supercharge your petal diagram to dominate startup competition

How to Transform Your Petal Diagrams into a Powerful Go-To-Market Tool.

Petal diagrams can be powerful visualizations to show how your product sits at the intersection of many categories. This is useful on its own because often companies only think about the industry they’re in, when they actually have competition in adjacent industries, for a customer’s available budget or attention.

The problem with a petal diagram is that once you’re done showing who your competitors are, the utility drops off.

The exercise of creating a Petal Diagram can be amplified when combined with a Prioritized Keyword Gap Analysis. It can become a powerful go-to-market tool, showing you opportunities within each competitive category where your company can gain traction by capturing search engine search traffic.

It can also show you that you don’t have a chance. If you’re making a go-to-market plan, knowing what can’t be done is important if you want to balance reckless optimism.

What is a Prioritized Keyword Gap Analysis?

A keyword gap analysis is a method used to identify the keywords that your competitors are ranking for, but your own website is not. It helps you uncover keyword opportunities that you may be missing out on and allows you to prioritize your content and SEO efforts accordingly.

By analyzing the keywords your competitors are targeting and the ones that are driving traffic to their websites, you can gain insights into areas where you can improve your own search engine visibility and attract more organic traffic.

A prioritized keyword gap analysis is a simple output from your results so that you can easily identify where your company can direct its efforts.

Keep reading, I’m going to tell you how to make a Keyword Gap Analysis and how I prioritize results.

How do you create a Keyword Gap analysis?

  1. Create your petal diagram and know your competitors
  2. Create an account with SemRush (my favorite) or another SEO tool
  3. Enter every company from each petal of your diagram as well as your own company. You’re likely to end up with multiple Keyword Gap Analysis results and that’s ok. You can combine them later if you want.
  4. Download results to a spreadsheet.

Your results will look like this:

Keyword gap analysis example showing how to compare competitors for keyword search results
Click to Enlarge: Startups can better compare category competitors by using a keyword gap analysis alongside their petal diagram


You’ll see:

  • all of the keywords your selected competitors are ranking for
  • how many of your competitors are ranking for the same keyword
  • how difficult it is to rank for that keyword
  • how much traffic that keyword can generate for you.

I’ve worked on some companies that have extremely competitive search keywords and it would be next to impossible to rank for high intent keywords the company needs to generate business. It’s best to know this bad news as soon as possible so that your company can pivot, or find another channel that isn’t saturated if you want your go-to-market to be successful.

Once you’ve downloaded your gap keyword spreadsheet, it’s time to prioritize the results into actionable targets.

How to Prioritize Your Keyword Gap Analysis

Getting actionable results from a Keyword Gap spreadsheet is pretty simple.

  1. Create two new columns to the left of the Competition column. Title them Top20 and Priority
  2. In the first row under the Top 20 header, use the Excel function =COUNTIF(B2:F2,”<>0″) where the range B2:F2 shows how you and your competitors rank for each keyword. Depending on how competitive your category is, you might change <>0 (Any result ranking) to be “<20” which would only count if you/your competitors rank in the top 20 search results. Counting this result shows how many of your competitors are trying to rank for the same keyword.
  3. In the second column, Priority, create a weighted scale that combines three metrics. The Excel formula is =Top20*(1-Competition)*Search Volume
  4. Apply these formulas to all results in your spreadsheet.
  5. Sort your entire spreadsheet from largest to smallest Priority result
  6. Highlight keyword results with the lowest Competition value that are relevant to your product or business.
Prioritized Keyword gap analysis example showing how to compare competitors for keyword search results
Click to Enlarge: Prioritize your results and find keywords your company can rank for.

Once you’ve got a list of highlighted results, this is your target list of keywords your startup can use to either improve your existing pages or create new pages with the objective of ranking above your competitors with a goal of page 1 results.