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Write product descriptions that appeal to Google and convert customers
A well-written product description is vital. Yet, many product descriptions get swept under the carpet.
It’s important to remember that product descriptions are crucial for ranking on Google. 87% appreciate accurate and complete product content when making a purchase.
Many product descriptions are either dull or poorly written. Merchants tend to focus on other areas of their product pages like product images and reviews.
Today we want to pay more attention to product descriptions. This blog will cover the science and art of writing strong product descriptions, as well as 10 tips for creating copy that converts.
What are product descriptions?
Let’s begin with the basics. A product description describes the product in detail and highlights the benefits of buying it.
The product description in online stores is usually located near the product photos. House Salad, an online retailer powered by Wix, displays their description above the fold right next to the main photo. The description of House Salads’ Autumn Apple candle focuses on its transportability as well as its unique scent (which is reminiscent of a fresh baked apple pie).
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It’s important to note that every marketplace has its own product descriptions and lengths. Amazon places product descriptions at the bottom of the page (bullet points are awarded priority placement at each listing). Amazon restricts product descriptions to 2000 characters. It also maintains strict regulations such as excluding customer testimonials or time-sensitive information.
This blog will focus on creating descriptions for your website. It is the area where you have the greatest control over your product pages. These tips can be used to guide your multichannel listings.
The basics of product copywriting
There are several common traps that sellers fall into when creating product copy. One of these is the tendency to describe product features in a bland way, rather than illustrating their benefits. Publishing a wall of text without any formatting or spacing to make it easier for the eyes.
The following guidelines should be followed when copywriting:
- Keep your copy succinct and short
- Your unique selling points should be given priority
- Appeal to the emotions of your buyers
- Verify for grammar errors and incorrect statements
- Include keywords both for SEO and user experience purposes.
It’s best to write product descriptions for eCommerce SEO. Avoid copying text from another manufacturer if your catalog contains products from other brands. Google won’t like duplicate content so make sure you have original descriptions. Google may not show your site if someone searches for the same product.
You can make sure those searches bring you to your site by writing unique, SEO-friendly copy.
9 tips to help you write product descriptions
Let’s now get into the more complex tips. Get a cup of coffee or tea and read these top nine tips to create high-converting product copy.
01. Before you start writing, it is important to understand your audience.
You can’t reach your audience no matter how talented a writer you may be. Before you write a piece of copy, it is important to understand who your target buyer is.
Consider: Is that blanket of wool in your catalog meant for college students, new mothers, or kids? Do you think it is a necessary gift? Your product copy will be stronger if you are able to get in the heads of your customers.
Create buyer personas. Find out the motivations, lifestyles, daily habits, as well as other important characteristics of your target buyer. Although it is possible to appeal to multiple buyers with your item, the more specific you are the better your chances of appealing to their emotions.
Urban Outfitters is a great example of a company that doesn’t lose sight of its target market, young adults and teenagers who appreciate alternative fashion. All of their products, from photos to product selections, fit this description.
One Urban Outfitters listing for skates says, “Glide your path through life,” attracting the attention of non-chalant students. The Lace-up design has three sets of speed lacing hooks on the ankle and a toe stopper. This allows for comfort, precision, control, and a professional look at the roller rink.
Urban Outfitters’ last sentence speaks to the desire of their customers to try tricks and “showoff” at rinks. This is a very relatable feeling, if you can take a moment to relive your teenage years.
Other product details can be found in bullet points below the description. However, the main blurb remains for emotive copy. The blurb also includes a variety of keywords shoppers might use to search for roller skates (lace-up, patterned, toe stopper and faux leather).
02. Make sure to be specific about the benefits of your product
You might have heard the expression “features sell, but benefits tell” or a variation thereof. This statement is full of wisdom.
Your product description’s purpose is not to simply list your features but to help buyers understand why they need your product. What are they going to gain by using it? They need it now and not later.
These are the two main differences in a dog mat.
This machine-washable mat is made from high-quality cotton, polyester and other fabrics. The silicone is layered on the bottom. It fits dogs between 40 and 90 lbs .”
This durable, washable dog mat will make your pup happy to have his own bed. It is made from a cotton-polyester blend and has a comfortable feel. The unique non-slip design will keep your dog and family safe and steady. This size is ideal for dogs between 40 and 90 lbs em>
Both Descriptions A and B refer to the same product features. However, Description B highlights their true value. Your dog will love to sleep in his bed (not yours), while the mat’s nonslip design will keep you and your family safe.
It is helpful to ask questions such as:
- Why is your product important to your customer? Take into account your personas. How does your product meet their wants and needs? Reflect on the original problem your product was designed to solve. Talking about the origin story of your product could be a great way to build rapport with buyers and find common ground.
- What, where, and how can you use your product? It helps to identify the most popular uses of your product. Your customers will be able to see themselves using your product if you paint a picture. Where are they when they get your product? Where are they? Where are they?
- What product information does your buyer need? Given that chargeback is the most common reason for an item not as described, it is important to clearly communicate which product details must be shared. Are your buyers reminded about the fit of your product by you? Material? Weight? Do you need any special instructions? COMFEE., a fashion brand and Wix Merchant, includes a sizing guide in place of a traditional description. Like COMFEE., your goal should be to clarify any doubts and minimize any unexpected surprises. After all, returns can be costly. A poorly-described product can cause more damage than good.
03. Avoid superlatives that are generic
Be careful not to use generic or fluff language when writing appealing copy. Avoid using superlatives like “excellent,” “great”–or even “high-quality”–as crutches.
These words are not persuasive or very interesting. These are just opinions.
Use strong, precise language to show why your product is great. Make sure to use fresh, simple copy that is also consistent with your brand. Instead of describing your jewelry in terms of “fashionable, high-quality earrings”, try using words like “whimsical, solid gold drop earrings.”
One exception to this rule is that if you have evidence to support a claim such as “best-selling” and “brightest”, it might be worth adding to your description. If this is the case, be sure to credit the sources that support these claims.
brand trust has the most important role. Avoid over-promising and letting your personal biases dictate what you write.
04. Use descriptions that are consistent with your images
To paint a vivid mental image for your customers, product descriptions should be paired with product images. Your images can serve as inspiration.
Let’s say you have photos of a young lady wrapped in the wool blanket you are selling. The photo shows a young woman sitting on a couch, sipping coffee in a brightly lit room. You could extend this visualization by including a description of how the blanket can be used at home for warmth on chilly winter mornings.
Apple uses visualization to show the advantages of its Apple Series 7 Smartwatch and persuade customers to upgrade from their older models. They wax poetic about the new Smartwatch, superimposing its most appealing features on full-screen images.
The main product description starts with the most important feature of the new watch, a larger display screen. The copy is:
“Largest and most advanced display ever.”
Breakthrough in Health Innovations”
“Up To 33% Faster Charging.”
“Five new aluminum colors.”
The larger display makes Apple Watch more intuitive and easier to read. Series 7 is our most innovative and creative yet .”
Apple is proud of their clear, crisp product images. They use the imagery throughout the pages to marinate their copy. To tell a coherent story, the copy must be consistent with the imagery.
05. Storytelling is a great way to grab attention
A product description should convey the essential information about the item, without being too salesy. Your goal is to convince your customers to act, and make them forget they are being sold to. We know this is not an easy task. This is possible thanks to the amazing tool of storytelling.
Your product description should include a protagonist, setting, theme and conflict. The character in this example would be your target customer. The setting would be the best time and place to launch your product. The plot and conflict would be the problems and benefits that your item solves.
This approach will allow you to create more engaging and active descriptions. Consider this description of a hand soap.
Our organic soap is gentle on the skin and has a pleasant scent.
What if it was a mini-story instead?
Our organic Bergamot Rose Hand Soap makes a great addition to any bathroom. The subtle rose scent is complemented by the spicy-floral bergamot undertones. Treat yourself, your loved ones, and guests to this relaxing hand soap. This soap is small-batch handmade and safe for sensitive skin. Your house will smell like a beautiful garden em>
The same goes for House of Sunny, a luxury fashion brand and Wix eCommerce user. It uses colorful and flowing descriptions to grab readers. This is a product page for a bodysuit:
This bodysuit has short sleeves and hotpants. It is made from vegan yarn, which allows for light stretch and a sensational fit. This material has a technicolour, wavy pattern that alternates between a smooth texture and a fluffy feel, similar to jacquard. This playful ensemble features a retro collar with button-down neckline and a button-down collar. The adorable pouch bag is perfect for holding your AirPods.
Although the story is presented differently to the previous example, it is still clear who the description was written for: A young, fashion-forward, and environmentally conscious consumer.
06. Your brand’s personality should be displayed
It takes time to build a powerful brand. However, consistency is key to building a strong brand.
Your strategy for branding your online shop includes ensuring that product descriptions reflect your brand’s distinctive voice.
As an example, take Dollar Shave Club. The Club is not afraid to use playful language, or to break with convention editing rules, in order to express itself. There are descriptions that claim to “get your way to the smooooth shaving” and others that state “Smell like sandals.” Eww. It smells like sandalwood. “Ooh!” The Club remains true to its brand identity.
It’s also important to place clarity before creativity. Your copywriting should be easy to understand by your customers. Do not dilute your message by using Shakespearean language.
07. Social proof can help you build trust
Question: What do product ratings and customer reviews have in common?
Answer: They’re all tools for social proof that can be used to strengthen your product pages.
Social proof is crucial in a world where 94% of surveyed customers say customer reviews are critical to their decision-making (even more than price, according to PowerReviews), These are some ways to incorporate social proof into product descriptions:
- Include a testimonial when explaining why people love your product. Tell Steve, a 43-year-old Arkansas man, how your sneaker’s arch support helped him with his back pain.
- Refer to the awards, reviews, and ratings your product has received.
- You can add a quote from a customer. Your product’s proud owners can testify to its uniqueness and efficacy.
Shameless plug: Wix allows you to easily integrate customer reviews and UGC on your website. Wix has built-in tools to collect user videos and images. It also integrates with the most popular review apps.
08. Make it easy for customers to read product descriptions
We would like to think that buyers will read every line of copy that we write. But, most only skim it. It’s important to make sure that content is easy to digest with the growth of mobile commerce.
Use bullet points. Proper headings. Italicizing and bolding should be avoided. Quick, easy-to-read statements.
Wix eCommerce merchant Araw has a minimalistic, but effective layout for their product pages. Araw’s product page layout makes it simple for customers to find the information they are most interested in. It has sections for “Description”, “Washing & Care,” as well as other details.
You don’t have to limit yourself to the top-of-the-fold content. There are many pages you can leverage.
Urban Outfitters, Fitbit, Apple and Apple are just a few of the retailers that make maximum use of their product pages. Sometimes, they use an “endless scrolling” approach to product pages that can look like a social media feed.
09. Based on KPIs, measure your performance and optimize.
While you are flexing your creative muscles make sure you have specific goals in mind when you write. You should establish key performance indicators (KPIs), and a system to measure the impact of your copywriting.
The product descriptions can influence many KPIs including:
- Total sales
- Average order size (AOV).
- Average sales value per item
- Product page conversion rate
- Rate of return for customers
- Rankings for search engines
These KPIs can be affected by many factors. A/B testing descriptions can help you determine what benefits, values, or overall messaging resonates with your customers. Google Analytics and Google Search Console allow you to track search behavior and on-page behaviors, such as bounce rate, time on page, and search terms.
Start by looking at your most popular pages to determine where you should start. What percentage of visitors convert into customers each day? How long do they stay on the page? What are the return rates and customer feedback?
Quantify the improvements you want to see in conversions and behavior. Next, make a plan to test new copy.