When a customer lands on your site, you need to show them why and how your product meets their needs. In today’s world, customers can compare items online easily and quickly, so you need to stand out. Your product description is where you convince your customers why they should choose you. A well-written product description not only convinces visitors to add that item to their shopping cart, but also helps to build out your brand’s message.
Most stores will have similar pictures advertising the item, and this image will be enough to satisfy many. However, the product description not only tells your customers about the product in question’s details, but it’s also a trust-building exercise between the business and the customer. Write a sufficiently descriptive one, and customers won’t complain. Your customers aren’t going to tell you when you’ve written a great product description, but when you have, you’ll know it’s working from both your sales and returns data.
So, how do you write a truly great product description? WebSell is currently trialing a product description service that’s delivered by our team of creative experts.
In this post we’ve compiled a list of 9 easy-to-follow steps for writing product copy that will increase sales:
1. Define your ideal customer
Great product descriptions always have the ideal buyer firmly in its sights. You need to understand this customer and what features of the product will appeal to them, so you know which features to talk about. Creating a buyer persona is a good idea if you haven’t already done so, and there are many templates online as a starting place.
With your persona developed, you should construct your description to match their style of language. What words do they use? Do they use slang? What questions are they likely to have? Would they appreciate some humor? Usual factors like age, location, gender, education, etc. will also have an impact on the language you end up using. Answer these questions with this persona in mind on your product page.
2. Champion the product’s benefits
With your customer persona, you also need to think about their motivations for buying and what’s likely to move them to purchase. Listing the features of the product by itself isn’t enough to sell in a competitive market, you need to focus on product benefits too.
Say you’re selling a waterproof jacket. Rather than just listing “Waterproof fabric” or similar, you can say “Waterproof fabric for guaranteed dryness”. The latter product description is far more effective as it describes exactly what benefit you’ll get from this product’s feature.
Here’s a good example from WebSell customer My Pet Warehouse:
3. Avoid using boilerplate phrases
Try to avoid using phrases like “excellent quality”. This is something that the customer expects anyway and is something that every retailer would say about their product. The quality of the product isn’t in question so there’s no need to mention it.
The customer just wants to know the key features of this product and the benefits they bring. Being as specific as possible with the features will help your page in Google rankings. The more product features you can list or talk about, the stronger your page will be in the search results. Being informative and is what search engines are looking for, so you should create your product descriptions accordingly.
4. Use bullet points to capture attention
Bullet points ensure you capture your customers’ limited attention. Most visitors will just scan-read, so using bullet points will grab their attention right away. Bullet points don’t have to be short with just a few words either, you can tell stories with them too.
Take Amazon’s product page for the Kindle for example. In the body of the product page, they tell the story of the products features and benefits with bullet points – it paints a picture of the life of a Kindle owner. It gives an urgency to the page and helps users to make a purchasing decision:
5. Keep your descriptions simple
While you might want to write a story about your product, it’s still important to keep it as simple as possible too. Your product description is not the place for GOT-style descriptions.
Here you need to use an economy of words and always substitute the shorter word for the longer one, provided it’s on brand. Your product pages will attract customers from a wide array of backgrounds, so your page should try and appeal to as many as possible.
6. Optimize for SEO
If you want your product pages to appear in search result pages, you need to optimize the page for SEO. What does this mean? Ensure the keywords for your product, and any words which are typically searched for when looking for your product, are dotted throughout your product pages.
These words should show up naturally in your text and not just listed or shoehorned in. Remember, Google prefers content which is both informative and original and their algorithm is always learning. There are too many pages out there that just list certain keywords, so don’t be one of them. Having an SEO strategy for e-commerce companies can’t be ignored if you want to maximize returns.
You will also need to ensure your keywords appear in key places like page titles, meta descriptions, and image ALT tags (which you’ll need to have in order to be ADA compliant) for increased organic traffic.
7. Use great product images
A great product description demands a great product image. 63% of customers feel that a product image is more important than the description. An effective product image will tell the users everything they need to know about the item before they purchase.
When your image matches up with your copy and they both work in tandem, then you’ve got a killer product page. Read our blog on the importance of good product photography for more info.
WebSell retailer Boards Direct shows their product images in real-life room settings so customer can visualize what the product would look like in their room:
8. Include social proof for credibility
Customers landing on your site may not always know what they want to buy. When this happens they are often swayed by positive reviews and credible comments. 85% of millenials say that reviews do influence their purchasing decisions, so it’s important to include some positive social proof on your product page when you can.
If you don’t have access to positive reviews for your products, as many don’t, including the most popular products you have for sale can work wonders. A customer might see a product they want more than the one they are currently looking at and decide to buy both products. A big win for a simple solution.
9. Stay on brand
While the above tactics may seem like they could change what your brand stands for, it’s important to stay true to your business’ mission.
Maybe bullet points don’t work for your brand, or you need longer descriptions as your products are all about the story. The above are proven methods, but if they compromise your brand, then alter the tactics.
Effective product descriptions will always deliver results and you’ll know when you’ve landed on the right one. Writing product descriptions optimized for SEO is a continuous and evolving process and you will need to revisit them often. However, as it’s your main piece of sales copy, it’s worth getting right.
WebSell is currently trialing a product description writing service for our retailers. To register your interest in this service, leave a comment below or get in touch to discuss your options.