October 22, 2015
Product reviews are incredibly important on their own, SEO in mind or not. Companies oftentimes have strategies in place to just earn more product reviews in the hopes of getting more visibility, credibility, and overall a better reputation for their brand. After all, people trust other people, especially people they are connected to through social media, so the more people leaving reviews; the better chances you have of reaping the benefits of reviews. Extra: You can visit here to learn how to earn more reviews for your business.
However, what so many companies forget is the importance of using product reviews in reverse. In other words, leaving product reviews as a brand or as an individual associated with a brand can be huge. It helps you show off what you know, make connections with like-minded companies, and earn that visibility in front of a targeted audience. This is where personal and professional brands come into play (which we’ll discuss later), but if you can make it work, leaving product reviews can be almost as beneficial as getting them.
First and foremost, it is extremely important that every review you give is truthful and relevant. If you haven’t used a product, don’t review it. If you really liked a competitor’s product, maybe don’t choose that product to review. If you don’t really have anything to say about a product that will help anyone, don’t say it.
You may want to be a little bit more strategic if you’re writing a review on behalf of your entire company, but that doesn’t meant that you can be untruthful or use product reviews only as a way to build links, bring down competitors, etc. The rules of leaving reviews still apply even if you have an ulterior motive—the readers and the review comes first.
With that in mind, there are a few things you can keep in the back of your mind to help make sure that your review is tweaked just enough that it is still helpful to readers but may actually help your brand as well:
You should never review a product from a company that is in direct competition with your products. Online readers are smart and they will quickly figure out that your review is more negative SEO as opposed to an actually helpful review (and if it wasn’t a negative review, then of course writing something positive about a competitor isn’t great either). These types of reviews can also get you flagged and in big trouble with Google, Yelp, etc., so make sure when you are reviewing you’re steering clear of direct competitors.
If you can, review complimentary companies and products. For example, if you’re a Dentist, consider writing a review about a certain toothbrush. They are not your direct competitor, but you have a very similar audience so those seeing your review are going to be more targeted and interested in what you have to say.
This one may seem obvious, but don’t forget that if you want your review to really stand out then it has to be high quality. When it comes to product reviews, high quality generally means detailed (although not always). Make sure you are really showing that you used the product and then why you have the feelings you have about the product. You’ll see a lot of quick reviews online, but putting the extra time and effort into making a review great is the only way you’ll see benefits come back to you.
This is an important point. If you’re hoping to draw attention to your review, you want to make sure you’re showing off what you know. This means if you have a degree or some sort of experience that gives you the permission to write a certain statement or review the product in general, mention that in your review. You don’t want to come off too bold so try to keep your response subtle and even humble, but part of this strategy in general is to help you build credibility. Don’t be shy!
If you spend time on a review and feel proud of it, let your audience know on social media. If you’re reviewing complimentary companies and not competitors then what you’re sharing should be relevant, and it will also help draw attention to your review and further show your credibility. This may also help get more reviews going, which ultimately could lead to a partnership for you and the company you’re reviewing if you play your cards right.
It’s important to understand that leaving a product review personally and professionally can be different. Hopefully you’ve talked with your employees about being weary of overlapping personal and professional brands, especially on social media, but it’s easy to forget that Google Reviews are a part of this. In this particular case it can be tough to draw the line, meaning your whatever an individual says in a product review could become a reflection of your company whether you like it or not, but just be mindful.
With that said, you should always post a product review as an individual as opposed to as a company. People respond better to individuals (that’s the reason reviews are so crucial in the first place). Feel free to make it known where you work, but make sure you have a picture of yourself as opposed to a company logo to draw in more readers.
Extra: A Search Engine People article also recommends using keywords in your product reviews. This definitely can help your SEO, but it’s tough to say for how long. Pretty soon this could turn into an opportunity for spammers, so I would focus on writing truthful and thoughtful reviews first and forget about keywords for this strategy (hard to believe, I know!).
Again, this is a touchy subject because reviews are not meant to help the reviewer (in this case you), they are meant to help readers. Using reviews for your own personal gain seems wrong, which is probably a big reason why some businesses avoid worrying about this tactic. You have to tread lightly, but it can be done if you have the right intentions. The tips above do not take away from what reviews are meant to do; they just help make sure your business is being represented well whenever giving reviews.
What are your thoughts on this particular strategy? Are there any tips you would add to the list above? Let us know in the comment section below.
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