When it comes to uploading product details to your site, it’s easy to simply copy and paste the manufacturer’s description to a page and hit publish. While making a habit of this will no doubt save you time, it won't do your SEO any favors. Search engines like Google reward unique content, and since many retailers out there are going the copy-paste route with descriptions, you need to write new ones if you want to stand out from the pack. But writing descriptions isn’t as hard as it sounds — plus you can write better ones that show off your unique voice and expertise anyway. To help you with the process, here are four tips.
1. Write for a target audience
The first step to writing strong product descriptions is considering your target audience. You can try narrowing your idea of your audience — your desired customers — down to a persona. Think about your ideal customer’s income level, age, lifestyle, sense of humor and other key traits. How would you speak to them if they came into your store and asked about a product? Imagine that conversation, and then translate that into your writing style.
2. Define your voice
Writing product descriptions offers the perfect chance to establish your voice, communicate the point of view of your business and differentiate yourself from the competition. Do you want to convey seriousness? Luxury? Light-heartedness? Approachability? Your tone should fit with your business’s look and product offering and the personality of your staff.
For example, look at this product description from Trellis Home, a home furnishings and residential design business based in Hingham, MA. They keep the tone light, conversational and playful. Reading the description, you get a good idea of what walking into their showroom and speaking to their staff would be like.
3. Use sensory words
Since online shoppers can’t touch your products, it’s up to you to use descriptive language to convey what a photo can’t. Rather than overloading your descriptions with adjectives, which can make your copy too wordy, use action verbs and sensory adjectives that convey the tactile experience of the product.
For example, this product description for a painting from Montreal Lighting & Hardware describes the artwork with vivid and emotional language.
4. Make descriptions scannable
Research from the Nielsen Norman Group shows that only 16 percent of people read online word-by-word, and 79 percent of people say they scan web pages. Nobody likes to start reading a big block of text, especially when they’re online shopping. When writing product descriptions, it’s important to be concise in your language and try to break up your copy a bit.
Rather than writing out your entire description — including the products specs — in one big paragraph, you could try bullet-pointing some of the details to break up the text.
You can also make your descriptions more scannable by including subheads when needed, varying the fonts and highlighting or bolding key words. Be careful not to go overboard with any of this, since employing too many of these elements can overwhelm visitors and look spammy.
In this example from Lightology, the capitalized and underlined text under the technical specifications helps break up the copy and make it easy to scan. The bolded sentence under the description highlights a key piece of information that Lightology doesn’t want customers to miss.
Writing product descriptions can be time consuming, but you’ll likely see better search rankings and a decrease in shopping cart abandonment if you put in the effort. What’s your process for writing killer product descriptions? Let us know in the comments!