Building an ecommerce store is exactly like setting up an offline shop. All the products need to be categorized and displayed effectively, and all the face value that is added to the e-shop will attract potential customers to check out your store.
Ecommerce shop owners pay close attention to the design and technical specifications of their sites, but they often miss out on adding unique product descriptions to each product. Here’s the fact: by doing this ecommerce website, owners are missing out on huge opportunities to sell more. In simpler words, not having unique product descriptions is bad for the site’s SEO.
The bigger the website, the more the damage. If the site has hundreds of thousands of pages about hundreds of products, and you just copy their description from the manufacturer, you are making a mistake.
By using the space of a unique product description, you can insert the exact keywords you want to optimize the site. Why copy when you can craft attractive descriptions to make buyers flock to your product?
A good description is much more important than just site optimization. Here’s why:
- It gets organic traffic
If the store is constantly copying product descriptions from the manufacturer’s website, it’s bad for the ecommerce store in many ways. First, Google constantly monitors and penalizes content that is copied. Moreover, Google will push the site lower in the rankings for lack of credibility.
Organic traffic can be acquired via unique descriptions. Organic search listings can get quality traffic to your product pages directly. This traffic is beyond marketing campaigns and predictions. It is the kind of traffic that wasn’t expected to be on your page, but once it is there, it will stay.
In other words, intelligent use of unique product descriptions can give an online store an edge over its competitors in terms of ranking and conversions. Stores with copied content from the manufacturer will rank lower than stores that use key words with unique perspectives.
Google doesn’t doubt that. It is also true that you can’t produce content for 100,000 different products. Instead, you can focus on the parent category and add unique content over there. Good content along with internal link architecture, breadcrumbs and highly compelling product photos can be a bounty on the search engine listings.
- It encourages users to convert into lead and paying customers
Today, in the ecommerce world, people are paying a lot of attention to landing pages, SEO, design and monetization. No one is thinking about conversion optimization in product descriptions. It is mostly uncharted territory. Those who have done it are reaping the rewards. Product description may be the only reason a customer may or may not buy a product! It is the last place to convince the user of how he can benefit by purchasing the product.
If the description is copied or non-existent, the person will make up the description in his or her head by looking at the photo – and he or she might just leave. Imagine how you would feel if you went to a salesman in a store to ask about a lawnmower and the salesman just reads the specifications off the packages. That’s exactly what happens online. Specifications don’t mean “benefits” of a product.
- It shows your expertise and professionalism to your target audience
A professional website interface looks different from the rest. Every section is handled with care. Good content along with products is a sign of professionalism that can immediately convert. The more you describe the benefits of a good lawnmower on your product pages, the more people will imagine its existence in their lives and will second your description.
“Poor product information accounted for 8% of the usability problems on the websites we tested. Even worse, poor product information accounted for 10% of the user failures…” 10 High-Profit Redesign Priorities, Jakob Nielsen, Usability Expert
When you are deviating from the popular copy-paste practice, your site will not look like a messy patchwork of different manufacturer copies. Instead, you add the same flavor to all your categories. It builds greater brand equity and the right customer can pick you out of many others in the market. As always, (unique) content is king. Even if you provide commodities that just compete in the market on price-values, you can add a perspective to these products and give them meaning.
“Studies have shown that consumers are reluctant to buy from sites that don’t include enough information to answer all their questions. Your unique product descriptions can offer more details than competing sites, alleviating any concerns or unanswered questions the shopper would face elsewhere.” (Source: SEOAdvantage)
- It gives a stress-free visiting experience
Any description is better than no product description. But, if you do add a product description, then make it a unique and catchy one. There are websites that outsource this job to a copywriting agency. However, an xyz writer, who is unaware of the actual necessity of the product, might just write a bland and unattractive description.
The result is just poorly-written descriptions with no sense and a warning to the conversion funnel.
Unique copy will click with the customer immediately, and they can decide then and there what to buy and the quantity. About 70 percent of buyers are looking for a description when they land on a product page. If your page has none, you are missing out on a big chunk of buyers.
- It helps gain trust of the customers
As you are putting original and informative descriptions with your products, customers feel the difference and appreciate it. This builds a relationship of trust between you and your customers who know that you are selling something worth buying.
“Good and detailed product descriptions are essential when the customer can’t see and touch the products before buying. Content design closed the sale.” Spotlighted Links From April-December 1999, Jakob Nielsen, Usability Expert
- It helps customers make a sensible decision
When a customer is looking at a product online, he or she will have some questions in mind. It is really effective if the questions have already been answered in the description. It leads to an informed decision by the customer and cuts down any confusion. It’s like a virtual salesperson who informs the customer of any pros and cons before buying.
How to write a unique product description
So, how should you be writing your descriptions? Take a look at the following tips:
- Keep the tone light
When writing attractive product descriptions, try to use a tone that is light and friendly. It is just like selling something in real life, where you use gestures and a smile to portray the message. The description should not brag or boast, but follow a decent tone throughout.
- Answer the questions
This is the key feature of a product description. It should answer the questions that may arise in a buyer’s mind. It can be the most common item or a luxury item. You have to remember to provide any detail that should be described to a potential buyer.
Check out the description of a water bottle, provided by Nalgene:
|“Our most popular bottle, available in a variety of colors to help brighten up anybody’s gear. The large opening on our wide-mouth bottles easily accommodates ice cubes, fits most water purifiers and filters, and makes hand washing a breeze. The attached loop-top never gets lost and screws on and off easily. Printed graduations let keep track of your hydration. Dishwasher safe (Please make sure the top does not touch the heating element, or it will melt).”|
The thing to appreciate about this description is the plain honesty with which Nalgene described their item. A water bottle is no big deal, but telling you that it is dishwasher safe and the loop will never get lost can answer the questions of a person who faced troubles with a previous bottle.
- Don’t use words that are difficult to understand
In any description, don’t go overboard by using heavy and uncommon words that an average user can’t understand. It can drive a potential buyer away. Be conversational and very simple with words.
- Use Pointers instead of Paragraphs
Paragraphs are compilations of sentences which look good in an essay, but not in a product description. Jot down the product details in points that are easy to read. Customers don’t have all day to make sense of the text; they make decisions in few minutes. A simple and easy-to-read design gets the message across without any noise. Innocent Drinks describes their orange juice in just that way.
You can use headlines, subheadings, large bullets and a larger font with enough white space to make product descriptions smarter.
- Don’t make it too short or too long
It should be just long enough to tell all the details and short enough to not spend more than five minutes reading.
- Use the five Ws and one H method
Journalists use this method to keep track of details. You can use this method to specify exactly what you wish to explain about the product.
BigCommerce suggests this simple formula to write a product description:
[Paragraph(s) of Prose] + [Bulleted List of Specs or Features] = [Engaging Product Description]
- Use superlatives and justify them
In a normal scenario, using superlatives in sales is taken as an unfair means. Who says that their product is “very bad?” Nobody. However, if you do wish to insert superlatives in your product description, then justify why you added them.
Amazon says in the description of Paperwhite that it has the highest screen resolution. Then it explains why and how it has the pixels to do that.
- Try to use sensory words
Words that catch your attention are just the kind of words to use. But, once again, don’t be insincere and definitely don’t lie. Restaurants know it best that sensory words ignite an emotion in people’s minds that mostly leads to an increase in sales. Sensory adjectives have an edge over normal adjectives, because they enable the reader to imagine the feeling that the item provides.
Green&Black is the perfect example in this case. They use sensory adjectives that do not lie and portray the exact feeling you will have when you taste a chocolate bar with a different flavor.
Mint and refreshment go hand in hand and make you feel fresh, while the crispiness makes you imagine how the bar would feel. Sensory adjectives provide a clear picture of what the item will be like.
- Provide proof
People like to believe reviews and descriptions when someone’s quote is attached with it. You can also try that by adding a client’s review or the manufacturer’s endorsement with their photo. It makes the customer feel that the product is not a scam.
People like to have a suggestion before they buy something. Quotes and endorsements do just that.
- Add stories
This maybe a bit tricky, but it can work. If you provide stories with the review, it can help the customer put the product usage into a real life perspective. Advertisements sometimes become a bit unfair in this scenario, but for an ecommerce store displaying a product, you can be honest.
Take the example of Laithwaites, UK-based wine sellers. They often add mini stories of winemakers.
The Dauré family own one of the Roussillon’s top properties, the Château de Jau. Around the dinner table one Christmas they agreed it was time to spread their wings and look to new wine horizons. The womenfolk (Las Niñas) fancied Chile and won out in the end, achieving their dream when they established an estate in the Apalta Valley of Colchagua. The terroir is excellent and close neighbours of the Chilean star Montes winery.
Stories also add legitimacy to your product, if done properly.
Providing a level of originality is always going to pay you back more in an ecommerce store. After all, Google is all about improving the user experience, and it frequently keeps an eye out for genuine content that can improve the lives of users. Good product reviews are not only going to increase your sales, but also keep you on top of search engine rankings.
The last and most important thing to remember is that you are writing for your potential buyer. Whoever lands on your page may have found his or her way here due to site optimization, but now they are here and they will read your description. Remember all the school grammar class rules.
Capital words, right tenses and straight-forward vocabulary are essential in any writing. Titles should be free of typos, very clear and in bold. For some tips, visit Criquet – a clothing ecommerce store that has great product descriptions.