If you have an eCommerce business, you need to spend a lot of time writing your product descriptions. Making sure these are unique, informative and compelling is hugely important, because it will drive your sales up. Furthermore, you have to keep in mind that Google may lower your SERPS you if you use product descriptions that you have copied from others (even if it is from the manufacturer of the product you offer). Product descriptions give your items added value. You have to remember that you are a salesperson and your job is to make sure that people buy their items from you, and not from someone else who sells the same item. This is true even if you weren’t to consider the Farmer algorithm. The reality is that unless you manage to get your customer’s attention straight away, they will go to your competitor. But how do you do this?
Start as You Mean to Go On
The first thing you have to realize when you write your product description is that you are writing content. It may be shorter content than what you would expect in an article or a blog, but the same rules still apply. This means the standard things such as writing content that is free from grammar and spelling mistakes, of course, but it also means that you have to manage to grab the attention of your reader in the first few sentences.
As a general rule, if the first paragraph of a publication can attract and keep the readers attention, then they are highly likely to read on. Optimizing your first paragraph to be as articulate and concise as possible will greatly increase the chances that a reader will stay with you for more information.
Getting that first paragraph right is generally the hardest part. You have to really know your product in order to make sure you are able to grab the attention of your customer straight away. Hence, spend a lot of time studying what you actually offer and what its benefits and features actually are.
The Tone and Style
Once you have your first paragraph ready, you need to continue as you mean to go on. Make sure you use a style that is conversational and entertaining. Your customers have to feel as if you are speaking to nobody but them. This means you have to look through the eyes of your customer when you try to talk about your product. What kind of situation could your customer be in that makes them need your items? At the same time, however, you have to convince those that may not need your product to still purchase it. Hence, you have to find a balance between providing information that is superfluous because people already know your product and providing information that tells someone who knows nothing about your item what it is about.
You also have to make sure that you sound like you have some real authority. You know what your product is all about and you have to make sure that your readers know this. Hence, you have to get to their level, which at the same time means you have to know your audience. If, for instance, you want to sell costume jewelry to teenagers, you will use a completely different tone than one you would use if you want to sell encyclopedias to Ph.D. students. Although your tone is different, the same message is still conveyed: you know what you are talking about.
Know What People Don’t Like
You also have to make sure you know exactly what your customers do not like. Some specific things will come from the product itself (if you sell fair trade products, your customers will not like capitalistic brands for instance). However, there are a number of things that customers don’t like regardless of what you are writing about. The first of these is too much text.
Pages that require a lot of scrolling – Text is easier to read if it is clear, concise and scanable. The text needs to be in short paragraphs or bullet lists and needs to get straight to the point.
Next, make sure you don’t fluff up your text. If you keep repeating that something is “the best” or the “number one”, people will start to experience what is known as a yeah, yeah moment. They know as well as you do that you wouldn’t tell them if your product was mediocre or even bad (hopefully you wouldn’t even sell it), so there is no point saying that again and again. Furthermore, terms like “top of the range” and “best” are subjective. If you use those types of terms, you will have to demonstrate just why your product is top of the range or the best.
Last but not least, make sure that your product description is free of spelling and grammar mistakes. The importance of this cannot be emphasized enough. Considering even mobile phones now have spell checkers (although auto correct mistakes can and do get made), it really is unacceptable for content to have mistakes in it. Simply copying and pasting your text into a word processor will already pick up on a lot of problems, but you still also have to proofread what you write.
Some Final Pointers
Reading this may make you feel that writing a product description is going to be incredibly difficult. It doesn’t have to be and once you get into it, you will find it comes naturally. Just remember the pointers above and remember to give your customers the information they want and need without overdoing it.
Try and get your point across quickly and avoid bombarding people with information – your published web content should be the result of various levels of refinement considering style, emphasis and conciseness.
Never forget the power of bullet lists either. They are easy to read and immediately grab attention. Just make sure that you put the right information in those lists.