Thinking a little deeper, you can realize that product descriptions on your eCommerce store are like the sales-man in a brick and mortar showroom. They take you to a point closest to your biggest prospects. After all, users go through numerous conversion filters to land on your product page. Only the ones who are most likely to make a purchase visit your product pages. It’s something that can make or break your biggest chance to make a sale. Exactly the way a bad sales-man can scare your customers away from your showroom.
Unfortunately, not every eCommerce entrepreneur realizes the importance of an optimized product description. Most of the time, they update some critical details and expect the customers to make a purchase reading an incomplete piece of information. Even worse, they might just copy and paste product descriptions from competitors’ websites with micro changes.
What Makes an Optimal Product Description?
If you take control of your eCommerce product descriptions, any viable product could become competent enough to sell itself, that too repeatedly. There are two main aspects of any good product description, which if handled well, can generate surefire sales from interested customers:
- SEO: It deals with giving your products the visibility they deserve on the search engines. Optimizing your product pages for the eCommerce SEO will help you take your products to the interested customer base. Here you take care of SEO writing tactics, keywords, and other SEO components to acquire a higher rank in the SERPs for relevant search queries.
- CRO: The second aspect is all about Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO), where you optimize your information for the people who read them. Once they know about your products, CRO helps you to convince such prospects for making a purchase. Here, you try to make your content informative, easy to understand, and persuasive enough.
Steps to writing great product descriptions that sell themselves
Considering both the aspects discussed above, let’s discuss some product description tactics, which when implemented correctly, can make your eCommerce store ready for both the search engines and the potential customers:
Step #1: Start with a focus on your Target Market first
It’s easy to write generic product descriptions with general features and common benefits for all. However, it’s a trap. Neutral eCommerce product descriptions with a broad coverage about everything and for everyone fail brutally. In fact, targeting all kinds of demographics usually backfires and you might lose your actual customers, nullifying the crux of your micro-targeting campaigns.
Instead, you should identify your target customers first and write for them, rather than trying to please everyone. The current era is a market for micro-focused and niched business ideas. Today, it’s better to become a popular seller in a niche, rather than aiming for the entire market segment.
Hence, narrow down your target focus, and start thinking about pleasing your primary prospects now.
Step #2: Features are generic while Benefits depict specialty
It is easier to incline towards product features and overwhelm your customers with a massive list of specifications. You might also feel that it’s crucial to share knowledge about every technical and non-technical information. Trust me that I know you feel this way for good reasons.
However, a majority of customers don’t care about the features of products but their benefits. Most of the time, customers fail to evaluate benefits by seeing mere features and specifications. It’s a fact that customers, unknowingly, don’t seek features but a piece of information that describes if the product addresses their pain points; that is, the benefits of the product to them.
Hence, don’t just list your product features randomly. Instead, explain the benefits of those features.
In the above example from Amazon’s multivendor marketplace, you can see that the seller has focused primarily on explaining the benefits of this product, hence kept benefits section above the fold. For example, the device supports WPA/WPA2 modes, which is a feature, but the seller has explained how this feature benefits in the safety and security of the device, rather than mentioning the mere specifications.
Step #3: Writer’s block and Clichés are eminent; avoid them
Sometimes you might run out of ideas and words, especially when you have so many products. In such a state, you might tempt into using clichés, too many adjectives, and other generic phrases. For example, “best, excellent, top-notch, good quality, value for money, and others”. It’s not easy to keep things interesting when you are writing in bulk.
Generic terms and clichés would just degrade the quality of your information. People are used to seeing these terms everywhere on the internet. To stand out, try to be more specific and unique with your words. However, that doesn’t mean you should write the wrong information. If you are finding it difficult to avoid common terms, just write your draft one and then try to rephrase some other time with a fresh mind. You may also use tools such as Thesaurus.com and Grammarly.
You can also consider hiring an experienced freelance or full-time copywriter for better results.
Step #4: Help them to visualize and feel the products with your words
Customers can’t touch and feel the products while shopping online. Hence, it’s always a reason for buying dilemma among them. The hands-on experience with a product increases the confidence and strengthens the buying decision. You have to play with that experience in your eCommerce product descriptions.
With your writing style and language, give them a sense as if the product is just lying in front of them. Describe in detail how does the product look, what’s it is made of, how it feels to touch it, how big it is, and how to use it. Add a FAQ section to clarify common questions. If necessary, add detailed explanations with additional videos, pictures, diagrams, real-life photographs of the products to help your customers imagine the applications of your products easily.
This also means that you should always use multiple, high-quality images, and real-life videos.
Step #5: Don’t market but tell a story
Customers know that businesses out there are trying to market and sell their products at any cost. In this campaign, online stores even bluff about a few things to get sales. You should work to mitigate this stereotype by giving as much information about the product. Telling them a real-life story about how the product helped a customer is one such way.
Besides user-generated content such as reviews and ratings, equip your product pages with case studies of actual customers. Let your prospects build a notion of usability, not a sense of marketing with your product descriptions. If possible, share some testimonial videos of your customers. You can also add social proof by adding links to your social media profile on the page, where you can highlight how your customers are using the product.
One of the great examples of this step is the strategy used by a Chinese Smartphone brand ‘Realme’.
The brand boasts of the camera quality of its products. It tells stories by asking its customers to post the pictures taken by its smartphones on social media and tag the brand under certain contests. In return, the brand gives rewards to the best pictures.
Step #6: Organize the descriptions in sections concisely
Customers don’t have time to spend minutes reading everything in your product description. They just look for the things that interest them. Although the ideal word-limit for product descriptions (SEO-wise) is 2000 words, writing a big essay with paragraphs will make things worse.
Instead, divide the description into different sections. For the first 1000 words, you can write the actual product description after classifying into segments such as Specifications, Overview, Material Details, Shipping details, Package information, Features, Dimensions, etc. You can dedicate the next 1000 words to user-generated content such as customer reviews, case studies, and FAQs.
It’s best to use expandable sections, something like in this screenshot from Bestbuy.com.
These sections expand into more segments, which makes it easier for users to find relevant information quickly. You can also experiment with Horizontal Tabs instead of expandable drop-down sections.
Step #7: Know your keywords for SEO
The reason for including this step at the last is that you should never write your eCommerce product descriptions for the search engines alone. Users always come first. That’s why all the points above talk about optimizing your descriptions for the users. Even search engines don’t rank your pages that miss user-experiences. However, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t care for eCommerce SEO. There are certain things you can tweak in your product descriptions to make them ready for SEO without degrading the user experience:
- Use only relevant keywords after a proper keyword research
- Don’t stuff your keywords randomly but care for user context
- Use your primary keyword in the H1 tag of the page
- Optimize for search intent, not search-keywords
- Maintain a proper keyword density; not above 2%
- Give all the images proper ALT tags, caption, and description
- Optimize your webpage for mobile viewing experience too
- Optimize the loading time of your product pages
- Try to keep the loading time under 2-3 seconds
- Update them regularly to keep the content fresh
Writing a persuasive product description is not a tough job when you know your products and target audience. However, the easier it seems, the trickier it gets if you write without proper research and information. Most importantly, you should always dedicate your product descriptions to users, not the search engines. Most eCommerce copywriters make this mistake. As a result, even if they get good traffic, the conversion rate always remains low somehow. You shouldn’t make this mistake in your copy. All the best.