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How to Go Head-to-Head: Great Competitive Comparison Pages

Posted by Ellie Mirman on Mon Sep 25, 2017 08:30 AM

When you’re in a crowded market, it seems like every sales conversation is a competitive one. “How are you different from Product X?” “We already use Product Y. Why would we need your product?” “I hate Product Z. How are you better?”

There are different approaches to handling these questions - you can go the consultative route, stepping back from the head-to-head conversation and talk about use cases. But sometimes, you can get a positive prospect reaction from a straightforward response on how you compare to the competition. The most confident of competitive companies out there do just that - they put front and center how they are better than the competition.

A targeted search on your industry of choice surfaces some great examples of competitive comparison pages. Here are 6 takeaways from those pages on how best to go head-to-head with your rivals.

1. Let customers speak for themselves

Leveraging customer testimonials serves a dual purpose on a competitive comparison page: (1) social proof from your customers raving about your product/service, (2) staying clean when it comes to speaking against your competition. This example from Zendesk truly highlights the former, leveraging their own customer testimonials in a quickly consumable way throughout the page. For every benefit they tout, they include a related customer testimonial to back up the statement.

Zendesk-vs-Desk.png

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2. Go broad to address many competitors at once

Kill two (or more) birds with one stone using general comparison pages that detail your benefits over a competitive category. In an industry as crowded as point-of-sale, there are too many competitors to address on individual pages. Toast has taken a broad approach to detail their benefits over each type of competitor, allowing them to tackle many scenarios at once. If the key points are the same, this can help address more customer conversations and make it easier to train employees on how to handle these situations as well.

Toast-vs-iPadPOS-1.png

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3. Get some SEO mojo to rank for competitive searches

You can use competitive comparison pages in a number of cases: prospect follow up content, internal training, online conversion, and getting found in a competitive market. This last point is key - in a competitive market, your potential customers are likely online searching for details on how different products compare. If you can get your webpages ranking for those terms, you can frame the conversation as it’s happening. To do this, you’ll need to build inbound links and a great place to start is with internal linkbuilding. Klaviyo does this well, by including their top competitive comparison pages in the footer of their website. This way, they are more likely to show in search results for “Klaviyo vs. Mailchimp.”

Klaviyo-vs-Mailchimp.png

Klaviyo-Footer.png

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4. Don’t advertise for your competitors

One of the potential downsides of creating competitive comparison pages is that it can further promote the brands you want to beat. One way to balance this out is to exclude their logos or other branding from your comparison pages. Below, you can see that Vend made this exact change - removing their competitors’ logos from these comparison pages and simply listing the company’s name. This also provides a visual cue to the reader that the left (branded) column is the “winner.”

Vend-vs-Shopkeep.png

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5. Take it offline

Quite a few companies have taken the approach of turning their competitive comparison pages into landing pages - encouraging the potential customer to have a more in depth conversation. Some companies say very little on their landing page, prompting the prospect to request competitive comparison information. Other companies include reviews, ratings, or head-to-head comparisons. This page from InsightSquared is a great example of sharing hard-hitting high-level information - leveraging respected ratings and reviews - and prompting the prospect to request more detail. From there, the company can get in touch with the prospect to have a more specific conversation about their needs and why this is the best solution for them.

InsightSquared-vs-Domo.png

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6. Spruce it up with visuals

Comparison pages don’t need to be boring. Remember, this is yet another opportunity to communicate your company’s brand values and engage your prospects. This example from Intercom has all sorts of personality. Visuals - both screenshots and illustrations - make this a more engaging page that draws people in. It’s easy to scroll through the long page without noticing how much content you’ve consumed, simply because of the pleasant layout and illustrative visuals.

Intercom-vs-Zendesk.png

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How are you approaching your competitive comparison pages? Have other favorites providing inspiration? Let us know!

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