If you shop online, it’s fair to say you probably read product reviews before deciding what to buy …and you’re not alone!
Surveys show 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Couple this with the fact that 72% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a business more and it’s clear - product reviews matter! So you should be using them as part of your affiliate marketing strategy.
Even though consumers look favourably on reviews, no one wants to feel tricked into buying a poor product. If you’re dishonest, you’ll find those all-important conversions will shrink, so putting out clear and honest opinions is the best way forward.
Keep it honest
One of the most effective ways to ensure continual conversions is to earn consumer trust and loyalty. Providing your honest opinion about products will give your site more authority as a trusted expert in your niche.
A great way to start is by reviewing products that you’re genuinely passionate about. Writing about what you know will give your reviews more authority and add a personal touch that customers will value.
Provide a list of pros and cons regarding the product. Even if there are more cons than pros, still include them! Remember, visitors are looking for genuine information so they can make their own mind up. If you have the physical product to hand, even better. Include your own imagery rather than using stock photography that can look unrealistic.
While sugar coating or giving good reviews to poor products might seem tempting for quick results, in the long term you’ll lose trust, sales and money. Nine out of 10 customers value a product review as much as a personal recommendation, so develop that trust and don’t lose it because of poor reviews.
Yes, honesty is the best policy when you write reviews but make sure you stand out too. Boring, “run of the mill” reviews won’t keep visitors on your page for long and there will be numerous other reviewers doing the same.
Think outside the box with product reviews. Rather than just flat text, give your review that personal touch. Include anecdotes and examples of how the product has changed your life. Make your reviews engaging with images and infographics which are much more attractive and likely to be shared.
You might even want to try video blogging or “vlogging” which is proven to improve conversions by 80%.
Eyes on the detail
Yes, you want to stand out and stay honest but don’t neglect the all-important details in your product reviews. If you want visitors to trust your opinion and ultimately convert, you need to be thorough with your details and show you know your products inside out.
Start with the basics and don’t over complicate things. What is the product? How does it work? Why do your visitors need it? Include detailed product descriptions, the technical “nitty gritty” and size dimensions too, if relevant.
Next, highlight how well the product performs compared to others. Write case studies that highlight your first-hand experiences. This is a great way to show off how the product has improved your life and may help answer customer queries too.
Don’t neglect grammar and layout
As an affiliate and a representative of your partners and advertisers, nothing screams unprofessional more than bad grammar and poor layout. You can write the most honest and eye-catching review but if it’s poorly written, none of that will matter.
Always proofread your content. Print out what you’ve written and check it over – it’s much easier than proofreading on screen. Make sure what you write is consistent too. Use the correct text formatting and subheadings throughout, split up blocks of text and add bullet points, so your review is easy to read.
Remember, you are creating your own online personality, so make it the best it can be.
Product reviews done properly
Writing product reviews is a proven affiliate marketing technique that will help improve your conversions when done properly. Resist the temptation to give every product a five-star review just to get a sale - this tactic will only have a negative effect on your credibility in the long run.
All your visitors want is a genuine and honest review about a product they are already interested in. It’s that simple but don’t take it for granted.
By Phil Coleman, head of optimisation and customer experience at ClickSure
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