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Are Your eCommerce Product Descriptions Working For You?

23 October 2013 by Tom Bond


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As we previously discussed a few weeks back, if you’re looking to bring visitors (and by extension, customers) to your site, then you’ll need to revolutionise the way that you think about content.

Blogs, articles and contributing on other sites are well and good, but if you’re looking to convert interested visitors into paying customers once they’re online then you need to think about the copy on your website. Specifically, are your product descriptions selling your products? Bad Description



Here are nine nifty tips to ensure that your product descriptions aren’t letting your eCommerce site down:

Know your products

If you want your description to convert into a sale, then you need to really persuade a reader. Like any standard salesman would tell you, that means knowing your products inside out. There’s no point describing the greatness of product if you don’t know about it yourself, so find out before you write your descriptions.

What’s more, it’s the littlest things that can make a product stand out to a reader. You may not think it’s necessary to include every last detail, but that’s what customers are looking for – leaving out a key detail could prevent a sale.

Get your meta information right

Quite a lot of the time, the first thing a customer will know about your product will be on search engines. So ensure each product has an original, inviting title and a meta description that will engage them and persuade them to click through from Google.

Know your customers

If you run a successful business, you’ll have a good idea of how your customers behave and what they like. So you have to write for their benefit. For instance, if you typically welcome a younger customer, they may feel more engaged with a touch of humour in your web copy and a laid-back feel. But if you’re selling products for thousands of pounds each, your customers won’t appreciate a casual tone.

Understanding your customers will also inform whether you use strong, persuasive language to sell to them, or adopt more of a laid back approach that seeks to educate and empower them.

KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid KISS

When you’re working on an eCommerce site, it can be tempting to talk using industry buzz-phrases and terms that your customers may not actually be comfortable with. So try to keep things as simple as possible on your descriptions and explain everything in layman’s terms – as if you were describing your product to a gaggle of schoolchildren.

Add pictures and videos

It’s not a product description per se, but if you’ve not accompanied your scorching hot copy with some pictures and videos of the thing you’re trying to sell, you’re not going to get very far. Remember, people process information in different ways: some will learn about the product by watching a video about it; some will look at pictures of it and others will read about it. Ignoring a specific type of person will limit the amount you sell.

Write cohesively

A well-written product description hints at a quality product that a customer would need in their life. But a series of well-written product descriptions demonstrates something slightly bigger: a strong website that takes the online experience of its customers seriously. So write cohesively and maintain your brand’s reputation throughout the copy.

Offer originality

Recent Google updates have continued the search engine’s war on ‘spammy’ sites with unoriginal content. So if you have a number of different web pages with identical content on them, you will be penalised. And writing personalised, interesting product descriptions won’t just engage your visitors, they’ll ensure you’re looking good in the eyes of the search engines too.

Proof

There’s nothing quite so off-putting as a typo or a spelling mistake. Once you’ve written your interesting descriptions, get a second pair of eyes to proof your product descriptions and ensure there are no glaring errors that could annoy or deter a visitor.

Analyse

Once your descriptions have been written, that’s not the end of it – not by a long shot. Tools such as Google Analytics can help you to see which descriptions are working better than others and how you can improve your practices.

For instance, if you’re seeing a lower bounce rate on pages with in-depth photography, then it’s worth investing in more pictures of your products pictures. Likewise, if pages with less copy and more concise sentences are converting better, then you should look at making your descriptions more succinct with plenty of bullet points.

What do you do?

So, how do you deal with product descriptions? Are they given the importance they deserve in your business? Have you found a particularly successful way of writing your descriptions? Let us know.


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