Writing product descriptions can be a bit of a chore. But if you want to convert browsers into buyers and keep the Google Gods happy, fresh and original product descriptions are the order of the day. So we’ve put a few suggestions together to help you and your team write great product descriptions for your e-commerce website. Not only will they make writing compelling copy easier, but implement these suggestions and you’ll see sales start to increase too.
1. Describe benefits, not just features
We Brits are often so scared of coming across as “pushy” that we go too far in the opposite direction and don’t try to sell at all. Now of course we’re not going to advocate going down the used car salesman route. But dry, un-inspiring product descriptions aren’t doing you or your customers any favours.
In the words of legendary ad man David Ogilvy:
The more informative your advertising, the more persuasive it will be
What does this mean? It means you need to describe the benefits of your products and not just the features. Measurements, materials, specifications and styles are all important information for you to include. But don’t miss the opportunity to engage potential customers and paint a picture in their minds.
Would your organic cotton dress be great for wearing over leggings on chilly days as well as on sunny days in the park? Could it easily be dressed-up with a pair of heels, or dressed-down with casual flats? Will it become a summer holiday must-have thanks to its crease-free credentials, or indispensable throw-on for mornings on the school run?
These are the sort of details that will turn browsers into buyers, create a connection with your brand, and have customers salivating with excitement as they wait for the postman to arrive.
2. Why should browsers buy this product from your website?
Your Snuggly Soft Fair Trade Hoodie might be an exclusive product that’s not available anywhere else online. But the browser visiting your website could spend the £40 she’s ear-marked for a pay day treat on a totally product on another website instead.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that because you are the only website that offers a specific item, your customers’ don’t have a choice of other places they could be spending their money right now. They do.
So why should browsers buy from you? What does your company offer that is going to make the shopping experience a complete no-brainer for them?
How can Alpacas help you write great product descriptions for your e-commerce website? Answers on a postcard please….
Do you offer a range of delivery options to ensure little Johnnie’s present will get there in time for his birthday? Easy, un-complicated returns? Free shipping on their first purchase? Are you the only shop in Europe licensed to sell limited edition cardigans knitted by rare breed Alpacas in a remote area of Peru?!
Think about what is going through your customers’ minds in those moments before they hit “add to cart”. What buttons do you need to press? Work out what information customers are going to be looking for, and make it ridiculously easy to find. If that means including additional information in your product descriptions – do it. Just don’t make them hunt around.
Internet shoppers have short attention spans and limited patience – you didn’t need us to tell you that, did you?!
3. Understand your customers and what makes them tick
Of course, all the above will be a lot easier if you have a clear idea of who your target customer is. If your current definition of your target market is something like “women aged between 25 and 55 who like fashion” – sorry, that’s far too vague. Yes there will be some overlap between different niches and market segments and you may think your brand has universal appeal. But unless you have some kind of understanding of your target customers and what their day-to-day life is actually like, you’re going to find it hard to write product descriptions that hit the spot.
Luckily, finding out about your target customers is a lot easier now we have social media to help.
Make a start by looking at who is already engaging with your brand on social media – what information can you glean? Are they mostly middle-aged mums, or sophisticated socialites? Use your Facebook insights to see who has liked your page, and what attributes they share. Who has commented on your blog? What can you learn from product reviews customers have left on your website? Are they more concerned with the ethical provenance of your products, or your fast delivery and amazing customer service team? What type of language do they use?
Once you start doing this, you’ll have a better idea of the types of the features and benefits you should be highlighting in your product descriptions, as well as elsewhere on your site. By echoing your customers’ language and tone in your copy, you’ll build a stronger connection prior to purchase and increase the chances of them buying from you.
4. Don’t use duplicate content
Having duplicate content on your website is a big no-no when it comes to SEO. So if you want your product pages to rank well in search engines, don’t use manufacturer or supplier product descriptions without re-writing them first. Although this might seem like a bit of a pain, the time spent re-writing your product descriptions will have two important benefits:
- Search engines will perceive the copy as being unique (and so won’t penalise your website for having duplicate copy)
- Potential customers will connect with your descriptions as they have been written with them in mind (leading to more sales)
Of course this doesn’t apply to industry standards like product codes, technical specifications and manufacturer model numbers. Customers want to compare like for like, and know exactly what they are buying. But the bulk of the product description should be written with your customer in mind (see 1, 2 and 3 above!).
5. Do your research
If you’re not doing this already, spend some time researching and reviewing the keywords and phrases you include in your product names and descriptions. Because it’s all well and good coming up with clever and creative product names – but if you’re using words that aren’t used by your customers – you’ll be missing out on sales.
Why? Because customers’ don’t search for words they don’t use themselves. Not on your website, and not on search engines either.
Use tools like Google’s Keyword Tool to see how many people are looking for specific words and phrases, and try to incorporate them in your product descriptions. Don’t be tempted to go overboard though. Over-the-top keyword craziness will look spammy to humans, and lead to penalties from search engines too. Just use your judgement and keep your customers in mind.
Do you have any tips or tricks to share when it comes to writing product descriptions for your e-commerce website? If so, we’d love to hear them! Tweet us @iCEPT_tweets or drop us a line on G+.