owner or developer, it’s important to calculate your CLS based on real user interactions, and not just lab data. For example, ads may not load on your staging site, so your scores won’t reflect real-world experiences.

CLS is calculated by multiplying the impact fraction (percentage of viewport that shifts) by the distance fraction (movement distance divided by the viewport height).

A burst of layout shifts is when multiple shifts rapidly occur over a period of five seconds or less, with less than a second between each shift. CLS measures the largest burst of layout shifts that occurs over the lifespan of a page. For detailed information on how this is calculated, read Google’s documentation here.

Google considers a CLS score of 0.1 or less to be good, and a page needs to hit this mark 75% of the time on both mobile and desktop.

Where should you begin? Start by reviewing Google’s CLS optimization overview

Ways to improve your CLS score

  • Use set size attribute dimensions for any media (images, GIFs, etc) so that the user’s browser knows how much space they’ll take up and won’t suddenly change the dimensions
  • Put all ads in reserved spaces so that they don’t appear suddenly, causing content to shift
  • Avoid pop-ups or banners that cause the screen layout to shift when the site is first loading
  • Follow Google’s advice for your specific URL (See how to measure Core Web Vitals below.)
30.2% Higher Revenue through Technical SEOTerakeet increased YoY organic revenue by 30.2% in 15 weeks for an online retailer.See How

There are a number of tools you can use to measure Core Web Vitals scores on your site to compare its performance against the recommended benchmarks.

Google tools

One of the easiest ways is the Core Web Vitals report (within the Experience tab) in Google Search Console. It will tell you which URLs are “good” (fast loading), which need improvement, and which score poorly, across both mobile and desktop devices. Just be aware that the data is a bit delayed.

If you click on a specific URL, and then click “PageSpeed Insights“, you’ll see specific recommendations for how to improve the over page experience. (Or, you can simply go to Google PageSpeed Insights directly.) Some of the recommendations will be relatively simple, like optimizing image size to reduce load time. Others will be more complex, requiring you to dig into your site’s code to reduce unused JavaScript or eliminate render blocking resources.

Google Lighthouse is a page performance measurement tool that’s perhaps most useful to web developers, and it includes audits that Google PageSpeed Insights doesn’t have.

Google Web.Dev allows you to enter any URL on your site and get recommendations for improving Core Web Vitals, as well as general best practices recommendations for improving the overall user experience.

From Google Chrome 88 and higher, you can now see Core Web Vitals data in the Chrome DevTools performance panel. From Chrome 90, there’s an overlay tool.

You can also use the Chrome User Experience Report (CrUX).

Core web vitals Chrome extension

If you’re looking for a Google Chrome extension, the Web Vitals extension is a quick and easy way to see whether any page meets the Core Web Vitals benchmarks provided by Google. Just be aware that the extension is not a tool developed by Google itself.

Plug-ins

Depending on your CMS, you may have other options, as well. For example, if your site is built on WordPress, there are third-party plugins that can help improve Core Web Vitals performance, such as WP Rocket, NitroPack, or Asset Clean Up.

Lighthouse

You can measure any page’s CWV scores directly from your Chrome browser using Google’s Lighthouse DevTool. Simply inspect the page and click the Lighthouse tab.

How will Google’s Core Web Vitals impact your SEO?

The Core Web Vitals SEO impact will be severe for some websites with poor page experience. However, most websites with good user experience won’t see any impact at all. That’s because Google still prioritizes other search ranking signals that matter more, like the quality of the content on a page.

So in terms of search engine optimization (SEO) priorities, focus first and foremost on creating high quality content that aligns with search intent and thoroughly covers the topic. Once you’ve done that, focus on optimizing pages for Core Web Vitals metrics for an even greater organic lift.

What are the core web vitals?

Core Web Vitals (CWV) are a set of quantitative performance metrics Google developed to measure qualitative users experiences on a web page.

What are the 3 core web vitals signals?

The 3 core web vitals metrics are LCP, FID, and CLS. They specifically measure loading experience (LCP), interactivity (FID), and visual stability (CLS) of web page content.

When does core web vitals go into effect?

Core Web Vitals became a Google ranking factor for top stories on Thursday June 17 2021, and they’ll be fully rolled out as part of a page experience update by the end of August 2021



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What is SEO & SEM?

By | October 16, 2021


SEO vs SEM. Which is better and why.

Now, before we let them fight it out, perhaps I should mention that SEM and SEO can and in many cases should work together in harmony.

In reality, they are two different sides to the search engine marketing coin but the implementation of each one is completely different.

In this post, I’ll get into:

  • What is SEO and SEM?
  • What are the benefits of each?
  • What are the best applications for each?

Before getting into the difference between SEM and SEO, let’s first understand what search marketing is.

Search Marketing 

Yes, SEM and SEO are both subsets of search marketing. Search marketing refers to any marketing tactic designed to generate targeted traffic for a brand from within the search engine results pages (SERPs).

The primary goal of search engine marketing is to have content positioned in the most prominent places in the SERPs.

To truly understand this, we need to first (briefly) understand what search engines are trying to achieve. (I know, this might seem obvious, but stay with me, this will help you understand where SEO and SEM fit it.)

Let’s do a little thought experiment…

Picture someone typing a query into Google. What are they trying to do?

In essence, they are asking the search engine a question. In other words, they are hoping that the search engine will bring them a piece of content that will answer their question.

They hope the oracle will spit the answer out so that they can go on their merry way.

For the searcher to be satisfied, they want the answer to be direct, with as little friction as possible.

This means the most prominent place on a given SERP is the first place the searcher will look at. In other words, right at the top. Understanding this, we can now understand where search marketing comes in.

Both SEO and SEM are designed to feature a given piece of content as the answer to the search query by positioning it in the most prominent position.

The difference is in the implementation.

What Is the Difference Between SEO and SEM? 

Now that we understand the goal of search marketing, let’s examine where SEM and SEO fit in.

There are essentially two ways to position your content in prominent places on SERPs:

  • SEO – A strategy designed to convince search engines that your content is the best answer to a given search query
  • SEM – A strategy that uses paid advertising to feature a piece of content in prominent places in the results pages

Let’s dive a little deeper.

What is Search Engine Marketing (SEM)? 

What is search engine marketing?

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is the process of using paid advertising to position content in the most prominent positions on search engine results pages.

Like I mentioned above, when the searcher types a query into a search engine, they are asking the oracle (in this case the search engine) a question. SEM marketers are paying search engines to position their content as the answer to the searcher’s query.

For example, when a searcher types ‘best selling books’ into the search engine, they are (obviously) asking the oracle what the best selling books are.

When the searcher sees an ad, they are seeing a potential answer to that question.

How this works is…

Advertisers pay to have their ads show up on specific keywords. When they do that, search engines include the advertiser’s request to show the ads as part of an auction.

They then position the ads based on factors such as:

  • The advertiser’s bid
  • The quality of the ads
  • The quality of the landing page the ads are sending traffic to

To understand this, you must understand one thing.

Search engines will only be successful if they serve their users by answering their questions. This means it’s in the search engine’s best interest to only show high-quality ads that are relevant to the searcher’s query.

Not delivering this would be perceived as a bad user experience. In other words, when you see ads that are not relevant to your search or you see ads that are low quality, you would consider the ads as spam.

Having spam on the search engine results pages would lower the user’s perception of the search engine. That’s bad for business.

To deal with this, each search engine has its own ad quality guidelines.

So, for instance, when someone types a query into Google, Google assigns an Ad Rank to each of the potential ads for that search. Google will then calculate based on the Ad Rank of each ad where it will appear on the results page.

For your ad to rank at the top of Google, you must ensure that your ad and landing page are of the highest quality, ensuring the user has the best experience possible.

If you can do that according to Google’s Ad Rank factors, you stand to see a potentially low cost per click and a high position. Getting this right should award you better visibility and guarantees you a large number of visitors.

The great thing is, it can happen fast.

What is SEO? 

What is search engine optimization (SEO)?

SEO is the process of designing a web page that convinces the search engine that this piece of content is the best and most qualified answer to the searcher’s question.

Now, to truly make this happen, many different actions are needed. (In fact, too many to mention in this blog post.)

For instance, let’s start with the content itself. Good SEO starts with content creation. The reason is the content should be designed with SEO in mind right from the start.

So before creating anything, the content creator will typically research what SERP they want their content to show up on. And don’t forget, each SERP is designed to answer a searcher’s question.

This means the content should be designed to truly answer the query adequately. What’s more, it should be qualitatively better than the content that already appears on the target SERP. There are many steps to doing this well. I’m just covering this in a top-down, big picture manner.

Once the SEO creates the perfect piece of content, the content still might not rank well.

This is because just having great content isn’t enough for search engines. It must come from an authoritative source. Search engines use a variety of off-page signals to evaluate whether a source is authoritative.

Now that you have a basic understanding of SEO and SEM, let’s compare them.

The Benefits of SEO and SEM: Short Term Boosts or Long Term Growth 

Here are some big-picture benefits of each approach.

Since SEO is an organic strategy, actually achieving results can take months. What’s more, not being strategic in your SEO plan, in the beginning, could produce poor results downstream.

SEM on the other hand can be implemented quickly. This means you can see traffic within a day of creating a campaign. What’s more, its fast implementation, lets you quickly see what works and what doesn’t, allowing you to change your strategy midstream.

This makes it great for getting quick traffic boosts and testing ideas.

Another big advantage of SEM is you can pay to have ads appear on SERPs with commercial intent. On the other hand, achieving that through SEO can be difficult because it’s difficult to build links to commercial content.

But…

SEO is a long-term game, which is its greatest advantage.

You see, with SEM, when you turn your ads off, your traffic disappears. With SEO, once you have a well-established organic presence, you can get traffic for years to come. And, once your site becomes authoritative, you can experience exponential traffic growth.

This means if you are in it for the long haul and you plan your SEO strategy well in advance, SEO can easily outpace SEM.

SEM vs SEO – What Strategy Should You Choose 

Now that you have a basic understanding of SEM and SEO, the question is when should you focus on SEM and when should you focus on SEO?

To understand this, let’s examine how SEM and SEO serve users.

In general, when there are ads on the SERPs, the SERPs are divided into sections. The ads generally appear on the top of the SERP. The organic results are found below that.

Google SERP showing ads

Now, as I mentioned above, the primary tactic in search marketing is to position your content in the most visible place on the SERPs.

In other words, at the top.

Occupying these high visibility positions will increase your chances of getting the most traffic.

So, in the example above, the ads occupy the most prominent spots and result in the most visibility. Therefore, if all you focus on is organic traffic, the ads will certainly diminish your click potential.

This will no doubt significantly decrease your traffic.

Instead, an SEO marketer might want to focus on a different SERP.

However, in many cases, there are no ads displayed on the SERPs. When this happens, the most prominent places are taken up by organic results.

Google SERP showing organic video results

As you can see in the example above, the first thing the searcher sees is the video snippet. Next, they see a video box and after that, some good old-fashioned blue links.

In the example above, the video snippet is featured because Google was ‘convinced’ that the video answers the searcher’s query better than any of the other content.

And, as I mentioned above, SEO is a strategy designed to convince search engines that your content is the best answer for the search query. In other words, the video was featured due to video SEO.

SEO & SEM, A Powerhouse for Your Business 

Volcano

By now you should have a good basic understanding of both SEO and SEM.

The question is, how do you implement these strategies into your business? Do you leverage SEM’s short-term value? How do you plan for long-term SEO growth?

And once you’re at it, how do you target each SERP? Which ones will give you more value if you pay for advertising? Which ones should be incorporated into a larger SEO strategy?

From my point of view, all I can do is ask. Only you can answer those questions based on your unique business needs.

About The Author

Darrell Mordecai

Darrell is a content marketer at Rank Ranger. While working as the SEO manager at a small marketing agency, Darrell discovered his **** of marketing and SEO.



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Keyword Gap Analysis: The Lesser-Known (But Powerful) Digital Marketing Skill

By | October 16, 2021


Nowadays, digital marketing is necessary. So is Keyword Gap tool. 

More and more people are searching and buying products online. But customers are not buying immediately. Instead, they go on a journey — to Google around, read some articles, compare brands and see reviews before they finally make their purchase.

Digital marketing is what helps you connect with your audiences at each stage of the buyer journey. It better positions your brand to reach your target audiences and let them know why they should buy your products and how their products can fix your problems. 

However, online marketing is an increasingly competitive landscape. Companies face both direct and indirect competition that are all fighting for the same attention. 

According to DialogTech, the global digital advertising expenditure is currently on track to reach $389 billion in 2021 as businesses are pouring massive amounts into advertising campaigns. With many businesses competing for limited ad space, this increases the cost of acquisition – making ads more expensive than ever.  

That’s why one of the best traffic generation methods remains to be SEO and content marketing. Just take a look at examples like Hubspot and Shopify that have successfully built an evergreen traffic empire using content marketing.

When it comes to finding SEO success, there is an advanced marketing skill you should better hone called keyword gap analysis.

You are creating content for the internet. It goes without saying that to succeed, you need to take a minute to analyze your targeted keywords and competition. 

Keyword gap research is an extension of keyword research tools and refers to the process of analyzing and comparing your keyword rankings to your competitors’ to identify keyword opportunities you may be missing.

From analyzing your competition, you can curate a list of target keywords that might be missing from your content strategy, along with insights on your competitors’ marketing strategies. This will lead you to create better content that has a higher chance of ranking. 

Read up our post to learn about the difference between Keyword Gap Analysis & Content Gap Analysis.

How to Master It?

Nature Index's top rankings of 2019 | Nature Index
Source: Nature Index

Learning keyword gap analysis can skyrocket your understanding of content marketing. 

Rather than running aimlessly and creating content on every high-traffic keyword, competitive keyword analysis will allow you to learn which keywords have the best potential ROI and what you should do to win your competition.

Here, we have outlined the 3 simple steps to conduct a keyword gap analysis. So without further ado, let’s get started!  

1. Use Keyword Audit to Learn About Your Competitors

When it comes to strengthening your website’s SEO, doing a periodic keyword audit is one of the most effective practices. It builds and calibrates your keyword list and helps determine which terms you should be optimizing for. Here’s how it works. 

What is a Keyword Audit?

For a quick definition, a keyword audit refers to the process of analyzing and assessing your site’s existing rankings and search campaigns for insights on planning your content marketing strategy moving forward. 

There are many keyword audit tools out there – both free and paid that automates that keyword auditing process. Here, we will review the steps to do a keyword audit using our own BiQ Rank Intelligence

All you need to do is simply insert your domain URL and the tool will reveal all the keywords you are currently ranking for on Google and their breakdown. 

Now, you only want a list of high potential keywords to target, so make sure you set the filter to display only keywords ranking between #1 to #20

These are keywords you want to focus on improving to boost the ranks and get more traffic. However, most marketers just stop here. 

They optimize the content and then wait to check if the ranking shows any improvement. Rinse and repeat. But this rarely shows any results as it lacks any direction for optimizing.  

In any case, to truly find success in your SEO and keyword rankings, what you need to do is competitive keyword analysis.

By comparing your website’s keyword rankings with two or more competitors, you can get a much richer analysis. 

That’s why put your competitors’ domain through BiQ Rank Intelligence as well, and get their list of ranking keywords and we can now start with your keyword gap analysis. 

2. Use Keyword Gap Analysis for Keyword Discoveries

Basically, what you want to look for are keyword opportunities and gaps. This can be identified more easily when you categorize the ranking keywords between you and your competitors into these three fields: 

  1. Keywords that your competitors rank, but you don’t 
  2. Keywords you are ranking for, but your competitors don’t
  3. Overlapping keywords that you and your competitors are ranking for.  

In addition to this labeling, it’s also important to fill in the necessary information. After all, a good keyword report should be complete with data and insights whenever we look at them. 

So get a sheet ready and make sure each keyword has its corresponding data including each domain ranking position, ranking page URL, volume, CPC, competition, etc. While you are at it, classify each keyword category or niche as well.

This is important because it lets you identify unexpected keywords when you are unable to classify them, which would help you weed out keywords that are irrelevant to your business.  

At the end of the day, your keyword sheet should look something like this. 

Keyword Sheet
Source: Sheet for Marketers

Now that it is complete, you can start going through the keyword list to see if there are any repeating patterns. Like for example: is your domain mostly ranking for long-tail keywords or short-tail keywords? 

Here are some questions you should be asking when going through the list:

  • Are there any patterns for search terms ranking on Page 1? For example, are the keywords mostly singular or plural? Are they long-tail or short-tail keywords? and so on.
  • How many keywords did your competitors include on their page? This is especially important for overlapping keywords that both you and your competitors share. You want to find out if any keywords are missing from your page and take this opportunity to optimize your content to target those terms.
  • What is the type of content surrounding a high-ranking keyword? Does the SERP for the keyword have a higher preference for image or video results? Did your competitor create a video or infographic for that search term?
  • What are the ranking keywords with answer box or featured snippet? Which domain is getting more featured snippet results? 
  • Are there any valuable keywords you missed? Like for example, keywords with high volume, related to your business or buyer keywords that are likely to convert.
  • Has the search algorithm shown a ranking preference for certain topics? This will get you an idea of what each domain has built relevancy for over the web and allow you to identify their strengths and weaknesses. 

Of course, there are many other questions you can be asking. But most importantly, you should find the answer to: What are the keywords you could potentially rank for, or what are the keywords you could rank for better? 

Ranking factors session recap from SMX Advanced 2018
Source: Search Engine Land

Once you have your potential keywords, rank them to find out which are the ones you should prioritize. You can sort it by keyword volume to see which offers the best ROI or look at your top-ranking keywords to build on your strength.

For a broader view, you can also arrange it according to its categories to see which niche provides the most popular keyword groups. 

This can also help you identify keyword topics that might have high cumulative traffic. Because sometimes dozens of smaller, niche keywords can add up to high cumulative traffic and give you a competitive edge.

Look at your data from different angles to identify potential keyword opportunities. Transform the analyzed and collected data into your ****** to outperform your competitors. 

Read up the ultimate guide to Keyword Gap Analysis here!

3. Begin Drafting Your Copy

With your keyword list ready, now it’s time to start optimizing your existing content or start creating a brand new page for your keyword.

Here we suggest doing it on our BiQ Content Intelligence. It’s perfect for both optimizing existing content or creating new content. 

For existing content, just paste your URL and main keyword into the tool and it will give you a quick SEO analysis based on the Word Vector module. 

The tool adds another level of competitive analysis by comparing your content against the Top 10 organic ranking results in SERP and tells you how relevant your writing is and if your keyword density is up to par. 

Additionally, you can also get a glance at your content readability and sentiment analysis that lets you know if your content caters to your target audience. 

Meanwhile, for creating new content, you can just insert your target keyword and start writing. The block editor will provide you real-time analysis and suggestions to make sure your content is SEO-friendly.

Conclusion

Ultimately, your competition should be part of your marketing equation. 

Keyword gap analysis or competitive analysis is often overlooked in digital marketing strategies, as most search marketers just stop at the keyword research phase. 

Without having any knowledge of your competitors and how search engines perceive your target keywords, it will be a challenge to really succeed in the SERPs. 

That’s why make sure you follow the steps in this guide to master the keyword gap analysis process to build a solid content marketing strategy that outranks your competitors.

You can try out Keyword Gap Analysis in our other tool – RankingGap

To your success!

Updated: 15 October 2021

Win Wei

When life is bitter, drink black coffee indoor and grab yourself some self-help books while listening to cafe lofi. Win Wei is just another being that enjoys life and the wonders of digital marketing. Oh, I do **** myself some swimming, too.







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WaistBuster Reviews – WaistBuster At Home Kit By WELL365

By | October 16, 2021

The WaistBuster program is a weight loss solution developed by WELL365 living and has a deeper insight for achieving quality results. To know more about the WaistBuster kit like how to use it and it works to remove excess fat from the body.

Bitcoin4U Bitcoin ATM

By | October 16, 2021

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How to Calculate Market Share (With Formulas and Examples)

By | October 16, 2021


If you want a perfect example of why you need to know how to calculate market share, look no further than TESLA.

In 2020, TESLA owned an impressive 18 percent of the global electric vehicle (EVs) market share. This is a huge success when you consider just how many car retailers have added EVs to their fleets.

TESLA couldn’t have become the household name they are today without the help of a team of brilliant decision-makers. After they calculated TESLA’s market share within the global EV market, they decided they could do things differently and take on long-standing competitors in the auto industry.

They created a unique business model that allowed them to retain total control of the sales and all service aspects of TESLA vehicles. By doing this, they created a product that appealed to consumers in thrilling new ways.

Had they not done a deep market share analysis, they might have missed the opportunity to do things differently and to truly own the market.

By learning how to calculate market share in different ways, you’ll gain strategic advantages over your competitors. When you view market share as more than a single number, you can take a more granular approach at measuring business growth (and risk) across multiple battlefields.

What is market share?

Market Share

Definition

Market share is the portion of a given industry that is owned or controlled by a single brand or entity. Market share refers to a calculation that shows, in percentages, the revenue generated by a single company, as compared to the revenue earned by the entire industry.

This is the most standard definition of market share. But, this isn’t the only way to look at it. In fact, if you only view it through that lens, you could miss valuable opportunities.

There are a few different ways to calculate market share that can help you increase conversions, lower overhead, and maximize your advertising spend.

Market share by units sold

If you own a business that sells products en-mass, you’ll need to know how to calculate market share by the total number of units you sold in a given period of time when compared to the entire market size of units sold. This is the same calculation as market share by revenue — you just swap out dollars for products! I’ll explain how to figure out market share of this type later, and why it’s a useful number to have.

Market share by organic search traffic

If you generate leads or sales through your website, you should also know how to determine market share by organic search traffic. This is the ratio between the clicks you get out of the total available clicks for a defined set of keywords. It’s a great figure to have on hand when deciding how much money you need to spend on paid advertising and the SEO and content strategies for your business.

This is often the most overlooked market share calculation, much to the detriment of businesses across virtually every industry. More than half of shoppers do thorough online research before they make a purchase. So, it’s vital that you show up throughout the conversion funnel while they’re narrowing down their options.

Market share analysisFind out how you stack up to the competition in Google organic search.Let’s Talk

Why you need to know how to calculate market share

No matter what industry you’re in, you need to learn how to find market share data to compare your business against competitors. Virtually every type of market that provides goods or services to consumers is saturated with brands competing for a limited **** of customer dollars.

Calculating your market share adds a layer of transparency to your business model. It allows you to approach your successes and your failures with deep clarity and the confidence to build on what’s working and reimagine what’s not working.

Compare your company with competitor performance

There are several rulers you can use to compare your performance with competitors.

If you’re a publicly traded company in the U.S., look at the United States Securities and Exchange Commission’s tool, EDGAR. EDGAR allows anyone to search the Securities and Exchange Commission’s database. This will give you deep insights into your competition.

How your competitors perform in Google is another indicator to monitor.

Who owns the largest market share of Google’s organic search results in your industry? Do your competitors rank well for highly valuable keywords? How do you perform for product vs informational queries? Are you present throughout the funnel, including TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU searches?

Understand current market penetration/saturation

Market penetration is a measure of how successful a brand is in its given industry. Popular brands will saturate the market with their presence, making it difficult for other brands to break in and compete for customer attention and, ultimately, revenue.

You can measure market penetration with a simple market share formula. You’ll need to compare your sales volume for the year against the total target sales for your industry in that year. Brands use this formula to determine pricing and marketing budgets, as well as how they will promote their products to customers.

If you understand your current market penetration, then you can more effectively assess new strategic growth opportunities. As a result, you’ll box out the competition and cement your position as the market leader.

Discover new market opportunities

You will often see “market penetration” as a quadrant on the Product-Market Growth Matrix, or the Ansoff Matrix. The Ansoff Matrix is a grid tool used in brand strategic planning. It’s a great asset to have when trying to assess what new market opportunities will work, and which opportunities can be passed on to better suit the overall strategic vision of your brand.

The Ansoff Matrix

The Ansoff Matrix provides businesses with a step-by-step strategic growth process to follow. It doesn’t eliminate the risk of taking on new ventures. However, it helps mitigate risk by thoroughly evaluating every proposed business pivot or opportunity. It can also lay the foundation to generate new business opportunities.

Here’s a quick review of the quadrants:

  • Market penetration — boosting sales of your existing products in the market that you currently occupy
  • Product development — the ideation and creation of new products or services
  • Market development — Plans and strategies on how to enter new markets with the products or services you currently have
  • Diversification — breaking into new markets with new products or services

So, it’s clear that while understanding market penetration is one step in growing a successful business, it’s part of a larger puzzle. Brands that win approach this puzzle holistically and look for opportunities that competitors will miss or disregard. Knowing where you stand in terms of market share is the first step of the process.

How to calculate market share

It’s actually quite simple to learn how to calculate market share. Outlined below are the types of market share formulas we touched on earlier.

You might need some sales analytics on your total revenue for last year (or any recent fiscal year or fiscal quarter) as well as metrics on sales for the entire market to figure out your company’s market share. But, it’s really simple once you have the data you need. Just plug those numbers into Excel and you will have a treasure-trove of data to analyze.

How to calculate market share by revenue

  1. Select your fiscal period
  2. Calculate your company’s total sales
  3. Calculate the total market sales for your industry
  4. Divide your company’s total sales by your industry’s overall market sales

How to measure market share by units sold

  1. Select your fiscal period
  2. Calculate your company’s total unit sales
  3. Calculate the total units sold for your industry
  4. Divide your company’s total units sold by your industry’s total units sold

How to find market share by organic search traffic

  1. Select your fiscal period
  2. Calculate the total available clicks within a defined set of keywords based on total search volume and click-through rate
  3. Calculate your share of those clicks based on the CTR of your ranking position and the search volume for each term
  4. Divide

What does an organic search market share report look like? Here are two examples that Terakeet recently published on the beauty and cosmetics industry as well as the financial services industry. Download these reports below.

How to increase your market share

Now that you know how to look at your brand’s share of the market through a number of lenses and calculations, you can use this information to increase your company’s market share, and ultimately, your company’s total revenue.

Below are a few things you can do to improve your brand’s overall competitiveness. By expanding what you offer, how you offer it, and where you offer it, you can begin to take the lion’s share of your market.

Grow organic search market share through SEO

In terms of marketing ROI, organic search is the most powerful customer acquisition channel you can leverage. According to Google, it drives 5x greater results compared to PPC.

Why is SEO so effective at driving organic growth and increasing market share?

Because consumer shopping behavior has changed. For years, customers have been warming up to online or hybrid buying experiences. However, the pandemic accelerated the trend, pushing consumers deeper into the digital shopping ecosystem.

Potential customers don’t just buy online; they research, compare, ask questions, and make decisions based on what they discover.

For example, the online publication Byrdie managed to capture a significant portion of organic search market share from massive beauty brands by creating informational content. When Terakeet calculated their market share within 9 sectors of the beauty industry, they were near the top of the leaderboard.

As a marketing executive, you must recognize that shift in consumer behavior and increase your investments in comprehensive, engaging, authoritative, search-optimized content. Doing so will capture more customers throughout the funnel and expand your organic market share.

If you’re new to SEO, read our article: What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – The Executive’s Guide.

Develop new products or services

If you really want to launch your business into the public consciousness, then develop new products or new services.

Look at Coca Cola, for example, a legacy brand that decided to think differently about the soft drinks industry. As other competitors entered the market, Coca Cola knew they could offer their flagship product in different flavors, so they did!

Developing new products always comes with a certain amount of risk. Especially when it comes to food and beverages. Consumers are often creatures of habit. So, Coca Cola had to do a tremendous amount of market research and brand awareness campaigns to get people on board. The rest, of course, is history.

There are nearly 57 billion drinks served each day, and nearly 2 billion are drinks owned or licensed by Coca Cola. Now that’s market saturation!

Mergers and Acquisitions

kid grabbing donut to grow his market share

Another way Coca Cola discovered that they could increase market share was by diversifying their portfolio of products to include other types of drinks like Vitaminwater. Vitaminwater, as a sole entity, was initially doing 350 million in annual sales on its own. When Coca Cola purchased the company, that annual revenue grew to 1 billion dollars in sales.

Acquiring other companies removes some of the grunt work of establishing a new business. You get a built-in customer base and many of the starting operational costs are already taken care of. That said, it can be a major investment to acquire other companies, especially when they are already profitable. But, in the case of Coca Cola and so many others (like Nestle and major media corporations)

Imagine new ways of doing business

Not only does Coca-Cola know how to increase market share through acquisitions, they’ve even done so by transforming their company. 

Coca-Cola was created by pharmacist Dr. John Stith Pemberton in Atlanta in 1886. It was originally created to be a tonic. Back then, it included wine and cocaine to “treat” a number of alignments.

Not long after Pemberton created the beverage, prohibition passed in his state. So, Coca-Cola was almost quashed before it even began. But, Pemberton was a true entrepreneur. He removed the wine and replaced it with syrup, making the earliest iterations of the Coca-Cola most of us are familiar with.

Imaging new ways of doing business has always been at the heart of Coca-Cola’s story, and it has been an unbelievably successful story. That’s what makes them the drink market leader.

So, maybe your brand needs its own Coca-Cola story. You could create an incredible digital customer experience on your website. Or, perhaps you invest in a new digital transformation initiative that’s been on the burner for several years.

Improve customer retention

happy female customer against a colorful background

When you improve customer retention, you lower the costs of doing business. Acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than keeping the ones you have. That type of fiscal drain adds up over time. When you reduce your acquisition costs, you increase profit margins and you free up room in your budget to put into growing your business in other ways, like the ones outlined above.

And, it’s also easier and more successful to pitch to an existing customer. They are up to 70 percent more likely to buy-in to a new product or service you offer, versus selling to a new customer which has a success rate of about 25 percent (Outbound Engine). Increasing customer retention increases profitability by a significant margin, so it’s essential that you prioritize customer relationships.

Expand your customer base

When you expand your customer base to include new demographics, you unlock greater business potential.

In some cases, this may require nothing more than a shift in marketing messaging. Or, you might need to introduce a modified product or service with different features. In other cases, you may need to expand your customer acquisition efforts across different channels, bridging the gap between online and offline brand interactions.

Use market share calculations to build better strategies

It’s vital to know how to calculate market share to gather insights such as your company’s sales revenue compared to the industry’s total sales, or whether a specific competitor has a large market share in Google search. You must have access to these data points in order to build more effective strategies.

For example, you could have the highest total revenue because your products are more expensive. On the other hand, you might sell the most products, but at lower prices, shrinking your revenue numbers. Or, you may have the highest revenue and the most product sales, but you overspend on paid ads and affiliate marketing which reduce your profit margins. You may even have a high market share in one specific market, but almost no penetration overall within the industry.

If you analyze any one of these metrics in a vacuum, you might conclude that you’re the market leader. However, at closer examination, you’d realize that you’re behind.

Ultimately, it’s important to consider all the variables when calculating market share so your business remains profitable and competitive.

Capture More Market ShareGrow your organic search market share and capture traffic throughout the funnel.Let’s Talk



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