The Ahrefs Guide to Content Creation

Ahrefs Guide to Content Creation

Great, you’ve run a content gap report showing you 25 opportunities—now, what do you do? Create content. Content creation involves finding tops relevant to your target audience—and then developing a strategy for that content, creating it, and publishing. In this Ahrefs guide to content creation, we discuss gap analysis, gap reports, and more.

Content creation is the cornerstone of content marketing strategies. It provides your target audience with the information they need to take action when traveling through the funnel. The content you create is also an effective way of building relationships with your audience.

It also starts with identifying keywords and performing a content gap analysis. This guide discusses what that is and how Ahrefs can help you create a gap analysis report and conduct keyword research.

Ahrefs Guide: What is a Gap Analysis?

In its simplest definition, gap analysis involves reviewing your website’s current content and identifying where there are holes and where you can make improvements. Meaning, you’re drilling down on a specific topic to determine if you’re missing content opportunities.

In other words, you’re identifying links between how your content is currently performing and your content strategy’s goals. You’re taking a strategic approach toward checking and optimizing your site’s content. The gap analysis should help you answer, “What do I need to create next to achieve my content goals?”

How to Use Ahrefs to Create a Content Gap Report

One of Ahrefs’ core platform features is the “Content Gap” report to find keywords competitors rank for, but your website isn’t. Creating a content gap report using Ahrefs involves the following steps:

  • Go to the platform’s “Site Explorer” section, type your domain into the box, and click the search button
  • Navigate to the search result’s menu in the left column and click “Content Gap.”
  • After arriving on the “Content Gap” page, you can enter a minimum of three competitor websites (if you’re unsure how to identify your competitors, use the “Competing Domains” link in the navigation menu)
  • Click the “Show keywords” button, and you’ll arrive at a separate page showing the keywords your competition ranks for
  • In the section “Highest position,” you’ll see the competitors you listed
  • Scrutinize this report to eliminate brand-specific keywords and identify those that are relevant

Identifying Keywords the Competition Ranks For (and You Do Not)

When discussing how to identify keywords your competition ranks for, that generally refers to those they have success with and those they don’t. Understanding your competition’s successes and failures helps inform your SEO strategy. Here’s how to use Ahrefs to identify keywords the competition ranks for:

  • Go to the platform’s “Site Explorer” section, type your domain into the box, and click the search button
  • Navigate to the “Organic keywords” section in the left menu column
  • After clicking on that menu option, you’ll see a list of keywords competitors rank for sorted by traffic

Determining if You Need to Improve Meta Descriptions and Title Tags

Meta descriptions are the small lines of text containing the page’s description surrounded by HTML code. The title tag is the text underlined in blue in search results. Meta descriptions typically show up underneath the title tag in a search to give results additional context.

Let’s look at an example – SaaS vs. Software-enabled Service—what’s the difference?

Here's the title tag and meta description in HTML

Sometimes, Google uses a website’s meta description as a featured snippet in search results. However, we learn from Ahrefs that 62.78% of the time, Google rewrites meta descriptions.

That statistic might make you wonder if it’s worth it to spend time writing and improving upon title tags and meta descriptions. The short answer is – yes. Let’s look at why you should write them and improve upon what’s already on your site:

  1. Title tags and meta descriptions help drive organic traffic to your website
  2. When someone shares your content on social media, those platforms pull from the meta description if you don’t have social share descriptions pre-set.

Create Content Using Your Gap Analysis Report

Creating content using your gap analysis report is beneficial to your company because it helps you align better with your target audience. Creating content is more than putting something online that your audience might find helpful and informative. Instead, it’s an opportunity to evoke emotion and turn potential leads into sales conversions.

Map the Buyer’s Journey

The buyer’s journey represents each stage your target audience goes through, from when they discover your website to when they take action (a product sale, a service, a consultation, and more). Because it’s easy to get stuck in the “awareness” stage of the buyer’s journey when creating a content strategy, that can leave many content gaps.

Mapping the buyer’s journey allows you to take a closer look at your target audience and their journey before making a buying decision and creating content for each step of their journey. Personalization is critical at this stage of content creation.

Conduct Market Research

Conducting market research allows you to answer the following questions when creating your content strategy:

  • What content types should I create during every stage of the buyer’s journey?
  • Which topics and in what format should I deliver content?
  • How can I keep my audience’s attention with content?
  • What content types should I use to encourage conversions?

Analyze Your Site’s Current Content

Analyzing your site’s current content allows you to identify the depth of what you already have available. For example, when you create an Ahrefs gap analysis report, you’ll receive a report detailing the content already existing on your website. Use this report as a comparative tool with your new content strategy to identify gaps.

If that task sounds too daunting, we recommend using Google Search Console to generate a content performance report for the last 12 months. Analyze the content in this report to determine:

  • The number of pages on your site that align with your target audience’s buyers’ journey
  • How many topics you haven’t covered yet
  • The search volume for missing topics (you can gather more insight into this when identifying keywords earlier)

Analyze the Competition’s Content

After reviewing the content on your site, it’s time to see what the competition is doing. Use the following steps to learn your competition’s strategies:

  • Identify your site’s competition
  • Generate a report showing your competition’s top-performing content
  • Create a list of topics they touch upon, and you’re currently missing
  • Brainstorm ideas by identifying how your competition is currently reaching your target audience

Final Thoughts About the Ahrefs Guide to Content Creation

The best way to get the most out of using Ahrefs for creating content is by starting with the buyer’s journey and identifying where missed opportunities might be present. Remember, the purpose of content creation is to help your target audience answer questions, provide solutions to their pain points, and move them through the funnel.

Ahrefs Guide to Content Creation FAQs

How do you identify content gaps?

Marketers can identify content gaps through keyword analysis, including keyword rankings and keyword research. It’s also possible to identify content gaps by analyzing a website’s existing content and researching the competition’s content.

What is a keyword gap?

A keyword gap analysis creates a side-by-side comparison of how a site’s keywords compare with its competition’s. You might also see this term as competitive keyword analysis.