A better product description is going to sell more products; it’s not rocket science. But you may be underestimating just how critical product descriptions are to your sales. A compelling, informative, and persuasive product description has the power to turn a potential customer into a buyer.
Keep reading to discover the art of creating effective product descriptions that convert, and how to make this work when you have thousands of products on your site.
Prioritize Your Pages To Focus On Big Wins
If you have a large store, it’s unlikely you’ll ever be able to optimize all of the product pages. So, where do you start? In Incendium, the ‘Products to Improve’ report takes care of this for you - you can find it in the Product Performance Analysis section. This report will give you a weighted list of products which have decent visitation levels but poor relative revenue performance. If you’re using GA/GA4, the bad news is there isn’t a dedicated report for this - instead you’d be best exporting all of the data from the ‘Landing page’ report and filtering to get your product pages where revenue is below a certain threshold. You can then look at where sessions are high and work from there.
James at Incendium shares his thoughts...
“We've worked with ecommerce clients in many industries and have seen strong success with content optimisation projects which include product pages. Clients have seen a measurable impact in converting pages as a result of the on-page optimisations, which have included product copy improvements. Where some websites will have thousands of product pages, we would always recommend a data-led approach to define your priority pages, to ensure that resources are spent strategically, in the right areas.
Once you have your prioritized list, it’s time to start improving!
Know Your Audience So You Can Target Their Preferences
The first step to creating an effective product description is understanding your audience. To write persuasively, you need to know who you are writing for, what their pain points are, and what motivates them to buy. Start by researching your ideal customer: use customer feedback, online reviews, and social media to gain insights into their preferences, needs, and wants. Use this information to create a buyer persona, which is a detailed description of your ideal customer. Now that you understand who you’re writing for, you can create great product content that covers what they care about.
Sell On Benefits, Not Features
It’s important to understand the difference between product features and benefits. Features describe the product's characteristics, while benefits describe how those features will benefit the customer. Focusing on benefits in your product descriptions is essential, because customers don't buy features; they buy solutions to their problems.
For example, suppose you're selling a camera. Instead of simply listing its features, such as high resolution, fast shutter speed, and video capabilities, describe how those features will benefit the customer, such as capturing clear, professional-quality photos and videos of their cherished moments.
Use Product Descriptions To Tell A Story
Storytelling is a powerful, underused sales technique. Incorporating storytelling techniques in your product descriptions can evoke emotions, engage the reader, and ultimately lead to more sales. The key is to tell a story that resonates with your target audience. Start by identifying the problem your product solves and how it can make your customer's life easier or better. Then, tell a story that illustrates this problem and how your product can solve it.
For example, suppose you're selling a fitness tracker. In that case, you could tell a story about a busy mom who struggles to find time to exercise. She's always on the go, taking care of her kids and managing her career. But with the fitness tracker, she can easily track her steps, monitor her heart rate, and set achievable goals for herself. The tracker helps her stay motivated and accountable, and she's finally able to prioritize her health and fitness. Build supporting imagery around this story.
Fitbit for example, has an entire section on their home page dedicated to success stories using their products.
Mention What Matters To Your Customers
Suppose you notice that customers are spending more time on your site's sustainability page, or you know from your customer research that these things are important to them. You could highlight the eco-friendly features of your products, such as recycled materials or carbon-neutral shipping, in order to demonstrate how they are more suitable to your customer’s preferences.
Avoid The Pitfalls Of Bad Formatting And Structure
The formatting and structure of your product descriptions can heavily impact their effectiveness. Wasting great copy by bundling it up into one huge blog of text will probably leave you worse off! Instead, make the most of structuring elements like subheadings, bullet points, and short paragraphs to make your descriptions easier to digest. Keep your descriptions concise but informative, highlighting the most important benefits of the product.
Suppose you're selling a pair of running shoes: you could use subheadings such as "Supremely Comfortable Fit" and "Ultra Durable Design" to break up your description. Use bullet points to highlight features such as breathable mesh and shock-absorbing soles.
Don’t Forget About Search Engines
Search engine optimization (SEO) plays a crucial role in ensuring that your product descriptions get noticed by potential customers. By optimizing your product descriptions for specific keywords, you can increase their visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs).
To identify relevant keywords, start by researching the terms and phrases that your target audience is using to search for products like yours. You can use tools like Google AdWords Keyword Planner or SEMrush to find relevant keywords and phrases.
Once you've identified your target keywords, make sure to use them strategically in your product descriptions. However, don't overdo it; keyword stuffing can harm your SEO efforts and make your descriptions seem spammy. First and foremost, write for your customers, not for Google’s bots - aim for a natural and organic use of keywords that flows naturally within the product description.
Proof and Edit Your Content
Once you've written your product descriptions, it's essential to edit and proofread them carefully - you probably won’t have nailed all of them first time. Poorly written or poorly edited descriptions can damage your brand's reputation, turn off potential customers, and ultimately harm your sales.
When editing your product descriptions, focus on these four areas:
- Accuracy: Ensure that your descriptions are accurate and truthful, and that they provide all the necessary information about your product.
- Clarity: Make sure that your descriptions are easy to understand and that they communicate the benefits of your product clearly. It may help to use a readability analysis tool - there are lots of free ones online.
- Impact: Use persuasive language and emotive storytelling to make your descriptions engaging and impactful.
- Length: Keep your product descriptions concise and to the point, while still providing all the information your customers will need.
After you've edited your descriptions, proofread them carefully for errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation. You can also use tools like Grammarly or Hemingway Editor to help you catch any errors that you may have missed.
Writing effective product descriptions is an art form that requires careful planning, research, and attention to detail. Remember to keep your target audience in mind, focus on benefits rather than features, incorporate storytelling techniques, use data and analytics to support your claims, optimize for SEO and keywords, and edit and proofread your descriptions carefully.
With these best practices in mind, you can craft product descriptions that not only sell your products but also build a strong brand image and loyal customer base.
Sign up to the Incendium Blog for more ecommerce, analytics and digital marketing news.
Explore the Incendium site to discover how you could power your business with our suite of marketing analytics and personalisation tools.