Why You Need a Keyword Gap Analysis for SEO & PPC

Whether you’re wanting to capture the perfect sunset or hitting the river in search of that trophy trout, you’ve got to be in the right place at the right time for everything to come together. It’s not all sheer luck though, as preparation and research are key components to help ensure your odds of success. 

So how do you get a successful sunset shot or to bring that fish to the net? It’s not luck that happens consistently to those that do and it’s not because they’re inherently better than others.

It’s because they’ve spent hours and hours not only fine-tuning their craft, but also researching their “competition” (in this case, maybe it’s the weather for a photographer or the fish for the fly fisher) to find out where they can get an advantage.

The result of this research and planning is a game plan to achieve the best results possible, rather than just showing up and hoping things work out.

The same is true when it comes to keywords with SEO and PPC management.

You can make plenty of improvements when you analyze your own keywords in isolation, but to really take both your organic and paid keyword programs to the next level, it’s imperative to perform a keyword gap analysis to see what you’re missing.

Here’s how:


Find a Keyword Tool

This entire process can be done manually, but it’ll make your lives much easier and save a bunch of time to find some software to help you out. There’s a ton out there and we won’t get into all the options here, but an easy Google search will point you in the right direction.


Expand your target keywords

You likely already have a bunch of keywords you’re focusing on for both SEO and your PPC programs, but it’s pretty easy to find other related keywords that you have the opportunity to rank easily for. For example, below I’ve typed in “benefits of running long distance” and 161 related keywords have shown up. Sorting by high value highlights keywords that we may want to focus on first.

Keyword Gap Analysis for SEO & PPC

Identify Your Competitors

This one is probably pretty easy, and you probably already know your main ones, but do a Google search for the keywords you either want to rank for or want your ads to show up for, then see which competitors come up and take note. 

The important part of this step is identifying competitors who are slightly ahead of you, but that you can realistically catch. We wouldn’t want to focus immediately on something you have no chance to rank for (that involves a longer term plan).

Find the Missing Keywords

Now that you have your competitors listed, let’s use that software to find out what keywords they’re ranking for. As mentioned earlier, a good SEO/PPC tool is invaluable here. Simply type in their domain and see what shows up.

Once you get the full list of what they’re ranking/showing up for, compare with the list of keywords you have to see where you’re missing out and the most likely opportunities for improvement.

Optimize Your Programs

Now that you have the words, it’s time to place those keywords into your content (or write new, original content) and/or add them to your PPC program. Once you have them added, it’s important to continually monitor your performance to see what worked and what didn’t.

For PPC, you can track your position score to determine any improvements on ads. For SEO, use a rank tracking tool or, if you choose to do it manually, just keep a spreadsheet and keep records when you check in daily or every other day to determine how things are going.


Performing a keyword gap analysis is an important step in telling the whole story of your current situation regarding SEO and PPC effectiveness. By conducting this analysis, you will improve your performance and likely find many more opportunities to rank for keywords and outperform your competition. 

If you’re not sure about how to do this analysis or don’t have the time, feel free to contact us and we can help you out, or if you’re looking for other services tell us a little bit and we’ll get you a free quote and marketing proposal.


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