How and why you should be creating web content for comparison shoppers

When you're writing content for your website, you're not writing for a captive audience. People aren't on your business website to pass their free time.  

When people visit your site, they're often in the comparison stage, meaning they're actively looking at other business websites, sometimes in rapid succession, while trying to assess whether your products or services are the right fit for them. They're directly comparing your products or services, as described on your website, to those of your competitors.

So what kind of content are you creating to win those visitors over?

Start by answering their biggest questions

When someone is searching for your business, what are the questions they immediately have? Some examples:

  • How much does this cost?
  • Do they have it in my size?
  • What's the shipping cost?
  • Is this service available in my area?
  • How long will it take?
  • How do I get started?
  • What are the next steps?
  • Is this legit?

Create content that addresses the big questions someone has about your business. Don't know what those questions are? Ask a potential customer.

Tell them why you're better than the competitor

What sets you apart from the competition? You don't have to directly say, "Better than ACME business products because...." But you CAN create content that subtly nudges people toward understanding how you stand out.

- You've been in business longer ("since 1978...")
- You offer more products or services (making your products and services pages immediately accessible)
- Your products or services are of a higher quality (talk about the manufacturing process, or where you source materials)
- You serve a greater network ("our locations")

Understand where your comparison shoppers are coming from and create content specific to those needs

If people in the comparison stage are finding you through AdWords, create a landing page that matches a specific AdWords query. For example, if you're a portrait photographer bidding on the keyword "maternity photos," the landing page you send people to should focus on selling your maternity photography package and answering all the search visitors' questions about that service specifically.

Capture their information so you can continue marketing to them

Not everyone in the comparison stage is booking right away, so you gain a unique competitive advantage when you capture a visitor's information so you can market to that person later. You can do this a number of ways.

  • Remarketing: using a cookie to place display advertising in front of them later
  • Giveaway: use freebie piece of content as an exchange for an email address you can use to follow-up with a potential customer. For example, a downloadable checklist of wedding photo shots for a person looking for wedding photo services.
  • Contact forms: make them easy to fill out (no needless required fields) and make it clear what your potential customer will get out of the deal — like a free estimate, a quote within 24 hours, a spot on the waiting list, a chance to win, etc.

Stay connected to the competition

If you have time, visit your top competitors' websites a couple times each year to see where your web content stacks up. If you have customers finding and booking you via the web, ask them, "What made you choose us?" Keep on top of what your competitive advantage is and how best to communicate that via web copy. It may not feel like marketing, but it's one of the most important marketing tasks you can do online.