Versus-style blog articles: why you need to write them

Versus-style blog articles: why you need to write themA friend of mine was recently considering one of two Toyota models to buy – the Camry and the Avalon. What’s the first resource people use when researching everything? Yep, Google. So, he typed “Camry vs Avalon” into Google. Like me, this friend lives in Madison, Wisconsin, but the first search result he received from Google was an auto dealership in New Jersey. Why would that be? In our area of Madison, WI, we have local choices for buying a Toyota, so why didn’t one of them show up first? In fact, none from Wisconsin even showed up on the first page. At the end of this article, you’ll find our free offer to help so your business can draw more visitors to your website, and eventually earn Google first-page status. Let’s get started with our discussion on versus-style blog articles: why you need to write them.

Estimated reading time – 4 minutes

The appeal of versus-style blog articles

Versus-style blog articles appeal to the part of our brain that wants to put things in rank order. We all like to know where things stand against their peer group, and that’s why every magazine and newspaper in existence features Top 10 lists or Best of 2014 lists. This also applies to “Best Places to Live,” “Best Places to Retire,” etc. that show up annually to help sell these publications.

Versus-style blog articles use a best-of methodology and refine it to be even more specific. Typically it’s a two-way (or possibly three-way) comparison of things that are closely related. Once we’ve read a versus-style blog article, we will know the distinct differences of the things being compared. So how does this apply to my friend searching for the Toyota?

Versus-style blog articles help you capture virtual real estate

So, “Camry vs Avalon” shows a Wisconsin-based Google searcher an auto dealership in New Jersey. Why? They wrote the best and most relevant article before anyone else. Look at the websites from much, much larger businesses they outrank with the #1 spot from Google on this query –

  • Autotrader.com
  • Toyota.com (!?!)
  • Cars.com

Simply put, Google has one purpose with its search function – give its users the best answer to the question they propose. The auto dealership in New Jersey wrote this article, and planted their flag firmly at the top of the Camry vs Avalon search query hill.

Now, this shouldn’t dissuade local dealerships in Wisconsin to write a similar article to appeal to my friend. However, these local dealerships need to be aware that there’s already an article occupying that top spot. Since that article is the #1 search result, it gets more important every day. Why? This very lengthy research project from Moz.com (one of the most well-respected companies on search engines) sums it up this way –

Moz #1 Google search results

Source: Moz.com

“The #1 Google search result is clicked on 31.24% of the time, while 71.33% of the searches from the first page result in a click.”

So, when your website appears as the first search result – or at least on the first page – you have a drastically better chance of having the visitor come to your website. Google will reward you for these clicks by making your website even more relevant, and it will be that much more difficult to unseat you from the search query throne.

Versus-style blog articles and your business

How can you use versus-style blog articles to your advantage in your business? Think about questions you’re asked by customers that could be framed in that fashion, and start crafting the response. Here’s a key – it should not be an opinion piece. If you read the Camry vs Avalon article from above, you’ll see it doesn’t say, “Buy the Camry (or Avalon).” It’s written to teach the buyer so he or she knows the distinct differences of each vehicle. This buyer can then make an educated buying decision. So…

  • If you’re an accountant, consider writing something like, “LLCs vs S-corps: what you need to know.”
  • If you’re an attorney in Wisconsin, consider writing, “Wisconsin trusts vs Wisconsin estates: what’s the difference?”
  • If you’re an Teaching-Based Marketing consultant, you might write, “FAQ vs Blog: why your website needs both.” In fact, here’s a link to that article Yours truly wrote recently if you’d like to read it.
Spencer X Smith

Spencer helps you save time through teaching digital marketing and social media strategies in plain English, after proving they actually work for himself first. He also is an instructor at the University of Wisconsin and a columnist for InBusiness.

>