Content Gap Analysis: How to evaluate your website's content

| 06 Apr, 2016

So you want to do a content audit, whether you're looking to update existing content or create new content for your website. It's always going to be a valuable exercise just to make sure that you have the most necessary and relevant content on your website that your users want to see and will enjoy. And a good content audit will be paired with a competitor analysis so that you can make valuable recommendations.

1. Define the purpose

So the first step in evaluating your content is defining the purpose. And you want to do this because you need to set criteria relative to the goal. So if you're auditing just to make sure you have recent and accurate content, you're not going to have as many criteria as you would if you're evaluating from a strategic perspective, in which case you would evaluate on things like formatting, quality, and tone of voice.

2. Complete an audit

Once you have all of your criteria set, then you want to go ahead and go through all urls on your page, auditing them on the criteria that you've set and ranking them in a way that makes sense to you. So you might organize by page type or page priority. The main thing here to remember is that you can rearrange this as you go along and adapt it in a way that works.

3. Competitor Analysis

So once you've completed the audit, you want to move on to your competitor analysis. And at this point, you want to just get a mix of competitors, so direct, indirect, new entrants, anyone that makes sense to compare to your website. And you want to just take a look at their website, the content, specifically the functionality and the different features that they have. One thing to make sure that you look at is pages that they have that serve the same purpose as yours and just compare the structure and the variety of the content.

So any additional research that you have on your target market it is going to help tremendously. You want to have research on your buyers' interests and specific products and services that they prefer and look for when they come to your website. And if you don't have that kind of information, you can always use tools like Google Analytics, maybe to pull some insight on which pages your users are coming into, where they're converting, when they're leaving, and that way you might be able to pull some insights on some content that might drive their actions that you want them to take.

4. Gap analysis

So once you have your content audit, your competitor analysis, and all your research, you can just lay that out on the table and do your gap analysis which is where your big recommendations are going to come from. You're going to literally fill in the gaps of your content, things that you think you're missing based on the research that you've done and what your competitors have tried. And the main goal here is to keep in mind that you want to generate content that is relevant to them when they're coming to your site. Considering not only the action that you want them to take, but also the their intent, and what they're going to be most interested in.åÊ

Any additional research that you have on your target market is going to be a big help in this. Particularly if you know more about your prospects' preferences for your products or services. You can direct the content to what they are looking to see specifically. And if you don't have as much insight on that, you can use tools like Google Analytics to get an understanding of where your users are coming into the website, where they're converting, where they're leaving, and maybe also to understand kind of where they are in the buying process when they're coming to your website, again, to tailor the content to what they're expecting to see.

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