Yes, yes, SEO is super important when it comes to comparison pages.
Prospects are doing their diligence by comparing you against your competitors. And they’re likely using a “you versus them” or “you alternatives” search query.
Capturing that intent with comparison pages is table stakes.
But you’ll lose the hand if you don’t use the real estate above the fold to start landing your messaging.
Such is the error committed by our first example below
What does this above-the-fold section tell you about how Airtame is different from Chromecast?
Sure, they did the bare minimum by ensuring their H1 captured “Chromecast vs Airtame” traffic.
But visitors have to scroll down further on the page to even begin understanding the differences.
(And not to beat up on Airtame, but they don’t even do that particularly well throughout the page.)
Here’s what you should do instead
Watch Oakley and Federico break down this example from episode 1
Just like SEO optimization, feature comparison charts are a necessary evil of a comparison page…or are they!?
To be sure, there is some value in a familiar looking, easy-to-read, easy-to-understand side-by-side us versus them feature comparison.
But you’re probably not going to win many deals by selling your features.
What you WILL sell deals with is selling your value.
In this example from episode 4, Federico shows us how a manifesto page, while not directly calling out a competing company, can accomplish the same differentiation goals.
As you can see, this is not a list of all the reasons why the company has better features than traditional email providers.
Rather, this page features clear messaging about the value it offers in solving the pains of email.
3 reasons why this page rocks
The key here is that true differentiation can never be accomplished via a comparison chart.
You need one clear differentiating message at the top of your page, and then you need to beat that drum throughout the entire website.
Sometimes when markets are so saturated it’s almost impossible to stand out, you just need to do something different — something creative.
Such is the case in this example from episode 4 (and my personal favourite comparison page of season 1 so far).
While “company vs company” is largely the most applicable search query for comparison pages, “company alternative” is a close second.
The people are Zendesk decided that when someone searches “Zendesk alternative” they weren’t going to land on a competitor page.
Instead, Zendesk got a little moody and created this amazing concept for a comparison page.
Exhibit C: Zendesk alternative
As you can see, this is not a CRM alternative to Zendesk.
It’s a website featuring a fictitious Seattle-based alternative rock group.
Now, despite my overwhelming love for this concept, we don’t actually learn much (or anything) about Zendesk’s product.
But the brand shines through. It’s going to capture traffic that otherwise would be destined for a competitor’s page. And it’s hilarious.
(Check out the lyrics to their hit song Open Source the Future. The merch store is all sold out unfortunately.)
So while this may not be the best, most effective comparison page out there, it’s an example of how companies everywhere need to think outside the box when it comes to differentiation and messaging.
Check out the Zendesk example in episode 4 of Compared to What?
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