Comparing two things against each other — so that you can figure out which is the one to rule them all — is one of the most natural things in the world. 

Coffee vs Tea. 

Batman vs Superman. 

Your product vs your competitor’s product. 

At some point on the path to figuring out if your SaaS product is the solution that will make work (and life!) easier, potential prospects will ask themselves this question:

“Ok… But how does this solution compare to BigBrand5000?”

And here’s a thing: this big, broad question actually hides a number of smaller, critical questions inside it — like russian nesting dolls —  that folks are asking themselves at the same time, like:

  1. Which of all these possible solutions has the non-negotiable features that we really, really need?
  2. Which of these solutions is used by other companies like ours? (So that I can feel confident it will work for our unique use cases/team set-up/client base?)
  3. Which of these solutions I’m comparing here will my boss/team feel best about and use the most/feel good about using?
  4. Which of these solutions will actually stick around and last us for a few years so we don’t have to do a changeover again?
  5. Which one is just plain better?

Your prospects need these answers to confidently choose which solution to buy or recommend for buying to whoever holds the decision-making keys. But getting these answers isn’t always easy because your reader doesn’t just need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each option — they need to understand those strengths and weaknesses as they relate to each other. 

That’s exactly where competitor comparison pages come in.

An exceptionally useful comparison page takes the answers to all of these questions and lays them out in a simple, easy-to-follow single page — so that your prospects don’t have to bounce around the net trying to piecemeal the answer to such a crucial question. 

They can just read it.

So how do you build a high-performing comparison page that serves you and your customers? Great question! All of our answers — based on years of writing, researching and testing on comparison pages — are in this post. Let’s go. 

Why you need competitor comparison pages on your SaaS site 

Here’s a truth that should be universally acknowledged: Your prospects are actively comparing you against other solutions that can solve their problem

You can make this easier for them — and get your own point of view across — by joining the conversation already going on in their heads and showing them exactly how you stack up through your own comparison pages. Or you can allow your competitors and third parties like G2 and Capterra to do all of the anchoring for you and lock yourself out of this critical conversation. 

Because let’s picture a very likely scenario that’s playing out right now for various decision makers:

Imagine you are looking for a project management software solution for your team and you’ve narrowed things down to ClickUp and Basecamp

… You check the G2 review for both, and after reading through some four star and one star reviews — so you can figure out what’s working and what isn’t for different folks — you’re still not sure which way to go. A trial is the next natural step, but you want some more information before you commit to properly testing these tools…

… So you go to the solutions themselves and see what they have to say:

Luckily, Basecamp and ClickUp both have competitor comparison pages that make their case for why you should use them.
In ClickUp vs Basecamp, ClickUp leans into the fact that they have a lot more features than Basecamp (which is true!):

ClickUp vs Basecamp comparison page example

And in Basecamp vs ClickUp, Basecamp leans into the fact that they have a lot less features as they’re hyper-focused on helping a particular subset of users (which is also true!):

Basecamp vs ClickUp comparison page example

Both pages make a clear case for choosing them — and both appeal to different types of buyers. (Presumably, the ICP.)

This makes it easier to decide which of these two tools may actually work for your specific needs

Now think about what this could look like if both brands were NOT actively involved in the conversation. 

What could happen if a prospective buyer had narrowed things down to these two solutions and only one of them showed up and said their piece? Because in my experience, the brand that shows up — unless its features are substantially worse — has the leg up. Always. 

Medium-length story short:

Comparison pages are essential because they’re your way into a very important conversation that’s happening in the minds of your ideal prospects. 

Without them, you’re slamming the door in your prospective customer’s face and locking yourself out of something vital. Can you really afford to do that? 

Can any brand really afford to give the competition the final word?

The simple answer is a resounding NO. 

And that’s why strategic comparison pages belong in every SaaS company’s marketing strategy. 

Different types of competitor comparison pages 

Comparison pages come in a lot of different flavors and packages. 
Some — like Monday vs Everyone — hit all competitors in a single page, making it simple for readers to jump between different options and understand how they work against the main solution:

Monday comparison page example

Others — like Salesforce vs the competition — hit on the very ideas of competitors and use the page to show how they address the reader’s general concerns:

Salesforce comparison page example

Other brands take the one-on-one approach and use highly individualized pages that help prospects compare based on features and capabilities.
In ClickUp vs Monday (the ClickUp version!), ClickUp use a comparison video to really drive the difference home between the two solutions:

ClickUp comparison page example

In Teamwork vs Wrike — a page we helped craft and wrote about here — Teamwork use social proof to drive the value proposition home: 

Teamwork comparison page example

In Dropbox vs Box, Dropbox hone in on a very specific value proposition — easier collaboration — and then show exactly how they make it easier with specific examples that relate to ‘missing features’ from Box:

Dropbox comparison page example

And in Basecamp vs Asana, Basecamp calls out the usual process of choosing tools (comparing them…) and offers an alternative: 

Basecamp comparison page example

The beautiful part of all this is that when you choose the right strategic approach, you can create a comparison page experience that’s unique, creative and fully represents your brand — all while making life easier for prospects and increasing conversions. 

So how do you create a page like that? Time to talk about the golden rules. 

The golden rule(s) of competitor comparison pages

Let’s start with the most important thing: All great comparison pages make life easier for the person reading it. 

But, the best comparison pages tend to have five key shared characteristics that make them work especially well. Let’s break them down. 

1. Say your competitors name clearly, loudly and often — especially in the hero section

As soon as they land on your page, the reader should be able to tell:

  • What the page is about and
  • The key benefit they’ll get out of spending time on it (a.k.a. reading it)

These two things should be obvious immediately — before the person actually starts reading properly. 

On a comparison page, this means that you should make it clear exactly which solution you’re comparing against in the first heading (H1) of your hero (or header) section. 

This is because a reader who’s landed on a competitor comparison page is likely using it as part of their research. They probably have multiple tabs open and are scanning through other competitors, reviews and general solution information. Immediately showing users where they are makes it easier for them to come back to your page. 
How you actually approach the heading is down to you! You can take a value-based approach like Dropbox vs Google Drive:

Dropbox comparison page example

Pose the question directly like Heap vs Mixpanel:

Heap comparison page example

Or Mixpanel vs Heap:

Mixpanel comparison page example

With some planning, you can even strategically use your competitor’s name throughout the hero section like in Chameleon vs Pendo where they use Pendo’s name in the eyebrow copy, subhead text and the social proof headline: 

Chameleon comparison page example

The number #1 rule here is simple: Make it easy for readers to immediately understand who you’re comparing your solution against. 

What not to do: Do not hide your competitor’s name

Let’s take a look at what happens when you’re too subtle. 
Coda.io has produced some visually beautiful comparison pages like this one comparing Coda to Confluence

Coda comparison page example

Or this one comparing Coda to Quip:

Coda comparison page example

But the problem is that neither hero section reminds the user what they’re looking at — there are very few clues that you’re actually looking at a competitor page. The only mention of the competitor in the hero section is in a corner of the image. 

This makes it really hard to see and to understand what the job of this page actually is at a glance, making it too easy for this page to get lost in the dozens of open tabs, never to be seen again. 

2. Focus your entire page around a specific strategic angle for differentiation

Let’s get some irritating realities out of the way: 

  • Your competitors solve a very similar problem to you (that’s why you’re competitors and not complimentary services!) and
  • Both of you deliver the same generic outcome (e.g. All project management tools make PM-ing easier, simpler and possible in one place; all cloud storage tools make documents accessible from multiple locations; all CRMs help you manage customer relationships in one place etc.)

Where things get seriously different is in the specifics

Because while competitive tools solve the same generic problem, the good ones tend to solve very different specific problems — and they also tend to take drastically differentiated creative approaches. 

Let’s go back to project management for a second. 

Once you’re inside a PM solution, even though they all accomplish the same generic job, they look different. 

Here’s my Asana homescreen:

Screenshot of Asana in-app dashboard

The way Asana tends to prioritize and display information is different from the way ClickUp does it:

Screenshot of ClickUp in-app dashboard

Things get increasingly differentiated when you go deeper into how each tool approaches assigning tasks, using tags, setting dependencies, calculating timesheets and other typical project management tasks. 

It’s those exact differences that determine which use cases — and which types of teams!! — would benefit from each tool. 

Your competitor comparison page is “The Place” where you should hone in on that difference. Hard. 
Maybe your difference is that your tool is uniquely suited for one kind of team — like in Dropbox vs Google Drive:

Dropbox comparison page example

Or that you’ve taken the main ‘generic’ task both you and your competitor solve and also solved a few related problems that your prospect is using other tools for — like in UserPilot vs Pendo:

Userpilot comparison page example

Whatever it is, this page is the place to go all in on that angle so that prospects can easily and quickly understand what makes you better for them. Specifically. (If you’d like to read more about the type of research needed to uncover this angle, this case study goes into it!)

What not to do: Don’t just mention the generic difference

Compare what we just discussed above with this with the hero section for the Confluence vs Coda:

Confluence comparison page example

Or Confluence vs Quip:

Confluence vs Quip comparison page example

Both hero sections use the exact same positioning statement for Confluence — without adjusting it to the specific competitor they’re actually going up against and focusing on the specifics. 

The frustrating this is that this seeming lack of differentiation is most present in the hero section — further down the page, Confluence does go into outcome-focused reasons prospects should choose it that actually position against the competitor:

Confluence section screenshot — using personalization

And they use different positioning based on the audience and use cases for each product too:

Confluence example screenshot — mentioning Coda on page

But because this differentiation doesn’t fall under a complete theme — like in the Dropbox and Userpilot examples — it puts a lot of the work of clearly understanding and remembering the difference between the tools on the reader.

And if there’s one thing you do not want to do it’s this: Don’t give your reader homework. 

3. Make the important practical differences between your and your competitor’s products easy to understand

After you’ve made it clear who you’re comparing your solution with & what your main differentiating theme is, it’s time to show off the main practical differences between your solution and theirs. 

You can do that by clearly comparing important jobs your solution can do against shortfalls in the same jobs by your competitor — like in Heap vs Quantum Metric:

Heap vs Fullstory screenshot

You can focus on highlighting the differences in your approach and contextualizing your feature set — like in HotJar vs FullStory:

Hotjar comparison page example

You can even make it extra easier to visualize those differences by using a full feature comparison table against all the competition like Heap.

Heap comparison page example — table

The key here is to focus on the strategic differences that matter to your reader.

4. Strategically use social proof to support the key points you’re making in each section

Social proof — i.e. customer logos, G2 badges, testimonials and anything else that shows other people love and use your product — is an essential part of any great web page. It helps reduce risk in the mind of your reader and increases trust for your product. (This is heavily linked to psychological triggers like “appeal to authority” and “the bandwagon effect” which we cover in more depth here.) 

Using social proof effectively is all about being:

  • relevant,
  • specific and
  • creative,

… All while supporting the point you’d like to make. 
In Monday vs Everyone, the Monday team cleverly uses G2’s ratings of their product vs each competitor and visually shows them in a table, while also adding their G2 awards underneath. This hits the relevant, specific and creative trifecta — and a very clever way of leveraging third party reviews.

Monday comparison page example — social proof

On their comparison pages, Heap does a masterful job of using specific customer testimonials and quotes that directly name each competitor. 
On the Heap vs Pendo page, they use a targeted quote from the likely ICP (a product manager), that specifically names the competitor (Pendo) and mentions a clear desired outcome (getting workable answers immediately):

Heap comparison page example — social proof

Every testimonial used on the page is specifically chosen to show why Heap is better than Pendo:

Heap comparison page example — social proof

So when choosing social proof for your competitor page, focus on specificity.

5. Create a smooth & effortless user experience

A great comparison page can only work if people can find it. Yet despite this simple, undeniable fact, comparison pages often get hidden in the footer, in resources or are only accessible through an impassable tunnel of internal links. 

So where’s the right place to put them? How can you help your prospects find them at the right moment? The answer lies in understanding your user journey. 

When we researched the user journey for Teamwork.com’s customers, we found that direct comparison was something that always happened. The majority of prospects looking to buy project management software, tested two to four solutions at the same time in order to understand which one would serve their team best. 

So comparing solutions against each other was an essential part of the buying process that usually happened after browsing the product and use case pages. When we started this project, the comparison pages were hidden in the footer and got very little traffic. Moving them into the menu, increased general engagement, drove more people to them and ultimately increased free sign-ups.

Teamwork comparison page example — menu

While this placement made sense for Teamwork.com’s user journey, yours may differ. Heap have their comparison pages under the “Why Heap” tab:

Heap comparison page example — menu

But it’s not just about on-site placement — navigating your comparison page should feel informative and delightful too. Heap does an exceptional job of this by combining some of the best parts of a multi-competitor comparison page with the individual differentiation that makes one-against-one pages feel so effective:

Heap comparison page example — using an on-page navigation menu

Underneath each competitor-specific hero section, Heap has an interactive navigation menu that allows you to easily jump between competitors — while staying on the same page. This makes it easy to understand Heap’s differentiated positioning without ever leaving the page. 

Top lessons you should walk away with 

If there was a magical checklist I’d want you to walk away with for creating high converting comparison pages, this would be it:

  • Strongly position yourself against your competitor from the start — mention their name in the hero section and mention their name throughout the page. Not only will this support your SEO efforts, but it will keep readers anchored into what they’re actually reading. 
  • Focus on a clear differentiated angle that matters to your reader. Remember the ClickUp vs Basecamp/ Basecamp vs ClickUp example? Both brands focused on the same main difference between their respective products — the number of features. And both treated it as a positive — ClickUp arguing for the flexibility of being feature-rich, Basecamp arguing for the simplicity of keeping their feature stack extremely tight. Make your page about the thing your readers care about. 
  • Make your pages easy for readers to find. Don’t hide your pages. 

I’m not going to pretend that creating great competitor comparison pages is either quick or easy. It’s not. 

When we worked with Teamwork on shaping their comparison page strategy and creating a critical page against Wrike, our team ran a ton of competitor research. (For context, the first deliverable was a pretty sizable deck with a complete breakdown of Wrike’s sales and marketing process. The actual page was deliverable number three.)

While the page did increase sign-ups by 54% — and set the strategy for all future comparison pages — it took a lot of work from both our team and Teamwork’s fantastic design, product marketing and dev teams. (You can read more about it here if you want!)

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