At first glance, product descriptions might not seem like all that big a deal — just bang together some words about what your product does, list a few specs, and presto, the customers will come flocking… right?
If only it were that easy.
To stand out in the bold and busy world of eCommerce, your product descriptions need to do a whole lot more than merely describe your products: They need to convince potential customers your product is worth buying, while skillfully nudging them to complete the checkout process.
Product descriptions are the final point in your potential buyer’s conversion funnel. If they have questions about your product, they’ll go looking for answers in the description — and what they find there will heavily influence whether or not they click “add to cart.”
Follow these tips to craft fresh, strategically-written product descriptions that excite your customers (and sell your products).
Don’t just describe features, describe benefits
Chances are, the average Joe shopping online for a product like yours doesn’t care about detailed specs and features — they care about how the product will benefit them.
For example, if you’re selling a snow boot with a felt liner, focus on the value this feature brings your customers: Is liner removable and washable, and how does this make their experience more convenient? Does the boot feel softer, warmer, more comfortable?
It can be tempting to default to general, oft-used terms (“high quality” comes to mind) when you run out of things to say. Even if your product is, in fact, high quality (and we’re sure it is) the term has been used so often it means little to potential customers. Instead, focus on the more specific features that make your product special and unique.
Consider this product description for a Patagonia winter jacket. “If New York is the city that never sleeps, you’re going to need a sophisticated, street-friendly jacket that keeps you warm and dry if you want to keep up the pace. This insulated jacket provides windproof, weather-resistant protection to anyone walking the beat, day or night. Insulated with 600-fill-power Recycled Down reclaimed from duck and goose down products, it feels like you’re wrapped in a soft comforter whenever you head out the door. The 2-layer shell, made from a 50-denier 100% polyester fabric, has a buoyant, supple hand along with a DWR (durable water repellent) finish to shed moisture and increase durability. A 100% recycled polyester ripstop lining wicks moisture and glides smoothly over layers. For additional weather protection there’s an insulated hood and a 2-way waterproof center-front zipper with a zipper garage at the chin to protect exposed skin. High-volume handwarmer pockets have soft brushed jersey fabric lining, and there’s an internal security pocket (with headphone compatibility) that closes with a zipper. The hem is adjustable using hidden cords routed inside the handwarmer pockets. This jacket has a streamlined silhouette and an at-the-waist length.”
Patagonia is great at accompanying useful product specs (“100% polyester ripstop lining”) with real-world benefits (“wicks moisture and glides smoothly over layers”) without a cliche in sight.
Target your ideal customer
Creative copy shouldn’t stop with your blog posts and landing pages. Think about your ideal buyer persona while crafting your product descriptions: What sort of questions would they be asking about your product? What kind of humor would they appreciate in web copy (if any?) Should you address them conversationally or formally?
The best product descriptions speak directly to your ideal customer, using language they would use and understand.
Use keyword-driven descriptions for stronger SEO Avoid Duplicate Content
With competitors swarming, eCommerce product pages need all the SEO help they can get. That means you’ll want to be strategic in working relevant keywords into your descriptions and keeping the search intent of your customers in mind.
Imagine you’re selling a gold charm bracelet. What search terms would an online shopper use while looking for a product like yours? You can easily structure your product descriptions to include important keywords by using the following format:
1. Your primary product description (65-70 words minimum if possible) including:
- Style/type of product (charm bracelet, beaded bracelet, etc.)
- Name of the product
- Product finish/material type (gold, sterling silver, rose gold etc.)
2. Have at least 3 to 5 bulleted points under details including:
- Collection it is associated with (if applicable)
- Occasion if applicable
- Color if applicable
- Size(s) if applicable
3. Shipping Details or Offers
- Quick details for your shipping and returns policy and links for quick reference EX: Free 2-day shipping and free returns
- For more details, read our Shipping and Returns policies.
You should do keyword research to determine which keywords are right for each of your product pages. This sounds complicated, but don’t worry: You can use this guide to learn how to do keyword research with Google Keyword Tool and Google Trends.
Avoid Duplicate Content
Long story short: Search engines don’t love duplicate content — AKA blocks of identical or near-identical content appearing across different pages or domains.
eCommerce product descriptions are a major contributor to duplicate content, typically because different sales outlets selling the same product will copy-and-paste generic, supplier-provided product descriptions.
Resist the urge to use a pre-written description from a supplier. Instead, craft a unique and valuable description that speaks to your customer directly. If you’re selling the same product on multiple sites (i.e. on your own eCommerce page as well as on Amazon), make sure product descriptions are different for each page.