How to Use Product Reviews to Drive SEO

by Nick Grant July 1st, 2011 

If you have an online store, then getting people to buy your products and successfully reach the checkout screen is your bread and butter. You need good product descriptions, lively and interesting photos, and even some video or podcast support to really increase your chances of conversion. If you're a regular reader of this blog, then you are no doubt aware of how important a blog can be when it comes to keeping your audience informed, involved, and constantly coming back to your site. But if you're not doing product reviews you're missing out on some powerful opportunities to drive traffic to your site and drive readers to convert into buyers. In a special three-part “epic miniseries,” we'll explore the different ways you can use product reviews and other content events to drive traffic to your site, then turn that traffic into conversions.

Staying on the Edge

When a new product you are going to carry comes out, get a hands-on demo with it for your ecommerce store. Cell phones, computers, and mp3 players are always getting released, and as with any big ticket item, there are lots of people out there doing research to find out all they can about the product and get the best deal possible. This plan will work with anything else you want to sell too – so don't worry.

Hit Your Keywords

word-up

Regular blog posts should be a blend of long-term keywords for which you are trying to drive sustained traffic, and the trending keywords that you are using to draw searchers in. For example, if you want your site to rank for “Android Cell Phones,” and a new phone comes out called the “Skybolt 8600,” then a great title for your product review could be “Skybolt 8600 – Latest in Company X's Line of Android Cell Phones.” Sure, that title might be a little on the long side, but it really nails the content and the keywords.

Remember: it's never a good idea to cram keywords into a title or an article. It looks spammy and will alienate your readers and Google – which is a double-fail. Let keywords be an organic part of your writing process.

Refer to your keywords when appropriate throughout the article. Linking to other products for comparison (many shopping cart systems even have a “compare” button that will let your users see two items side-by-side almost effortlessly) and to other content on your site is also a good tactic. While you've got these new people on your page, you might as well let them know everything that you do. But don't overdo it – use links sparingly.

Be Thorough

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As I mentioned above, with big ticket items, you'll get a lot of traffic in the form of people just looking for research details on the product. These people may or may not convert. If the product is new, untested, and expensive, having links to more tried-and-true products at lower price points can help drive conversions.

Answer every question they might have (and even some that they haven't thought of yet, if you can do it). As a catch-all, list all the product specs at the bottom of your review page. This allows the detail-oriented readers to check sizing details, weight, memory, etc. as appropriate. You can reiterate some of these details in the review itself, but remember, the review isn't just a rehashing of the technical specs; it's your take on the product.

Readers want to know how the item handles, performs, or feels. How does it compare to other products in the same category? Is it worth the price? Are there better options already out there? If you were in the market for a new whatever-it-is, would you buy this one? Why or why not? These are all powerful things to keep in mind when writing good content to take advantage of product reviews.

Be Objective

ugly

We'll talk about Product Spotlights in the next article in this series. In Product Spotlights, you are calling attention to a specific product primarily to sell it. With product reviews, you are just trying to get information out there and draw new readers to your site. Any conversions are incidental (but welcome). Try to make your coverage as balanced as possible.

You're sure to have some new readers finding your site for the first time when doing a timely SEO campaign like this. Put your best self forward. Give them coverage that is thorough and doesn't try to slant the product one way or another. Focus on good content and establish yourself as an expert, someone whom your audience can trust and return to for more advice down the road. If they like and trust you, then they'll keep coming back. The more they come back, the more likely they are to buy from you in the future.

Get Out There

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Product reviews for the latest releases in your specific market (especially high tech or consumer electronics) are topical.

You'll be able to ride the wave of search traffic, Facebook, and Twitter activity. When you  publish your review, broadcast on Twitter with the appropriate hashtag to take full advantage of the flurry of activity.

These quick bursts of attention don't last long, so stay on top of your social media efforts in order for this to have maximum effect.

Wrapping Up

Writing product reviews, especially for newer, cutting edge products, can be a lot of fun and draw a lot of new traffic to your site. Over time, if you schedule things right, every product on your site can have a detailed review associated with it. In future articles we'll talk about using Product Spotlights, Social Media, other writers, and even your own customers to create buzz for products and help you build up your online strength.

Question: How do you use product reviews? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Nick Grant

Nick Grant is the co-founder of ZippyCart.com, a website dedicated to providing honest, non-bias, and up-to-date reviews of the best ecommerce software solutions on the web. Visit ZippyCart to learn about the world of ecommerce, read expert shopping cart reviews, compare top ecommerce solutions side by side, read daily ecommerce news, and much more.

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2 Responses to “How to Use Product Reviews to Drive SEO”

  1. [...] How to Use Product Reviews to Drive SEO (via Search Engine People) Get people to talk about your product, and they'll link back to you. [...]

  2. lisa says:

    Great post! I started doing product reviews on my personal blog a year ago. As a consumer I found myself being influenced by feedback/reviews from bloggers, that is when I realized that blogs are a effective venue for business to really expose their brand.