I mistakenly ordered a product, and didn't see product description concerning size and color. Have you ever cancelled an order due to a horrible product description?
According to a blog posted by Orbelo,
"A product description is the copy that describes the features and benefits of a product to a customer. The goal of the product description is to provide the customer with enough information to compel them to want to buy the productimmediately."
"Having optimized product descriptions can help improve your search engine optimization (SEO). By optimizing your product descriptions to include specific keywords, you can help improve your chances of ranking high on Google. Without product descriptions, you may be able to optimize your images for keywords, but your product page may not appear high in search engines due to a lack of content."
Like every other aspect of your website, product descriptions need to be split tested. Each website has a different layout, personality, and style which may require a different product description format. Some stores may convert best with only bullet point benefits. Others may need a long paragraph, or a mix of bullet points and a paragraph. And some websites may convert best with no copy at all. You can use A/B split tests tools like Google Optimize to determine what format works best for you.
Here’s a product description example with no copy. According to VWO, an online store called FreestyleXtreme ran a product description split test. Their test included a Control page with a product description and a Variation page with no product description. They were surprised when they found out that the page with no product description converted 31.88% better and had a 96% confidence level.
There are several factors as to why the product descriptions didn’t convert well. It’s possible they weren’t written correctly for the audience. Where product descriptions are placed on your store may lower conversions. The format they were written may have been the problem. However, when it comes to your specific store, testing whether or not you should have product descriptions on your store can help you better understand how to proceed on future product pages.
Now, let’s look at why you should have product descriptions on your store.
Having optimized product descriptions can help improve your search engine optimization (SEO). By optimizing your product descriptions to include specific keywords, you can help improve your chances of ranking high on Google. Without product descriptions, you may be able to optimize your images for keywords, but your product page may not appear high in search engines due to a lack of content.
Product descriptions can also educate your customer on the product. The product description offers supplemental product information that the picture can’t do on its own. For example, you likely wouldn’t buy a laptop by looking at the picture alone. As a shopper, you’d want to read about the laptop’s specifications and features. This also applies to fashion — some people may be allergic to certain fabrics and need to know the material of the clothing you sell on your store. By providing customers with key product information, you prevent a build up of customer service inquiries. It also helps customers know if that specific product is right for them, which can help lower return rates.
Having product descriptions on each product page can also help boost conversions if written well. Reading a fun product description, depending on the niche, can help a customer enjoy their shopping experience. They may laugh while reading it, which helps break the ice between your store and a first time customer. If the product description clearly showcases the product benefits, has personality and provides value for your customer, then it can help boost conversions. Having product copy that’s free of grammatical errors and typos can also help increase sales.
A product description can help assure customers that this is the product that’ll solve their problem or improve their situation. Including product features can give customers the information they need about the product. However, to create an effective product description you need to tie in the feature with a benefit such as made with cotton for a soft feel or oversized bag to fit all your essentials. When a customer reads the product benefits, they can determine whether or not the product is right for them.
Picking the Right Words for Your Product Description
According to David Ogilvy, the 20 most influential words include suddenly, now, announcing, introducing, amazing, sensational, revolutionary, miracle, magic, quick, hurry, and more. Using keywords like those mentioned can help captivate your reader and persuade them into action. You can use these words in product descriptions, headlines, email subject lines, and more.
According to Unbounce, there are also several words and phrases that people shouldn’t be using in their copy, product description and more. Poor word choices include: market-leading, breakthrough, innovative, stunning, ultimate and more. Ultimately, the words are poor choices if they aren’t accurate. Calling your product revolutionary when it’s not isn’t going to make your brand stand out.
It’s important that a product description writer is honest and transparent when describing the product. Saying a product is free when it really isn’t is deceptive. Saying your product is the best quality when you have countless complaints about the product quality isn’t going to trick people into liking your product.
For example, if several people notice that the material is thinner than expected, you can mention that in your copy without drastically impacting sales. It gives your customers an honest expectation of the product before they receive it. Your customers may even prefer thinner fabrics on summer days.
You’ll still need to persuade people into buying your product. Being honest doesn’t mean writing all of your products flaws but highlighting its strengths. Is the design what’s selling the product? Put an emphasis on the look of the product when describing it.
You’ll also want to bring your customer into the product description using words like you. Help your customers envision themselves using your product. Make them part of your product’s story.
Keeping it casual can also help your product description stand out. You’re not writing a thesis, but a product description to bring your product and your customer together. Use contractions in your writing like you’re, you’d, who’d, etc.
Tips for Writing Product Descriptions
Write your own – Avoid using the manufacturer’s product descriptions. By writing your own copy, you avoid being penalized for duplicate or thin copy. You also improve your chances of writing a product description that converts your customer.
- Make it scannable – Your product description should be easy to read. Having two sentences describing the product with several bullet points allows customers to receive the information quickly so they can purchase immediately. If you sell laptops, you’ll want to turn the specs into bullet points for an easy read.
- Know Your Audience – If you sell fun products like ugly christmas sweaters or food shaped jewelry you could inject humor into it. Your copy should be playful and light as customers buying those types of products would likely appreciate an entertaining product description. However, humor doesn’t work on all niches. For example, you wouldn’t want to inject humor into a product description about life jackets, coffins, or other sensitive issues.
- Optimize Your Product Descriptions for Keywords – The easiest way to optimize your product descriptions for keywords is to use a tool like On Page SEO Checker on your store. You’ll want to use keywords that are relevant to your product. For example, if you sell makeup brushes, you’ll want to be specific such as ‘unicorn makeup brush’ or ‘mermaid makeup brush.’
- Tell a Story – Use your product description to tell a story. It could be the story of why your customer needs this product to solve their problem. Or a story of the products benefits. Or just an entertaining story about the product that draws your customer in.
- Split Test It – Don’t forget to split test your product descriptions. Test different formats, lengths, words, and more. Split testing your product descriptions can help you optimize your product page to improve your conversion rate.
- Spell Check Your Work – Read over your product descriptions to ensure there are no typos. You can use tools like Grammarly to avoid spelling mistakes.
- Offer All The Details – Make sure that customers have the information they need to make a purchase. For example, if selling apparel, care information and size charts can help customers before and after their purchase. If you sell tablets, you’ll want to ensure you list all the specs. If you sell jewelry, you’ll want to include information such as ‘nickel free’, as some may have allergies to certain materials.
Product Description Examples
ModCloth is a great product description example to learn from. The product description is short and sweet with only two sentences. The product details include scannable bullet points. The first sentence of the product description compliments the customer by mentioning their ‘glimmering charisma.’ However, the customer compliment is tied into the ‘glorious glimmering’ of the bolero.
The second sentence compliments the customer again in relation to the product. Pay close attention to the language used in the copy. Words like ‘delighted,’ ‘delicate,’ ‘magnificence,’ ‘radiance,’ ‘gloriously’, and ‘glimmers’ are used to capture attention while being positive descriptors.
Tipsy Elves is an excellent product description example of showcasing the product benefits. Their short and sweet two sentence description mentions that this jumpsuit is perfect for ‘lazy days on the couch, USA events, and hitting the slopes.’ For those looking for an outfit for the 4th of July, their problem is solved as it mentions that this outfit is ideal for it. Notice how the first word in the copy is ‘freedom’, which is a positive word and is often associated with American pride products. Their product details aren’t very scannable. However, they mention the benefits for some of their features such as mentioning that the material is thinner for ‘year round wear.’
Chubbies is a great product description example for creativity. The shorts shown in the picture above are called ‘The Mojitos’ likely due to its minty green color. Their opening description runs with the mojito theme though their product picture fails to show a mojito which would likely blend pretty nicely. They mention benefits with their product features such as ‘keep you oh-so comfortable.’
Naked Wines keep their product description scannable with three bulleted points. Their bullet points creatively use check marks which helps customers make a positive association with the wine. The writing style is casual with phrases like ‘who’da thought it…’ They also use build brand trust by mentioning that ‘91% of you would happily buy it again!’ Pay close attention to the language used to describe the wine such as ‘ripe’, ‘peppery undertones’, ‘lashings of oak’, ‘scrumptious’, and ‘silky finish.’Product Description Template
There are countless ways to write a product description. If you’re ever stuck on a format you can follow this simple product description template while writing your copy.
Complement the customer in relation to the product. Mention the product benefit in relation to the product feature. Provide a simple recommendation.
For example, if you’re selling unicorn brushes you might write something like this:
Like this unicorn brush, you’re one of a kind. These brushes are made with synthetic bristles for an easy clean. Pair this set with our mermaid brushes for a complete set of unique makeup brushes.How to Find a Great Product Description Writer
You can choose to write your own product descriptions on your website. However, if you regularly import high quantities of products to your store or struggle to write a product description that converts, you can hire a product description writer.
Finding a great writer requires patience. You can use sites like ProBlogger, Fiverr, or Guru to find quality product description writers. Look at a writer’s reviews, previous work, and who they’ve worked for in the past to determine the quality of their writing.
Mastering your product descriptions will require creativity and testing. Don’t be afraid to test the format of your product descriptions on your most popular products to learn how to proceed. Writing effective copy takes requires a bit of experimentation to better connect with your customers.
Nicole Martins Ferreira
Nicole Martins Ferreira is a content marketer at Oberlo and experienced ecommerce entrepreneur. She’s been building online stores since 2013 and sharing her secrets with Oberlo users since 2016. Follow Nicole on Twitter at @NicoleMarFer.