Make no mistake about it, if you want to sell stuff online, one of the best formats you can use, is the review. Consumers the world over have a psychological weakness when it comes to product reviews. Why? Product reviews cater to lazy people. I really can’t find a more polite way to say that. If you are mentally lazy, if you’re intellectually lazy, the product review is for you. Why? By just looking at a well-written product review, you would have all the information you need to make a truly informed decision. This is what makes the typical product review so powerful as to selling device. When people come to you and they are expecting to to trust whatever you wrote because of the product review format, you basically have people eating from the palm of your hands. This is a tremendous responsibility. It’s too tempting to lie. It’s too tempting to cheat. It’s too tempting to basically fraud people. Unfortunately, the vast majority of product review sites out there do that. They basically lie, cheat and steal from people visiting your websites, and to make matters worse, they are obvious about it. If you want your product review site to succeed, you need to avoid the six basic and common weaknesses most product review sites exhibit. They are listed below.
Weakness # 1: Generic Layout
Many review sites basically clone each other. They either use a star ranking system, or the use of numerical system, some even use a thumbs-up or thumbs-down system; regardless, it’s still the same stuff. The same boring layout, the same predictable way of presenting information. The problem with this is, your readers will develop a mindset that once they’ve seen a review site, they feel that they’ve seen them all. This really is too bad. Why? You might have a product review site that actually has solid information, you might actually have a product review site that doesn’t suffer from a conflict of interest. Why? You might have a product review site that actually has solid information. You might actually have a product review site that doesn’t suffer from a conflict of interest. However, that all goes down to toilet because your visitor sees your generic layout, concludes that you are just like every other product review site out there, and clicks the back button. If you don’t want this to happen, you need to put in more time regarding the layout that you use. The layout, if anything, communicates to the reader that you don’t care, that you are a sloppy online publisher.
Weakness #2: Generic Presentation
If you’ve read many product review sites, you would see that they tend to follow a specific format in presenting information. They would have an overview, they would have a product introduction, then they would go into the specific considerations you think about when it comes to deciding on the product that they would have a conclusion. This is very generic, and it seems that anybody and his grandmother can do this type of product review. The problem is, it would be very hard for you to sell to people using that same presentation because your presentation looks like anybody else’s materials. So, why would anyone buy from you when they can basically enjoy the same type of presentation elsewhere. Chances are, those websites are probably even more authoritative and more substantive than yours. This is the biggest challenge, and if you want to succeed with your product review website, devote more time in coming up with a more original and niche-specific presentation.
Weakness #3: Your Review Screens Out Conflict of Interest
When people visit your product review site, they are looking for guidance. They are looking for information that will make a truly informed buying decision, however, this conflicts with your interest. Your interest is you want to sell stuff, because when people buy from your website, you make a commission. Your goal is to put money in your pocket. The reader’s goal is to make the right decision. See the problem here? There’s a conflict of interest and the reality is, you don’t have to scream out in this conflict of interest. You can set up your product review site in such a way that it is not obvious that you really are just trying to sell stuff. The good news is that you can help people make a good decision and help yourself all at the same time; however, you need to provide solid information, and you cannot be so biased that there is really only one decision to make on your website, which is to buy products that you make a commission off. You have to work at writing product reviews so that the conflict of interest doesn’t become an issue. Let’s face it, there will always be an inherent conflict of interest if you are going to be making money off the products you are reviewing. That’s not going to go away, however, if you don’t want to drive your visitors away, you need to fix the obviousness of the conflict of interest in your product review site.
Weakness #4: Too commercial
One of the most common weaknesses of product review sites is that they are obviously just trying to sell stuff. These product review sites are just basically trying to pull stuff on the reader. If you focus too much on the hard cell, you are going to repel, if not, all of your review’s readers, seriously. People don’t go to your website because they are looking to make you money. That’s not their goal in life. Their goal in life is to get information so they can make the right decisions, in other words, they want to benefit themselves, not you. This is where you need to wrap your mind around one of the most important concepts of online marketing: To make money online, you have to help people get what they want so you can get what you want. It really is that basic. By helping people get the information they need, so they can make a truly informed decision, they are more willing to reward you by buying based on your recommendations. However, if you put the cart before the horse and your pages scream out “Buy Me,” that’s not going to work out because you’re just too focused on selling, and you’re not focused enough on adding value to the lives of your review’s visitors.
Weakness #5: Disregarding the buying process
People who make a lot of money selling stuff online have the buying process down cold. What is the buying process? Very simple. For people to buy stuff or services from you, they must trust you first. Trust is the mother’s milk of online commerce. People never buy unless there is some trust involved. This makes all the sense in the world. Just as you wouldn’t buy just from random bum, you are only going to buy from people that you think are credible and legitimate. In other words, you are only going to buy from people that you trust. If you write your product review website in such a way that you go straight to the buying process, you’re just going to lose the reader, because you have to first gain their trust. How do you do that? You first produce content so that they get a clear idea of what the product is about. They might already have an idea, but if you put additional information in there, it makes you look legitimate. It makes you look like an expert. People are always open-minded when it comes to learning more. So, when you do this, you communicate to them that you know what you’re talking about, you are competent. This makes them want to know you. Once they keep reading further, and you really break down the different benefits people get from the particular product for products that you are reviewing, and then you link to other reviews on your site, they begin to like you. Why? Because it’s obvious that you are trying to give them information so they can benefit. You’re not just in there to take their money. Once they read enough of your reviews, or they read enough of your text, then trust builds. It’s just a matter of whether they will act on that trust and click the “Buy Now” button and make you a commission. Still, your product review needs to go through this. Product reviews that flat-out fail don’t do this, they actually flat-out “Ignore it.” These reviews are actually quite funny to read. You’d see the introduction of the product, the name, and it’s all buy, buy, buy. That’s it, it’s all buy, buy, buy. People are not going to buy if they see that. That’s garbage.
Weakness #6: Repetitive content
One of the most common cardinal sins committed by product review sites, is that they would just copy and paste actual customer reviews from Amazon and put it with their review. Well, if you’re doing this, you’re basically just recycling Amazon’s content. There’s really no added value that you’re bringing to the table. Maybe you’re an Amazon affiliate and you’re going to just basically dump the person into Amazon again once they see your review. You’re really not adding much to the mix. If you want to make real money, you have to come up with original content. The good news is that there are so many other areas on the internet where you can get legitimate or original content. You can message people if they post a comment in a forum, you can message people if they posted a review on Twitter. There are many opportunities for you to come up with real interaction and real feedback. Simply ripping off stuff from Amazon is not going to push your product review brand forward. Sadly, this is standard practice of the vast majority of product review sites out there, no wonder, it’s very hard to tell them apart. They basically commit the same bad practices. They look alike. They basically have the same content. In this type of environment, it’s very easy to get a competitive advantage, if you go the extra mile and put in the extra effort of coming up with a high quality product review website.