How to Build Review Website
Reviews are one of the most effective types of content for attracting traffic, because, as various studies show, more than 80% of people use them when making consumer decisions. This means that when someone plans to buy a phone, hire a lawyer, go to the doctor or book a hotel room, he will first look at the reviews of this product or service on the Internet and only then will decide where and which particular product or service is better buy.
You can analyze your target audience in a variety of ways, for example, by studying competitor users, online communities (forums, social networks), marketing research results, or by conducting screening surveys. The choice of analysis tools depends on the country and the preferences of the target audience.
For example, at one time, the Yelp team conducted a survey and found that travel was the second most popular area of interest for their users, despite the fact that the “travel” category on the site was the least popular.
Business model. Now let's look at how to choose the optimal business model for your review site depending on the niche and audience. The YELP TRAVEL case did not do this, since it is an operating platform, and its owners have no reason to change anything. This is the most popular review site in the United States, which brings in more than $ 1 billion in revenue per year.
The essence of the Yelp business model is to provide people (customers) with a platform for feedback on local business, goods and services, to give them the opportunity to share personal experience and, at the same time, earn money through advertising, referral programs and paid services. Everything is very simple, clear and very effective.
But this is not the only option. Here are some alternatives:
There are a lot of affiliate programs to which you can connect. At the same time, there are, so to say, referral marketplaces (for example, Get Free Stuff or Get Brand Deals), as well as programs of specific online stores (all major platforms have them). In addition, you can also use referral programs of sites that aggregate the prices of goods and services. However, in aggregators the commission is usually lower.
Among other methods of monetization of the review site can be distinguished
After compiling the user stream, designers begin to develop site and / or application frameworks: page layouts without graphics and text. Thanks to them, you can understand how the future website will look like, how convenient, clear and pleasant in appearance.
Registration / Login. Authorization is an integral part of the review site, since only by creating a personal profile you can leave feedback. It is usually implemented by email or by logging in with your Google profile and Facebook, like on TripAdvisor. In some cases, when registering, you also need to indicate your location (address or zip code), as on Yelp.
Ratings and reviews. There are several options for how users can post reviews on the review site. The most common is simply to add a rating and a form for writing a review after registration. The rating can be divided into several criteria (like on Airbnb or Booking.com), and then summarized in a general rating. So a review of a product or service will be more informative.
Supplier Panel. Bring suppliers of services and goods to your website (so that they respond to customer reviews / reviews). This increases user engagement (site traffic) and has a positive effect on brand reputation. To do this, we need analytical tools that track reviews and ratings for specific brands and products, the function of automatic response to feedback.
Admin panel. Needed to track user activity, as well as to manage listings, content, monetization, payment gateways, marketing tools, categories, recommendations, etc. Only you and the staff may have access to this panel. At the same time, the profiles of all admins are either laid down in the system initially, or a master admin is created that can manage everything and create admin profiles with a lower level of rights.
Fraud protection. Reviews greatly influence consumer decisions by users, so brands will use your site to boost sales by paying people to write fake reviews. To prevent fraud, you need to check IP, email addresses, phone numbers, add anti-spam services and identify suspicious behavior.
Another option is SaaS platforms. These are cloud solutions that provide a template for launching a review site with a backend and vendor support. A good option if you need to run the site in a short time and with a small budget (the cost of a subscription is from $ 20 to $ 1,000 per month). At the same time, this is a template solution with low capabilities for customizing functions and creating a unique design that would stand out among competitors.
The last approach is to develop a review site from scratch. It is longer, more expensive and more complicated, but it is the best option if you want to get an online platform with a unique design and features, as well as full rights to the created software. The process can be greatly simplified and even make cheaper if you outSource of the image of the image the development to a technical panther. How to find the best developer is described in the article «How to choose a developer company»