SaaS Competitor Comparison Pages: The Complete Guide

What if every prospect in your space came directly to YOU for advice on which product to use? It's not as difficult as it sounds.

Picture this:

A prospect is trying to decide which XYZ software to buy between you and a couple of your top competitors. They’re feeling a pain and they’ve built out a list of five or so potential solutions.

They have a decent idea of which logos are their main options, but they haven’t made a decision yet. So they hit you up directly and ask what you think.

Sounds great right?

In this article, I’m going to show you how to make that dream a reality.

Specifically, I’m going to cover four things:

→ Why comparison pages are a MUST in SaaS
→ Common hesitations (and why you should ignore them)
→ How to calculate comparison page ROI
→ The anatomy of a winning B2B SaaS comparison page

Let’s do it.

Why competitor pages are a must in SaaS

To put it simply, your prospects ARE doing comparison searches.

It’s just a fact.

The buying journey will look slightly different for most, but at some point your prospects reach an “evaluation” stage where they’ve decided they do want to move forward with a purchase, and they’ve narrowed their list down to a few different options.

The best part?

Evaluation typically happens right before the purchase is made.

In fact, when we look at Gong’s 6 stages of the B2B sales process, the ‘Evaluation’ stage is after a prospect has already decided they have intent to buy, and it’s right before the final purchase:

What does this mean for you?

Comparison pages are a shortcut for you to ‘skip the line’ and jump directly to the bottom of the funnel—straight from organic search.

You don’t always need to be the one that carries every prospect through the entire purchase decision process, from awareness, to interest, etc. If an X vs Y search is happening, that’s a prospect telling you exactly how far along in the sales process they are.

Comparison pages are a direct path to QUALIFIED organic traffic.

Bottom line is this:

The search is happening.

You can either share your POV or you can stick your head in the sand and let your competitors share theirs. But if you’re the one telling the story, you get to frame it however you’d like.

The common hesitations (and why you should disregard them)

Right now you’re either fully convinced that comparison pages are a must, or you’re hesitating. If you’re hesitating, I’m willing to bet it’s one these four things.

Time and time again I see the same four hesitations with comparison pages.

And every time, my response is the same:

Hesitation #1: “I don’t want to add more logos to their consideration set…”

I’m here to tell you right now…

They already know.

And even if they don’t know all of the logos out there,

Think of it this way:

The evaluation stage is happening whether you’re contributing to it or not.

Your prospects are going to find out who their best options are and compare them. You creating a comparison page about one of those competitors isn’t going to be the reason they discover & then choose that competitor.

The opportunity cost of NOT creating these pages far outweighs the risk of introducing a new option and then losing the deal as a result.

Hesitation #2: “Our review will be biased so we can’t do it…”

You’re right—there’s going to be bias. And that’s okay.

There’s ways to work around this though.

For example, Close CRM does a good job of addressing the elephant in the room right off the bat and explaining how they’ve approached the comparison.

The key here is this:

CONTEXT.

If you create the page, you get to determine the context of what’s on it.

There’s no rule that says you can only offer a matter-of-fact, fully objective comparison of product features. You can structure the page in whichever way you’d like.

For example…

  • Feature focused: If you do have a massive edge on product functionality and your prospects value that, talk about features.
  • Who it’s for: If you work with enterprise orgs & a competitor is better suited for SMBs, talk about the ideal audience.
  • Efficiency & support: Perhaps your big differentiators are speed and support vs competitors who’ve built massive, bulky products. Run with that.

Hesitation #3: “No one else does everything we do…”

I hear this one a lot, especially with platform solution SaaS products.

The story typically goes like this…

Me: *Shows massive opportunity with comparison pages*
Client: “But we don’t have any competitors.”
Me: “Come again?”
Client: “We’re an all-in-one solution and our competitors are all point solutions.”
Me: “Say less.”

It’s entirely possible that no other product on the market does ALL of the things you do. If anything, it’s probably more likely than not. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have competitors.

Your competitors are all of those point solutions.

You’re actually competing with the Frankenstein approach of connecting multiple point solutions together in a tech stack. It’s your job to convince prospects why all-in-one is better.

Comparison pages give you the chance to do exactly that.

Your product vs a point solution?

Give them their flowers as it relates to the area they specialize in, but focus heavily on all of the other areas where they fall short simply because you can’t do XYZ with their product.

Hesitation #4: “Our competitors will get mad at us…”

This is a feature, not a bug.

As long as you’re being honest in the comparison and not intentionally misleading visitors (more on how to avoid that later) then you’re in the clear.

If your competition gets upset that you’ve created honest comparison pages and are driving more conversions than them, you can tell them to kick rocks.

I worked with a B2B SaaS platform that created just under 50 standalone comparison pages. They got hit with ONE cease & desist and chose to just take the page down, and ONE request to correct how they positioned a competitor’s feature, but the page could stay up.

That’s it.

The rest of the pages?

Sitting at the tippy top of Google for most of the primary “BRAND vs COMPETITOR” searches they’re targeting, driving ~1000-2000 organic visits per month, converting at 5-10% per month.

Sorry, signed NDAs mean no page titles.

Calculating the potential ROI of comparison pages

Heads up in advance:

I want to be thorough here so this doesn’t just become another “number goes up” analysis of the ROI of an investment, so there’s going to be some math. Promise I’ll keep it tight.

And to put the bottom-line-up-front, the example I use below nets out to a ~172% ROI for a B2B SaaS business with a ~$7,000 LTV and a ton of assumptions made for estimating purposes.

Estimating ROI with napkin math

Napkin math—AKA basic calculations with rounded numbers and some general averages and assumptions to roughly estimate something.

Simple enough that you could write it out on a napkin.

So with that, let’s do some napkin math…

Here are the primary variables we’re working with:

And here’s how we can do the simple math:

And since these pages will drive returns every month after they’re published, the “opportunity size” metric can actually be multiplied to better calculate the return.

If we estimate that a page can drive solid traction for 36 months, and add on a monthly investment to maintain traction…

(The page can drive value for much longer than 3 years if it’s properly maintained, but we’re trying to simplify here.)

The variables will be different for every business, but since comparison pages are naturally targeting very high intent searches, we can confidently project a high on-page conversion rate.

This means the average value per visit you drive to these pages is high.

Example: $500/mo B2B SaaS product

Using the formulas above, let’s map out a quick example for a B2B SaaS product with an average MRR per user of $500.

Here are our variables & assumptions:

The page conversion rate is based on the average B2B SaaS funnel conversion numbers from the SEO channel as shared in this study. To summarize, we’re assuming a 5% visitor → lead conversion rate, then roughly 30-50% deal stage conversion rates from lead → MQL → SQL → Opportunity → Closed-Won.

Here are the simplified ROI calculations:

TL;DR:

For a ~$500/mo B2B SaaS product with an average churn rate & roughly $7,000 LTV per new user, creating 25 comparison pages, we can estimate:

  • Total 36 month investment of ~$89,500
  • Total 36 month return of ~$243,000
  • ROI of ~172%

Before anyone runs off too far with this number, it goes without saying that there’s A TON of nuance here and every situation with every website in every industry will have it’s subtle differences. There may be more/less volume, higher/lower LTV, higher/lower investment requirements, etc.

Just consider this the napkin math.

The anatomy of a great SaaS comparison page

As with all content production, comparison pages are an art and a science.

You can’t just drop a fat table showing how you compare across 50 different features and zero actually context then call it a day.

You also can’t just blindly ignore features and functionality.

The best comparison pages blend the qualitative and quantitative.

They offer enough “hard” comparison info on functionality to help the visitor truly understand what each product can do, while also offering the “soft” comparison context on who each product is best for, what differentiates them beyond the core features, etc.

To help you get started, let’s chop up the structure of the page.

SEO details

I’m putting this at the top not because it’ll be the first thing you do, but because it’s MISSION CRITICAL to your comparison page actually resulting in anything.

If your title and URL aren’t optimized for discoverability, your well-crafted comparison page that perfectly positions you as the best option is going to die on page 10 in Google.

Zero impressions.

Zero traffic.

Zero leads.

Here’s the simplest way to avoid that reality:

Page title:

Start with “Brand vs Brand” every time. You don’t need to get cute. Eventually you can start to experiment once you’re already ranking, but for now—just hit the fairway.

  • Notion vs Airtable: Which Should You Choose In 2024?
  • ClickUp vs Asana: Which Project Management Is Best?
  • Jobber vs Housecall Pro: Which Is Best For Your Business?

URL path:

Same as above. Keep it simple.

I recommend setting up a /compare/ subfolder that houses all of your comparison pages, then using a simple /you-vs-them/ path for each page.

  • notion.so/compare/notion-vs-airtable/
  • clickup.com/compare/clickup-vs-asana/
  • getjobber.com/compare/jobber-vs-housecall-pro/

Meta description:

This is where you can get creative.

These days, meta descriptions have very little direct impact on search rankings. You don’t need to stuff a ton of keywords into your description anymore.

Instead, treat your meta description like it’s ad copy. As an example (that isn’t perfect, but isn’t terrible), here’s what ClickUp uses:

The Asana alternative that gives your team more for less. Join 800,000+ teams using ClickUp. It’s the one place for all your work.”

Above the fold

Use a high contrast H1 that makes it clear what the page is going to do.

Again, I’m a big fan of how Close CRM approaches their hero sections like this Hubspot page:

They make it clear and obvious with the H1 what this page is going to be about (a comparison of Close and Hubspot) and establish the frame for the page (an honest review).

From an SEO perspective, it’s good to include the primary search term you’re targeting directly in the H1 as well. In this case, the page is obviously targeting searches for “close vs hubspot”.

Feature comparison table

Just because your comparison page shouldn’t ONLY be a big feature comparison table and nothing more doesn’t mean you should drop the table entirely.

Think about the intent of the visitor who reaches this page. They’re trying to compare you and another solution. One major element of that comparison is going to be…

“What does it do?”

There’s more than one way to answer that question of course (more on that below) but it’s wise to still include a high-level comparison of key functionality. Think of this as you showing the prospect that you can do all of the things they’re expecting you to.

And it’s a good opportunity to (honestly) highlight the areas where you have a leg up on the competitor. Again, by creating the page—you get to control the narrative.

Most of the time, this section will look similar to Avoma’s Gong alternative page:

Core functionality with either a ✅ or ❌ if it’s offered or a note that explains any nuance.

The notes are typically where you can say a version of “Yes, but…” on the competitor side when they technically do have offer a feature, but it’s an area where you have a leg up.

Close CRM takes an interesting approach here too in their Close vs Pipedrive page:

Since being an all-in-one platform is one of their differentiators, they chose to only highlight the functionality that Pipedrive doesn’t offer natively.

This won’t be the right approach for everyone, but it’s an interesting one to consider if you can frame it properly.

Qualitative differentiators

Here is where the ‘narrative control’ aspects really start to kick in.

Add a section to the page that’s all about qualitative differentiators between you and the competitor. What are the non-feature-forward areas where you win?

My recommendation:

Highlight 3-5 different areas where you win.

Put yourself in the shoes of your best customers today and think about why they’re better off with you than your competitors.

  • What does your product allow them to do that others wouldn’t?
  • Where do competitors fall short while your product excels?
  • What makes you unique compared to the others?

This section can take many different shapes too. There’s no one right answer here.

For example…

ClickUp emphasizes their integrations vs Asana:

MailChimp talks about their AI-powered content tools vs Klayvio:

And Unbounce highlights their historical data advantage & AI-assisted tools vs Instapage:

When you should choose the competitor

I don’t see this section used as frequently, but it’s one of my favorites by far.

The concept is simple:

Talk about when the best decision actually would be to chose the competitor.

  • Maybe you’re best for large companies and the competitor is SMB-focused.
  • Maybe you have a significantly lower entry price and the competitor is expensive.
  • Maybe you specialize in one industry while the competitor is industry-agnostic.

This subtly forces your visitor to self-identify themselves. They’ll either agree with you that the competitor is a better option for them (aka self-disqualify, saving your sales team resources) or they’ll agree that the competitor probably isn’t the best fit (aka self-qualifying).

Both are a win for you.

Chili Piper does this subtly on their Calendly comparison page:

Basically, they’re saying if you just want something small and simple, DON’T choose Chili Piper. Just go with Calendly. But if you want more, it may not be the best for you.

And just like that, the visitor who actually is needing more than just the basics will think to themselves that Chili Piper is probably the better option.

Social proof & stories

Customers stories, quotes, and logos are the name of the game.

One of the best ways to reduce friction for a prospect is to show them an overwhelming amount of proof and validation from other companies and individuals that look like them.

Think about it:

If you’re making a SaaS purchase and you’ve narrowed your list down to two options…

→ #1 has 10 full case studies from companies your size in a similar industry.

→ #2 has 3 cookie cutter testimonials from “executives” you’ve never heard of.

All else being mostly equal, you’re obviously going to choose the first option.

Whatever you can do to reduce the anxiety of a potential buyer and increase their level of confidence that what you’re promising them will actually come true, do it.

Here are three social proof assets you should weave into every comparison page:

1. Relevant customer logos

Yes it’s “been done before” and may seem cliche, but logos work. Plain and simple. If a bunch of brands I know and admire are using your product, that alone builds up trust.

2. Relevant customer quotes

Alongside logos, add quick quotes from leaders at those companies that fill similar roles to your ideal customer profiles. Bonus points if these quotes connect to the areas you’re already highlighting as big advantages vs your competitor.

3. Relevant customer stories

Honestly, these are a non-negotiable. Every comparison page should include at least one detailed customer story or case study that shows how a company that looks like your ICP went from A to Z using your product.

  • What was their situation before they found you?
  • What did they ‘hire’ your product to do?
  • How did your product help them?
  • What have the results been?

Tell the story, publish it as a standalone page or blog post, then link to it from your comparison pages. It won’t always get clicked, but it gives prospects the opportunity to dig deeper.

(Bonus points if the story is about a customer who previously switched from the competitor you’re comparing yourself against too.)

Relevant FAQs

Close to the bottom of the page, add a section with relevant FAQs in an accordion-style block.

Extra emphasis on RELEVANT here.

For example, here’s how we’re framing the FAQs for our SEO services page:

Notice how it’s not a gross-looking “SEO optimized” bucket for you to stuff a bunch of secondary keywords into. It’s posing then answering actual frequently-asked questions that a prospect is likely to have when they’re considering choosing you.

  • Is this more expensive than X?
  • How quickly can we start?
  • How long will results take?
  • Do I need to commit long-term?

… and so on.

Adding an FAQ section that answers genuinely relevant questions is a net-positive. Use the accordion dropdowns to keep the page UX tight as well and make each answer optional for the reader. If they don’t want to read any FAQs, no sweat—they can just scroll right past.

High contrast CTA section

Finally, close the page with a high-contract call-to-action.

Ideally this section jumps out to a visitor even if they’re quickly skimming the page.

I recommend taking a light-text-on-dark-background approach here and making the background a vibrant brand color. The goal is to capture attention and direct the visitors eye to a headline that builds up your core value proposition.

Most pages will have a section like this already, so there’s a ton of examples you can explore.

Here’s a good one from Drift’s comparison page vs Intercom that pushes an interactive demo:

What you should do now

There you have it.

Sold yet on the actual value of comparison pages? If not, hit me up. I’ll jump on a 15 min call with me and convince you. That’s a promise.

Here’s how you can take action RIGHT NOW too:

1. Brainstorm a list of competitors from your prospect’s perspective.

Even if you don’t think you compete directly, write the name down. What you think matters much less than what your prospect thinks.

  • Look at the G2 / Capterra / Software Advice lists for your main product categories & write down who you see (because this is who prospects will see too)
  • Look for roundup articles like “best [category] software” and write down who you see
  • Add any competitor names that you know exist but didn’t come up in either of the above

2. Prioritize your comparison page backlog accordingly.

This is where you can blend together relevant and search volume.

If there’s one well-known competitor that gets a ton of searches every month, that may be a good place to start. But it’ll always be case-by-case.

Don’t have time?

No problem.

To make it even easier, just work with Backstage SEO instead.

We’ll take it all off your plate & build a custom plan of attack for you. We’ll even execute it for you in full if you don’t want to invest the time into writing, editing and optimizing everything yourself.

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Author

Josh Gallant

I help B2B SaaS companies grow with conversion-led SEO.

Big on building scalable systems & frameworks for growth. I write about how B2B SaaS companies can unlock better results from organic search. Follow me on LinkedIn for more.

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