Finding the right keywords is always essential for your online business. However, the issue is not finding keywords but winnable keywords – Keywords your site will surely rank 1st page on Google.
How about getting keyword ideas from your competitors?
Not all your competitors will have a prominent authority in Google’s eye, right?
That is why the Semrush Keyword Gap tool comes in handy. It helps you easily find missing, weak, and untapped (opportunistic) keywords.
In this complete guide to Semrush Keyword Gap Analysis, you will find out how to properly use it so that you will get new keyword ideas that can be ranked without extra effort.
- What does Semrush Keyword Gap do?
- How can Semrush help you?
- How to use Semrush Keyword Gap Analysis
- URL vs URL
- Useful Features of Keyword Gap Analysis
- Final Words on using Semrush Keyword Gap Analysis
What does Semrush Keyword Gap do?
Keyword Gap analysis can also be known as ‘Domain vs. Domain’ comparison. Essentially, the Keyword Gap of Semrush compares your domain versus competitors (up to five domains) and categorizes keywords based on:
- Shared – Shared by you and competitors
- Missing – You missed those keywords, but competitors’ websites are ranking for them
- Weak – You are weak, but competitors are strong in Google rankings
- Strong – You are strong, but competitors are ranking lower than yours
- Untapped – New keywords you have not used before
- Unique – Unique keywords to your site that competitors do not use
How can Semrush help you?
You have three options if you are a blogger or a content marketer.
- Find new keywords – Best to grow your organic traffic horizontally and diversify your site traffic profile.
- Optimize existing keywords – Best to increase keyword rankings and drive similar traffic.
- Find targeted, related keywords – Best to vertically grow your niche organic traffic (i.e., become a prominent player in your space)
Finding new keywords is essentially hassle-free. Similarly, optimizing already ranking keywords.
However, if you want to become a leader in your space and dominate over competitors, you need to rank for keywords your competition is ranking.
But Keyword Gap analytics makes it super easy. Here is how:
How to use Semrush Keyword Gap Analysis
Sign up for Semrush free trial over here (value: $119.95) and go to the Semrush Keyword Gap section under the Competitive Research section of the SEO category.
The first step is specifying your website and competitor sites. Semrush Keyword Gap allows analyze up to five domains. That means you can add up to four competitors.
The best part is that Semrush already knows who your top competitors are, and it will be shown in the drop-down list.
Since I want to compare keyword profits for SEO content writing, not paid advertising, I selected ‘Organic Keywords’ as the keyword type. Semrush Keyword Gap tool allows comparing PPC and PLA (Product Listing Ads) keywords too.
Suppose you run a website that targets a specific country. You can select the keyword database from the drop-down menu, as shown in the screenshot above.
Once the setup is finished, click on the ‘Compare‘ button.
#2: Analysis report
You will see a complete domains comparison keyword report similar to below.
Semrush lets you define from which Semrush database you want to compare keyword data. Currently, you have three customizable options.
- Device – Desktop and mobile. Desktop is selected by default.
- Date – Compare gaps in keyword profiles of websites at the current state of the Google search engine or on a previous date.
Top Opportunities for you
Semrush keyword Gap analysis lists top opportunities for you based on missing and weakly performing keywords.
Get a clear picture of how big your site’s keyword profile (and performance) is against competitor sites. The Venn diagram below shows overlapping keywords among each domain.
Keyword details table
The comparison keywords table displays all the common keywords between your site and competitors.
- CPC (USD)
- Competitive density of advertisers
- Total number of results in Google
The winner or the highest-ranking website is marked in green color.
Click the down arrow on the right side of the keyword to see more details.
The following pop-out window will list these details:
- Search Volume: Global search volume and search volume breakdown of top countries
- Trend, CPC, Keyword Difficulty, and SERP features
- Question-based keywords (Perfect to add to a FAQ section of your content)
- Related keywords: Similar keywords. These are usually listed under ‘Related Searches’ in Google. Perfect for enriching your piece of content
- SERP Analysis: Top 10 results and their Page AS, Unique referring domains (backlinks), and ranking keywords
#3: Keyword Analysis
The next step is finding keyword improvement opportunities and new keyword ideas for your SEO content.
You need to work
Click on the ‘Weak,’ and you will see keywords that your site is doing poorly against competitors.
According to the Semrush Keyword Gap analysis, Pitiya.com ranks for six keywords but is performing badly.
Here are what you can do to minimize weak keywords:
- Improve existing articles: If those keywords are already used prominently by yourself, give those pages a new update; add new images, change post introduction, edit meta title for higher CTR, enhance content with new sections and videos, etc.,
- Engage in internal linking: Maybe you are doing poorly because you’re not doing a good job at internal linking. Find relevant pages and link out the weakly performing page with the keyword phrase as the anchor text.
- Produce new content: If you have not created a page that targeted a particular keyword, create a new piece of content with the help of Semrush SEO Content Template and Semrush SEO Writing Assistant.
- Acquire backlinks: Backlinks are still a ranking factor. Get quality links from authoritative sites to boost those keywords’ rankings.
You need new content
Under the ‘Missing’ tab, you will be given keywords that your site is missing but competitors are using. Those are considered new keyword opportunities.
How you can create outperforming content
Since you are going to create new content, you need to follow what your competitors have done and produce a better piece of content.
- Research a bit more – Find related keywords with the Semrush Keyword Magic tool. Import them to a tool like WriterZen and calculate the KGR. KGR (or Keyword Golden Ratio) basically lists a selection of keywords based on the content scarcity on Google SERPs. Use a quality keyword cluster tool to find related keywords to sprinkle on your posts. WriterZen does both of those tasks pretty well. Read the review of WriterZen to know more.
- Build a content outliner – A good piece of the article contains multiple heading tags in hierarchical order, visuals, and unique content.
- Write SEO-friendly content – Enrich content with semantically related keywords, break down paragraphs into one or two sentences, add visuals and create content with good grammar and high readability score.
Last but not least, get some link juice coming to a new post by linking from older posts and getting backlinks from external websites.
Find untapped keywords
These are new ‘opportunistic’ keywords that your competitors are using but you. As you see from the screenshot below, Semrush Domain Keyword Gap lists thousands of new keyword ideas for my next blog posts!
If you look closely, you’d see that only one website ranks for a certain keyword phrase. All other competitive websites do not rank at all.
But it does not mean all keywords are easy to rank. Here is how to find winning keyword opportunities:
In the keyword filter section, define these settings:
- KD: Easy (0 – 29%)
- Positions: Competitors in the top 10
Logic: If your competitors are performing well (i.e., ranking among the top 10 results in Google) for a keyword with lower keyword difficulty, it means you have a better chance of ranking on the first page on Google too.
Easy-to-rank money keywords
Another very useful feature in Semrush Keyword Gap is the ability to find easy-to-rank money keywords.
In Advanced filters, set keywords to include words like ‘best,’ ‘under,’ ‘top,’ and ‘vs.’ Keywords with those words usually are buyer-intent keywords, and with Semrush Keyword Gap analysis, you can filter out highly competitive ones and get easy-to-rank ones.
URL vs URL
You can use similar procedures as above to filter lower competitive, easy-to-rank-fast keywords.
Useful Features of Keyword Gap Analysis
In my Semrush review, I shared key features of Semrush.com’s digital marketing platform as a whole. But, Keyword Gap Analysis also offers several features that will be useful on many occasions. Here are some of them:
Suppose you have a Semrush subscription, and your writing team does not. Now you can export the keyword gap report as a spreadsheet.
Keyword gap analysis for mobile SEO
The days are gone when you could neglect mobile traffic. Nowadays, many Google search engine ranking factors are born upon mobile SEO.
Keyword Gap analysis in Semrush allows you to compare keyword performances in the mobile keywords database between domains.
Find paid keyword gaps
If you run any paid advertising campaign on Google, you need to watch your competitors. Competitors will take what you have with strategic keyword targeting if you are not.
With the help of the Semrush Keyword Gap tool, you can find keywords that competitors are running ads for, but you are not bidding. The best part is you can see region-specific missing keywords too!
Schedule Keyword Gap reports PDF
Last but not least, the Semrush Keyword Gap tool lets you export keyword reports as a PDF once and schedule them as well.
If you purchase the Semrush Agency Growth kit, you can customize the Whitelabel Semrush reports.
Create Custom report
Custom Reports Constructor in Semrush is integrated with Keyword Gap analytics. It is a really good option to create personalized reports, particularly if you are an agency or manage clients.
Here is a video tutorial that shows how to use the widgets menu in the My Reports tool in Semrush.
Final Words on using Semrush Keyword Gap Analysis
Competitor keyword research is one of my favorite ways of finding targeted keywords. Keywords used by competitors do not mean you cannot fight for them. Depending on your website’s content and niche capacity, you might have a small or more significant number of competitors.
The key is being smart and strategic, improving existing content, and gradually horizontally improving keyword profile after vertically improving.
Not all competitors are similarly powerful in Google. Some may have overlapping keywords with your site but do not have strong domain and page authority scores.
That is where Semrush’s Keyword Gap tool shines in. It analyzes provided competitors’ keyword profiles against yours and lists keywords based on six criteria that a standard keyword research software does not.
On a related note, make sure you have set up Google Analytics so that you can see all the keywords that are ranking. Read this tutorial to find out how to uncover not provides and not set keywords.
So, what are your experiences of using Semrush Keyword Gap in your organic keyword research strategy?