Product review guide will help you to increase your sales conversion on your affiliate website.
Jumpstarting your website is the easy part in affiliate marketing.
You only need to establish your domain and hosting, install your content management system, which is usually WordPress, publish effective content about your niche, and add the corresponding affiliate links and sidebar advertisements. After that, you’re all set to drive.
The real challenge then is generating steady income out of your content. To do this, you must have the skill and perseverance to sustain article production that brings about sales.
Besides blogging, there are many other types of activities that you can do as an affiliate marketer. One of the easier moneymaking ones is reviewing a product, and this will be the focus of my discussion about product review guide.
I will share with you some easy hacks in conducting product reviews that convert. I believe that once you apply them, you’ll be able to discover other innovative means to carry this out profitably and effectively to suit your brand.
Since affiliate websites differ in terms of niche, targeted market segment, and nature of business, not all of these tactics may be applicable to you every time. In fact, it will be difficult to apply all of these at one time.
My advice is to try some of them first and monitor viability. In a way, it’s like trial and error where you get to sample everything and then choose which ones product review guide work for you.
Do not set unrealistic expectations in the initial stage because when you do not meet your income goals as projected, you may get easily discouraged and give up.
CONTENT BELOW THIS LINE IS 100% FREE AND WILL BE VISIBLE AFTER YOU OPT-IN
To tell you frankly, it may take several months or years before some of you achieve sustainability in this business. Most of you may fail many times and learn hard lessons along the way before you succeed. Trust me. I’ve been there but look where I’m now.
So, if money does not come soon, do not immediately doubt yourself. Keep pushing and refining these techniques to suit your niche. You’ve gotten this far already. If you give up now, you’ll never know how many steps away you were to success.
If, however, after all the hustle, you’ve still not reached your goals, there will always be something to gain from this experience. The lessons will stay with you forever while the profit you get out of selling your website will provide you with the means to start again.
Product review guide
So, keep going and master the game of sales conversion. Let’s start with some product review hacks and product review guide.
1. Stay fresh – all the time.
Do not allow your website to run without fresh content. Keep those articles coming – consistently! The presence of new material communicates to your search engines that your site is thriving and not outdated.
So, if you are conducting product reviews, make sure that you talk about new developments or features, or at least discuss about an old feature in a fresh perspective. You may also focus on one feature at a time and then another on your next publication.
Just get those creative juices flowing, that is the main goal in this product review guide.
2. Strike while the iron is hot!
Locate your product review summary at the top of the page and then add your affiliate links. Why so?
People tend to speed read when browsing the internet. Most will never get to the bottom of your review. So, while you still have their attention in the beginning of your article, make your elevator pitch then and don’t forget the links.
In spite of the negativity surrounding this technique, it still is one of the more effective ways to convert sales. Do not worry about being penalized because of the links. Unless they’re overdone or unsupported by content, you’ll be okay.
If you are concerned about the directness of this approach, though, I suggest you compensate with valuable product information, internal linking, and market engagement.
Once your audience discover that their visit was worthwhile, there’s no telling the myriad benefits that redound from this. Think clicks, shares, or revisits!
3. Include a product rating system.
This strategy is most effective when you’ve established some degree of authority and trust in your niche. In this product review guide, it's not obligated for you.
If you’re new and have not yet established brand equity within your niche, you can still package your website as such and build from it with excellent content.
That said, having a rating system with definitive metrics is just like giving out a review summary but in a more visually appealing and straightforward format.
Sometimes, consumers do not have the time to read long product reviews. Instead, they seek opinion from authoritative rating sites or at least good-enough sites. I do this too.
If your website publishes a rating scale, you are able to address this need for quick and compelling basis for purchase. Personally, I also get tired of researching about products. Most of the time, I just check out several ratings and then purchase.
So, how best to do this? Have an image of the product for reference or at least its specific name, brand, or model and your overall rating, usually in the form of five stars with five representing your highest score.
As an option, you can include individual rating of each of the product features according to generic feature categories, and then, the overall rating. This somehow provides references for your overall rating. If not, you can just write a quick explanation for your overall score.
If you’re not confident yet and need help on this, you can use a plugin that handles these functions. Examples of such are WP Product Review and All-in-One Schema. That's cool to be part of this product review guide.
4. Don’t go mad or dull with affiliate links.
What I’m saying in this product review guide is to use the right amount of affiliate links.
Too many or too few is bad for ranking, not to mention ineffective, annoying if the former, and suspicious if the latter.
Bombarding consumers with links in every line is tantamount to hard sell and does not bode well for sales.
On the flip side, waiting until the end of the article before putting your affiliate link not only sends the message that you’re not an authority with regard to the product but also runs the risk of losing your customer along the way. That would be lost opportunity and tragic for an affiliate marketer.
Here’s what I’ve also discovered. Topmost links get the highest number of clicks while bottom links end up with the most sales conversions.
This could mean that customers who click in the beginning are impulsive yet fickle customers while those that click at the bottom are the serious ones because they took time to read, or at least browse your article through the end.
To summarize then, wherever you position your links in the middle of your product review, strive for balance, and then, make sure that there are affiliate links in the beginning and at the end.
5. Your review page is still the best place to be.
As much as possible, try to lower the number of external and internal links in your review article. These links are not the same as your affiliate links and may be used to direct your visitors somewhere out of your page, mostly for related information.
The more your visitors linger on your review page, the better the chances of sales conversions. Even jump links in your site are not recommended because these take focus away from your pitch and may in turn result them eventually leaving your site.
Although some of the internal and external links may provide supplemental information to your potential buyers, allowing them to leave your page still poses a possibility of them eventually jumping off to another site and consummating their purchase somewhere else.
I’m not saying that you shackle your visitors to your review page. All I’m saying is that if you’ve already provided ample reference to make a purchase then do not unnecessarily distract your buyers from making that decision. This is where you’ll need your marketing skills.
On the other hand, if there is just too much information needed to make a purchase and you try to include them all in your review, you will risk overwhelming them with too much information. So this product review guide will try to keep you focused on your own review.
This could also harm your chances of making a sale because with so much information to process, consumers tend postpone a purchase or get irritated and end up buying somewhere else. Haven’t you notice that when you’re assailed with so many options, you end up not buying at all? Same case.
Your purpose as an affiliate marketer is to assist your customer in making a wise decision at that opportune time and place.
6. Keep it interesting with good visual aids.
The human brain is a powerful organ that processes information in multiple forms so do not be content with using text alone when communicating with potential buyers.
Remember what I just said that you’ve got to help them along in their purchasing decision so arm them with compelling and high-quality product images.
This may be SOP in marketing, but you’ll find that many affiliate websites do not realize the importance of using images to supplement their page.
Sometimes, I see product reviews that use a poor-quality image, which is almost as lamentable as none at all, and please, don’t get me started on clipart.
There are affiliate programs that permit the use of their on-stock product images. If you’re not provided this service, it may indicate that the program is not a good one. If you’re stuck with this, you can opt to buy the product itself and photograph it.
You may also use a smaller picture of the product as a reference in your introductory paragraph and then post another one that is of very good quality in the middle, which builds interest.
I also use other images that may not necessarily be about the same product but somehow related to its function or feature.
You may be writing a review on a new model of Nikon DSLR camera as an example. Besides using a photo of the exact product, you may also include a picture of someone taking a photo of a beautiful lake in the middle portion of your review just when you discuss the product’s versatility in shooting landscapes.
This not only illustrates the relevant feature of your product but also provides visual appeal to your readers while helping them appreciate the product’s feature more.
7. An effective pitch is an organized pitch.
Doing product reviews is more than just shoving information to your potential buyers and let them figure it on their own. This is a surefire way to lose them.
Let me refresh our goal as an affiliate marketer in this product review guide. Help your customers make a good purchase.
To do this, you must organize your information such that you are able to draw interest in the beginning, build and hold it in the middle, and then provide the right push and opportunity to consummate the purchase.
This is easier said than done. If you’re a stickler for detail and organization, this will provide good leverage when putting together your pitch. Most of us who are not as lucky will need to be mindful of putting out thoughts in a haphazard manner.
One way to overcome this is to subdivide your content into smaller and less overwhelming portions. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Think of what and how much information will they need to make the purchase.
An even better solution is to study your market segment. Know their interests, product knowledge level, purchase behaviors like their triggers and drivers, and so on. This information can guide you into categorizing your thoughts, determining your flow of information, and building your pitch.
8. Don’t forget your h3 and h4 tags.
Using tags on the h3 and h4 paragraphs is important because these are where pertinent information about the product get to be discussed. H1 tags are of course important for on-page optimization. Avoid keyword stuffing though and locate your keywords or LSIs in strategic areas alone so you do not get demoted in ranking.
When you are purchasing a product, you would not want to read about widely known information. What drove you to read a product review is to determine the distinct features of the product and how these compare to its competitors.
These details are explained in the h3 and h4 portions so make use of h3 and h4 header tags. It would also make perfect marketing sense because by enabling your reader to obtain the information that they need, you hasten their decision-making process.
You not only save them valuable time but also provide them the freedom and flexibility to navigate through your review at their own pace and preference.
The point in this product review guide is to keep the decision-making time optimized.
9. Outline the pros and cons of your product.
Identifying the positive and negative features of your affiliate product is a potent visual aid for your readers. This may be best positioned in the beginning because it functions as a review summary or preview of what your content is about.
When paired with your rating system graphics, this combination can become a powerful sales driver.
Pros and cons listing also projects a more balanced review of the product which has a positive effect on the readers’ psychology.
Most consumers who are not as knowledgeable about the product can easily be overwhelmed or put off by too much information and this kind of listing provides them with a more wholistic yet comprehensible basis for their purchase decision.
If your website possesses or at least projects trust and authority, this bulleted information is oftentimes frequently visited, revisited, and shared, which, in turn, boosts your website traffic and opens up more opportunities for clicks and sales conversions.
Here’s a word of caution in the cons portion. Sometimes, reading about the disadvantages of a product may scare your customers and keep them from making a purchase.
Chances are they would do more research and sometimes, come across another review that says the product is an excellent choice. This may eventually urge them to click.
This would have been your opportunity but because of the cons that you mentioned, you lost the lead. Should this compel you then to omit the negatives and highlight only the positives? This may seem tempting, but the answer is ‘no.’
You still must provide your readers the right information to support their purchase decision. This builds trust and authority in the end.
Of course, there’s no need to blatantly expose the disadvantages. This defeats the purpose of a product review. You end up being more of an informative instead of a sales-driven website which is not your purpose for being.
If you believe in the product, which is important, then communicate that faith in your language, presentation format, and choice of words. You do not have to be frank to be sincere in this regard.
What I normally do is match the negative with a stronger positive to justify the purchase decision. You can also highlight the positive features that are more important to your market segment to match the negative so that you give them a chance to see the justifiable cause for purchase.
The more targeted your review content, the better your chances of converting. I hope this part of the product review guide is clear.
10. End your product review with another summary.
One might think that having a summary in the beginning, in the positive and negative listing, and in the end would be too much. On the contrary, it’s strategic. How?
This tactic is based on the premise that most readers do not consume your online reviews from start to finish.
Some will only read it in the beginning, some will skip and proceed to the detailed explanations, while others may only view your rating and ignore the rest. The more time-conscious or skeptical ones, such as myself, head straight to the conclusion.
So, wherever your readers may possibly be or linger, aim to meet them there, equipped with a quick but wholistic reference and the affiliate link to facilitate the purchase.
Do not forget that a summary is a potent remedy to information overload. Assuming that your readers will be everywhere and may be in a quandary as to what to make of all the available information, a summary simplifies the decision-making process for them.
That said, go ahead and find those click-potential areas. Perfect your crisp pitch and position it there. It works, as part of this product review guide!
11. Compare and contrast.
Comparing and contrasting your product with competing brands is also another way to ease the burden of information overload, not only from text-heavy product reviews but also from presumably previous researches that your readers may have already made.
So, when you compare and contrast, the best way to present them is in chart format to break the monotony of page per page explanations. Also, this can act as an effective summary as well and may be most helpful when you have to review several attributes of your product.
In this case, I do not overwhelm my readers with all areas of comparison or contrast. If you have better knowledge of what your drives your market segment’s purchase decision or what interests them the most, then focus on the features that addresses that and keep them to a more sensible number.
Just as too much text overwhelms, so also does extensive comparison and contrast charts. Also try to format your chart in sizes that fits your page, especially mobile-friendly size. This way, they do not have to scroll up and down to see the overall picture.
One of my techniques in adopting this is to link this chart to specific reviews in my site, if available, and of course punctuated with an affiliate link.
Some table formats that I can recommend to you are Go Pricing, which I’ve tested for years already and liked for its unique personalization choices, and Easy Pricing Tables. Both of these provide you with a sizeable number of customization options, that include tables, colors, and graphics.
12. Choose between linking similar reviews or sticking to one-product review.
You can vary your style of reviewing a product by linking two similar reviews or focusing on one product per article. Both can work and build ranking. It is just a matter of preference.
An example is my endorsement of the Wealthy Affiliate as my preferred means of growing the affiliate business. When I conduct a review of the pros and cons of similar services, I always include a link to the Wealthy Affiliate because it is my most preferred choice in this service category.
This can be done if you are endorsing a product in a specialized niche just like affiliate marketing. If, on the other hand, you are reviewing a niche that does not really have the best option, you can always focus on the product alone then and highlight its best feature instead.
13. Text links drive sales better than image links.
While excellent images are effective decision-making helpers, image links are not what drive clicks and convert sales the most. Text links prove to be the main drivers. In this product review guide, I will try to explain the difference.
During my early years as an affiliate marketer, I had the impression that images, being more stimulating to the sight, would be the best tools to serve as clickables. Later on, I realized that our minds are not wired to regard images as clickables but more as visual references.
Text, on the other hand, are widely associated with clickable links and hence are more effective in getting more sales conversions.
This may also explain why smartphone features do not have this capability of enabling you to hover over an image to see the cursor change into a link so that you can click on it. So, this also works against image links being effective sales drivers.
I believe that the visual appeal of images is what also distracts the readers from making the purchase at the time because this decision is more left-brained while image processing is more right-brained.
So, it’s both external as well as inherent psychological programming that work against images being clickables and you should then depend more on text links than image links.
As a matter of personal choice, I very seldom use images with clickable links, unless, of course, the image shows something that resembles a button or is supported by a text where I can attach the affiliate link. I also use affiliate links more strategically now.
I begin with just the right amount of links, mostly text links, and then do some trial and error with various other link styles to figure what boost my conversions the most.
Here are two of the fundamental text link styles. I refer to the first as the call-to-action type, while the other is contextual.
The former style is, as its name suggests, forthright with its intention to invite you to purchase the product. They usually drop unnecessary words to reinforce its power to influence. Examples of which are the following:
‘click here to buy brand X’
Contextual text links, on the other hand, are not as direct but can still be as effective in converting to sales. So, I suggest that you do your own experimentation on what works for your niche to ramp up sales.
Note also in this product review guide that just because text links invite the readers to buy does not mean that these should only be positioned at the end of the product review. As I mentioned earlier, not all your visitors would be reading your review from start finish because they mostly don’t.
So, do not commit the mistake of putting your affiliate links only at the end when you’ve concluded your article but locate them strategically, so that you do not waste the opportunity of converting their interest into realized sales.
Lastly, by strategically locating your text links in the article, I also mean not putting them where you are discussing the disadvantages of the product because, obviously, this is not the best time for your reader to purchase.
Choose, instead, the portion where you’re emphasizing or illustrating the value of owning the product because this is when they may be persuaded to buy so seize these moments.
14. Build authority and trust with customized images.
Creating and using your own images is a superb way to strengthen your niche authority and trust with your market. Some of these customized images that you can utilize include:
- Your own heading that may include your website logo or brand, the term ‘review,’ and the product that you are reviewing
- Your personally taken photographs of the product which you purchased or borrowed
- Customized text-based graphic or image that you consistently use in most, if not all, of your reviews which builds brand equity and recall while also projecting a more professionalized impression of your review
15. Polish your photography for more personal images.
I know I mentioned this type of customized image above in this product review guide but I’m highlighting this separately because it weighs heavily on distinguishing your content from other similar product reviews.
There are just too many reviews on the web that having this capability to be singled out of the crowd is empowering for ranking and flexibility of backing up your text content.
Unless you’re a professional photographer, your photos will not appear as filtered or as perfect as those expertly taken ones but they can be more dynamic, realistic, and relevant to your content since you’re the one writing and know what photographs best relate to strategic parts of your article.
To illustrate, which photo do you think will convince a mom to buy a diaper brand: the one of a professionally curated brand that is generically used by the affiliate program or one that you took of a kid sleeping soundly while the mom hovers?
Don’t you agree that the second scenario is more relatable because it plays on real emotion. An inanimate object that sits alone and is a generic photo loses its emotional impact by its flawless depiction.
16. Template your reviews.
I’ve listed the following advantages of creating your own template for product reviews:
- If you’re doing several product reviews, using a general template for all helps your readers reference better especially if you use a standard template for your compare-contrast charts, rating systems, or pros and cons. These promote quicker decision making and higher chances of clicks and sales conversions.
- Using a standard template for your website helps you as well. It increases your efficiency because you do not have to waste time trying to think of new ways to conduct your review, especially with regard to images or graphics.
Instead, you can channel your effort into composing valuable content instead, which is the more difficult part.
Another thing, because you use standard templates, these can contribute to brand recognition and equity. The stronger the recognition, the higher the chances of revisits, shares, and ultimately, sales conversions.
Remember that most strong brands were once as you were and built their equity over time. If this is one of the goals for your website, then you’re on the right track with a customized template and simply keep following this product review guide.
17. Think long-term in producing your review articles.
Sustained product review posting is crucial to achieving rank and authority for your affiliate website. For beginners, it is imperative.
How else can you convince your market or the search engines that you are a legitimate and valuable information source if you only have a few product reviews on your site or if your content is not constantly updated?
As newbies, you need to prove your worth through content volume, quality, variety, and sustainability. There are just too many product review websites out there to rest on your laurels after a few quality articles.
Maybe you’ll eventually drive traffic and realize sales, but it’ll be a long arduous wait. As with all occupation, the harder and mindfully you work, the sooner and more chances of reaping your rewards.
18. Break down your main goal into smaller ones.
I read somewhere that the trick to achieving your main goal in life is to break it down into smaller goals until you get to the daily goal.
This way, you don’t become overwhelmed and give up. When you have a daily goal, all you need is to focus on just that and keep pressing on. Before you know it, you shall have already accomplished a year’s worth of goals that have brought you closer to your big one.
This is the same as fortifying your stronghold in the affiliate business. You take one small step at a time and don’t stop until you’ve reached your destination. Unless you give up, you are sure to reach it one day.
Another element that you can add in your goal charting is a timeline. This helps you manage your pace and keeps you from slacking.
It is also easier to monitor your growth when you have fixed timelines to as bases for comparison.
There may be days when you do not feel like writing and following a schedule helps you stick with your routine. Anyway, you can always edit existing content when you’ve regained your inspiration and energy.
19. Use internal links.
Many of you may think that once you’ve written a review, that’s it.
By conducting a product review and publishing it, you’ve actually opened a door of opportunities to get indexed and ranked by Google.
First of all, you can do another three to five related articles on the same product and then link these together. This is called internal linking.
For example, if I am reviewing a new hotplate and gas combination stove as a compact and versatile cooking device for far-flung camping areas where energy supply is not consistent, I can write about related topics such as the cost-saving feature of using gas hobs vis-à-vis electric hobs or how to cook hardier meats on the hotplate and the easy-to-cook recipes for gas stoves.
I can then link these two related articles with my product review, making sure that I populate them with similar LSIs.
Having these links on several articles on your site will communicate the importance of your product review to your site and in turn, make Google rank your site to the relevant keywords.
20. Minor points to consider when conducting your reviews:
a. Ensure that your font sizes, styles, and other elements that promote comprehension are relevant.
b. Conclude your product review with a clear message.
c. Simplify the buying process and make it user-friendly.
d. Do not discount the value of visual aids to break monotony and promote engagement.
e. Know what your readers need to decide and strive to address it as effectively as possible so that they do not need to jump off to another site to continue their research.
Even if your review contains valuable information but if your readers still have unanswered questions about the product, they will want to seek answers first.
In this case, despite your hard work, another website will be able to conclude this sale for you.
f. Lastly, you do not need to buy the product, especially if it a huge investment is involved, to conduct an effective product review.
All you need are good research skills and a lot of patience. Read similar reviews from experts, ask your affiliate program for relevant information support, do internal linking with related topics that you’re an expert of, and so on. I hope you understand what I wanted to say in this product review guide, and I hope it's not so long to read.
Sometimes, you just have to do the best you can and then edit later on when you’ve got better or additional information.