When you open up a sales catalog, what’s the first thing that gets your attention? The images. What’s next? When you see something you like, your eyes immediately go to the product descriptions.
As a modern-day consumer myself, I think a good description can sell any product way better than any image can. Sure, it might look great in the pictures, but it’s the description of how it works that really brings it all home. So how do you do it? How do you write a product description that sells? Something that makes people want not just to order the product, but tell their friends about it? The answer is not as cut and dry as “just write well.” But I don’t want to give it all away in the first few sentences. So let’s talk about it.
Why are product descriptions important?
Before getting into the nitty-gritty of writing a product description that sells, I want to clarify its importance.
First thing first, product descriptions show your products’ value to the potential customers. If done correctly, they will provide benefits and features of the product that will influence the customers to make a purchase. When people are well informed about your product and connect to it, they are more likely to buy that product. See? A product description is like a sales pitch because it informs the customers just like a salesperson would.
Second of all, product descriptions are important because they reflect both your brand and your target audience. Like I’ve already mentioned, if you write them well, they can help you facilitate the communication between your brand and your customers.
Last but not least, good product descriptions are crucial. Why? Because if you write them according to the SEO principles, they can really boost your e-commerce business. It’s a logical process. When you create great SEO texts, you have more chances to be found by many people. Furthermore, you’ll get more sales, and higher conversions prove to Google that you’re a trustworthy website. And we all know that a trustworthy website will only rank higher and higher.
How do you write a good product description?
Now that I’ve presented to you the importance of product descriptions, we should focus on the next task. So, here they are. 8 fundamental tips that help you write good product descriptions:
- Focus on the benefits of the product
- Use a natural tone of voice
- Choose the right keywords
- Avoid long-winded descriptions
- Pick your best images
- Use powerful words
- Make it easily scannable
- Split testing your product descriptions
Let’s take them one by one and get into more details.
1. Focus on the benefits of the product
The biggest selling points for any product are the benefits of purchasing said product. Yes, you’ve read that correctly. I’ve said benefits, not features.
You, as a business owner, are really excited to share all the features and best qualities of your products. On the other hand, the potential customers are interested in knowing more about how the products can help them and improve their lives.
As advice, try to transform all your product’s features into benefits. For instance, instead of saying that the hand cream you’re selling is soft, tell your customers that their hands will feel smooth and will have a nicer aspect. Apple knows best how to play around with words when it comes to focusing on their products’ benefits. Back in the day, when they were selling their iPod Nano, they really knew how to market it. They didn’t say that this is the best iPod ever because it has 5 GB of storage space. They answered exactly to people’s needs, saying that “Apple Introduces 10GB iPod – 2000+ songs right in your pocket”.
There are other brands that know that besides enumerating the features of their products, they also need to focus on their benefits. Here’s a product description example from ASOS that can inspire yourself next time when you’re thinking about writing good product descriptions:
2. Use a natural tone of voice
Remember: you’re a human being communicating with other human beings. Nobody likes to read something that sounds like a robot wrote it. Your product descriptions should read exactly as if you were standing in front of a potential customer explaining how awesome your product is.
This all depends completely on your natural tone of voice. To completely nail this particular aspect of a good product description, you do have to be somewhat skilled at writing. And this isn’t to discourage you from trying.
For me, the best way to visualize this is to look at a bad product description and think about how you would change it. Take a look at this example:
I think even the most casual grammar gurus out there will sort of cringe at this one. Let’s completely ignore the massive and overwhelming title that’s being used to describe one shoe for a second.
When you dive deep into the actual description, sure, it manages to name some benefits and points of interest. But it is also impossible to read it in your head or out loud in a voice that is not monotone.
This product description is far from natural. It sounds as if a computer-generated this text. But, of course, there is nothing against the product or manufacturer. For all I know, this could be the most amazing shoe in the world. That being said, a quality product description is what sells a product online. If you have a poor quality description, odds are that you won’t attract the right buyers.
Speaking about good product descriptions that sell and arouse the interest of your potential customers, here’s an example that’s completely the opposite of the first one. This description is super organized and right on point, emphasizing both the features and benefits of the product.
3. Choose the right keywords
All in all, the product description example from the first image is keyword cramming. While cramming as many keywords as you can into a description might help your search rankings, it most certainly won’t help guide your customers to making the right purchase.
As you can see from the first example presented above, the writing comes off as sloppy and almost unreadable. This can easily scare away a customer. You need to aim for a description that is both readable and contains the right keywords. Always keep in mind that you need to optimize wisely any product description you’re going to write.
That being said, anytime you type something into a search bar, the search engine looks for the most relevant text based on what you typed in. So, for example, if you typed in “red women dress,” this is what will pop up:
As you can see, all of these results have the keyword “red women dress” in them. That’s why it’s so important that you use those keywords correctly and describe your products accurately. To give you a little tip, you should use some SEO keyword tools to help you choose the most relevant keywords for your product descriptions. SEMrush Keyword Overview, Google Keyword Planner, or Ubersuggest by Neil Pattel are just a few examples in this regard.
4. Avoid long-winded descriptions
Let’s not kid ourselves here. Nobody wants to read a loooong and boring description. This can sort of tie in with my first point. You want to mention only the points that are beneficial and necessary.
Of course, many products will require a long description, but this shouldn’t be the standard. Let’s take a look at the biggest online retailer on the planet: Amazon.
When you look up a product on Amazon, all of the descriptions follow a guideline. You will not find a product with a huge product description. Most of the time, you won’t find anything with more than 3 or 4 points.
On top of that, they’re all written out clearly and always in the same place on the page. However, if we look back at the first product description example with the shoes, the grammar and tone throw off the description, not the length of the description.
It’s all about balance. Keep it as short, organized, and accurate as possible.
5. Use your best images
When you’re referring to product descriptions, you’ll also be referring to the images that accompany them. Let’s get into more details.
To best summarize the importance of quality images, I’ll use an example that I think all of us can relate to. Have you ever bought something from a private seller? Let’s say on eBay, or even from the Facebook Marketplace? I think most of us have. Or at least we are familiar with these platforms.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been browsing and clicking on an image just because the image was so bad or small that I couldn’t make out what it was.
Here’s an example to help you better understand what I’m talking about. I found this photo on eBay. As you can see, these seem like nice pairs of New Balance shoes for women, but the images are so small and blurry that you can barely see their color.
On the other hand, quality images help the buyer understand what they’re buying. It gives them a point of reference to better understand what they’re spending their hard-earned cash on. And on top of that, professional photos will also make you a trustworthy seller and strengthen your brand’s image.
ASOS surely knows how to use its best photos to attract customers. You can easily figure out this dress’s color, length, material, and how it looks on a real person. It really makes you want to buy this dress, right?
So, the moral of this story is to take an extra few minutes to make sure your images are perfect. Especially when creating a product catalog, it’s worth investing in a professional one with all the right equipment.
6. Use powerful words
Words are some of the most powerful weapons we have. A single word can make someone’s day or tear it down completely. Therefore, choosing the right words is essential because of the power that they can have on people. This also applies when talking about writing product descriptions because depending on how you write them, product descriptions can really influence the buying decision.
That being said, there are plenty of trigger words to get customers excited and make them purchase your products. Words like amazing, magical, outstanding, and mind-blowing are just a few great examples. All of these words are powerful and can be used to grab someone’s attention.
Take a look at this product description for an air purifier. Mixed in there, you’ll see words like high performance, sleek design, and most silent air cleaner. You surely agree with me that these are powerful words for this product. I mean, after all, we’re just talking about an air purifier. But with that in mind, would you rather buy “a good air purifier” or “a high-performance air purifier”? You can see what I’m trying to get at, right?
7. Make it easily scannable
When you’re shopping around for the latest and greatest product that you most likely don’t need, the last thing you want to do is read a long and complicated product description. What you, as well as everyone else that wants to buy something needs, is to go over the description, get the information they need quickly, and decide whether or not to buy it.
In a way, you can think of it like this: keep it simple and short. The more information you give your potential customers, the more they have to digest. The more they have to digest, the less likely they will be to make a decision.
In the example above, you can see an online catalog made in Flipsnack filled with lots of product tags. By clicking on these interactive product tags, you’ll open a whole new world. The aim of a product tag is to provide more information about the product you’re selling. As you can see, all these product tags contain simple and short descriptions that are easily scannable. Moreover, they show you how the product looks in another color, and also give you the opportunity to shop the product directly from your online catalog. But that’s not all. In Flipsnack, you can also automate the process of adding tags in your digital catalogs. This is extremely useful, especially when you’re creating a catalog with many product tags.
So, next time you’re thinking about writing awesome product descriptions, make sure to keep them as relevant and short as possible. It is quite a delicate approach, as you don’t want to leave out any important information, but you also don’t want to give your potential customers a migraine.
8. Split testing your product descriptions
Last but not least, don’t forget to split test your product descriptions. This helps you optimize your product page to improve your conversion rate.
“But what on Earth is split testing?!” you may be asking yourself. It sounds complicated, but I promise it’s not. Split testing is, in fact, an experiment. You simply create two different versions of the same product description. This way, you can test different words, lengths, formats, colors, and more. Then, gather the results, compare them, and always choose the version that performs best.
Here are two visual examples that will help you understand more about split testing:
What to take away from this
Remember once again that product descriptions are incredibly important for online shops and catalogs alike. When someone cannot hold and feel the physical object in their hand, they rely completely on the words that you choose to use to describe what you’re selling, so you better pay close attention when creating them.
But I want you to understand that there is no set formula for writing the perfect product description. Yes, there are rules and standards, but no one product description is the same as another (at least it shouldn’t be). So focus, rattle off those benefits, don’t write like a robot, use specific keywords, keep it simple, use high-quality images, and don’t forget to split tests. You’ll succeed in the end, you’ll see!