Capterra VS G2: Which one should you focus on?

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The Capterra VS G2 debate is not an easy one to settle. 

This post aims at pointing out the main differences between the two platforms.

#1 Capterra, Getapp, and SoftwareAdvice all share the same reviews

Yes, you read that right. If you get a review on Capterra, you’re effectively getting a review on 3 review platforms instead of one.

You’re also getting badges from all 3 platforms if you get enough reviews to be eligible.

Depending on your industry, your clients may, or may not know this. 

And it’s easy enough not to tell them and let them believe you’re huge on 3 separate review platforms. 

#2 You can pay to play on both platforms now, but with vastly different systems

Also a little known fact, you can now sponsor content on g2. 

Which is a fancy way of saying you can buy your way to the top 3 of any category. 

G2 prices those sponsored spots at a few thousand dollars per quarter, on top of a yearly G2 subscription, starting at $10K / year.

On the Gartner platforms, you can buy clicks, and manage your budget. Gartner offers a bid management interface where you can define bids for each category, website – Capterra, SoftwareAdvice, or GetApp – and country.

Overall, you can be quite precise in your targeting on Capterra, and you can definitely get away with being top 3 for a few hundred dollars a month, with the ability to increase or decrease your exposure at any time.

#3 Capterra & G2 have very different traffic strategies

Really it comes down to what they’re selling.

As much as Capterra has been trying to branch out of it, they’re a click-selling business, and they sell clicks to performance marketers who keep a close eye on conversion rates into leads.

And the keywords that work great to generate this sort of traffic are category keywords. Benchmark intentions basically. Things like “Best review management software”. 

Gartner’s websites are middle men able to capture this traffic with a strong benchmark promise, and redistribute that traffic to the highest bidder. 

G2 has a very different sales strategy. They sell “intent data”. 

As a consequence they also have a very different strategy to acquire traffic.

Brand squatting represents the vast majority of their traffic, with massive brands like Trello or Salesforce sending hundreds of reviews their way each week, pleasing the Google gods hungry for fresh content. 

Google any big software brand, and g2 will likely be very close to the top 3.

Either with a comparison page, or with a reviews list page.

You can even see G2 sales reps sometimes pitching this as a sales argument sometimes. As if feeding g2’s SEO (and intent data) was in your company’s interest somehow.

Long story short, you won’t get incremental traffic from G2. 

But you’ll probably get leads, and you’ll often hear people tell you they checked you out on G2, especially if you’re selling into the software industry.

Capterra & G2 share 30% of their keywords according to Ahrefs. But interestingly, when you filter by ahrefs’ “keyword difficulty” to look at the most competitive keywords each site ranks top 10 on, you get… very different results

Here are the results from in the US

Hardcore software categories, bottom of funnel, high intent keywords. What you’d expect from someone selling traffic right?

And now the results from G2:

Junk, basically.

Don’t get me wrong, g2 as a product is excellent, and there are a million reasons why they are having the success they’re having. But the quality of their SEO traffic definitely isn’t one.

#4 Geographies

You might have read online that g2 is stronger in the US, and Capterra stronger elsewhere.

If there’s any truth to that, it doesn’t show on the data. In fact Capterra alone appears to be bigger than G2 in the US.

Source: SimilarWeb

I should add that Capterra runs a pretty impressive list of TLD domains for each region. For example for French speaking countries gets around 800 000 visits / month. 

#5 Capterra & G2 audiences

Capterra and the other Gartner review sites are much older platforms and have acquired an incomparable footprint to that of G2. 

So why is G2 getting all the love on Linkedin then?

I think it’s one of those “startup bubble” effects. 

And in their defense, their marketing was brilliant. 

There’s usually strong bias against where the actual volume and business is in the startup communities. As much as it sounds cool to sell to SaaS companies & startups, most businesses in the world are not SaaS companies and startups.

Gartner speaks to the massive number of companies that buy software regularly around the world. In fact, Gartner visitors are probably more transactional in nature, and more used to buying software, coming from high intent benchmarking keywords rather than Linkedin posts and Youtube videos.

So basically if you’re selling into a very tech-savvy market, g2 is probably the safest bet. And if you’re selling into an SMB, not-so-tech-savvy market, the gartner digital markets are definitely the way to go.

#6 Why you should focus on both

Hear me out. 

This isn’t a “Everyone wins” sort of pitch.

Both platforms want you to believe that reviews are the ranking currency. 

The reason for that is that getting more reviews means more content, which means they get to rank higher on Google.

You, however, do not get much of anything out of it.

On G2, I published a post recently about the g2 ranking factors. Unsurprisingly for anyone who’s spent enough time on g2, company size is basically the biggest ranking factor. 

If you’re fighting against big companies, you can send as many reviews as you’d like, you won’t outrank them. Ever. 

You can, however, buy your way to the top 3. 

And look good. 

Looking good basically consists of getting 100-ish reviews, and consistently having 3 – 4 recent 5 star reviews, and replying to any “meh” review.

Similar story on Capterra: you can buy your way into the top 5 or top 3 very easily. And usually it won’t be all that expensive. 

So all you have to do on both platforms is get listed on the right your categories, look good (i.e. get 3 – 4 good reviews every month) and pay to play.

And keep your review requests for platforms where you can’t pay to play, like the Salesforce AppExchange, Hubspot marketplace, WordPress plugins marketplace, etc. 

Where reviews are the actual ranking currency.

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