How to Write Technical Comparisons
There are a few common types you can choose from when writing technical articles. Maybe you want to share knowledge of something specific, which typically means writing either a tutorial or guide, or perhaps you want to take a stance on something specific and end up writing a persuasive piece. It could also be that you want to share knowledge about a set of products or tools within a certain category, and you’ll be writing a roundup.
In that last scenario, you could also be writing a comparison article instead. You may wonder how a comparison article is different than a roundup, but there are indeed some subtle differences, which will be covered in this article. On top of that we’ll also be looking at some of the reasons you even want to write a technical comparison in the first place, and tips for making it a great one.
Why Write Technical Comparisons
Before you start on anything, it’s always important to understand the reasoning behind it, this is true for writing articles as well. As mentioned in the introduction there are typically five distinct content types that you can choose from, why should you be choosing a comparison specifically? Here are a few reasons why.
1. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
This is a goal that is shared among pretty much all the different content types, and SEO in and of itself is not specific to comparisons. However, comparisons are treated a bit differently in terms of SEO, when it comes to giving them a title. Comparisons will typically have a title resembling “X vs Y”, which is very akin to what readers are searching for. This makes it likely that the title of a comparison article will match a reader’s query word for word, if you have written one that matches the exact tools they are looking at.
2. Comparing Yourself to Competitors
Writing a comparison article is a great way to showcase why and how your product is better than your competitors. It’s not unusual that companies have a landing page where they put attention on the core features that set their product apart, but a landing page can only contain so much information.
A good comparison article will go into detail with the products and flesh out the differences that set them apart. In some cases, a comparison article will simply act as a fleshed-out version of a well-constructed landing page.
3. Spreading/Proving Knowledge in the Field
A comparison article isn’t always going to be about your product specifically. You can also use them effectively to prove that you have knowledge in the field. Let’s say that you have a company that helps developers monitor their infrastructure. Then it would make sense to create a series of articles where you compare different monitoring solutions in the industry.
This will bring readers to your blog, even if they’re not looking for your product specifically. This is where you can then introduce the reader to your product in the form of a CTA.
Tips for Writing Technical Comparisons
Now that you know more about why you would even want to write comparisons in the first place, it’s time to get some tips on what makes a good comparison stand out.
1. Know Your Audience
Just like with the point on SEO, this is not something that’s very specific to technical comparisons, this is common no matter what article type you are writing. However, it’s worth mentioning anyway as this is crucial to a good article.
You can get very specific with who your audience is, but mainly you want to think about the experience level of the audience you are targeting. If you are targeting an audience of complete beginners, you need to remember that most points you talk about have to be followed by an explanation of why it’s important. This should also be the case when it’s an experienced audience, the varying factor is how much detail you can include.
2. Remember the Reasoning
Especially when you are writing a comparison, you need to remember the reasoning for what you write. There are many sites out there that will automatically pull a feature list of different products and present them in a table view. This can be useful if you know what you are looking for, but most of the time readers want to know why it’s better to use X technology over Y technology. That is something you won’t get from a table view of features.
3. Know the Goal of the Products
Once you start writing a comparison article, it’s easy to lose track of what the goal of the products is. Say you are writing an article comparing two products that can both analyze log statements. One of them is built for this exact purpose, and the other has had it added to an existing suite of features.
It’s important when writing a comparison that you never criticize any of the products you’re writing about. If a specific feature isn’t the core part of the product, that is worth mentioning, as it may then be better in other aspects. A good comparison doesn’t say “Use tool X because it’s the best”. A good comparison says “Use tool X if this is your use case, and use tool Y if this is your use case”. This is especially true if your product is part of the comparison, as it can otherwise quickly come off as a biased opinion.
4. Flesh out the Features
As stated earlier, a comparison can be thought of as a fleshed-out version of a good landing page. In a comparison, you have the ability to flesh out the different features more and cover exactly what aspects are good and which are not. This is again one of the reasons readers go to look at comparison articles, rather than a simple table view of features.
In the end, the main thing to think about when writing a comparison is to stay neutral. Some writers tend to think that a comparison article is about finding the best product, which is not quite true. It’s about arming the reader with enough knowledge that they can make that decision themselves, and in some cases, gently nudging the reader in the direction you want them in.
Hopefully, this helps you understand a bit better what it means to write a comparison, and why you would want to choose this content type over others. If you are looking for more opportunities to write these types of articles you can apply to our writer pool. Or, if you’re a business and you want help in producing these sorts of articles for you, you can schedule a discovery call.