In e-commerce, quality product descriptions can be the difference between a desolate shop with sparse sales and a booming business. Understanding product description search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial for standing out among the 26 million e-commerce businesses currently populating the internet. In this guide, you'll learn how to write compelling product descriptions that successfully convince potential customers to buy from you.
What Is a Product Description?
A product description is a short paragraph illustrating what you're selling and its benefits to potential customers. Because online shoppers can't get a feel for it in person, they rely on a well-written product description to picture what they will get when they click “Purchase.”
Product descriptions are often short — in fact, they should capture your audience in seconds. They normally include product features and key benefits. When providing this information, your objective is to use vivid language that paints a picture of the product in your customers’ minds.
The Role of Product Descriptions in CRO
Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is a marketing and content strategy that helps you drive more traffic to your e-commerce site. It’s similar to SEO, but your goal is not only to bring people onto the website — it's also to get them to take action.
Solid product description copywriting goes hand-in-hand with optimized product images and product reviews to compel people to buy your products. Product description SEO involves including keywords and phrases in your item descriptions to boost your search engine ranking.
CRO takes it further. Once you’ve drawn people onto your website, your product descriptions can also influence shoppers to buy. Knowing how to write a product description well is part of an overall content strategy that appeals to buyers and influences their purchase decisions.
10 Tips To Create Effective Product Descriptions With Examples
Whether you’re just starting out with product descriptions or you’re a pro trying to brush up on your product description copywriting skills, follow these tips to tailor these important pieces of copy to the right target audience.
1. Optimize for Target Keywords
Customers can't buy your product if they don’t know it exists. So, your first step in product description SEO is to make a list of target keywords people might use to find the product page online. Incorporating target keywords into your descriptions makes it easier for search engines to find your products and use them to populate searches.
For example: Say you’re selling a black cocktail dress. You will include the term “black cocktail dress” in your product description, but this description alone isn’t likely to generate much traffic. Some shoppers may be using other terms in their search, such as "holiday party dress" or "date night dress." Strategically using popular keywords throughout your description will help you reach as many potential customers as possible.
To compile a list of target keywords, use a keyword research tool like SEMrush or Moz Keyword Explorer, which will help you identify relevant, high-traffic terms. You should also consider the following: What questions are your customers asking? What features of your products do they value the most? What terms are they using to find your competitors?
Once you've found your target keywords, use them to create a compelling product description. Place target keywords strategically in the product title, headings, and main text, but integrate them naturally.
Additionally, try to sprinkle in some keywords that aren’t as highly used to boost visibility with niche markets. Many e-commerce sites offer black cocktail dresses, but there may be less competition for a “black lace cocktail dress” or a “black semiformal dress.”
Effective product descriptions also contain power words that appeal to a customer’s emotions and entice them to buy. Common power words communicate value, authority, and trust, such as:
- Money-back guarantee
2. Target Your Ideal Customer
Knowing how to write a product description that converts involves understanding your ideal customer. Start by creating a set of buyer personas, or fictionalized versions of your ideal customer, based on your best customer groups. You'll then figure out how to target each group by analyzing existing customer data.
Companies with killer product descriptions know their audience. Look at your existing customer base to determine if there are any similarities. You may find that people in a certain demographic group buy one product line consistently. For example, if you sell craft coffee, you might find that single women in their early 20s gravitate to a different type of coffee than married males in their 50s.
Once you’ve segmented your customers, make a list of their key pain points and preferences. List all the reasons they are drawn to a certain product.
If you notice that single women in their 20s are frequent buyers of your pods or pre-ground coffees, you might consider that they want to save time. They are likely drawn to products that make their lives convenient. On the other hand, married males in their 50s might be more interested in whole-bean blends or pour-over coffee. In this case, it's possible that they are more appreciative of the product’s quality.
Knowing your target audience and what they value will help you write product descriptions that appeal to these desires.
3. Get Familiar With Lifestyle Copywriting
If you’re new to e-commerce, you may not have a lot of lifestyle copywriting experience. Content marketing for e-commerce involves appealing to people’s emotions. When you’re selling products to people over the internet, you need to communicate how they will fit into a person’s lifestyle, which often means using psychology to speak to their values. If you're selling luxury perfume, for example, you want to appeal to how it will make the wearer feel. Will it boost their confidence? Will they feel sexier?
Lifestyle copywriting consists of short, punchy content. You use it in every part of your website copy, including listing titles and product details. This kind of writing is easy to understand and appeals to your target customer’s imagination.
Consider the following product description for the Apple iPhone 15:
In this example of a product description, you can see how the writer appeals to target customers with a busy lifestyle. This simple copy conjures up images of multitaskers who don’t like swiping between screens to check multiple statuses. The product description is specific to a phone feature, but it is a great example of how to use lifestyle writing to target customers.
4. Prove Every Claim
Although you want to tap into psychology to appeal to your audience, you don’t want to say things about your products that aren’t true. Avoid exaggerated claims like "the best" or "most innovative" unless you've actually been honored with an award. When you add key features and benefits to your product descriptions, be sure to back them up with evidence.
You can prove your claims by clearly displaying certifications and linking to official sources so users can verify the information. If you're comparing your products to those of your competitors, you can also reference price-comparison studies or third-party consumer reports.
Providing proof of your claims won't just solidify potential customers' perception of your product — it will also build your brand's trustworthiness and reputation.
5. Reimagine Features as Benefits
When you’re ready to launch or update your e-commerce site, it’s tempting to post multiple product description pages consisting of bulleted lists that concisely highlight features of your product. While this approach makes your content easily readable, it isn't very competitive or convincing.
Instead of simply listing product features, include information about how each feature can benefit potential customers. In the Apple example above, the company sells its Dynamic Island feature as a time saver. The target customer can picture the hassle of swiping out of their current app or phone call screen to see a pop-up notification. Apple also uses an accompanying image to demonstrate how this feature works.
Use your buyer personas to identify your target audience’s pain points and highlight product features that help alleviate them. Take this product description sample from Wayfair. The copywriter appeals to common factors that keep people awake, such as their partner tossing and turning or them getting too hot.
Instead of simply discussing how the mattress was made and listing its materials, the copywriter tells customers how this mattress would improve their lives through better sleep.
6. Provide Social Proof
In addition to proving claims with reputable studies, awards, and certifications, you can also boost your product's reputation with social proof, such as customer reviews and testimonials.
There are a few ways to offer social proof with your product descriptions. You can follow up with customers after they’ve made a purchase and encourage them to leave a review. Most e-commerce website platforms allow your customers to write a review directly on the product page.
If you partner with influencers, add their testimonials to your website and social media. According to an Izea study, over half of customers stated they made a purchase after seeing an influencer promoting the product. You can achieve similar results by adding expert testimonials to your website.
Make it easy for customers to tag your brand on social media. By doing so, you can attract more business from their followers if they're pleased with their purchase. Consider running a contest or another promotion to incentivize customers who leave a review or tag you on social media.
7. Leverage Storytelling
Lifestyle copywriting is all about creating an interesting and engaging story. While bullet lists of features are easy to create, they may not do much for your conversion rates. Instead of writing product descriptions with the product in mind, focus on your target customer using a story that's likely to engage them.
Storytelling lets you build descriptions that are rich and offer valuable information that allows the customer to picture the product in their daily life.
Use your target customer to determine your tone. Consider how they would respond to different writing styles. If your target audience is more professional, a serious tone might appeal to them most. Or, if they're more eccentric, maybe they appreciate a good pun.
Then, think about which features of your product they would care about the most. When writing the benefits, use the tone you've decided on to craft an interesting story that appeals to your target audience. Your story can answer customer questions or address their potential objections.
In an online clothing store description, for example, you might highlight how each garment contributes to your potential customers' sense of style. If you’re selling work boots, you may walk a potential customer through their day, focusing on how the boots are sturdy yet comfortable.
8. Choose a Scannable Format
Not all potential customers will read your product descriptions in detail. Using a mix of bulleted lists and short paragraphs is a way to reach both skimmers and detail-oriented shoppers. Your product descriptions should be easy to scan for key takeaways.
You can format your text by using bold type to highlight key features and benefits. You might consider including the bulleted list immediately following the product title and adding the full description below.
In this product description example from Gymshark, the copywriter uses casual language to appeal to people who want stylish looks when they work out. The description is formatted in a way that makes it easy for someone to scan and quickly understand the product's benefits.
9. Add Schema Markup for Rich Results
Rich search results let people see more information about a product, including the cost and average product reviews, on the search page. Your rich results highlight your product or service’s value before a customer even navigates to your website.
A schema markup refers to a piece of code that populates the rich results.
If you’ve ever searched the internet for a new restaurant or store, for example, you have likely seen rich results. These search results include a link to the website as well as a brief site description and an average star rating on Google. Many Amazon product descriptions include schema markups displaying the average product rating and directing people to customer reviews to get a better sense of the product.
You should be able to add a schema markup using your website builder tool. Td do so, follow the directions on Google's Structured Data Markup Helper. This tool will prompt you for descriptions and other information for your schema markups and then generate the code. You can also look for plugins and other website builder tools that will generate code for structured data.
10. Don’t Forget Your Call to Action
Even if you’ve used your buyer personas to craft excellent product descriptions, your customers may need a final push. Adding a call to action (CTA) to your product descriptions will clarify the action you expect your customers to take. A great call to action is short and sweet but identifies with the buyer.
For example, if you’re selling auto parts you might write the following CTA following a product description for tires. “Don’t get stuck this winter. Buy a new set of tires and keep your grip on icy roads all season long.”
A CTA is a great place to add language about special promotions or one-time sales. By doing so, you create a sense of urgency. You can subtly communicate to customers that they have to act fast to take advantage of the deal. If you’re taking this approach, don’t be vague. Include specifics of the deal, including when it expires and how it benefits the customer.
Craft SEO Product Descriptions That Sell With Compose.ly
E-commerce product descriptions can make or break your website. Perfect product descriptions are made with customers in mind and use stories that resonate with them. They should include key benefits of your product conveyed with rich language that fills your customer’s imagination.
Don’t leave your sales up to chance by winging it. Instead, partner with Compose.ly. Our product description writing services are just what you need to craft persuasive product descriptions that convert. Whether you need help with optimizing an item description for target keywords, communicating how specific product features benefit your customers, or making more scannable content, we have experienced copywriters to meet your needs.
Simply provide us with some background information, and our team of vetted product description writers will do the rest. Find out how today.