In this article I’ll be sharing the THREE wisdoms of writing product descriptions that engage, compel, and sell:
- Product description is more than copy. It’s a medium of communication.
- Create nothing but epic shit. Create content that inspires people, changes lives, and creates value.
- Create it for just one client. No more.
Because it is high time that eCommerce websites emerge from the old era of informative product descriptions and move to product descriptions that engage, compel, and convert.
A millennia ago (7 years back) we had product descriptions that simply informed. These descriptions gave customers and search engines the information about the product — what it did, what it was capable of, the keywords it targeted.
And eCommerce websites created hundreds of product pages, and filled them with content.
Feature-rich and full of “helpful” keywords, these informative descriptions seeped and filled every “textual” nook and cranny available on the product page. They got crawled and even got away with duplicate and thin content.
Those were the days.
The visitors knew the limitations of the search engines. They wanted the ease of shopping the eCommerce shopping cart offered. And they had the patience to overlook the obvious (at times nonsensical) keyword stuffing.
They had trained themselves to filter out the stuffing and read the information.
It’s a wonder why such descriptions haven’t been relegated to the domain of content archeologists, who should be bringing us the news of “the time when descriptions were such and such”.
NOW, and even if you managed to direct traffic to your informative descriptions, avoiding search engine penalties for duplicate and thin content, the visitors won’t bear with you.
Unless your product description engages them, assuages their concerns and needs, conveys value, and shows them the benefit of buying the product (and buying it from you), your page will not convert.
Your visitors will click away to your competition.
The only way to convert the traffic is by creating valuable product descriptions, for both man and machine.
To begin, we must understand what a product description means to both search engines and human readers.
The New Product Description
For a product that’s on your eCommerce website:
I’m talking copy, image, video, reviews, and testimonials all in one.
A complete medium of communication, one that reduces the gap between the consumer and the product being sold.
Your online store takes away the luxury of physically interacting with your product from potential customers.
Furthermore, on your eStore customers do not have access to sales representatives who could come to their aid when needed. Hence, the only way to overcome this gap, or to minimize it is by giving them the right information, one that they can easily consume and which compels them to convert.
Your product description has to communicate the best image of the product being sold using the right content. This means that product description cannot be old school — a short blurb of information that simply fills the gap that your web designer has left for text.
The NJ study found that 79% of visitors scan text. Merely 16% read it word by word. So even if your text copy is intended to convert the most qualified, it will miss out on a large chunk of qualified traffic — to your competitors.
Hence, your product description must incorporate visual, aural, and textual content all in one place. This means great copy; striking, meaningful, and multiple images/snapshots for the product; reviews and testimonials for assuaging their concerns and to add the human touch; and videos.
A product description has to be a meaningful communication that sells the product.
This brings us creating epic content.
Create Epic Shit
Everything from your text (copy, testimonial, and review) to visual content (image, video, interactive content) should be epic.
Give people the content that blows them away. One that gives them the benefits they are looking for, the value they dreamt of, the precise features they wanted.
Content that will blow customers away on first contact.
Remember to write for your one audience only.
Make it personal.
Write as if you are conversing with a single person, and no one else.
This is only possible by first clearly defining the buyer persona and then creating the content that would make them do what your business needs them to do — convert and buy.
— David Meerman Scott
Define Your Buyer’s Persona
Remember that your competitor’s website is a click away. So unless your product description is able to peak a shoppers interest, assuage their concerns, and completely convey value that they will gain by buying the product and buying it from you, you will lose the sale.
You should know your potential customer, to the point that you could visualize what their reaction would be to the content that you have placed before them.
- Understand their role(s) — What is the job role/job/title of the customer? What is their industry? What is their salary range? What other roles do they play in ordinary lives? Use it to map their normal day: what does it look like? This lets you understand their needs, their level of urgency, and hence the words that would convert or drive them away.
- Understand their Shopping Preferences — How do they learn about new information, or product? Which platforms do they use or content do they read for researching products? How socially active are they? Which platforms do they use? This allows you to better understand their requirements by researching and interacting with them on those platforms and understanding the keywords they are actually using to voice their concerns and research solutions.
- Understand their challenges — What challenges do they experience while shopping? What elements affect their evaluation and perception of a product?
While you’re developing the buyer’s persona, streamline your keyword cluster: select the keywords that would drive the highest organic traffic and leverage LSI keywords (synonymous words/ phrases) to pack greater punch in shorter copy. This will allow you to hammer the same point from multiple angles while increasing SEO ranking.
Use the right Images
Use multiple pictures that are powerful, high resolution, and incomplete.
Remember, that your online shopping mall or website does not have sales representatives nor does it allow people the luxury to actually physically interact with the thing that you are selling.
If they are physical products, take as many snapshots as required to give them the best view of the device or whatever you are selling. Eliminate the lapse by giving them the ability to see as much detail as they can through images.
For visitors, the quality of the images you use is more important than reviews (53%), a long description (54%), and highly specific information about the product (63%).
Pictures speak a thousand words, but your customers don’t have the time admire that much content. Hence, each image should communicate one aspect of the product.
Additionally, ensure that the images are available and accessible from the same page. More tabs simply mean a loss of focus, and hence the chance of your visitor sifting through the other tabs they have opened up.
Finally, se high resolution images with additional magnifying capabilities allowing people to zoom in on the product. The more interactivity you offer your customers, the easier it will be for them to understand the product.
Add Product Videos
Videos are a significant driver of consumer confidence. They are willing to watch videos 60% of the time they are found and to great effect:
- The Website magazine indicated that videos boosted customer confidence in their product, leading to 52 percent decrease in the likely hood of a product return.
- Shoeline.com found a significant boost in their conversions due to videos.
- Step2 Company found that visitors who watched their product video were 174% more likely to convert.
Hence, depending on your product costing, adding videos are a valuable content to your product description.
Nobody wants to be a guinea pig, the first one to try out a product. They want to know that it has been tried and delivered the right results. This is where reviews. According to a Neilson study 40 percent of subjects said they wouldn’t buy electronics without having looked at reviews.
They are great for SEO purposes as well, because they boost authority (when they are made on high ranking websites like Yelp, FourSquare, etc.), and because they add more unique content.
In Conclusion — Avoid Opening a New Tab
Keeping your customer focused on your sales page or product page is crucial for boosting possibility of a conversion. This is where epic product descriptions come in. By adding all the components mentioned in this post, you are sure to create a product description that truly assuages all concerns for the customer and compels them to convert.
The more compelling your description, the less the customer will focus on the other tabs that are already open, and which could possibly send them to your competition.