It sounds a bit like a magic trick, but the goal of content gap analysis really is to see the content you don’t have. While it would be great if this could happen automagically, gap analysis requires a lot of manual review and the same inputs that you leveraged for your content audit and for your content strategy as a whole.
Required Assets for Content Gap Analysis
- Personas and scenarios. These capture your key site audiences, what their needs and goals are and how they will interact with your site.
- Stakeholder interviews and Brand Guidelines. These inform the project’s business goals, brand requirements and key performance indicators for the final site.
- Site and search analytics. These tell us what users were looking for from your site and which content was the most successful, as well as where problem areas are that need to be addressed. Internal search analysis can also tell you what users were looking for on your site — but may not have been able to locate.
- Digital and social insights. These help you understand what your users are asking about or what influencers are talking about — they allow you to capture the leading edge of conversation before your competitors do.
- Your completed content audit and content strategy recommendations
- Your budget and timeline. Because we have to be realistic.
- And, of course, you will need your working documents from your content inventories where stakeholders have sorted content by Keep/Modify/Delete.
A good content strategist will have provided all of the above in a format that is usable and summarized so that you are not trying to wade through 300 pages of discovery material just to determine if your users need a white paper on efficiency.
Using this type of checklist, you can now review the content you plan on keeping or modifying. This second review helps you refine your notes on what to modify for existing content. But, it will also identify unmet user and business goals where you need new content. Here are some helpful gap analysis questions to consider as you work.
Key Questions to Identify Content Gaps:
- Does the existing content support all the user goals for your primary design personas? Which goals do not have supporting content?
- Are all of the business goals supported? Which goals are not currently supported?
- Is there content to support each phase of the customer lifecycle (and for each of your customer types)? Is it the right balance (quantity) of content for each phase?
- Are all of your products or services supported with the site content?
- Can any of the items marked “modify” be revised to better support these goals?
- If your brand is being refreshed, does the current content support the new brand?
- Based on your search analysis, site analytics and insights, is there content that needs to be created to address changing or new customer needs or interests?
- Are there marketing objectives or campaigns that the new site will need to support that are not reflected in the current content?
- What new content is most critical? How much new content can your budget and staffing, as well as timeline, support?
For more depth of information on performing a Content Gap analysis, check out this post in the series on Sitecore Best Practice Blogs: Content Gap Analysis.