Competitor comparison pages present an open and honest evaluation of your SaaS product and your competitors. They’re a proven way to increase high-intent search traffic and convert those potential buyers still sitting on the fence.
Yet, they are still underused by the majority of companies in the industry. Maybe it’s because marketing managers don’t want to provide a list of competitors to their own users or they feel that making a comprehensive comparison is far too much work. Either way, they’re missing out on some serious benefits.
There’s no point hiding your competitors from your customers, says Peep Laja, founder of CXL, a skill-building platform for marketers. They’re going to find out about them soon if they haven’t already.
A competitor comparison page gives you the chance to explain your product’s advantages and rationalize some perceived negatives like price. It also stops your customers from leaving your site. Besides, there’s a good chance your competitor is already doing the same thing to your brand on their own comparison pages. Don’t you want to have your say on the matter?
We think you should. That’s why we’ve compiled this guide to help you create the best SaaS product comparison page possible.
Present a Fair and Honest Comparison
Regardless of what format your competitor comparison page takes, the most important thing is to be upfront and honest about you and your competitor. Customers can smell deception a mile off and instantly see through attempts to mask your product’s weaknesses or an unfair attack on your competitors.
One of the best ways to establish trust with potential customers is to be honest on comparison pages, even when you reveal your product is weaker, says Chris Lucas, cofounder and CEO at Shaker, a CRM and transaction platform for real estate teams and brokers. “It’s not necessary to spotlight areas where your competitors outshine you, but you can share a balanced view.”
Use a Comparison Table to Clearly Differentiate Your Product
The vast majority of competitor comparison pages follow a standard layout. A short introductory paragraph introduces the two different tools and offers a quick overview of how one is superior to the other. A comparison table provides a visual breakdown of all of the ways one product is better before key features are highlighted below.
While you should absolutely spend time making sure your copy is as genuine and persuasive as possible, it’s the comparison table that will determine your page’s success.
Make no mistake, they may look simple, but comparison pages require a lot of work. It’s one of the reasons Chris Lema, Liquid Web’s general manager of the WordPress plug-in LearnDash, thinks they are often missing from sites. Not only do you need to do a thorough competitive analysis for each competitor, but you also need to update the comparison table every time you or your competitor releases a new feature. No one is standing still in SaaS and your table can’t afford to stay the same, either.
Fortunately, several WordPress plug-ins can help you add a comparison table quickly. Brian Jackson, cofounder of forgemedia and former CMO at Kinsta, has put together a list of the best WordPress table plug-ins you can use, with highlights including TablePress, Data Tables and Ninja Tables.
Show Your Product and Discuss Your Best Features
Below the comparison table, you’ll want to highlight the major features that set your product apart from your competitor. Don’t risk losing your reader’s attention or wasting their time by writing about every single feature your product has, however. Instead, focus on your best features and the ones that matter most to your customers.
Make sure you explain why potential customers should care about each feature and how it benefits them, says the team at Hop Online.
“Start with Feature A and clearly demonstrate just what advantages your feature has over your competitors,” they explain. “Your message would be: ‘Here’s our competitor, and they have something missing’ to drive home the point that your product is the better choice. Set each feature category aside and give them individual attention. There isn’t anything wrong with showing other competitors can’t compete with you.”
Make sure to include images that showcase your product, writes Greg Davis, former lead product marketing manager at Gusto. Customers want to see what they’re buying before handing over their money.
“Images and visuals are superior to lists at creating the emotional connection critical to the buying process,” he explains. “Research shows that 65% of all people are visual learners, so images resonate better than words. As humans our visual memory is encoded in the medial temporal lobe of the brain, the same place where emotions are processed. Imagery and feelings are tied together at a physiological level.”
Add Trust-Building Elements
Potential buyers aren’t going to take your word for it. That’s part of the reason you need to be fair and honest in your analysis. It’s also why you need to incorporate several trust-building signals on your page.
Social proof — evidence that real people or businesses already love and use your product — is one of the most powerful trust signals. There are several ways you can include this in your product comparisons, says Josh Gallant, SEO lead at Foundation Marketing. These include:
- Customer reviews and quotes.
- Social media testimonials.
- Case studies.
Project management tool Basecamp does a great job of using before and after quotes from customers on one page. It’s easy to see how stuck people were with competing tools before they switched and the difference Basecamp has made since.
Another trust-building element that is well worth adding is a list of product integrations, says Rukham Khan, content lead at lead generation and marketing platform Mailmunch. “Simply put, if your clients already use a particular software option and your product integrates with it, they’ll be more likely to turn into leads and future customers.” This is particularly powerful if the competitor in question doesn’t integrate with as many other apps as you.
Find the Best Topics With Keyword Research
One of the most powerful things about a product comparison page is the amount of organic traffic they can attract.
As your SaaS brand grows, people will actively start searching for keywords that include your company name and that of your competitor, writes Junction43 cofounder Nina Pang. “Having competitor comparison pages ready on your website will mean you can drive organic traffic on these search queries,” she writes.
You can also show up for competitor’s keywords, Pang adds. “Depending on the quality and detail of your comparative content, you may also have a chance of climbing the search ranks for your competitor’s branded keyword terms,” she explains. “Yep, that means you can effectively drive organic traffic away from your competitor to your website with comparison pages.”
There are several ways you can optimize your content for the right keywords and ensure you’re creating the most relevant competitor comparison pages, says Your Content Mart’s AbdulGaniy Shehu. These include:
- Survey your customers to find the tools they considered or switched from.
- Follow discussions in niche communities.
- Use Google Autosuggest to see what it recommends when you search “Your brand vs.”
With an optimized, well-written and comprehensive product comparison page, you have the potential to steal your competitors’ customers on autopilot. But don’t stop there when it comes to content marketing. Create a content calendar to make sure you’re writing regularly, improve your technical writing skills and update your old posts to keep them relevant and converting visitors.
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