Before you commit to buying a product, do you read online reviews of it? Millions of people do, relying on reviews to reveal the truth behind manufacturers’ and advertisers’ claims. This, combined with the availability of affiliate links for just about every product under the sun, means that more and more people are interested in how to write a product review.
A carefully structured, honest product review can be a powerful tool in convincing someone to buy that item. Or, indeed, not to buy that item but to opt for an alternative. If you want to start writing product reviews or to create your own product review template, read on!
Step #1 – Develop the Right Mindset
Before you write a single word, think about why people are going to read your product review. It’s because they want genuine, honest insights into how the product works, whether it will meet their needs and if it offers good value for money.
The internet is littered with glowing product reviews that exist purely to make money for those writing them – or for the product seller who paid the reviewers to write them. Those that stand out are the ones that provide real, trustworthy feedback – the ‘warts and all’ reviews that make readers feel they are being given genuine, useful information.
It’s important not to make your review sound salesy. You’re not promoting the product, per se, but reviewing it. If all the reader wants is a list of features and claims about what the product can do, they’ll look on the manufacturer’s website. Remember that they’re reading your review because they want to understand how the product works in real life and how all that sales talk translates into everyday use.
Step #2 – Structure Your Review
A powerful product review needs to be well structured. You can either develop your own product review template for this or use a tool such as a WordPress product review plugin, which comes with all sorts of snazzy review features like ratings, pros and cons and rich snippets.
Let’s assume, for now, that you’re working on the product review structure yourself. A strong template will look something like this:
Start by summarising what the product is, how you rate it and what its pros and cons are. Research shows that you have about 15 seconds to capture a reader’s interest when they click on your webpage. That means your review needs to deliver enough short, snappy information in 15 seconds to catch the reader’s attention and hook them into reading it in full.
Graphics and icons can play a big role here. Star ratings and scores out of ten are easy to present visually and of course you’ll want an affiliate button with a call to action (go for ‘discover more’ or ‘try [product name] for yourself’ rather than ‘buy now’).
This is your chance to provide a quick overview of the product and what it’s for. You can also hint at what’s to come in terms of your experience, encouraging the reader to keep reading to find out more.
Be sure to use plenty of images in the introduction and, indeed, throughout the review. Images showing the product in use will benefit the reader most. Remember that their goal is to uncover what the product is like in real life; images play a powerful role in demonstrating this.
Adding an image after every third or fourth paragraph will also avoid great walls of text and keep the review visually appealing.
iii. The Review Itself
This is where you can get into the real nitty gritty of what the product is like. Walk the reader through your experience in plenty of detail, but keep the tone engaging and relatable. Too much technical jargon can be off-putting. Ask questions as you go, to prompt the reader to see how the product could benefit them.
Honesty is absolutely essential here. Your product review should provide a genuine record of your experience using the product – this is the cornerstone of how to write a product review that truly speaks to and engages the reader (and if you achieve that, they’re much more likely to click your affiliate link when it comes to time to buy).
It’s a great idea to inject some personality and personal experience here. Why did you use the product? Did you have a problem that needed solving? Share the details and the reader will likely relate – and be more inclined to rely on your views as a result.
iv. Pros and Cons
After you’ve reviewed the product in full, summarise the pros and cons, to provide the reader with a quick recap. This section is also handy for grabbing the interest of those who scroll through your article during that all important 15 seconds or so that you have to capture their attention when they first visit your webpage.
Be open about the product’s cons as well as its pros. A review that doesn’t say anything negative at all won’t feel to the reader like its genuine. They need to see the product from all angles, including what it does less well, as well as what it does brilliantly.
For most of us, pricing plays an important role in the choice of products that we buy. As such, be sure to talk about the price during your review. Remember though, don’t just list the cost, but talk about whether or not you feel the product delivers good value for money at that price – that’s what the reader needs to know.
This section is also a good place for a mid-review call to action (CTA) button. You don’t want too many of these on the page or it will look too much like a hard sell. One at the top, one near the middle and one at the end should suffice.
vi. Comparison Table
Consumers usually have a range of options to choose from, so it’s worth looking at how the product you’re reviewing compares to others on the market. A comparison table is a neat and visually enticing way to do so. You can compare the key features, advantages and disadvantages of the product you’ve reviewed with those of its main competitors. It’s well worth including prices in comparison tables too.
This is a great opportunity to link to other reviews that you’ve written for comparable products. Doing so delivers additional value to the reader who’s still undecided about their purchase. You could also include an affiliate link for each product!
Don’t worry, you’re nearly done! All that remains is to sum up your review in a quick, succinct conclusion. You can reiterate the products pros and cons and share your overall opinion of the product. Providing a star rating out of five or a numerical rating out of ten is a nice touch here.
This is also the place to include your final CTA button.
Step #3 – Make Your Review More Exciting
Those are the basics of how to write a product review, but there’s plenty more that you can do to make your review stand out from the crowd.
Firstly, why not record a quick video of the review? Plenty of ‘readers’ would rather absorb your content by watching, so by making a video you’re catering to those who want to watch and listen to your review as well as those who want to read it.
Next, how about including some quotes from other reviews? Many buyers like to read several reviews when they research a product. By quoting snippets of reviews from Trustpilot or other respected sources, you can help the reader to find all they need in one place, meaning they won’t have to visit other sites.
It’s also worth considering including a buying guide section. This applies particularly if the product has numerous different versions. A quick overview of the different specs and prices can be really useful for those who are still making up their minds about precisely which version to purchase. Just be sure that it adds value over and above the details listed on the manufacturer’s site. You could list what kind of buyer each version might suit, for example.
There’s plenty more that you can do to make your product review more exciting. The more visual interest you can add, the more enticing the page will be for the reader. Think about how you can use icons, images and columns to present some of the review information in a more engaging format, rather than just as paragraph after paragraph of text.
By now, you should be clear on how to write a product review and why honesty is such an essential part of the process. Saying something negative about a product doesn’t mean people will immediately abandon your review. If anything, they’re likely to trust your opinion more, as a result of your candour.
Once you’ve created your own product review template, you can get to work writing detailed, helpful reviews based on your real-world experience of using various products. By providing the right combination of honest feedback, images and helpful facts, you’ll deliver reviews that provide readers with precisely what they’re searching for.