10 Easy Steps to Research and Write a Product Review

Building a name for yourself online can be difficult. First of all, you are obsessed with seeing how many visits you get on your site. Then, you want to maximize the number of shares you get on social media. Of course, there is the ever-present affiliate marketing income report or ad revenue that can stagnate or decline to leave you deflated. One way to drive traffic and earn some ‘street cred’ is to write reviews.

Do you know how to write a product review?

According to a local survey carried out by Brightlocal, 93% of consumers used the internet to find a local business in the last year, with 34% searching every day. 97% depend on online reviews to make a purchasing decision, according to a white paper released by Power reviews

People looking to learn a new skill will search for comparison articles to find what software is best for beginners. Someone else will turn to a review to decide if a new equipment model is worth the expense. A little boy became a millionaire on youtube reviewing toys. Toys! 

Reviews are powerful, and you are in a great position to harness their benefit if you are willing to do the work. Whether you generate income as a freelancer or through affiliate marketing, writing reviews earn you credibility and can increase your web traffic.

In this article, we teach you how to write a product review, specifically:

What is a Product Review, and Why Does it Matter?

The Cambridge dictionary defines a product review in two ways. First, it is ” a report in which an expert gives an opinion about a product or compares various similar products”.

Before a consumer spends money to buy a product, most want a guarantee of performance. An expert is seen as unbiased and dedicated to finding the best product for a particular need.

The second definition is “a report about a product written by a customer on a commercial website to help people decide if they want to buy it.”

Like it or not, we all want to be part of a pack. We gain confidence in a product when we feel that enough people are satisfied with it. We like to think that we are independent thinkers, but in real life, we want what everyone else wants.

As the author of the article, you have to inform and testify. You provide social proof that a product is worth its price tag.

You do not have the time or resources to try out all the products in the market. That is why you will be elbow deep in research. It can seem intimidating. We will walk you through the process of writing product reviews so that you can give them what they need.

Format of a Product Review

Your readers are looking to skim through the product review article and get what they need in as little time as possible. To make it reader-friendly, break up the text, highlighting important points in tables, charts, and images. 

Every product review article will include:

  1. Comparison chart – provides a quick summary of products, features, pros, and cons.
  2. 100-200 words per product that describes and analyzes the key features and differentiators.
  3. Descriptions of the most important features that are standard across the category and how they contribute to the product

After your introduction, you should provide a comparison chart. A quick scan shows the reader the names of the products and their respective features.

Next, you write about each product. Add a little color in the description, highlighting its key features. Follow up with a list of features. You don’t have to include all of them, just those which are fundamental to the decision-making process. 

After you have completed an evaluation of the products, provide a guide that will help your readers make a decision. If you have a list of 28 products, that’s a lot of information to digest. Your readers vary from expert to novice. Beginners may need a little help finding out what features match their requirements. 

Describe the problems the products aim to solve and how their features do that. 

This three-pronged approach helps both you and your readers understand the products and identify their key differentiators. 

Step 1: Look for Similar Top Products Articles

Check out other top lists related to your keyword. 

Start with your preferred search engine, Google, Bing, Yahoo answers, etc. Search engines help not only with content but with the format. But your primary focus, in this case, is content.

Aim for other comparison sites and specialist product aggregators. Examples include the Gartner Magic Quadrant or G2 Grid. Sometimes a vendor will write a product review that features their product. Posts like this are informative but slightly biased. Take that into account as you go through the material.

If you find other affiliate sites, they often put a disclaimer at the beginning of the post. The list may be limited to products that offer affiliate programs. Nevertheless, they still have valuable information.

Read on to continue learning how to write a product review.

Step 2: Make a List of Products

Whether you prefer a yellow pad or a spreadsheet, you need to construct a list containing the features and benefits of the products. Step 1 will give you a long list of products. To narrow it down, start with products that feature on more than one site. Keep your browser open because you will keep going back to step 1 as you construct your list.

When writing a review, you want a diverse list, not just those that are well known. So use the big names to research alternatives. For instance, if you were looking at online payment vendors, Paypal is often the automatic option. If you search for alternatives to Paypal, you will find a whole list of solutions, allowing you to learn about lesser-known options.

Put all your information on a spreadsheet. It allows you to create a features matrix, which helps you identify what products to recommend to your readers. What is best for a beginner with a small business, may not work for a specialist with a handful of employees.

At the end of step 2, you should have a table similar to the one below.

Read on to continue learning how to write a product review.

Step 3: Start Browsing

Now it is time to do a deep dive into your products. Put yourself in the mind of your potential buyers. What pros and cons do they need to make a decision? What features would they deem vital about the product you’re reviewing? That’s your target information for your product reviews.

Go through the search results and take a few notes. Is the website easy to navigate?

Look through the product features. When writing a review, always keep in mind the priority of your reader. Start to populate the matrix you made in step 2. If you can find product sheets on the site, those work great. They summarize all the information you need. It’s easy to find yourself watching all the videos and reading all blog posts. Before you click on yet another video or article on the resource tab, ask yourself, do I need this information to decide to buy this product?

Take about 10 minutes on each website. If the site is easy to navigate, that should be enough. Get pricing information if it is available. Take note of the different pricing tiers and supported features. 

Step 4: Log Features

As you go through the websites, you will find a few testimonials and examples that will help you understand the product features and benefits better. When writing reviews, each website will highlight what they feel is their best feature, which will help you compare the other products you are reviewing. 

The matrix is easier to populate because you can either put in a yes or no or check for easy comparison. At this point, you need to take a few additional notes linking features to the problems they solve. The notes will help you formulate the introductions for each product, framing its suitability for your different readers.

Create a customer profile for each product. Some products will be ideal for someone with a technological background. Others are designed for novices. Some offer a free feature that works well for individuals, while other products support small businesses. Make a bulleted list of these characteristics as the example below shows.

The ideal customer for this product:

  • User type
  • Industry
  • Company size
  • Multinational? 
  • Ease of use/experience level (IT resource requirements? automation/alerts)

Remember to highlight how this product differentiates itself from the others. 

  • Does it increase automation? 
  • What kind of reports does the software generate? 
  • What security features does it boast? 
  • What integrations does it offer? 
  • Do they offer a free trial? 
  • What customer support do they offer?

Step 5: Check Review Sites

Now that the product makers have made their case, it is time to take it to the streets. 

Reputable sites contain a mix of both positive and negative product reviews. In B2B products, the reviews tend to be very specific. Even when a client gives a 5-star rating, they will often mention something they wish worked better. The same thing happens with negative reviews. 

Look for online reviews that highlight specific features or describe a problem in detail. Some sites such as G2 have video reviews where the customers answer specific questions. They tell us what they like most about the product and how the product is solving their problem. The customers often vary between industries and technical know-how. It will give you a better feel for the product and its suitability for a particular industry or type of customer.

It will also give you an insight into the pricing models. Sometimes, the pricing models are not clear. Customer feedback will highlight such issues that will be valuable to your review.

Step 6: Check Your List of Features

Going through online reviews lets you know what features and benefits customers deem most valuable. Compare what they emphasized with the list on your matrix. You may need to reduce your list to make sure that you focus on what is most important to the consumer.

First, eliminate features that are common to all your products. That information is probably more descriptive than it is informative.

Remove features that only one or two products have unless it has been highlighted as a vital selling point in the product reviews. If it has, make sure you mention it when describing that specific product.

Step 7: Write Your Product Descriptions

Now, we call upon your writing skills. This is where you will flesh out that table of products and features you have been populating.

The product descriptions begin with an introduction. You are rewarding the reader for sticking with you beyond that first checklist, so make it interesting and informative. Do not tell them about the organization’s physical location unless you think it is necessary, for instance, it will affect the price of shipping. Otherwise, that is not relevant information.

Do not just go straight for the list of features. Begin by highlighting what problem your reader has and how the product will solve it.

The notes you made as you researched the features of the products and the online reviews will be key in this section.

When writing the pros and cons, it is better to start with the pros. Highlight what feature sets the product apart. Feel free to quote a few positive reviews. Provide real-life examples of how the product can make a difference to the user.

To maintain neutrality, you have to mention areas of improvement. Once again, back these up with actual examples. If the company has done anything to improve its performance, tell your readers about it.

To increase readability, categorize your products. You can do that in different ways, e.g free and paid tools, or by industry e.g freelancers and business owners. It will break up the text and help your readers find products that best fit their needs.

Do not forget to add images, specifically User Interface screenshots. Someone scrolling through a post is more likely to pause when they see a picture. It adds to the product’s story and provides the reader incentive to stay on your page.

Step 8: Write your Feature Descriptions

Expound on each feature that you settled on in step 6. Do not just list the features in bullet points. If any of your products appeal to novice users, some of those terms will not resonate with them.

You need to explain what the feature does and how that is useful to the user. 

Always remember that features are things the product can do and selling points. Think about what functionality the product has as opposed to selling points like free trials and money-back guarantees.

Step 9: Write Your Intro and Conclusions

For your introduction to capture your reader’s attention, you need to show your reader that you understand why they are there. Highlight what problems they are having. A short narrative of their day-to-day struggle shows that you have a grasp on their challenge. It also makes for good reading because the reader can relate to the material.

Include a few relevant statistics in the introduction. This serves two purposes. One, it portrays you as well-informed.  It shows that your article is well researched. Second, it helps reassure the reader that they are not alone in their struggles and gives them hope for growth and improvement. The key here is to have relevant statistics.

Conclude your post with a takeaway section. Unlike a term paper, the word conclusion has no meaning here. The header here should include a “how to choose” or “choosing” keyword because that’s what product reviews are trying to do. 

Highlight key points that will help them make their purchasing decisions. You can also use the conclusion to direct them to additional resources related to the post, perhaps a “how-to” post or a video tutorial of one of the featured products. If you want to recommend a particular product, you can also include a call to action in your conclusion. Be sure to be professional with your call to action and recommendation so as not to sound like you have a stake in it.

Invite them to provide feedback on their experience. Product reviews are subject to updates, and feedback from your readers becomes customer reviews which are helpful with future analysis.

Step 10: Headings

Once you’re done with the content, you need to clean up the format. Ensuring that you have headings and subheadings helps you break up the text. It also helps you set up a table of contents at the top of your post that links to the specific products. You also want to word your headings appropriately, optimizing them for SEO. Instead of a header that reads “project management software”, it should be “the best project management software products/downloads”. The idea is to match your headline with words your readers type into a search engine. There are WordPress plugins you can use that will help. Alternatively, use the “people also ask” section on Google.

When it comes to the heading formats, your major section headers should be H2 (use the format picker in Google docs, or you can use the keyboard shortcut alt+command+2)

For example

H2: Compare the best project management software

<compare chart>

H2: The top project management software vendors/products

H3: Wrike

H3: Asana

H2: How to choose the best project management software

# Bonus Tips on How to Write a Product Review

  • Find a suitable (free) stock photo and attach it to your article. Ensure to add alt tags for optimization. Images also make the article sharable on social media. More people are more likely to click on the post if it contains a captivating picture.
  • Proofread – Avoid editing your article as you write it. It takes up a lot of time. Either way, you will have to proofread it again. When you are working on the article, focus on that. Forget about how you can make that sentence better or arrange those bullet points to create flow. First, write, get all the mistakes on the screen. Give yourself a small break, and then sit and edit your work. Sometimes, reading your article works wonders and helps you catch errors that you would not otherwise notice. If you have time, have someone else go through it for you and get feedback.
  • Define your software categories – What is project management software? — define the software category in general. Don’t assume that the reader understands what that type of application does.
  • Add some color and break up the text with pretty charts with logos. Infographics highlight essential information in your article. They draw the eye downward, triggering your readers’ curiosity. 
  • Ask questions – Are you struggling to give your clients personalized service? Are you losing sales because your clients don’t know about your new products? We’ve all been there. That’s why you need an emailing solution.
  • Affiliate links are okay in reviews so long as you make this clear in your site’s terms and conditions.

You can do it without sounding cheesy. The more you learn about your customers, the easier it is to ask the right questions.

The Takeaway

Product reviews are not easy, but the rewards are worth it. Let the voice of the customer guide you as you do your research. Sometimes, there is a disconnect between what you want to say and what your readers are looking for. Stay focused on your readers.

As you make your list of products, remain flexible. As you research customer reviews, you may find information that will lead to an addition or substitution. Pay attention to what reviewers found delightful and frustrating. Ensure you capture that tone in your product description.

Keep the language simple. Do not shy away from images. Aim to make your article as reader-friendly as possible.

Finally, remember to update your post. Technology changes in a blink of an eye, and you want your content to remain relevant. Most reviews are done annually, but no rule denies you the right to update your product review blog post before the year is up. Updating posts is much easier than composing a new article.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you are a freelancer and you want to create sample content, you can create a product review sample by following the 10 steps above. Concentrate on an area in which you have an interest. If you are a financial writer, you can write reviews of the 10 best e-commerce payment platforms. Whatever your area of interest is, take time to find out what challenges customers face and possible solutions. Once you have identified the solution you want to talk about, just follow the steps below to write a review.

  • Look for similar top products articles
  • Make a list of products
  • Start browsing
  • Log features
  • Check Review Sites
  • Check your List of Features
  • Write your Product Descriptions
  • Write your Feature Descriptions
  • Write Your Intro and Conclusions

What is product review in business?

A product review involves analyzing the features and performance of a product to help others make a purchasing decision. Product reviews serve different purposes. A business can use it to receive feedback on its products. An affiliate marketer can use it to inform their readers of the features and performance of a product while earning commissions on affiliate links.

What should I write in a good review?

An objective review features:

  • a description of the product
  • its features
  • its competitive advantage
  • its disadvantages

It should also include what problem the product aims to solve and for whom it is best suited. 

How do you write a positive review example?

A positive review is just an ordinary product review where the benefits far outweigh the negatives. This should not be confused with a sponsored review where a company pays an influencer to review their product. That will likely be a one-sided review since you, the writer, are paid to highlight the benefits of a product. The process of writing a positive review is the same as we have covered in the article above.

How do you structure a review?

The structure of the review is covered in the format section

How do you write a product overview?

A product overview is the same as a product description. The key is to highlight the key features of the product, and the problem is solved.

How do you write an online review?

Most product reviews are found online hence the term online review. Follow the steps above to write an online review.

How do you write a catchy product description?

A strong, descriptive product description will entice your readers to purchase your products. Here are some basic pointers for how you can write a catchy one that captures their attention.

  • Keep the review easy to read by using short paragraphs and bullet points.
  • Be sure to include all of the vital details about your product so it is easier for people to make an informed purchasing decision.
  • Break up sentences by including italics on new concepts introduced within them
  • Use an abundance of keywords throughout the text to ensure it ranks higher in search engine rankings

How do I write a review correctly?

A product review is not an opinion piece where you get to voice your own thought about a product or service. It’s a factual presentation of how a product performs so that others can make informed purchasing decisions. This means you have to a lot of the features and benefits of the product and less on selling points.

How do you start a product review?

The introduction to a product review serves to show your audience that your article will answer the question that made them land on your page. You need to show you understand their problem and how your review is going to help them.

How can I become a product reviewer?

The easiest way to become a product reviewer is by starting your own blog or website. You can then publish your product reviews, how-to posts, and other informative articles on your site. This will allow you to connect with potential buyers who are looking for solutions to their problems, especially if you target the same audience as the product you are reviewing.

By Kihara Kimachia

Kihara is the founder of Sanifu Media and has over 20 years of experience in sales and marketing gained in a variety of industries. He holds a Degree in International Business Administration from the United States International University (USIU) with a concentration in Marketing. Additionally, he holds professional qualifications in insurance, sales and is a Hubspot Certified Inbound Marketer and Content Marketer. He is skilled in and tested on content creation, social promotion, lead nurturing and conversion, and ad management (Google and Facebook). He is a prolific writer with a passion for business and technology. In the past, he has contributed to respectable tech websites such as MakeUseOf.com, maketecheasier.com, and ghostwritten for dozens of other websites. Twitter @KiharaKimachia

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