Want higher conversions and more traffic?
Write competitor comparisons.
Reviewing your competition is one of the biggest content opportunities for eCommerce stores right now, period.
Today you’ll learn exactly how to write one. Let’s get started.
Editor’s note: This article comes from years of experience helping clients sell more using high-converting content. If you’re interested in more sales at your eCommerce store, send us a message.
Competitor review case study: $22,000 in monthly traffic value
A direct-to-consumer client wanted a content strategy targeting competitor buying prospects.
From April 2020 through August 2021, we wrote over 70 articles comparing our client’s brand to a range of competitors, from market behemoths to other startups like our client.
In that time, monthly organic search traffic increased from 3,148 to 35,822:
The number of keywords ranking in the top ten shot up from 187 to 4,439:
And monthly traffic value grew from $306 to $22,122:
In other words, this strategy works. Here’s how to do it.
Why competitor reviews are a great opportunity
eCommerce SEO doesn’t have many zero-competition “blue oceans” left.
No matter your industry, keyword focus, or target market, you’re always going against a brand with deep pockets.
Except with competitor reviews.
It’s a rare mismatch of content and user needs with tons of demand and almost zero supply. Thousands of prospects are searching for brand reviews every month, but they aren’t finding answers.
I’ve never seen articles rank so quickly or easily. We’ve published reviews and seen them hit Google’s first page in a week—with zero promotion. And articles tend to convert well since you’re attracting prospects already thinking about buying.
But it won’t be like this forever.
Competitive reviews used to be a blue ocean for software-as-a-service companies, too. Back in 2013, Zendesk invented a parody alt-rock band, Zendesk Alternative, just to outrank competitors.
Today, phrases like “[brand] + alternative” or “[brand] + review” are super competitive in the SaaS space. I expect the same to happen to eCommerce in the next few years.
Wouldn’t it have been nice to be one of the first eCommerce brands on Instagram? Writing competitor reviews today is like joining Instagram in 2014.
How to set the tone
When you write a brand review, you run the risk of sounding snarky.
So the first rule is to be truthful and honest, never mean or nasty. Your goal is to be helpful. A trick I like to use is to write as though it were an email to a friend who asked my opinion.
You also want to make the piece as objective as possible. While you’ll never write an “unbiased” review, it should sound as close to unbiased as possible. When you share details about the competing product, be fair.
Avoid words like “worst,” “awful,” and “nightmare” (when describing them) or “best,” “incredible,” and “dream come true” (when describing you).
How to establish credibility
The most important goal you have when writing a review piece is to make yourself the authority. If the reader doesn’t think you know what you’re talking about, you’ll never succeed.
First, use basic credibility indicators. Include a publish date, full author name and photo, and a decent site design.
Whenever possible, actually buy and use the product. Many online reviews are written by people who have clearly never used the product and just read about it. You have a huge advantage if you’re speaking from experience.
On the same note, include photos or videos. Comparison photos are especially important if you’re pointing out details. A side-by-side photo or video clip of your product with a competitor’s adds loads of credibility.
Include third-party opinions when possible. Read what customers say on review sites and summarize the most common themes. Share what other experts in the space have to say.
And most importantly, teach. You’re the industry expert, so share details a casual customer might miss. Define industry terms, explain why a product is expensive (or cheap), or break down the manufacturing process.
How to increase conversions
Competitor comparison articles are already one of the highest-converting types of content you can create. Your prospects are already interested in buying, which gives you a huge advantage.
But don’t stop there.
Use a strong emotional appeal to win over the prospect’s heart. We tend to buy what “people like us” buy, so hint that the competing product is for a different buyer persona type.
Back up the emotional side with logic. Use your industry knowledge to share technical reasons why your product is a better choice.
And reverse typical sales tactics. Don’t hype up your product too much or end with a hard sell. If you’re frank about the benefits of your competitor’s product, readers will trust you when you share the problems.
More competitor review secrets
I believe competitor comparisons are one of the biggest opportunities for eCommerce brands right now.
You’ve just read some of my best tips for writing competitive articles that work. But as with all strategies we’re actively using with clients, I can’t share everything.
We use other strategies, in addition to the above, for even better results. But they’re for our client’s eyes only—trade secrets, if you will.
Interested in having us put those strategies to work for your brand? Just let us know.