Competitive Gap Analysis: Best Practices & Tips for SaaS

4 Steps to Performing a SaaS Competitive Gap Analysis

In the SaaS and tech industries, competitor keyword research is essential. While it may seem counterintuitive, understanding how your competition ranks can be extremely helpful for establishing your own digital presence. Even with a robust content strategy, a sophisticated marketing technology stack, and top-notch sales and marketing teams on board — you still need to evaluate your competitive landscape to achieve your growth goals. 

Also known as a competitive gap analysis, this process reveals your competitor's strengths and weaknesses, and how you compare against them. The following tips will help you perform competitive keyword research to improve your marketing efforts.

Benefits of a Competitive Gap Analysis for SaaS Companies

See Where You Stand in the Industry

Analyze the keywords your competitors use to discover the topics they dominate. Is there something you’re missing in your own marketing efforts that they’re doing right? Discover what keywords and/or topics your competitors are using in their campaigns so you can incorporate them into your own as well. Additionally, you will be able to see where your competitors are underperforming, which you can utilize to your advantage. 

Produce High-Quality Content

Performing a competitive gap analysis is an excellent way to generate content ideas that are relevant and valuable. Now you can be sure your content is engaging and valuable in areas where potential customers are finding it from your competitors. Don’t forget to engage your content team in this process in order to brainstorm new content topics.

Set Results-Based Goals

Having a clear idea of how your content and SEO compare with your competition can help you establish KPIs and benchmarks that keep you competitive. This gives your team a clear direction and a goal to strive toward.

Related: How to Increase SaaS Conversion Rates

Add Relevant Keywords to Your List

Competitive keyword research shows you which keywords you should be targeting. Providing you with a great foundation for discovering which topics and terms your untapped audience is searching for. From there, you can dive further into uncovering long-tail keywords that are highly relevant to your ideal customer profiles. 

Gain Audience Insights

Understanding your ideal customer’s buyer journey can be learned from the keywords your competitors use, too. With a competitive gap analysis, you can observe what your audiences value and (what they don’t) by observing how your competitors rank for specific terms.

Improve On-Site SEO

On-site SEO is heavily dependent on targeted keywords. Using them wisely will help your site pages rank higher in searches and help your content get in front of the right audiences. 

How to Perform Competitor Keyword Research

1. Establish Your "Competition"

Start by listing the competitors you are already familiar with; they will serve as a baseline to measure your efforts against. Pick 3-5 known competitors who span a range of organization size and niche. During this process, you may also discover new competitors that are worth researching. 

2. Create a Sheet

Prepare a spreadsheet to include columns for keyword search volume, difficulty, intent, page ranking, and topic. In fact, Semrush and Ahrefs have automated features that pull direct competitor domains and provide you with this data. Once you have gathered this information, you can move on to step 3.

3. Audit Your Current Content and SEO

Now is the time to analyze your own assets. See if you can identify gaps in the topics you create content around. Are you missing out on topics and search terms your competition dominates? 

Review your SEO analytics and note which pages perform well and which need work. Which keywords and topics do you rank for the most? How do they relate to your competitors' site pages? It's also a good idea to note which pages have problems loading, high bounce rates, and other basic UX principles your competitors may take advantage of.

For a deeper look into how we go about the auditing process, learn more about what an audit is and isn’t.

4. Set Up the Right Marketing Tools

To conduct an effective competitive gap analysis, your marketing technology stack must include a comprehensive SEO tool such as Semrush, Screaming Frog, BuzzSumo, or Ahrefs. These tools make it easy to pull up competitor domains and determine what keywords they rank for without much effort on your part. 

They also show you the user intent behind each keyword, whether it is informational, navigational, commercial, or transactional. This is what determines if your keywords are relevant to your target audience and where they are in the buying process. 

5. Check for Keyword Overlaps

You know where your competitors outrank you, but do you target many of the same topics and keywords? If so, now is the time to optimize this content to ensure your site and content pieces are the ones google is displaying to your audiences. 

Strengthen your Digital Marketing with a Professional Audit

Auditing your own content can feel like a daunting task, but they are essential for showing how your strategies are performing and where improvements can be made.

If you do not have a dedicated team to perform an audit for your company, we can do it for you. To help your strategy succeed, we analyze your current content and SEO strategies in depth, going far beyond just competitor keywords. We're here to help you elevate your marketing to the next level.

As part of our audit solutions, we offer individualized solutions tailored to your particular content and SEO needs. Get in touch with us to discover the right solution for your SaaS business. 

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