How to Write a Product Description
From the product itself to the photos and prices, there are several factors that go into a customer’s purchasing decision. However, one aspect of ecommerce sales that often goes overlooked is the product description. Although it may seem like a small thing, it’s not. Why? Because a product description is often your final opportunity to make an argument and entice a sale. When you create an online store with Constant Contact, you have the opportunity to create brilliant and persuasive product descriptions.
Curious about how to write a good product description? Simply follow these steps:
- Identify your target audience
- Describe the product benefits
- Optimize the product description and page for SEO
- Avoid obvious or superlative phrases
- Tell a story
- Utilize powerful words
- Make your product description and product page scannable
By following this guide, you’ll drive customers down the sales funnel all the way to the final “purchase” button.
Step 1: Identify your target audience
Knowing how to write a product description means knowing how to write for the person on the other side of the screen.
The best product description will speak directly and personally to your target buyer — the person who needs or wants your product. A mistake that many businesses make is that they write generally to a crowd of buyers, with no real ideal customer in mind. The result is product copy that’s bland and universal rather than tailored to the ideal buyer.
To write product descriptions that are powerful, you need to know who your target audience is. This starts by creating a buyer persona and asking questions like:
- What are their general interests?
- What kind of humor do they like?
- What problem does your product solve?
- What kind of words do they use?
- Why would they be curious about your product or store?
- How did this visitor reach your store?
- What are the key product features or benefits to the visitor?
- What does your ideal customer gain from using your product?
- What separates your products from others on the market?
For instance, if you’re selling beard care products from your ecommerce store, you’ll likely tailor your product and description to men in their 20s to 40s. The messaging should not only entice and educate potential customers about the product, but it should also explain the benefits. Generally speaking, men use fewer products on their face, so they may be reluctant to purchase an oil or lotion. As a result, the product description needs to instruct them about the important role daily products can play in growing out a healthy, lustrous beard.
Which brings us to our next point.
Step 2: Describe the product benefits
Remember, a product description doesn’t just tell you what a product is. More importantly, it tells you why the buyer needs it. When describing a product’s benefits, it’s vital that you remember that this is your chance to convince someone who may be on the brink of a purchase — it’s your job to give them that final bit of encouragement.
What you write will depend greatly upon both your product itself as well as the target audience. That said, when you create your descriptions, keep the following in mind:
- Write the benefits instead of listing the product features – Although you may be personally impressed with the products specs and features, your average customer likely won’t care or have the required knowledge to have the desired impact. For example, if you are writing about the type of battery in a phone, it’s better to talk about how the new battery has a 20-hour battery life with an extra six hours over competitors or previous models. This is something everybody understands: the woes of a doomed battery.
- Explain how it will personally impact them aside from the obvious – At times, it may be difficult to describe how the potential buyers stand to benefit. To help with this, think about the ways that it can improve an aspect of their life. For example, with a holiday candle, you could just speak on how it lights up a room. Or you could describe what it does to the senses, turning an apartment into a winter forest, ablaze with holiday spirit.
Pro-tip: When explaining the benefits, be sure to embrace your brand’s personality as well. You’ll want to maintain your brand’s tone of voice across the messaging on your website for consistency.
Step 3: Optimize the product description and page for SEO
You’ve probably heard (or read) the term search engine optimization (SEO) in your quest to learn how to write content for a website, but what is SEO? SEO is simply a collection of techniques used to communicate with a search engine, such as Google or Bing, algorithm. In other words, you’re writing for the way Google reads information on websites. SEO done right means your product appears in search engines often.
With this basic understanding, you can probably see why it plays a crucial factor in product descriptions and overall ecommerce website design. Here are some best practices for how to write SEO product descriptions:
- Utilize SEO title tags and meta descriptions for each product page (these are what you read and click on when you’re on a Google search results page)
- Include long-tail keywords in descriptions (keywords are what people search on Google to find things)
- Include primary keywords (or keywords that are directly related to your product) in:
- The page’s URL
- The description title
- The body copy
- The alt image tag
- Use headers
- Write products in relation to the rest of your offerings
- Include reviews on product pages
- Optimize for mobile devices
By writing product descriptions according to these SEO tips, you ensure that Google’s search engine will make your product visible when people are searching for something similar to it.
Step 4: Avoid obvious or superlative phrases
It’s tempting to throw out every sales phrase and call it a day, but the problem is that when everyone uses superlative phrases, the customer becomes immune to their persuasiveness. Unless your product is the cheapest, the best, the most convenient — and you have a way to prove it — avoid boasting. If you write a description about a pair of boots from a boot manufacturer that “uses only the finest materials,” the reader is likely going to roll their eyes and think “that’s what everyone says.”
Instead, it would be much better to detail the type of leather, how long it lasts, or to give the impression that the materials are high-quality without overtly stating so.
Remember: Buyers aren’t oblivious. While you might think sales phrases will catch your customers’ attention, it may do the exact opposite and have them skip right over it. Things you’ve seen on infomercials? Toss them out the window. Instead, treat your customers with respect, and it will become a mutual sentiment.
Step 5: Tell a story
Emotion plays an important role in the buying process. Humans are emotional creatures and emotional messaging tends to resonate, especially when it’s done tastefully. By using your description to tell a story about the product, you can help the reader envision what their life would be like once they’ve purchased it.
Whether we realize it or not, every time we read something, we instinctively ask the author to make us care about the topic or subject When it comes to selling your product, you want them to care on an emotional level instead of a transactional one.
To set the stage and paint a vivid, emotional picture, your product descriptions should answer some, if not most, of these questions:
- Where is the product from?
- Who is its maker?
- Why did they create it?
- What were they lacking that this made up for?
- What problem did it solve?
- What was the journey from concept to end product?
- What role could this product play in a person’s daily life?
Stories resonate. Your product description is an incredible opportunity to briefly tell your own story and connect with your customer on a deeper level.
Step 6: Utilize powerful words
Although you want to avoid superlatives, there are specific words that readers naturally respond positively to that you should include throughout your product descriptions. There are thousands of words for you to choose from, so it’s vital that you select words that convey emotion in and of themselves. These are known as power words. Power words are persuasive, descriptive words that trigger a positive or negative emotional response.
When it comes to sales, most people use power words that emote value, scarcity, or loss aversion. Think FOMO (Fear of Missing out) and while some may have an aversion to using these types of words, they can be effective.
Our best advice, when it comes to power words, is to use them wisely. This means:
- Only use what you need. Too many power words in a description leads to the description feeling too ‘salesy’ and your power words lose their power.
- Choose wisely. Be careful not to ‘throw in’ power words because you think your description needs more…well, power. Choose the right power word(s) for the emotion that you want to invoke in regards to the product that you’re describing.
- Be comfortable. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t use it. Period.
Step 7: Make your product description and product page scannable
Your buyer has limited time to make a purchasing decision. Thus, it’s essential that you set up pages and descriptions so that a reader can peruse and come away with all of the important information.
When it comes to product pages, readability is essential. So, how do you make a page more readable?
- Use catchy headlines
- Utilize bullet points wherever possible
- Select a font and size that is easy-to-read
- Take advantage of white space
How to write a good product description, your answer
Product descriptions serve as your final opportunity to pitch the value of your product to a potential customer.
With a little extra effort, your product descriptions will speak more clearly, concisely, and powerfully to your target customer. Not to mention, if you learn how to optimize your ecommerce product descriptions for SEO, you’ll be learning how to drive traffic to your online store. Over time, you’ll see an impact on sales, conversions, and customer satisfaction.
If you don’t yet have a store or working website, that’s an important first step. Wondering how to start an online store? Fortunately for you, Constant Contact is a fast and easy way to create a powerful website and ecommerce store. All you have to do is:
- Start for free with Constant Contact’s website builder
- Select a domain name
- Create your website
- Set up your online store
- Create web content
- Purchase a plan to go live with your site
In no time at all, you can go from wanting a digital storefront to having a fully-functional website that allows you to write great product descriptions — more specifically, product descriptions that sell.
Are you interested in taking your sales to a new level? Constant Contact is ready to help.