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How to create a KOB analysis

KOB Analysis: What It Is + How to Build One

If you’re looking for an SEO strategy that increases traffic while requiring little manual research, a KOB analysis might be right for you. Unlike other content strategies, the KOB analysis pulls in unique data on a mass amount of keywords to give you a clear understanding of which ones will provide the highest ROI. 

We’ve put together everything you need to know about a KOB analysis, including what it is, its goal, and how long it takes to rank for your target keywords. 

What Is a KOB Analysis?

A KOB analysis is the act of compiling a large number of keywords based on competitive content gap research. These keywords are then organized by search volume, ranking difficulty, and traffic value to calculate a priority score. 

The KOB analysis was originally created by SEO expert Todd Malicoat. While not as widely used as the content pillar strategy, the KOB analysis is an effective way to gather the highest value keywords for your business. 

What Does KOB Stand For?

KOB stands for Keyword Opposition to Benefit. When using a KOB analysis, a Keyword Opposition to Benefit score is calculated by dividing the traffic value of a given keyword by its difficulty. This gives you a unique score that you can use to prioritize your list of keywords, ensuring you’re targeting the keywords with the highest return.

What Is the Goal of a KOB Analysis?

The goal of a KOB analysis is to increase your web traffic by getting strategic about anticipated value. This is different from techniques like the content pillar strategy which focuses less on historical data and more on perceived audience value. 

Using a KOB analysis might be right for you if any of the following applies to your business:

  • You have some organic traffic coming in but you haven’t seen significant growth. 
  • You have marketing goals set around increasing New Users but aren’t sure how to get started. 
  • You’ve used an agency before but traffic has since flatlined. 
  • You want to build an internal SEO team but aren’t sure how to implement a strategy.

How to Perform a KOB Analysis

Now that you know what a KOB analysis is and who it’s right for, it’s time to dig into how to actually perform one. 

Before you get started, you’ll need a keyword tool that allows you to run a content gap analysis. Tools like Ahrefs and Moz are widely used in the SEO community but do require a subscription. Without a paid SEO tool, you’ll have to manually find keyword opportunities which will make the process much more time-consuming. Once you have an SEO tool, you can use these three steps to get started. 

Step 1. Run a Content Gap Analysis

The first step of performing a KOB involves running a content gap analysis. You’ll do this by selecting around three of your top competitors. If you aren’t sure who your competitors are, your SEO tool may be able to outline them for you. 

You’ll then run a gap analysis comparing your site’s keyword rankings to your competitors. The result will be a list of keywords that your competitors rank for that you don’t currently. 

Step 2. Import Your Keywords to a Spreadsheet

Next, export your list of keywords and dump them into a spreadsheet. This could be a Google Sheet or Excel sheet. You’ll want to have columns for each keyword and the correlated search volume, keyword difficulty, and traffic value. You may also want to link the #1 ranking URL for each keyword for reference though this will take some manual work. 

Step 3. Audit and Prioritize Your Keywords 

Lastly, it’s time to clean up your document by reviewing each keyword. You should remove any keywords that are near-duplicates, aren’t relevant to your brand, or that don’t align to your mission. You should also analyze the SERP for each keyword to gauge the search intent. 

Once you have your list of viable keywords, you’ll plug the KOB formula (traffic value/difficulty) into a new column. For example, if your traffic value is in column D and your keyword difficulty is in column E, your formula will be: =D2/E2. 

And there you have it! The higher the KOB score, the better the keyword return. 

How Long Does It Take to Rank for Keywords?

If there’s one takeaway about SEO that’s most important, it’s that it takes time to rank on Google. And we’re not talking a few weeks. 

The amount of time it takes to rank for keywords depends on many aspects like domain authority, content volume, and backlink profile, but overall it’s unlikely you’ll see much movement within three months. For example, those who have a domain authority above 50 will likely see keywords rank quicker than those who are under 50. This is because Google prioritizes authoritative websites. 

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