5 Essential Elements of Successful Product Descriptions

By: Sammie Schweissguth | Published: September 5, 2013

ecommerce-product-descriptionsE-commerce products don’t just sell themselves. Although few consumers give much thought to the product descriptions they skim every time they shop online, they still respond much more favorably, at least on a subconscious level, to sites that provide vivid, engaging copy.

Visit a handful of online retail establishments, and you’ll find vast differences in the copy they use to promote their brands and products. Some companies deliver rich, detailed, and often humorous product descriptions that effortlessly convince shoppers to reach for their credit cards. Others fail to recognize how important their copy is and throw together lifeless, almost invisible product descriptions that are destined to fail.

Make sure you incorporate the following five essential elements in the descriptions of your e-commerce products to join the ranks of the former:

  • Keyword enrichment
  • Engagement
  • A focus on benefits
  • Specifics
  • Frequent updates

Great product descriptions are rich in keywords

Keywords keep product descriptions on search engines’ radar. Weaving relevant keywords into your copy helps search engines deliver results that direct consumers to the products you’re selling. You cannot count on shoppers to type in the exact name of the product they’re looking for; brainstorm potential words and phrases that might come to mind when describing your products and find creative ways to use them in your descriptions. The more robust your keyword inventory, the more likely it is that your products will be found.

Optimizing SEO with keywords and staying customer friendly requires a balance. Too little leaves you unnoticed. Too much gets earmarked as keyword stuffing. But the right amount adds the perfect enhancement for some serious search-engine love, which sends you the customers you want.

Great product descriptions engage the audience

Engaging e-commerce product copy isn’t about the product’s features; it’s about how those features fill a need in the consumer’s life.

A product description that’s all about the product cannot engage the reader because it’s not personal. Irresistible product copy starts with the audience and the need, then draws the audience in with vivid descriptions that use sensory adjectives, active verbs and stories shoppers can relate to. And if it’s appropriate for your brand and the product, making your audience laugh is almost guaranteed to convert a curious browser into a repeat visitor and, ultimately, a customer.

Great product descriptions focus on benefits

Ultimately, regardless of the product you’re selling, your objective is to solve a problem. A person purchases goods and services because he or she has a need for something – or has the perception of a need. Unless what you sell is one-of-a-kind, it’s likely you’re competing with multiple businesses, all offering the same, or a similar, solution. If you and your competition are all selling products designed to fill the same need, how do you stand out in the crowd?

You stand out if, rather than describing your product, you demonstrate to your audience that what you’re offering is most likely to fill the need. As you’re writing your description copy, ask yourself not what your product does, but how it benefits the consumer. If you can convince shoppers that your product will solve their problems – make them happier, make them smarter, make them healthier, make them more productive – quickly, easily, and at a price they’re willing to spend, you make the purchase a “no-brainer.” The result? More conversions, a lower bounce rate and higher sales.

Great product descriptions provide detailed specifics

Bad product description samples are everywhere. They’re boring. They lack appeal. Often, they consist solely of copy-and-pasted manufacturer descriptions. Vague, run-of-the mill descriptions do nothing but boost your bounce rates.

Once you’ve engaged consumers and demonstrated how your product fills a clear need in their lives, you must provide the specific details they need to make an informed decision. The details you provide regarding features and benefits should answer potential questions before they’re asked. When you answer shoppers’ questions naturally, as an integral part of your copy, you engender trust and gain credibility as a merchant. Well crafted product details move the consumer from engaged-and-interested to ready-to-buy.

Great product descriptions are updated frequently

Frequent updates aren’t just a priority for the main pages of your websites. They’re crucial for e-commerce product descriptions as well. While your first round of fresh, unique product descriptions will undoubtedly boost your page ranks, page views and conversion rates, nothing is ever perfect the first time.

Your e-commerce pages should be constantly evolving based upon multiple factors, including page visits, conversions, and industry trends. Analyze the effectiveness of your product pages regularly and use that data to revise and update descriptions to keep them fresh, current and perfectly in tune with consumer needs. If something isn’t working, change it. If something is working, don’t just sit back and let it ride; pinpoint the element that’s winning and expand upon it. Keep your product copy relevant as market and industry shifts occur. This gives you more credibility with Google and other search engines and helps turbocharge your sales.

These five elements are essential for success in today’s competitive online landscape. By incorporating these elements, you transform your copy into an effective selling tool rather than a space-filler. Create copy that boosts conversions and sales while lowering bounce rates and unlock the power of product data by approaching your product descriptions with a fresh perspective today.

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