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Using SEO data analytics to identify business gaps

by Mary Sewell

30-second summary:

One of the strangest things to try to explain to someone who isn’t so familiar with digital marketing is how business owners can target business opportunities that aren’t currently on their radars. After all–if we consider the problem semi-philosophically–how can we know what we don’t know? Relying on human logic alone would make that task quite tricky.

Thankfully, as SEOs, we have plenty of tools available that can help us identify business opportunities and gaps. That means we aren’t targeting keywords, audiences we aren’t going after, backlinks we aren’t getting, and content topics we aren’t covering on our websites. In other words, these are the foundations of a successful SEO strategy in 2021, and you could be missing out on leveraging them for yourself. Here are three pointers for using SEO analytics to identify your business gaps in the area of keywords, content, and backlinks.

Find your keyword gaps.

Digital marketers have known the fluctuation in the importance of keywords since the late 1990s. But no matter how much that has changed, you still need to be ranking for the right keywords, or else you won’t be showing up for anything.

But have you ever done a few searches for keywords you want to rank for and not even been able to find your website in the SERPs? Doesn’t it frustrate you to see your competitors on page one? You can be as good as they are. The way to do it is to run a keyword gap analysis in a tool such as Semrush or Google Search Console (GSC). Semrush is better and more user-friendly, but if you don’t have access to that, let me cover GSC first. You first have to link your Google Analytics and GSC together. After that, go to Analytics and navigate to Acquisition>Search Console>Queries.

SEO data analytics and identifying missed keyword targeting opportunities

You’ll see the search terms people have used to get to you, as well as those queries’ clicks, impressions, and click-through rates (CTRs). Export that data into an Excel or Google Sheets spreadsheet, and then compare the number of actual site visits that those keywords got you to the number of impressions you got for those keywords. The difference percentage will give you a measurable idea of where you need to improve.

However, I prefer Semrush’s Keyword Gap tool for this. You simply input your URL and those of a few competitors, and it compares your keyword numbers against your competitors. The tool shows you a keyword overlap diagram as well as your top opportunities for getting new rankings.

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