Content that spans the customer journey can serve as a differentiator. How do banks identify the gaps in their existing content strategy and rank for the terms that matter?
For financial-services organizations that are seeking to differentiate themselves, content marketing – which puts the end user’s needs at the center – is a powerful strategy.
Take mortgages: Consumers can get a mortgage from any local or national bank that serves their area. They may save a few dollars per month by picking one over the other, but the experience is going to be similar no matter which option they choose.
In this competitive marketplace, a bank can set itself apart with content. By – for example – educating shoppers about the true cost of a mortgage, the bank would establish mindshare earlier in the purchase journey and make the consumer more confident in what it is offering; This would be considered “closing your content gaps”.
For your content strategy to work, though, it must rank comprehensively for the keyword themes your customers are actually searching.
Here’s how to identify the content gaps in your content strategy and maximize topical authority within your vertical.
Leverage analytics tools for content strategy gap analysis
Free and paid analytics tools should be an element of any content marketer’s arsenal. Because search marketing and content are closely linked, content marketing teams should rely on the same tools that search practitioners use for SEO.
These may include:
- Google Keyword Planner
- Excel or another spreadsheet app
Even the free trial versions of these tools have useful functionality. With SEMRush, for example, you can view all of the keywords for which a website is ranking.
Analytics tools help you understand who your customer is, as well as the psychographics, demographics and user behavior patterns that you should be targeting. These platforms can answer questions like:
- “What keywords are people searching around [product x]?”
- “Are searchers using plural terms or terms like best, top or No. 1?”
- “What are the volumes for the key terms in my industry?”
At iQuanti, we have used the best of the data analytics available today to build our own proprietary Content Gap Analysis tool. The tool is one among the many enterprise SEO strategy tools housed within ALPS, our Enterprise SEO platform. ALPS helps you to find the gaps within your existing content strategy and identify the pages that should be enhanced for a group of target keywords, maximizing the speed and efficiency of content creation and optimization.
Aim to close your content gaps around target keyword themes
Once you have comprehensively mapped the keyword universe for your brand, you need to do some segmentation. This is where a spreadsheet comes into play.
A best practice is to bucket all of your site’s keywords into themes and sub-themes. In financial services, a theme might be “loans”. Subthemes under that theme could be “business loans,” “home loans” and “personal loans”.
Then, take your seed list and bucket it into different intents: awareness, comparison, research, loyalty (branded) or purchase funnel.
Every keyword should roll up to intent, a sub-theme, and a theme. It’s the intents you want to look at in identifying the content gaps. Anywhere there is an intent that’s not currently being met by a piece of content, there’s a gap.
Maximize coverage in your content strategy with the right talent
A “quick and dirty” way to identify your content needs for your target keywords is to search those terms on Google – then see which pages rank in the top 3 positions.
Once you know what content is ranking in those searches, you can reverse-engineer your own content in line with what the top-ranked pages are doing. If you are hiring a content writer on a contract basis, this may be the most efficient way to catch up with the competition.
A more durable way to improve your content depth and quality, though, is to hire people with the right expertise. As we tell our enterprise clients at iQuanti, this approach is also more cost-efficient. Experts will make a stronger impact on both an immediate and a long-term basis.
Seek to hire one or more content writers who understand your specific space – as well as someone with digital PR expertise. PR, content, and SEO should work closely in tandem: e.g., publishing mat releases to help build links.
The Final Word
Content strategy, by meeting customers’ demonstrated needs, increases trust and helps boost your organic search traffic. Maximize the impact of your content marketing by matching the intent of user searches and closing any gaps that may exist.
- Pull your keyword footprint
- Map your keywords into themes and subthemes
- Map those themes into different stages of the users purchasing journey (funnel intent)
- Google your top themes and subthemes to get some ideas for topics
- Create a content strategy that will help meet your business goals and close the content gaps
- Create the content using SEO best practices to getting the content ranked on Google
By identifying your content gaps, you can start focusing on your new content strategy plan that will help you to meet your business goals by targeting the right keywords.
What are some of the challenges you have faced with developing an effective content strategy? How would you approach running a content gap analysis on your enterprise website? Tell us here.
Read more about iQuanti’s Content Marketing Services here.