Writing a Comparison Post
A bit ago I told you there were some pages missing from your website – especially if you were selling products. These “VS” pages are the comparisons between your product and all the rest out there that people are considering. I told you how to think about those pages. Today I want to share with you the six steps to take when you write a comparison post.
I've written several of these and here's one of the more recent ones on comparing membership plugins.
The Six Steps
Developers, designers, and end users each approach the evaluation of a plugin or theme differently. When you write a comparison post you need to be super clear about who you're writing to. Don't even write to a generic “developer.” Instead, be specific about your micro-segment so that they know that your comparison is for them. In other words, don’t make your audience guess what you’re trying to do.
The point of positioning your product as a solution is to help people convert. But to do that, you need to make sure you've articulated the goal that you're solving. You're not selling a generic tool (like a hammer). Remember, if there's no specific problem, then any tool will work. So as you craft the comparison, be explicit (before you do the head-to-head material) about your objective.
We're still in the space before you present a comparison grid. In the end, different people (even in the same micro-segment) will differ on what they see as the best option based on their own perspectives (or values). So be clear on your own perspective and why you think something is valuable or not.
In the membership comparison I referenced above, I explained 11 criteria I cared about (and why). If you disagree with those criteria, you may likely disagree with my rankings. And that's ok – as long as you know where I'm coming from.
There are several ways to share the options. Sometimes you simply list the options like I did in this WordPress Forms comparison. If you're writing a comparison post that is a versus page, it's likely that you'll create a grid and you're only comparing one (or two) products against your own.
It’s possible you’ve already covered price because it was one of the factors in a perspectives you already covered. If not, then now is the time to share pricing so readers can contextualize the results based on their willingness to pay.
In other words, the price should be separate from the comparison because you want people to choose on the merits of the comparison itself – but some folks will only choose based on the price. That's why it's often near the end when I'm writing a comparison post.
The comparison grid is normally the payoff. It's where you get to show the results – either in a comparison post or a versus page. The goal is to highlight where your product stands out, and apart, from the competition.
If you're writing a comparison post where there isn't a single winner, then you want to make sure you're able to define multiple winners – and why each one wins in a specific category or for a specific user.
Comparison Posts Take Time
I've been working on a CRM comparison for a couple weeks. I'm probably another couple weeks away from being done. My point is simple – these take time. And they become harder with the more products you put into the comparison.
So my recommendation is to start with versus pages where you compare your product against a single competitor. Later you can create the ultimate comparison post where you compare your product against several others.
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