How To Write a Product Description That Works
How To Write a Product Description That Works
Have you ever been scanning through an e-commerce site and seen an item that piqued your curiosity? You likely checked out the product description to learn a little more about it. During that brief moment of reading, you decided whether to close the page, read more or make a purchase. If you don’t know how to write product descriptions for your business, chances are that most of your visitors are choosing the first option.
Fortunately, it doesn’t need to be that way. Product description writing is a skill that can be learned and practiced. Investing some time to learn could help you to increase your sales by a significant margin.
The Importance of Writing a Strong Product Description
A product description is more than just an explanation of the item. It is also a chance to sell the product to a potential customer.
Think of product description writing as if you were a sales associate in a store. If a customer asked about a product, you would describe it but also highlight the features and benefits that may be relevant to that customer.
Research has found that 87% of consumers consider product content to be extremely or very important to their buying decisions. In other words, they are looking at product descriptions and images to determine if they want an item or not. If you have ineffective descriptions, you may be missing out on sales. Another study found that one-fifth of purchase failures resulted from unclear or missing information.
8 Tips on How To Write Product Descriptions
Learning to write product descriptions that sell is not an easy task. There are billions of products available for sale online. So, even within your product category, you may be competing against hundreds or even thousands of brands.
However, as established above, writing effective product descriptions matters. The following eight tips on how to write product descriptions that sell will help you to maximize the impact of your product pages.
1) Define Your Target Audience
All marketing should be created with the target audience in mind. Ultimately, it is your audience that you need to convince with your product description. Therefore, your writing should be tailored to that audience (or multiple audiences).
It will help significantly if you write a clear definition of your target audience. Personas are great tools for defining an audience. The process of creating personas will force you to think through your target audiences more clearly. The following are a few characteristics that you may define in a persona:
- A name, age and picture of the persona
- A description of how the person finds your product description
- The person’s interests (keep these general and relatively broad – the persona represents a group)
- Other relevant details that may affect the purchase behavior
Using the persona, you can establish a more meaningful understanding of your target audience. You can also start you ask yourself questions such as which features and benefits would most excite the persona. Additionally, you may think about how the persona would describe your product to his or her friends. In other words, you can tell the buyer story of each persona to think about and understand your audience.
2) Connect With the Reader’s Wants and Needs
Now that you are thinking about your target audience, you should consider the wants and needs of likely readers of your product description. These needs should be informed by the research and analysis you used for your personas.
Before you begin to write the product description, make some notes about how your product will satisfy the wants and needs of the reader. In some cases, there may be specific features that can help with a need. However, your product description may extend beyond features. Often, customers want to find products that will fit into and enhance their lifestyles.
For example, if you have a camping goods brand, you may be writing a description for a high-end tent. The audience for this is likely looking for fairly in-depth information about the product. They know tents and don’t want to see an overly fluffy product description. However, they are also likely seeking adventure. So, the challenge would be to balance providing detailed information about the product itself while also speaking to the lifestyle your likely customers are seeking.
It can be helpful to think about product descriptions as if you are painting a picture. You want the reader to be able to picture him or herself using the product and being satisfied.
3) Use Natural, Benefit-Oriented Language
Write your product descriptions as if you were talking about the item to an in-person customer. In other words, keep the language natural.
Some writers are tempted to be overly formal or dry. It is okay to have a little fun with your product descriptions. Try reading your draft out loud to yourself or someone nearby. If it doesn’t sound like a normal conversation, consider a rewrite. Of course, you want to keep your tone on-brand, but make sure it is relatable and natural-sounding.
Many product descriptions do not require any technical language or jargon. However, if you have a very knowledgeable audience, consider creating a product specifications section. This will allow you to include the technical details without having to cram them into your main description.
Additionally, you want to focus your language on benefits. For a clothing brand, you may take on the role of an encouraging friend. In other words, your descriptions highlight what you love about the item and why it will look great on the reader.
Thinking about your word choice from this perspective will help you avoid creating descriptions that sound computer-generated. It will also help you stay away from overly puffy language that reminds readers of a too-pushy salesperson.
4) Leverage Power Words
You can increase the impact of your product descriptions by using power words. These are strong words and phrases that elicit an emotional response from the reader. They help to conjure a more enticing mental image of using the product.
Depending on the context and usage, different words can fit this bill. These are a few common examples:
As you can probably guess, using these words is not as simple as picking a few and adding them to your product description. For example, a pair of working boots may be gritty and help you conquer the day. However, they wouldn’t be blissful or breathtaking. A delicious cake, on the other hand, could be blissful.
The right power words can significantly increase the efficacy of a product description. Nonetheless, it is important to avoid letting them make your description sound unnatural. Additionally, you should avoid being too generic. If every pair of boots on the market is gritty, then the description no longer means anything. A good power word should be both evocative and noteworthy.
5) Format for Easy Reading
You can use the most enticing and persuasive language in the world and still have an ineffective product description if no one reads it. Formatting is one of the most important parts of creating a good description and is also one of the easiest to change (in other words, you have no excuses not to use good formatting).
Put yourself in the shoes of the reader. He or she is likely looking at a few options for a certain product and comparing them. That means that he or she wants to get the top-line information about your product without having to read too carefully. Choosing a highly scannable format can help significantly.
The right formatting depends on the amount of information you need to convey. Bullet points can be very helpful. Additionally, having a split description with a short description immediately below the product name and a separate, longer description slightly lower on the page can aid readability.
Regardless of the layout you choose, make sure your sentences are short and to the point. Try to include the most relevant information first.
It may be helpful to test your description. Give it to some people who have never seen your product and allow them a short timeframe to read the description (10 seconds, for example). Then, ask them to describe or draw the product. You can see whether people are getting the right idea or not.
6) Use High-Quality Images
The above tips have primarily focused on the words used to describe the product. However, all product descriptions should also include photos and sometimes including videos of the product can make a big difference.
Return to your personas and consider what they would likely want to know about your product. Also, take a look at your product and think about what aspects would be interesting. Every product description should at least include a high-quality image of the product from the front. However, you may need rear and profile shots as well. If there are intricate details, consider some close-ups.
If you have a product that your customers are likely to want a close look at, consider adding a way to zoom in on product images. This will help readers inspect any areas that they are interested in.
The photos should all be high resolution and taken by an experienced photographer. There are a few approaches to product photography. You can have an image of the item by itself, staged with some complementary items or in context. Regardless of which approach you choose, make sure there is at least one photo in which the product is easily and fully visible (for example, you may have one photo of just the product and another of it in use).
7) Apply SEO Best Practices
Like all online marketing content, product descriptions should be made with search engine optimization best practices in mind. After all, you want people to find your products and read about them. Good SEO is the key to increasing the online visibility of your products.
Keywords are at the heart of SEO. Spend some time researching the kinds of terms that your target audience searches for. Keep in mind that generic keywords will typically be more competitive than more specific terms. So, you will have to compete with more brands if you are pursuing “black pants” than if you focus on “women’s mid-rise black professional pants.”
Additionally, more specific keywords can be more helpful because they represent a greater intent to purchase. In the above example, the longer keyword will only attract visitors looking for a highly relevant type of pants rather than all kinds of black pants. Selecting keywords involves balancing audience size, budget and purchase intent.
Typically, search engines rank useful and relevant content the highest. So, don’t worry too much about gaming the system. Instead, focus on selecting relevant keywords and applying them in a useful product description.
Nonetheless, it is a good idea to use some best practices such as including alt tags on your images and a meta description and title on the page. Additionally, make sure your canonical headings are well-formatted.
8) Fit the Description to the Product
This tip may sound obvious, but it is deeper than you may expect. All the above tips can help with writing a good product description. However, ultimately, it needs to work well for the specific product.
Some items sell best with just a product name and a striking image. Others need in-depth technical data to attract customers. When creating a product description, make sure you follow the needs of your customers and the product, not just general guidelines.
As mentioned above, you can use testing to determine whether a product description works. You can also use testing to decide whether you even need a description.
Work With a Professional Writer To Craft Better Product Descriptions
Writing your product descriptions is not a trivial undertaking. As explained above, they can have a significant impact on your sales. Furthermore, they are not easy to write well. Consider hiring a professional writing service to craft your descriptions for you. Experienced writers know how to write product descriptions that sell. The investment in a writing service will pay for itself.
BKA Content provides product descriptions and other marketing content creation services. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your business grow.