How to find content gaps when you don't speak the language

Brighton SEO: How to find content gaps when you don’t speak the language

If you attended Brighton SEO earlier this month, hopefully you found it as informative and enjoyable as we did. If you missed it, don’t worry – the next event is in April! In the meantime, we’ve summarised the key points from our main presentation for the event.

Brighton SEO September 2019

1) Know your market

Preferred search engines vary around the world: it’s not all about Google. For example, Naver is the main search engine in South Korea. It puts a lot of emphasis on Naver Café (blogging), social news outlets and communities. Yandex, the dominant search engine in Russia, cares more about semantic meaning, content and links. These priorities matter so much so that they are ranking factors for those search engines. As a first step to finding the content gaps, make sure you understand the search engine split in your target markets.


2) Know your competition

Who you perceive as your main competitors are not necessarily correct when it comes to SEO. Plus, your SEO competitors in Market X are not necessarily your SEO competitors in Market Y. We recommend you use tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs to identify your SEO competitors by market. Do this for every market, as your SEO competitors will always vary (unlike your perceived industry competitors who don’t change that much!)


3) Know what content you already have

It might seem a no-brainer, but before you identify competitive content gaps, make sure you understand what content you already have. This is why having an inventory is so useful. Once you have an inventory in place, the optimal workflow (off the back of a content gap analysis) will look something like this:

Content workflow

4) Know which tools to use

There are various tools out there to help you find the content gaps.

We recommend:

  • SEMrush will enable you to see competitor keyword equity
  • Ahrefs will enable you to see competitor keywords
  • Screaming Frog allows you to crawl competitor websites
  • Manual review to see content quality and relevancy

Using these tools (or similar) will result in a large volume of data. Use Excel to sort and manipulate this (e.g. removing duplicates and irrelevant results) to get a useable data set. Remember though that whilst these tools are incredibly useful, a human perspective is key. No tool will be as good as you are when it comes to reviewing your own content as well as competitor content. Keep in mind, where multiple languages are involved, input from a local in-market expert (who speaks the language) will be essential.




By carrying out the steps above, you will have:

  • Market research (probably a document or PowerPoint file)
  • Competitor research (Excel)
  • An audit of your own content (Excel)
  • A content gap analysis (probably a PowerPoint)

With the help of local in-market experts, you can produce content in multiple languages and gather insights across numerous markets to address the content gaps you have identified. When you come to produce/QA content off the back of a content gap analysis, use a local expert to carry out the work detailed in the production phase itself. Remember: always localise, never directly translate.

What you can do


View all the slides from the talk here:

Catherine 'Pear' GoulbourneCatherine ‘Pear’ Goulbourne | SEO Strategist, Oban International

Oban International is the digital marketing agency specialising in international expansion. Our LIME (Local In-Market Expert) Network provides up to date cultural input and insights from over 80 markets around the world, helping clients realise the best marketing opportunities and avoid the costliest mistakes.   

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