Do you use product reviews to increase rankings and attract visitors?
Here is our pick of perfect pointers for optimising your product review pages.
Let’s get started. Dive straight in for all the background or hop straight to the bit that floats your boat.
- Learn about user journeys
- Understand commercial intent
- What is a Product Reviews Page
- How to write quality product reviews
Surf the web
OK, no one has said that since they typed it into msn messenger. Maybe not even then. But the concept still holds water.
When people head to the internet in search of answers, they tend to be in one of a few different places in their journey.
Just like real surfing. Some will be catching waves.
Others, out the back, will be gazing towards the horizon, monitoring the swell.
Some will be paddling out through the crashing white water.
And a few will be on sat on the beach still trying to work out what to do.
Probably hitting YouTube for tutorials.
Or reading up on the best equipment for beginners.
We’ll get to that next. Because it’s exactly those people we are interested in.
Magical mystery tour
You see, finding all the information doesn’t always take the most direct route.
Search queries tend to be quite broad at first. And people hop around.
Before honing in on that niche or particular product. Often with laser accuracy.
So what does that look like in search terms?
Well, there are 4 main types of search intent:
But for now, let’s explore the ‘Commercial’ stage. Because that’s where this little long-tailed well of web visitors now takes us.
The commercial intent stage is where
“the user is looking for a specific type of product or service but has yet to decide what solution is right for them. They’re likely to be looking at reviews and comparisons to weigh up their options.”
You’ve been there before.
Think back to the last time you were searching for the ideal motivator to match that new pandemic Peloton.
How could you not be tempted to click
“The Top 10 Best Peloton Instructors For Every Workout Vibe”
It’s ok. You’re not alone. (Peloton has almost 6 million members).
But that’s not the point. You’re not alone because literally everyone heads to review articles when it comes to fine tuning that product purchase.
Feel the need to look your best down the allotment? Then where better to go than straight to “20 of the most stylish gardening gloves in 2022″
In a world with an overwhelming amount of options, you’d be foolish not to, right?
What is a Product Review Page?
Product reviews are pages of content that contain useful and helpful information in an effort to help a user make a purchase decision.
They share findings and reviews from in-depth research, testing, and experimentation.
And so, for many years, clever marketers have used such a content strategy to entice readers along to their web pages.
This wonderful wilderness of opportunity has remained relatively unregulated until recently.
That’s not to say the content on high performing pages would’ve been poor. Especially if it ranked well in the first place.
The content, and website in general, would’ve needed to satisfy the scrutiny of several Googlebots.
However, recognising the influence of such posts, Google wants more.
So much more in fact, that the search juggernaut has created ‘best practices’ for creating high quality product reviews.
A recent algorithm update has been unleashed on just this subject, so it’s worth us paying extra attention.
Let’s dive in and see what’s expected of you.
Write high quality product reviews
You can read Google’s full guidance here but let’s briefly summarise a few key points
- Test things for real. Provide evidence.
- Go beyond product descriptions.
- Recommend multiple sources.
#1 Test things for real
Google is keen to make sure that your reviews are legit. That you, as the publisher, can vouch for having properly tested things. In the flesh.
Provide evidence of your testing. Photos, videos, scorecards, previous reviews. Anything that demonstrates your previous experience with the product or service.
This might prove difficult if the things you’re reviewing are particularly expensive. High end mountain bikes, for instance.
But that’s where your outreach strategy comes into play. If you’re good at what you do and have an existing audience, brands and retailers might be interested to hear from you. They might be able to let you test out the product, in return for a review.
Hey, it’s how food bloggers do it. What, you really think they pay for all that grub on Diners Club?
Careful though, Google also encourages impartiality…
#2 Go beyond descriptions
Demonstrate your authentic unique evaluation by explaining how the product compares using different contexts.
Go beyond product descriptions and specifications that can be found on each product page.
A good way to do this would be to explain how the product might suit different people, or different situations, compared to the others on the market.
Start by identifying some real-world criteria that wouldn’t typically get listed in the ‘specs’ but would have a significant impact on a user’s purchase decision.
- For example,
- What will you be using it for?
- How often will it be used?
- How easy is it to get spare parts?
- What is the environmental impact?
- How much energy does it use?
- What’s the sound quality like?
- How difficult is it to clean?
- How important is the brand image?
Or perhaps you could explore the evolution of the model. What has changed compared to the previous release, and why? How have other competitors tackled the same issues?
#3 Recommend multiple sources
This last one is all about putting the user first.
It’s no secret that search rankings reward websites that provide unique, helpful, user-centric content.
Someone is looking for unbiased, informative content to help them make a purchase decision.
And so it seems reasonable to expect a couple of things in addition to your expert opinion.
You’d also likely want to see a link to buy the product (Ideally multiple vendors).
And to help the user even more, why not link to other useful reviews.
This could be about the product, category, or something laterally interesting.
For example, someone that is interested in the top ten tents for backpacking might also be interested in the best backpacking quilts.
Even more authentic advice
#1 Full disclosure
You might’ve noticed a lot of the best performing review pages have a little disclaimer somewhere on the page. This is no coincidence.
Here’s a couple of examples from cleverhiker.com”
“We own and use all of the backpacking tents we recommend”
“Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, which means we may receive a modest commission if purchases are made through those links. This adds no cost to our readers and helps us keep our site up and running. Our reputation is our most important asset, which is why we only provide completely honest and unbiased recommendations.”
#2 Add a biography
It helps position you as an expert and justifies why you have the authority to review such products. You don’t have to have a PhD. You could just be a keen runner, extreme hobbyist, or attentive nerd.
#3 Use the comments section
“Let us know what you think in the comments.”
Just like on YouTube, and LinkedIn, comments mean the most.
So actively encourage, and engage, with comments on your site.
It helps to drive traffic, nurture a community, and position you as an industry leader.
This is just the beginning
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