5 Strategies for Optimizing Product Descriptions for eCommerce Channels
In this Article
Product descriptions are not just a collection of technical specifications and features, but they are the gateway to a world of possibilities and great user experience. They are the storytellers of products, the vehicles through which brands connect with their customers on a deeper level. It’s no wonder 82% of shoppers consider product descriptions to be highly influential in their purchasing decisions, according to a recent report.
Like many organizations with large product catalogs, you most likely sell your products across many eCommerce channels. How can you optimize your product content marketing by optimizing product descriptions to enhance sales? Let’s take a look.
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What is a product description?
A product description is a detailed representation or overview of a product.
Many product details pages, or PDPs, include a variety of product description types, including (but not limited to):
- Long descriptions: 2-3 paragraphs describing the product in detail, including features, benefits, and use cases.
- Short descriptions: 1-2 sentences providing a brief overview of the product with a few key details.
- Product specifications: Details such as the product’s name, model, size, weight, color, materials, and other technical details that describe the product, are often represented in a chart.
- Features: A list of the product’s key features, such as its functions and capabilities.
- Benefits: Highlights the benefits that the product provides to the user, usually in sentence format within a bulleted list
- Use cases: Describes the situations or scenarios in which the product is most useful.
- Pricing and availability Include information on the product’s price and availability, usually supported by graphics in a separate section of the PDP.
What is the importance of product detail page optimization for eCommerce success?
According to Neilsen Norman Group, 20% of failed purchases are a result of incomplete or unclear product information. This stat demonstrates the critical importance of product descriptions for eCommerce. Descriptions are the main source of information that customers rely on when making a purchase decision. Moreover, a high-quality product description can help establish trust with potential customers and increase their confidence in the quality of the product, which ultimately leads to more conversions and sales.
Product descriptions are also instrumental for SEO and can significantly improve search engine ranking. Search engines rely on text to index and rank websites, and the product detail page optimization provides an opportunity to include relevant keywords that customers might use to search for products. By optimizing product descriptions for SEO, eCommerce businesses can increase their visibility and reach more potential customers, ultimately leading to more sales.
5 Strategies for building successful eCommerce product descriptions
A product content strategy provides a framework to create consistent and high-quality product descriptions. It allows you to define the goals and objectives of each product description and tailor them to your target demographics. A good strategy acts as a guide for fundamental aspects such as tone, voice, and formatting, which can enhance the user experience and increase engagement.
Without proper strategies, you’ll easily end up with poor product descriptions that fail to convey the unique value of the products, leading to low conversion rates. It can also create confusion and damage the reputation of the brand.
Use these strategies to help you build sound eCommerce product descriptions:
Strategy 1: Use Persuasive Language
Persuasive language refers to the use of words and phrases that are intended to convince or persuade someone to adopt a particular point of view or take a specific action. In eCommerce, that action is buying.
Importance of using persuasive language
In a crowded marketplace, where many businesses offer similar products, persuasive language can be the key to standing out. The more you use persuasive language, the more you establish your products as the go-to favorites
Here are the key benefits:
- Engages emotions and creates urgency: Persuasive language can tap into customers’ emotions and create a sense of urgency, motivating them to take action and make a purchase.
- Differentiates products from competitors: By communicating the unique value of their products in a compelling way, businesses can differentiate themselves from competitors and establish themselves as the go-to source for customers looking for a particular product or solution.
- Drives customer sales: Effective use of persuasive language can increase the likelihood that customers will make a purchase, leading to increased sales.
Examples of persuasive language
To tap into customers’ emotions, a manufacturer of concrete blocks could use language that speaks to their customer’s desire for a beautiful and inviting home.
For example, “Transform your home into an inviting oasis with our premium concrete blocks that add a touch of elegance to any space. Whether you’re creating a retaining wall, walkway, or patio, our blocks will not only enhance the beauty of your outdoor living area but also provide unmatched strength and durability for years to come.”
This language appeals to customers’ desire for beauty and elegance in their homes, using emotional language to persuade them to choose their product.
How to use persuasive language in optimizing product descriptions
- Use sensory language: Describe the product in sensory terms that evoke emotion and help the reader imagine the product in use. Examples include words such as “exotic,” “sensual,” or “romantic.”
- Use powerful words: Use strong and compelling language that elicits emotion and creates a sense of urgency. For example, words like “limited time,” “exclusive,” “bestselling,” “game-changing,” “instant,” and “must-have” can easily grab the reader’s attention.
- Be concise: Use clear and concise language to avoid confusing or overwhelming the reader. Keep the language simple, avoid jargon, and use short sentences and paragraphs.
Strategy 2: Focus on Benefits, Not Features
Emphasize the benefits that the customer will receive from using the product rather than simply listing its features.
How does the product solve their problems or meet their needs? This is the question each product description should always aim to answer.
The difference between benefits and features
Benefits describe the positive outcomes or results that customers can experience by using the product. They answer the question of “What’s in it for me?” and focus on how the product can improve the customer’s life or solve their problems. It’s the value that the product provides to the customer, which can be emotional, practical, or functional.
Features, on the other hand, refer to the specific characteristics or qualities of a product, such as its size, color, material, design, or technical specifications. These are the tangible attributes of the product that describe what it is, what it does, or how it works.
For example, a feature of a vacuum cleaner might be that it has a HEPA filter, which helps to trap dust and allergens. The benefit of this feature is that the customer will have cleaner air in their home, which can reduce allergies and promote better health.
Why focusing on benefits is important
Customers are ultimately looking for solutions to their problems or needs. Highlighting a product’s benefits helps demonstrate how it can meet these needs and provide value to the customer.
Benefits are more emotionally compelling than features, as they speak directly to the customer’s desires and aspirations and can create an emotional connection with the product. A greater focus on benefits gives you a huge opportunity to differentiate your products from competitors.
Examples of benefit-focused product descriptions
A manufacturer of Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) can say: Our VFDs are designed to help you save energy and reduce operating costs in your industrial processes. By adjusting the speed of motors to match the workload, our VFDs can help reduce energy consumption, resulting in lower utility bills and a smaller carbon footprint. Our VFDs are also user-friendly, and easy to install and maintain, with advanced diagnostics and fault detection capabilities that can help prevent costly downtime and repairs.
A manufacturer of Power Supplies can say: Our power supplies provide reliable power to your industrial equipment. With high efficiency and low heat dissipation, the power supplies can help reduce energy costs and prolong the life of your equipment. They are also designed for user-friendly integration and compatibility with a wide range of industrial electronics, saving you time and money on installation and maintenance.
How to write benefit-focused product descriptions
Think about the customer first. What problems do they have that your product can solve? What benefits does your product offer that other products don’t? These are the questions you should be answering in your descriptions. Focus on the unique value that your product brings and use descriptive language that speaks directly to the customer’s needs and desires.
To make your benefit-focused product descriptions stand out, tell a story. Paint a picture of your product in action, and describe how it can make the customer’s life easier, better, or more enjoyable. Use examples to demonstrate how your product has helped other customers achieve their goals. And don’t forget to use social proof, such as customer reviews or ratings, to build trust and credibility.
Strategy 3: Use Emotional Triggers
An emotional trigger refers to a word, phrase, or image that can evoke a strong emotional response in a human being. Emotional triggers are used to connect with the customer on a deeper level, tapping into their emotions and motivating them to take action.
Importance of using emotional triggers
Firstly, emotional triggers can help capture the customer’s attention and make the product description more memorable. When a customer feels an emotional connection to a product, they are more likely to remember it and consider purchasing it now or in the future.
Secondly, emotional triggers that speak directly to the customer’s needs and desires help to create a sense of empathy and establish a personal connection with the customer.
Examples of emotional triggers
Here is how a manufacturer of heavy-duty blenders can trigger excitement among potential customers:
“Experience the thrill and novelty of creating delicious, restaurant-quality smoothies and drinks in the comfort of your own home with our heavy-duty blender. With its powerful motor and precision blades, you’ll be able to blend any ingredient to perfection. You’ll feel the excitement of crafting your own culinary creations and impressing your family and friends with your skills.”
Here, excitement is triggered in the customer’s mind by using language that emphasizes the thrill and novelty of using this product. Phrases like “experience the thrill” and “crafting your own culinary creations” tap into the customer’s desire for novelty, excitement, and creativity.
The use of language that emphasizes the quality of the product, such as “restaurant-quality smoothies” and “impressing your family and friends”, taps into the customer’s desire for social approval and validation. These exciting possibilities trigger the customer to an emotional level where they are motivated to purchase the product and try it out for themselves.
How to use emotional triggers when optimizing product descriptions
It is important to first understand the emotions that drive customer behavior. People buy products based on how they feel about them. So it would be best if you aimed to tap into these emotions. To achieve this, you should focus on using words and phrases that trigger emotional responses such as excitement, curiosity, desire, urgency, and satisfaction.
Start by identifying the key emotional benefits of your product and then highlight them in your descriptions.
Strategy 4: Optimizing Product Descriptions for SEO
Make your product descriptions visible and attractive to search engines, with the ultimate goal of improving your product’s visibility and driving more organic traffic to your eCommerce site.
Importance of optimizing product descriptions for SEO
When done correctly, SEO optimization can improve the chances of products appearing at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs), making them more visible to potential customers who are searching for related products online. This increased visibility can lead to higher levels of traffic to the eCommerce website, which can ultimately translate to more sales.
Optimizing product descriptions for SEO also plays a significant role in enhancing the customer experience. When product descriptions are optimized for SEO, they tend to be more informative, relevant, and easy to understand. This can help potential customers quickly find the information they need about a product. Moreover, optimizing product descriptions can help build trust with customers and position the eCommerce business as an authority in its niche.
How to optimize product descriptions for SEO
Start by conducting keyword research to identify the most relevant and valuable keywords. Once these keywords have been identified, they can be incorporated into product titles, descriptions, and meta tags to improve visibility on search engines.
Apply these techniques:
- Use a clear and concise product title that includes relevant keywords
- Write a unique and informative product description that includes relevant keywords in a natural way
- Use bullet points and subheadings to break up the text and make it easy to read
- Include user-generated content like reviews and ratings to provide social proof and enhance the customer experience.
- Use headers such as H2, H3, and H4 to break up the text and make it easier to read. Headers also provide a clear structure to the content, making it easier for search engines to understand the page’s content and rank it appropriately.
Examples of SEO-optimized product descriptions
Let’s use the example of a sofa bed description.
Product Title: “Comfortable and Stylish Sofa Bed for Small Spaces | Convertible Futon Sleeper”
“This comfortable and stylish sofa bed is the perfect solution for small spaces. Whether you’re looking for a space-saving seating option for your apartment or a guest bed for your spare room, this convertible futon sleeper has got you covered. With its sleek and modern design and sturdy construction, this convertible futon sleeper is the perfect addition to any home.
This sofa bed features a high-quality foam mattress that offers exceptional comfort and support, whether you’re sitting or sleeping. The easy-to-use conversion mechanism allows you to quickly transform the sofa into a comfortable bed, making it an ideal choice for hosting guests or accommodating unexpected overnight stays.
At just 72 inches wide, this sofa bed is designed to fit in tight spaces while still providing ample seating and sleeping space. Its contemporary design and durable construction make it a stylish and practical choice for any home.”
In this example, the description of the sofa bed has been optimized for SEO in the following ways:
- The product title includes relevant keywords such as “sofa bed,” “small spaces,” and “futon sleeper.”
- The product description uses descriptive language to highlight the product’s benefits and intended use, while also incorporating relevant keywords throughout the body of the text.
- The use of headers (e.g., “Product Description” ) provides a clear structure to the content, making it easier for search engines to understand the page’s content and rank it appropriately.
- The description includes a call-to-action (CTA) that encourages users to take action and purchase the product, further increasing the page’s relevance and authority for relevant search queries.
Strategy 5: Test and Refine
Perform consistent assessments to identify areas that can be improved. This involves creating different versions of the description and testing them with customers to see which version is most effective at driving sales.
Importance of testing and refining product descriptions
- Increases conversion rates: An optimized product description can persuade customers better, leading to a higher conversion rate and increased sales.
- Provides valuable insights: Testing different versions of a product description can provide valuable insights into customer preferences, behaviors, and pain points.
- Helps differentiate from competitors: You can identify the messaging, language, and features that resonate most with the target demographics, which the competitors may not be using.
- Tailoring to specific customer segments: You can tailor the messaging and language to specific audiences. With this, you can appeal to specific needs or preferences.
How to test product descriptions
You can use A/B testing or split testing. This involves creating two or more versions of the description and randomly displaying them to visitors to determine which version performs better in terms of conversion rates, time spent on the page, bounce rates, and other relevant metrics. It is important to consider the elements that could impact performance, such as the language used, the tone of voice, the formatting, and the overall structure of the description.
Another approach is to analyze the product descriptions of competitors to identify trends and best practices and test similar approaches to see if they are effective for your brand.
Examples of product descriptions that have been tested and refined
Let’s make use of a coffee table.
Original product description: “Simple wooden coffee table for your living room. Can hold books, magazines, and remote controls. Available in light or dark wood finish.”
For testing, we’ll use the A/B approach. So let’s create a variant version that reads as follows:
“Elevate your living room with our stunning coffee table, handcrafted from premium quality hardwood for lasting durability and beauty. The sleek, modern design is sure to complement any decor while providing ample space for all your reading materials and knick-knacks. Choose from a light or dark wood finish suiting your personal style.”
Here is what we changed:
- Language and tone: The language and tone of the new description are more engaging and descriptive, highlighting the benefits of the coffee table in a more compelling way.
- Emphasis on quality: The refined version emphasizes the quality of the materials used to create the coffee table, positioning it as a premium product built to last.
- Sophistication: The new description highlights the sleek, modern design of the coffee table, which adds a touch of sophistication and style to any living room.
- Versatility and functionality: The new description emphasizes the coffee table’s versatility and functionality, pointing out that it can hold a variety of reading materials and knick-knacks while still providing ample space for serving drinks or snacks.
- Personalization: The new version also offers a choice of light or dark wood finish, allowing customers to personalize the coffee table to their own personal style preferences.
We’ll then display both versions to visitors and measure the results to identify which one is most effective. The winning version will become the new original, and we’ll continue to refine it over time for optimum outcomes.
Product description optimization is a critical component of eCommerce success as it can directly impact customer engagement, conversion rates, and, ultimately, sales across all your channels. The key lies in understanding the needs and preferences of customers, then tailoring the product description accordingly.
Remember, optimizing product descriptions is not just about writing compelling copy; it’s also about streamlining your product information management to ensure consistency, accuracy, and relevance. To achieve this, you need to invest in a robust PIM solution that allows you to centralize all of your product information in a central place, making it easier to create, manage and update your product descriptions consistently across all channels. It’s also important to have a product content manager oversee these processes.
A product description should foremost include key benefits of the product, as well as information on how it can be used or what problems it solves. It should also be clear, concise, and engaging to the reader.
Focus on using clear and concise language to highlight the unique benefits of the product. Use descriptive words that evoke emotion and create a sense of urgency while also keeping the target audience in mind. Make sure to include relevant keywords to improve search engine optimization, and consider adding images or videos to enhance the overall presentation. Lastly, always aim to provide accurate and honest information to build trust.
Avoid using vague or generic product titles, writing product content that is too long or too short, using technical jargon that your target audience may not understand, and failing to include high-quality images or videos.
Track key metrics such as click-through rates, conversion rates, and sales. You can also use tools like Google Analytics or other eCommerce analytics platforms to monitor user behavior and make data-driven decisions to improve the descriptions over time.
Focus on using natural language that matches how people speak and include long-tail keywords that reflect common conversational phrases. You should also ensure that your product descriptions are structured in a way that makes them easy to read and understand by voice assistants and other emerging tech.