Add to that, if you sell the same products as other merchants, you have to set yourself apart from all the other merchants, to make your product the most attractive to your potential buyer.
So how do you go about writing effective product descriptions? Well…
It Starts with Your Customer – Why Do They Want Your Product?
Before you write any product description, you need to know who your target customer is.
You also need to realize that your target customer is likely different for each product. Even if it’s feasible that the same individual may buy more than one of your products, the reason WHY they want each product varies.
You really need to get at that reason why before you start writing anything, so for each product, write a list of those reasons why. Then it will much easier to start writing when you have that information.
Tips for Writing Product Descriptions
Once you know who your customer is and why they want your product, you can start putting your product description together. Here are some tips that will make the job a bit easier.
Be aware of short attention spans. It’s no secret that Internet users have a short attention span. If you don’t capture their attention right away, they’ll move onto the next thing. The way you format your content plays a big role in doing just that.
- Use a bold headline in a larger font that will capture your visitor’s attention.
- Keep sentences and paragraphs short, so they’re easy to scan.
- Avoid using jargon or complicated language. Unless your target market is Ph.Ds, you’ll lose a large chunk of your audience.
- Use bullet points to highlight features and benefits
- Use photos to make your product description visually appealing
- Use video for people who don’t want to read and want to see the product in action
Outside of formatting your content for easy consumption, here are the various elements of your product descriptions:
- Headlines: Headline should be short and to the point, but convey a big benefit to your customer. At the end of this post, you’ll find a free downloadable guide to help you create better headlines.
- Features AND Benefits: Customers want to know the features of your product, but it’s the benefits that will sell them. For example: “Easy-grip handle for more professional results.” The easy grip handle is the feature and the professional results are the benefit.
- What do you do that’s differently? If you offer a product that is the same or similar to other merchants, what do you do differently? Do you offer free shipping? Do you include valuable extras or a special guarantee? Make sure to include this information to make it easier for your customer to buy from you.
- Ratings and Reviews: Today’s savvy online shopper wants to know what others think about your product. Where possible, include ratings and reviews for your products.
- Photos: Include multiple photos of your product, so your customers can see all the details they need. Include photos that highlight the different features, show the product in use, etc. This can add up to a lot of photos, so if necessary, create a little photo gallery where users can scan through all the photos they’d like to see.
- Videos: Videos can provide extra valuable information and are useful for people who may not want to read your product descriptions. They also add a sense of credibility because visitors can see your product in action. You can do product demonstration videos, testimonial videos and more.
While you may not have all the above elements in each and every product description, know that each element has a very special purpose in selling your product effectively.
Avoiding Product Description Pitfalls
To help you get to that point more quickly, here are some ways to avoid common pitfalls when it comes to creating product descriptions.
- Don’t make it unnecessarily short: As I mentioned earlier, people have short attention spans online. If you don’t grab and keep their attention, they’ll skip over your product. However, that doesn’t mean you should cut your product descriptions short for the sake of shortness. You need to include all the information your customer needs to make the right purchasing decision and for many products, that means fairly lengthy descriptions. The key to this is to make sure your copy is scannable and easy to read. We talked about that earlier in this post with tips like bold headlines, short sentences and paragraphs, bullet points, etc.
- Your customer trumps any SEO efforts: It’s true that in order to sell a product online, you need traffic. For that reason, many people put their focus into SEO on their product descriptions, but if you’re so focused on keywords, you’re going to lose your potential customer when they finally arrive at your website. Besides, stuffing your content with keywords is not the way to achieve good search engine rankings and there are so many other subtle factors that come into play. Instead, focus on your customer and why they would want to buy your product.
- Always test your results: The way to know exactly what is working in your product descriptions is to split test your results. Test different headlines, opening statements and bullet points. Test the different between including video and not including it, etc. There is no blanket rule for what makes the sale, so always do your own testing.
More Help: Free Downloadable Resources
To help you craft better product descriptions, these two guides will probably come in handy. They not only include practical advice, but also have plenty of examples that you can swipe for your own product descriptions.
- Headline Writing Guide (PDF): On this one, pay close attention to beginning tips and the “Sales Copy Headline Tips”, that’s what is most relevant for product descriptions.
- Sell More with Words Guide (PDF): This whole guide is useful for understanding how to craft effective product descriptions. I recommend reading through it entirely.
Need help or want feedback? Just ask!