Whatever product you’re shopping for, you know how impactful an informative, high-quality review can be. This can often be the difference between buying the product and passing on it for something else.
Most people don’t want to take chances on products they don’t know much about, especially when there are products with reviews that tell them what they need to know.
Because of this, many online shoppers rely on product reviews to help them decide what to buy.
That’s why Google put a new product reviews update live in April that prioritizes product reviews that provide consumers with more insight and details, to help them make more informed purchasing decisions.
While Google has said the product reviews update isn’t a core update, it’s still important that you make an effort to meet these new standards.
If you’re wondering how you can benefit from this update, here are six ways to optimize your website for Google’s product reviews update.
1. Write Longer, More Informative Reviews
Long-form content tends to perform better than shorter content that doesn’t get into enough detail.
Search engines often prefer longer content, and so do the users who benefit from well-researched, thorough content.
If you’re concerned with how your website ranks, you likely already try to include as much relevant information as you can in your content. However, even if this is a priority for you, your product reviews might be lacking.
Just like all of the content on your website, you want to provide users and search engines with comprehensive reviews that give them all the information they need.
With this update, you don’t want to skimp out on the length of your reviews. A short review that only gives a brief summary of a product doesn’t help consumers that much, and it likely won’t help your rankings, either.
As Google said:
“…we know people appreciate product reviews that share in-depth research, rather than thin content that simply summarizes a bunch of products. That’s why we’re sharing an improvement to our ranking systems, which we call the product reviews update, that’s designed to better reward such content.”
If you currently only have short product reviews on your website, dedicate some time to expanding on them to provide consumers with more content and information.
2. Give an Accurate Description
Of course, giving an accurate description of a product is a necessary part of any product review. Consumers should get a good idea of the physical details of a product from reading your review.
To help make this easier, you can also provide additional content in the form of photos and videos that show the physical features even more in-depth. In addition to describing the product, you also need to explain how it’s used.
Not every product will require a lot of detail regarding how to use it but if this is something consumers need to know to make a purchase, it should be included.
How does this product perform?
In your review, provide consumers with this type of information.
While this can include your own opinion on how a product performs, you should also have objective information in your review. Consumers need to know any performance-related data that’s relevant to a certain product to aid them in their research.
3. Show That You’re an Expert
Whenever you’re writing content, regardless of what it’s for, it’s extremely important to make it known that you’re an expert on the subject. There are a lot of people who give their opinions online, but that doesn’t mean they should all be trusted or come from a place of wisdom.
You might know you’re a trusted expert, but not everyone else does. Today, people are wary of taking a stranger’s advice online and can be hesitant to make a purchase based on a review from someone who doesn’t seem qualified to be giving one.
As part of this update, Google specifies the importance of showing expert knowledge in your product reviews. And we already know that the expertise of the content creator is one E-A-T factor Google’s human raters consider, as per their guidelines.
It should go without saying that if you’re writing any review of a product online, you should have ample experience using it yourself.
Give consumers your experience using this product, ensuring they know that you’re giving them an accurate and realistic review that’s reliable.
What background do you have that makes your view of this product trustworthy? Showing people that you’re reliable and know what you’re talking about can help give your review more weight.
4. Include the Positives and Negatives
It’s important that you give consumers a balanced review. When you’re trying to sell something, your instinct is probably to list all the good things about it and leave out any potential negatives.
Including the downsides to a product might seem like you’re doing the best you can to convince consumers they need your product, but it might not be as effective as you think. To start creating better product reviews, provide both the positives and negatives of a product.
You want to give people an accurate review of a product and make it obvious that you’re honest in your description. People know when you’re only trying to sell them a product and not actually give them information to help them make their decision.
In Google’s announcement, they even state that you should “discuss the benefits and drawbacks of a particular product.”
Negatives don’t mean that your product is bad, but there are situations where it might not be the best choice. Maybe there are other products that will do a better job at meeting people’s needs, and directing them to these other options will increase your chances of making a sale.
A product that’s perfect for some people just isn’t going to be right for everyone, no matter how great it is. Without knowing the potential downsides of making a particular purchase, consumers can’t make well-informed decisions.
5. Show How the Product Is Different From Others
No matter what you’re reviewing, there’s a good chance there are multiple products just like it available elsewhere. Since there are so many products on the market today and you can find plenty of options for whatever you’re looking for, you need to show what makes yours different.
Why should people buy this product instead of the many others like it that they can get? It’s not up to consumers to decide why one product is a better choice than others – this is something you need to tell them.
What does this product provide that others like it can’t offer? If you don’t offer reviews that tell consumers why this product is different from other ones they can just as easily buy, you aren’t giving them much of a reason to choose it.
When Mordy Oberstein took a deep dive into analyzing the winners and losers from the product reviews update, he found that review pages with a buyer’s guide tended to outperform those without.
Even if a product only has some slight differences that set it apart, you want it to be clear that this has something unique to offer. Small differences in products could be what a consumer needs to decide on what to buy, so don’t overlook anything that can help set it apart.
6. Compare It to Past Editions
As new editions and models come out of already-existing products, you need to note in your reviews how a newer product is different.
It’s not enough to just provide an independent review of the current edition. You also need to compare it to those that have already been sold.
This might not apply to every product you review, but this is extremely important to include for those that are applicable. Some consumers might be upgrading from a past model and want to know what this one offers. Maybe past editions were lacking in areas that this one has fixed. Whatever changes have occurred between then and now need to be made clear.
Make the Most Out of Your Product Reviews
If your product reviews aren’t currently optimized for Google’s new product reviews update, there’s no reason to panic.
Like all updates to Google’s algorithm, the product reviews update is aimed at providing users with the best results possible. With so many products to choose from, product reviews are essential for consumers to make the best choice for them, so it makes sense that Google would prioritize websites that put in the effort to provide them with detailed, balanced product reviews.
Updating your reviews to reflect this update might be time-consuming and require a lot of work, depending on the current state of your reviews, but it will be worth it to provide something more valuable to consumers and search engines.
- Google’s Product Reviews Algorithm Update: Winners & Losers
- How Negative Reviews Impact SEO
- Your Guide to Google E-A-T & SEO [Ebook]
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