How to Write Product Descriptions

Think about it: Something of an “uncontacted tribe” constantly lands on your website — at least they do if your meta web copy and SEO product descriptions are enticing.

But the question is, once those curious cyber shoppers click to your web pages, how interested do you keep them? Is your sales copy clear and compelling? And have you provided the kind of information that not only educates, but underscores why do business with you?

It’s surprising that many e-commerce websites use very little copy on their product pages. Many simply use the scant product copy that’s provided by manufacturers.

Worse, there’s often little thought given to 1.) SEO copywriting, which helps search engines send more traffic, and 2.) the fact that search engines may dismiss the manufacturers’ copy they use, considering it duplicate content.

 

Google’s Demand for Better E-commerce Copywriting

Actually, many small businesses with an e-commerce website recently experienced a painful drop in organic traffic from search engines.

This is due to Google’s recent, very strict algorithm change called Panda (or Farmer). The Panda affect is basically challenging the e-commerce community to step up its product description writing game.

Depending on one’s time and ability to do this, the demand for a good copywriter may grow to an all-time high online.

But when we address issues surrounding our SEO copywriting quality and any duplicate content, this should benefit both customer and sales.

No longer will a confused and unimpressed “cyber tribe” flee these uninformative sites in droves.

With more information — more relevant copy on product pages and questions better answered — shoppers will gain more confidence about buying. In fact, stronger e-commerce copywriting on a website can:

  • Increase search engine traffic by 50% or more.
  • Possibly boost your sales conversions by up to 30%.

 

How to Write Product Descriptions

Like the uncontacted tribe in Peru, first-time visitors to your site are looking at a huge unknown. They’re unfamiliar but also hopeful.

Would a business interaction with you be positive, they wonder? Getting them to take action requires positioning your sales copy to land on what’s called “the sweet spot” — a safe and happy place where all systems are “go.”

Be mindful of your #1 Goal: to sell the product! You want each prospect to land on your products web page and think, “Yes, this is precisely what I’m looking for and I’m ready to buy now!”  To that end, take the following approach to writing product descriptions (or rewriting them) for greater success:

  • Write meta tag descriptions that convey the benefits of shopping your site. Using keywords in meta descriptions don’t count in search engine optimization. It’s the meta title for each page where keyword usage matters most. In fact, you can use 2 or 3 keyword phrases in your meta titles for each web page. But don’t simply plop down those keywords in meta titles. Make them more *clickable* by revealing a compelling benefit on this line, right off the bat!
  • Use a unique voice for product descriptions, and apply it consistently across all products. The best way to write product descriptions is to be informative but also be a little creative. Incorporate the power of persuasive writing to explain what makes your products or services different. But balance it all with simplicity and readability. These factors are crucial for building trust.
  • Use both paragraphs and bullet-points. Most people won’t read an entire page. In fact, as much as 79% of web page readers only scan pages and don’t read your copy word-for-word. This is why bullet-points work well. They draw the eye to your key information areas. Use your paragraphs to add texture and color about your products.
  • Pique interest, but don’t overwhelm readers. Avoid using long sentences, as they’re difficult to digest. In fact, they work against your job of persuading the reader. Shorten sentences by deleting unnecessary modifiers and phrases. Also break unwieldy sentences in two. Add color to your writing, but don’t pepper it too much with adverbs and adjectives that slow down the reading.
  • Tell the benefits of choosing each product. You probably have plenty of product features to write about, from color and weight to sizes and material used. However, it’s more often the product benefits a prospect will derive that make them purchase. What’s the “edge” one gets out of buying what you sell? Explain how your product makes the buyer prettier, faster, smarter or gives any other type of advantage.
  • Here’s the secret to becoming a better SEO copywriter. Try these steps for your e-commerce copywriting tasks:
    1. Identify targeted keywords for the page.
    2. Write your 1st draft of product description.
    3. Proofread your product description.
    4. Try to add more keywords (if appropriate).
    5. Edit again to create a natural-sounding read.
    6. If you need more keywording, don’t just “stuff” them in. Add them within a new sentence or paragraph.
  • Clearly and simply explain logistics and policies. This would include information about payment, shipping, and how to make returns. Remember, every unanswered question provides customers a reason to click away to another site. So make these things plain to understand and easily found. Also, be sure to highlight attractive features such as special discounts or free shipping.
  • Create clear “call to action” points. Make it easy to buy from you. Unmissable call to action buttons and/or bold links go a long way toward improving sales conversions. Check here for tips on how to write a call to action that works well.
  • Let the “tribe” decide which sales copy works best. If you currently have product descriptions that don’t seem to be converting well, use Google Analytics to implement an A/B split test. This allows you to study how people respond to different versions of your sales copy pertaining to the same product.
  • If you have affiliate marketers supporting your business . . . don’t provide them the exact same copy you’re using. By giving them a different set of copy, you’ll both be able to rank on search engines for a variety of keywords and phrase combinations. This is another area where a professional copywriter can be a big help, crafting sales copy that affiliate marketers will believe in and do well with.

 

Product Description Writing Requires Skill & Time

With so many “moving parts” needing to be addressed, e-commerce copywriting can be difficult and time-consuming.

However, you needn’t do it all at once. Take your time rewriting your product pages. If you rush and don’t get it right, this becomes a self-defeating (albeit well-intentioned) exercise.

Focus on perfecting your most important products first.

If you don’t have the time or patience for improving your e-commerce copywriting, align with a skilled SEO copywriter.

Use someone who knows how to incorporate your keyword phrases into your copy without compromising your site’s credibility. Just be sure to choose a copywriter who’s well-versed on all the elements it takes to

  1. Attract the right “tribe” from search engines, and
  2. Persuade those skeptical strangers to buy now!