Do you want to help customers find the best product or service for their needs? Comparison websites solve these problems for people efficiently and quickly while earning money. It’s a win-win situation for the customer, the comparison website, and the provider listed on the site. So how to build an excellent comparison website? In the following paragraphs, we will cover some of the main points and give you tips on starting.
In our case, we build a comparison website for brokerages that allow you to trade financial markets. The whole website is one big database that will enable clients to select features they want in a broker. Therefore, the main objective is to build that database and this entails knowing the features which clients desire for a particular service.
There are several options which you can choose when it comes to developing a website – paying a developer to develop it from scratch for you which is very costly and if you don’t have sufficient funds to invest or the income, it could prove difficult to sustain. Even something like an MVP can cost tens of thousands of dollars to develop.
Here is where solutions such as WordPress and other online website creators can help you in developing something which functions at a fraction of the cost. Some plugin costs and potentially paying someone who is experienced in using WordPress can lead to a good enough MVP to test live with customers and see whether your idea will bring you money.
Picking the right design for the website – make sure that you pay a good designer to make the design of the website. Here it’s important to get proposals from a few designers and to get some feedback from potential users. Only then will you be able to select the best solution.
The development process for such a complex website may sometimes take months. Even once you launch, it is likely that improvements will need to be made, but we will discuss how to make adjustments based on customer interaction later in the article.
While the website is being developed and tested, it is recommended to start generating content for the website which can increase organic traffic from google. A few plugins, such as Yoast, can help you to write and optimize the content on the website for SEO. Again, to get the best functionality you might have to pay for the professional version of the plugin, but it will be worth it.
Once the content and the website are up and running, if you are going to bet on SEO, it will be important to place dofollow links to your website in order to increase domain authority and go up in the google rankings.
To do that you can hire an agency – which will cost you a lot. The other option is to do it in-house. This means buying a separate domain from which you can cold email other website owners and ask them to place content on their websites. But before you even send an email, you will need to warm up that new domain which means sending emails and receiving replies. By warming a domain you make sure that your emails won’t end up in spam and more people will see and reply to them. There are tools out there to help you do that, and while some of them cost money, QuickMail has a free domain warming tool available. It usually takes about a month of using it to get the domain to a save level where you can start your email campaign.
To run the campaign again there are paid tools, and QuickMail offers that, however, Hunder.io offers their email campaign solution for free and you can fully automate all emails. By doing this, you will only have to deal with replies that you receive.
This means that as long as you have leads for your email campaign, you can do it all for free – obviously, apart from paying for the new domain and a subscription for Gmail/outlook. If you don’t have a list of leads, you can find list builders and lead verifiers on Fiverr which are cheap.
Your website is up and running, you are running your marketing campaign, and you can see traffic, but there is no conversion. What is wrong?
Well, unless you implement something that monitors customer interaction with the website, it will be tough to know.
As you may have guessed there are solutions which can help you with that and one of them is called hotjar. Hotjar essentially records customer sessions and you can see where they clicked and how they interacted with the website. There is a free tier which might be sufficient in some cases even though it has limitations in terms of the number of sessions recorded and recording time.
Seeing where the customer drops could lead to highlighting problems with the design or how the website performs. This allows you to make changes in order to enhance customer experience and conversion.
Furthermore, when it comes to SEO, it’s important to optimize the speed of your website. So, these steps are important not only for the experience of the customer but also for your Google rankings.
We mentioned conversion in some of the previous paragraphs, and I bet you are thinking – ‘What conversion? How does that website make money?’.
Well, here it is, people – the big secret. Comparison websites tend to have deals with the vendors which are listed. What that means is that if you click on a link on the comparison website which takes you to the website of the other company, most likely the comparison website will earn a commission once you sign up.
This may raise concerns with some clients, but the commission is paid by the company which gets the client, not by the client. These companies have customer acquisition costs and are happy to pay someone else if they bring them a client.
Other revenue streams may include running some sort of subscriptions/newsletter for clients. Selling ad space etc.
And there you have it, a big general guide on how to launch a comparison website, do an SEO marketing campaign, optimize the website, and how generate revenue.