The goal of every product page is to convert visitors. But how do you get users to buy? You may have the ‘hottest’ products in your online store, but if your sales are not where they should be, it is likely because of poorly written product descriptions.
In this article, we discuss the key factors to consider when writing a product description and teach you how to write optimized product descriptions for maximum conversion.
What is a product description?
A product description is a written copy that describes the properties, uses, features and functions of a product in an online store to potential customers. Its aim is to provide the customer with product information and convey a positive impression of the product. In addition, an optimal description should convince the customer to buy the product.
Good product description must accomplish the following:
- Provide detailed product information
- Give basic instructions on how best to use the product
- Differentiate from similar products
Benefits of a good product description
Build brand trust: A well-written product description gives the impression that your online store is professional, safe and trustworthy. Poorly written product descriptions look spammy and will put off potential customers.
Informs about the product: What is special about the product? What is the difference compared to similar products in your shop? What other variations of the product are available? What materials is the product made of? How is the product used? A good description will provide answers to all these questions.
Creates an emotional connection: In today’s age of consumerism, people are buying more than just the product. They are buying an emotion or a lifestyle. This might be happiness, acceptance or status. Using the right tone and language, a well-written product description appeals to the relevant emotion and inspires a need for the product.
Better SEO: A good description contains relevant keywords that help your products to appear higher on search engine queries. Meta descriptions and alt tags will further improve SEO and boost page rankings.
Increase sales: Better SEO will attract more organic traffic to your product pages, leading to higher conversion rates and bigger profit margins.
Common mistakes when writing product descriptions
Many online stores today fail to recognize the importance of a well-written product description, often not realizing that they are proactively inhibiting sales and the growth of their business.
Common product description mistakes to avoid include:
Having no product description: It is often said that a picture is worth a thousand words. But in an online shop, this doesn’t apply. It is difficult to effectively convey information about a product with the help of a product image alone. An image will not answer the most common customer questions, nor will there be any details on how to use your product. For maximum effect, you should always rely on the strong combination of images and text.
Same description for multiple products: Product description best practice requires that you write a unique description for each of the products you feature in your online store. If two or more products in your store have the same description, Google algorithms take this to be duplicate content which will negatively impact rankings on search results.
Copying product descriptions from your supplier: If you are sourcing your products from another online seller, the products will likely already have a description on the supplier’s website. However, even if the supplier expressly allows you to use their product descriptions, it is not a good idea to copy them verbatim onto your website. By doing so you will not only be penalized by search engines for having duplicate content, but you also weaken your own brand because you show yourself unoriginal. If you find it difficult to write a completely different description, try giving it your personal touch. For example, if you sell spices, supplement the description with a recipe suggestion.
Poor structure: Take the time to write a well-structured product description complete with a heading, bullet points highlighting the main features, a short paragraph with the actual description and end with a CTA (call to action). Using only one of these elements will leave out important information and hurt sales. A well-written product description inspires credibility and trust in your brand and shows you care enough to provide your customers with high-quality information.
Making false claims: You obviously want your product description to attract and convert a high number of customers. However, don’t be tempted to make false claims to boost sales. Using false statements might get you a brief increase in sales, but if your products do not deliver what you promised, you can expect a high product return rate and scathing reviews. In extreme cases, you might even get sued and face hefty fines or jail time.
Vague descriptions: Avoid generalized and unspecific descriptions. A product description that includes three paragraphs, but does not mention benefits of using your product or fails to make a clear purchase argument is not worth space it takes up on your product page. Make it easier to convert customers by writing highly targeted and product-specific descriptions.
Disregarding the law: With some products, it is important to be particularly careful when writing their descriptions in order to avoid breaking the law. For example, foods or food supplements shouldn’t be promoted as cures or alternatives to treatment. You cannot just say that your herbal tea is able to treat asthma or lower high blood pressure. Make sure to research the relevant health claims regulations to learn which health-related statements you can or can’t make.
Keyword stuffing: Although not as prevalent, some online shop owners still continue with this bad practice. SEO has come a long way and has become much more human today. To rank for a keyword, you do not need to use a keyword two dozen times in a product description. If you answer relevant user questions and use researched keywords and semantically related terms, you can still rank high in organic search results.
Slandering the competition: This is a matter of ethical principle. Even if your claims are based on truth, avoid making disparaging remarks about your competitors in order to make your products or brand appear better or superior. This will have the opposite effect and drive away potential customers from your business. Instead, concentrate on highlighting the strengths of your product and the problems that it solves for its users.
In part two of the article, we will show you examples of best practices for how to write good product descriptions for your online store.