Along with stellar images and rave reviews, product descriptions are one of your most important tools for increasing conversions. Well-written, technically-accurate, and unique product descriptions highlight your product as a must-have, help you stand out from your competitors, and contribute to your SEO efforts.
Even a relatively brief product description can pack loads of technical info, establish your brand voice, and compel your customers to make a purchase. Here are the top five ways to write product descriptions that actually increase conversions:
1. Prioritize Spelling and Grammar
Put yourself in your consumers’ shoes for a moment. You go to a website to buy a product. The images look great and the reviews aren’t bad. However, when you start to read the product description, things go downhill. The product description not only lacks clarity, but is littered with grammatical errors. How does this make you feel about the company? Do you start to wonder if the product is legitimate, or if you’re buying into a fraudulent or knock-off product? Does it make you more or less likely to invest your money in this product?
For many consumers, spelling and grammar issues constitute a deal-breaker in the sales process. In fact, UK-based entrepreneur Charles Duncombe found that spelling mistakes can slash online sales by more than 50%. Another study found that 74% of consumers notice the quality of spelling and grammar on a website, and 59% wouldn’t buy from a company with noticeable errors.
To avoid this issue, invest the necessary time and energy into the writing, editing, and proofreading process. If it makes sense to your business model, outsource product descriptions to professional writers who will craft each product description carefully.
2. Don’t be Afraid to Get Technical & Detailed
No guide to product descriptions would be complete without addressing a fundamental fact: your customers need to know the facts about the product they’re considering purchasing. In fact, one of customers’ biggest pet peeves is simple: not having enough info on a product. According to Salsify’s report on Cracking the Consumer Code, a whopping 94% of customers will abandon a product altogether if they can’t find the information they need.
If you’re looking for an example of what makes a good technical description, check out REI. As purveyors of gear for hikers and bikers ranging from amateur to expert, they’re not afraid to pack in the details. If you look at the specs for the Big Agnes Tiger Wall Tent, you’ll see that REI features an entire section called “The Nitty Gritty” which highlights every detail — weight, capacity, fabric, features — that a backpacker would need to know.
To make sure your customers are getting the information they need, don’t be afraid to get technical in your product descriptions. Depending on your product, this could come in the form of physical dimensions, compatibility with other products, specialized or innovative features, and beyond. Your customers need the right details to be readily accessible on the product description page, or they often won’t even consider purchasing your product. Like REI, using bulleted lists instead of blocks of content can help your customers quickly skim a page for the information that they need.
3. Beyond the “What”: Tell Your Customers Why and How They Need a Product
One of the biggest mistakes you can make in your product descriptions is to simply use the descriptive copy from the manufacturer. When you do this, you may be using a product description that’s grammatically correct and contains good technical info — but you’ll be missing the valuable opportunity to appeal to your unique customers. Craft unique descriptions with these concepts in mind:
- Understand your customers and what they want
- Use descriptive language that paints a picture of the product
- Don’t just describe the product: describe how it benefits the consumer
- Tell a story about your products
For example, the product description for the Nintendo Switch offers need-to-know technical info in one tab. But in the product description, they feature the refreshingly compelling text: “Get the gaming system that lets you play the games you want, wherever you are, however you like.” That simple description doesn’t just tell you what the product is, it describes how that product appeals to the customers (gamers) they are targeting.
Considering that 76% of data professionals assert that customers are not necessarily rational when shopping, you need to appeal to the more emotional side of your customers when crafting product descriptions. In addition to posting images, paint a picture of each product with your description.
For some brands, it’s a good idea to tell a story for each product. For example, say you sell a unique energy drink. What unique ingredients does it contain? Where are those unique ingredients sourced? What kinds of people (athletes, students, etc.) benefit from consuming this energy drink? What can the customer accomplish in their own lives by buying this energy drink?
4. Highlight Your Brand with Every Description
Your customers are unique, and so are you. Your brand identity sets you apart from the competition, establishes you in consumers’ minds, and creates authenticity and transparency. And good branding can translate to conversions: according to Lucid Press, the average revenue increase associated with consistent branding is 23%.
Your written presence — blogs, website copy, social media, and product descriptions — can help establish your voice and intention as a brand. Well-established brands do this quite well. Let’s look at two different clothing companies: ModCloth and Dolce & Gabbana. ModCloth is known for eclectic and affordable fashion, while Dolce & Gabbana is known for high-end fashion design. Product descriptions on ModCloth’s site are written in a whimsical and accessible voice, while Dolce & Gabbana’s product descriptions are a bit more refined, often focused on the origin or inspiration for the piece.
To utilize this tip in your product descriptions, you need to ask honest questions about your brand’s voice and audience. If you sell expensive, high-end medical equipment, you probably project a more professional brand voice. If you sell novelty items like ThinkGeek, you probably project a more comedic or even sassy tone. Whatever your brand’s voice, don’t be afraid to inject it into your product descriptions to help establish brand identity and increase revenue.
5. Don’t forget SEO
Last, but certainly not least, your product descriptions offer an incredible opportunity to improve your site’s visibility to search engines like Google. Here’s a quick breakdown of the most important SEO guidelines for product descriptions:
- Place keywords strategically. Instead of keyword-stuffing (which search engines penalize), use quality keywords in strategic locations: the product’s title, the product description itself, and in the alt image tag.
- Use unique content. Google penalizes duplicate content, so it’s pivotal to make each description unique.
- Do a keyword research. Make use of keyword research tools to get a better idea of what terms and keywords customers use when they’re searching for similar products.
- Make it easy. Search engines like Google keep tabs on how much time customers spend on your site, how much time pages take to load, and how valuable consumers find your site. Prioritize smart, responsive website design so that search engines will want to rank you higher — and your customers won’t get frustrated.
Search engine optimization can seem complicated, but remember one key fact: search engines want to present valuable information to their users. By crafting product descriptions that are thoughtful, grammatically correct, and helpful, you’re already embracing solid SEO principles.
Good Writing Takes Time and Talent
Creating excellent product descriptions takes time, talent, and in-depth knowledge of SEO best practices. If you want to feature product descriptions that cast your brand in a favourable light while making conversions, it’s often best to engage experts. At Virtual Assistant Canada, we know how to write concise, unique, and informative product descriptions that tell a story. Want to learn more about what we offer? Get in touch today.