Diving into data to find content opportunities can certainly seem overwhelming at times but the rewards can be substantial once you know where to look and how to interpret it. 

The success of your marketing depends on your ability to highlight and capitalise on untapped opportunities. This applies across all areas of digital marketing, but it’s especially true in content.

If you’re going to write something worth reading – and boost traffic to your site as a result – you’ll need to find gaps. What hasn’t been said already? Or, if it’s been said a hundred times, what value can you add?

The answers lie in insight, and it can be used in various ways.

In this article, I’ll show you how to use the data and tools you already have to highlight big opportunities that lead to great content and brilliant results.

How relevant is your content?

Above everything else, your content should be relevant. This is why it’s best to start with Google Webmaster Tools (GWT).

GWT tells you exactly what people are searching for, or, in other words, what questions they want answered. Once you know this, you’re in the best position to respond.

While much of the keyword data has been removed from Google Analytics (GA), GWT has improved significantly with more query information and some rather handy new features.

‘Content Keywords’, for example, is invaluable when it comes to judging relevance. From here, you can:

  • Identify gaps in your content strategy
  • Re-prioritise your editorial calendar based on the current keyword hierarchy
  • Identify subject areas that need more content

You can also export your Content Keywords data for use in other tools, allowing you to find further high-impact content opportunities.

How effective is your existing content?

Looking back on the effectiveness of existing content is another great way to improve your efforts going forward.

Once again, GWT is the key tool here as it can tell you what impact the content on your site is already having, mainly through the ‘Search Impact’ feature.

Here, you can see total impressions and how your search visibility has changed over a set period of time.

You can also look in detail at the relationships between clicks, impressions and average positions, to see what effect each piece is having. If certain articles have worked well, take inspiration for future ideas.

If they faded quickly, all may not be lost; use Keywords data to rework them so they’re more relevant.

With all of this information to hand, you can start writing content based on:

  • What people are looking for
  • Average ranking and position changes
  • Fluctuations in impressions 

Uncovering new content opportunities

You now know what you’re showing up in Google’s SERPS for, and how your content performance has evolved over time.

The next step is to find ways of extracting value from the visibility you already have, before increasing it even further.

To this end, GWT’s ‘Search Queries’ makes it possible to identify any terms, or even subject areas, for which you have low impressions and zero clicks. From here, you can start to build a content strategy that fills the most obvious gaps.

Data from Google Keyword Planner, Google Trends and a host of other third-party platforms should also come in handy here; together, it will provide a much clearer picture of the opportunities available.

There’s more to analytics than GWT

Obviously, the main focus of this piece up to now has been on GWT, but it’s not the only tool you should be using. To uncover the most fruitful opportunities, you’ll need to dig a little deeper.

Google Analytics will give you a more detailed picture of how your content performs, while SEMrush provides a wealth of in-depth keyword data. As mentioned earlier, you also have Google Trends and Google Keyword Planner to consider.

Some tools allow you to look at trends over longer timeframes (than GWT’s rolling three months). This will give you the chance to learn more about:

  • Older content that needs refreshing
  • New search trends
  • New competitor successes
  • Seasonal opportunities

So there you have it. With the right information and tools to hand, you can quickly identify fruitful content opportunities.

Start by maximising the value of your current visibility before expanding your reach with exciting new content that meets the expectations of both the search engines and your audience.