How to Write a Good Product Review That Sells.

Let’s say you purchased a product that you wish to write a review on for your website and the goal is to sell it or you’re just adding new content to your site. What would determine how well it sells?

Well in my experience, after writing a ton of reviews, seeing which ones sell and which ones don’t, I have determined 5 elements are necessary for you to have a successfully written product review. You can also call them reports if you want…

Element 1: You know a lot or everything about the product. 

Do you buy things from Amazon? If you do, how often do you read what people post on them? Every time I buy a something there, I ALWAYS read them.

How does element 1 play a role here? Well when you’re personally filtering through other people’s comments on whatever you’re buying, do you have a moment where you stop and read the whole thing?

I always do and what stops me and probably you as well on that one comment you saw is that you immediately can tell that the person who writes it knows their stuff.

Now if that same person were writing a report on their site and selling it, you, being the reader would take a much longer time to read it. The longer you read it, the more chances you would buy it.

Element 2: It’s informative.

Well duh on one hand, but seriously, how informative are the reviews that you read online? Most of them suck frankly! 

I do my best to always know about what I’m writing and that’s a sentence that’s a lot deeper than you may think. Let’s say you write a review on a sneaker:

Knowing about the sneaker from the most general point of view such as how it looks, how comfortable it is, repeating other known information is one thing and frankly, it’s dull stuff.

However, if you wore that shoe, if you know about the benefits of it, the fabric, if you have a personal story of how it helped/hurt you, these are things that bring color to your review and naturally attract readers. 

Element 2 builds of the first, because when you know the topic, you can easily make it more informative. 

Element 3: There’s pictures and visual content and it’s placed properly.

I may sound hypocritical here because I tend to not post a lot of pictures on certain types of articles I write, such as information posts, but I do tend to put more of them on products I review.

It’s simple:

  • If you buy something that’s digital, the best way to express what you’re writing about visually is to take screenshots of it.
  • If you purchased something physical online, take pictures of it with a camera and put it in the report.

But I have made several posts in the past where I warn people not to “over decorate” their site/articles because there is a point where too many pictures or videos or any sort of media in large amounts hurts the readers eyes and they stop focusing on the content. 

I typically only add pictures right near the sections of a product review where an important point is made and usually that picture is either centered (if it’s too large to fit on the side) or on the right side of the text. If I want to show people that something happened when I used so and so item, I will take a picture for each corresponding scenario and add it the area in my review where it correlates. 

Element 4: There’s good link placement!

Throughout a review, it becomes necessary to link people somewhere. If you’re promoting the item, you’ve got to find the right places to:

  • Tell people that they can buy it here.
  • Make it easy for them to see it and not have the guessing how to get it.

The ways to do this in a product review are to:

Provide an official picture of the item you’re selling. Typically readers can associate that an official picture means it’s a link to an official place where they can buy it. On Amazon, every item I promote includes at least one official picture. I personally add 1 of these pictures with a link at the very top of my articles.

Within the content I write, usually after I state a benefit of the item I am reporting on, I will add an H3 call to action link that obviously stands out and let’s people know that HERE is where you can get it. Like pictures, I do not put up too many links in an article.

Now it becomes a little bit different if the product review you’re doing isn’t actually selling it, but steering people into a different one that you are. In those cases, you would want to leave out the official image (unless it’s a screenshot) or any link to the product within the article but the same H3 headings you used to lead to a product’s page originally, you would now link to your other item/s you’re selling. 

Note: And on another note, H3 headings don’t necessarily need to be used as links. You can and should be using them as chains to keep people reading your content.

As you can see in this article, every single H3 heading attracts the eyes and keeps the reader going. This technique increases visitor stay on your site (Also known as bounce rates).

Element 5: You ask for feedback on what you wrote and encourage sharing.

Usually a well written article will get the views and a long enough visitor stay to increase sales, but if you typically do not ask people to share their thoughts on what you wrote, share if they’ve tried the same item you’re reviewing, they won’t. So just start doing it and you really want to do this at the end of your article.

In addition to your actual report, people, like they do on Amazon will want to read comments and if you have more of those, it really improves sales and authenticity in your article.

How I structure my personal product reports that contain all 5 elements: 

Let’s say I am reviewing a make money online program of some kind:

First I introduce people to it by giving a quick report. I include things like price, who made it, what I rate it, ect… and this typically is only a few sentences. I also let them know that I am an expert in this (which I am).

Then I write about what it is, but I summarize this part. I always put a section in my product reports where I say “so and so program in a nutshell”. Readers who see the word nutshell understand right away that they’ll quickly learn about it and that keeps them on the page.

Then I go into what’s inside the program. I’ll always add screenshots of a members area, explain what kind of content is inside, go into details what they’ll learn, ect… 

Then I’ll explain if the program works. Usually a screenshot of you making money through it is enough and explaining a story on what happened will really work well, but typically, in the make money online niche, lots of products are absolutely terrible in what they teach so when I write about one where I didn’t use the exact strategy from the program but used one like it, that’s enough to let the reader know.

Let’s say one of these articles talks about a program where the strategy talks about backlinks. I know backlinks can be terrible and I have a personal story on how doing that failed for me, so that’s what I would share with them. Would I really have to redo the same failed strategy to prove it over when I already have past proof? Obviously not.

A pros and cons section. Some people place these very early on in their reviews but I like to do it towards the end. Make these short, but easily understandable. Even on items you promote, if you decide to add a pros and cons section, make sure to add at least 1 or more cons as it adds honesty.

I give what I call a “final rating”. Here I can use icons like stars, flags, colors to let people know if I liked the program or not. And by the way in the beginning of my articles, I do also let readers know about my rating, but briefly.

I then provide a summary of my review through a “my final thoughts” section. Here I’ll briefly reexplain the most important points of the program and why I liked or didn’t like it. 

This also gives me a great opportunity to either provide a link to the product or link to one that is better. 

Would the same strategy work in a different niche?

Absolutely. Obviously, you’d have to change the wording, but the basic structure remains the same.

  • You always want to give people a brief report quickly on the item and explain your knowledge of it to give credibility.
  • Follow that up with some sort of summary of it.
  • Then maybe share a personal story on it. Maybe you tried this before, maybe it worked, maybe it didn’t? 
  • Then add the pros and cons.
  • Finally give it some kind of rating before doing a…
  • Final recommendation or link to something better.

This is my personal opinion of what a good product report should have! If you have personal way you write these kinds of articles and you find that your style leads to a lot of conversions, I would love to know about it!

honest review

22 Comments

  1. expedientdreams

    I have to agree with your format I also write reviews on products I always add that I only review products I have tried, used or have been a member of. I feel that way the reader will know that I have some authority on the subject. Nothing worse than reviews I have seen when they knock the item down without even trying it.

    • Vitaliy

      There’s a limit to that stuff and while I agree you should try it, experience in trying something like what you’re reviewing is a big deal in recommending or not recommending it.

      For example, if I had tried black hat tools for internet marketing and know how it always fails, then discover a new program that teaches to use black hat tools, there’s no point in me trying it when I already know how it’ll turn out.

      So in those circumstances, I share with the reader what happened when I used something like it and to expect the same.

  2. Moritz

    Hi Vitaliy,

    While I use a similar structure as you, there are still some things I can improve.

    I used to put the pros and cons more at the beginning. Will see what happens when I put them at the end. Testing different things is always good.

    Bringing in my personal experience with the products in the review is also great advice!

    I often describe products in detail, but don’t write that much about my personal experience.

    One question, though.

    I see that you are mostly using text and image links. How do you feel about adding buttons for affiliate links?

    Do you know a good place where I can get those buttons from, if I don’t want to create them manually?

    Thanks

    Moritz

    • Vitaliy

      I usually use H3 headings for links, either linking to another page or to an affiliate page. I sometimes use images, but as for buttons specifically, I don’t use anything specific, I just my own image. If you need an example of this, the banner underneath the post shows this.

  3. Derek Marshall

    Hi there Vitaliy,

    Wow! Thanks for making and sharing this with us. I really needed that refresher on what really constitutes a quality and good converting review.

    Noting these elements and applying them to my niche to see if I can improve my conversion. Clearer, more visible calls to action I think are required.

    Just out of interest what kind of wording do you use or suggest using for CTA’s?

  4. Crystaldakini

    Vitaly, You did a great job of sharing the essential steps for a believable review. Liked the clarity and the details. Like the specific instruction of a summary in the beginning and a rating at the end with your final thoughts about the product/service in question. My question is can I use this model for any kind of review?

    • Vitaliy

      For most reviews, yes Crystal. I do use this format for my other niche sites and do get sales as well. The point of any good review is to let people know if the product is good or bad right away, then explain why while also hinting at why you’re the right person to review it.

      You can back that up with a personal story on the product or knowledge in the field, but let them know why they should believe you. The other things about bullet points, pros, cons, big headings, ect… are things you will figure out on where and how to put in within that main idea.

  5. Michael

    I absolutely love this! I really like the idea of a pros and cons section towards the end of the page. I always find it hard to write a con about something I’m promoting though. I know you said it adds honesty but I’m scared of it scaring people off. Thanks for the suggestions! Good read!

    • Vitaliy

      I have also had this belief before Michael, but what I advise is testing if adding a cons section to your promotion makes you more or less sales.

  6. Ashley

    I really loved this post, I think it’s really going to help me to write a review properly.
    I have one question, though it may seem a bit off-topic.

    Someone was telling me recently that while looking for reviews on Google, he tends to click on the ones that have a picture with the author, his name and the rating of the product. I realized he was talking about Google Authorship, which I know isn’t a very important factor in SEO anymore.

    But thinking about it, I guess he was right. As I reader, I would also click first on a review that seems to be written by a “real” person, so I guess that’s how everyone thinks.

    I tried to set up with Google Authorship, it didn’t work, I found a lot of tips and stuff but all from the period when Authorship was still important.

    Anyway, what I wanted to ask you is if you use Authorship. Do you think it gives “a good impression” to readers? Because I do, but I’m don’t know too much about it…

    • Vitaliy

      Hi Ashley, the authorship you’re referring to no longer appears on Google. As for ratings on products, you can install plugins that will show the rating of a product right on the search engine’s results. I am not sure which plugin is best for this, but I do know there are quite a few.

  7. Sweeney

    Love it! Great helpful hints. Links are easy. Credibility takes work, and that means content. Thanks for the info, and your explanation was super thorough. I also like that variety is key in posts (not all links, not all pictures, not all wordage). This will definitely be helpful as I review costumes for my site because it transfers for sure! Work. work. work: That’s what I’m doing.

  8. David

    It is interesting that one of your elements is looking for comments. What I do now, is ask for the comments if there are any, using a h3 header, then my article stops. One thing I do different to you, is have a lot more things mentioned in my right hand sidebar. Basically I include the list of posts (omitting some standard ones, eg the privacy page), the last twenty articles I wrote, my categories along with advertising.

    • Vitaliy

      Yeah the thing you’re talking about is a default widget on most WP sites David which shows recent blog posts. It can definitely get help people explore your site better.

  9. Hayder Hassan

    You absolutely mention the most important elements in writing a review about any product you are about to promote in your website. To know the product you have to use it (Buy or Rent it). Be neutral tell about what you liked and what you didn’t like about the product. Compare it with similar products available to buyers. Don`t forget to write a conclusion summarizing the benefits and pitfalls of the product.

  10. Denise

    Great idea about writing a review. Many reviews I’ve read skip and go right through the introduction of the product, pro and con to the selling part of the review. It sounds kind of like what a sales person will do.

    I am working on the video aspects of my reviews but for now I try to use images and links properly.

    You’re right about encouraging readers to leave comments and share the post because the more people that have access to your review the better it will convert.

  11. Andrew G

    I sure wish i would have have these tips already down when I was doing a massive amount of reviews at one time for a particular niche, and since it seems that products will always be full swing as far as we can see, these guidelines will not change any time soon. I will be able to implement these now whenever something new does come up.

  12. Marcus

    Images and videos definitely bring any website content to life, including a product review. People like to see colors and having images with break up the text as well. Videos are good because some people won’t even want to bother reading the text and will prefer to just sit back and watch a video instead. It’s good to take screenshots of digital products, as you say because this can demonstrate what they are like on the inside. A good program I use for taking screenshots is Lightshot. Have you ever used that?

  13. Mark

    Hey that’s a great breakdown of what a product review should be all about. However one thing you didn’t mention, which has increased my clickthrough rate (CTR) was a video. In some cases a video may not be warranted, but in most cases it has proved to be highly effective. What are you thoughts on inserting videos in product reviews?

    • Vitaliy

      I try to keep a textual and video review separate Mark because if they review the same thing, and say the same things, it becomes unnecessary to have them both on the same page, plus people can click on the video and leave the page.

      What I do sometimes do is make videos and link them to the text review. That can work.

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