The Complete Guide to Writing Product Descriptions

It’s easy to invest hours into marketing your products, but if you don’t have a good product description, it won’t matter. If your product descriptions don’t convince people to actually click the buy button, it just doesn’t matter how many visitors the product page gets. It seems like such a small thing, but buyers can easily get tripped up by a problematic product description.

Show the Value of Your Product

The point of a product description is to reinforce the reasons that convinced a buyer to look at your product in the first place. Most of the time, buyers generally know what they want before they start shopping online and they’ll find your product because it matches at least some of those criteria. But they’ll study the product description to make sure that they’re ordering exactly what they want. That means that you have to write a product description that not only answers the usual questions a buyer might have, but reinforce that your product is the best option out of all those other choices out there.

More than anything else, you need to frame the benefits of your product so that potential buyers understand them. You need to make sure that there isn’t any jargon or confusing phrasing that can get in the way of someone understanding what you’re offering. A product description isn’t going to win a Pulitzer prize, so don’t try to get too fancy with it. Keep your language plain and simple.

To start out, consider writing a list of the benefits of your product that are important to your customers. From there, you want to craft about a paragraph explaining those benefits. It’s not always possible, but when you can describe your product in more of a story than a list of bullet points, you’re going to have an easier time of reaching your customers. In an ideal world, you’ll write a short story that a buyer can imagine herself as part of. Try to use the terms that your customers will specifically search for to find products like yours. That will make it easier for search engines to find your product.

Depending on whether you come from a similar background as your audience, you may already have a voice, or style of writing, that will sound authentic to your audience. If you’re not sure that’s the case, though, invest some time in reading blogs and other writing from the types of people you expect to purchase your product. You don’t need an exact match, but similar styles and word choices can make your product descriptions seem more like they were written by someone who is actually a member of that audience.

The Value of a Picture

Include at least one photo of your product with your description. Including several won’t go amiss: being able to see a product from different angles can help reassure a buyer that she’s getting exactly what she wants. But you do want to make sure that you’re sharing good pictures, particularly when you’re offering more than one.

Study professional photos and mimic their approaches if you aren’t in a position to hire a photographer to help your products put their best face forward. There are plenty of tutorials online for different types of product photography — just search for your type of products and the words “photography tutorial”. The more polished and professional your photos are, the better they’ll mesh with your excellent product descriptions. You don’t need a professional grade camera these days to take good product photos, but you may want to go a step up from your cell phone.

Going Multimedia in Your Product Description

Depending on the ecommerce software you’re using to actually sell your products, you may have the option of adding more than just a photo and a written description. Adding a video can provide a special touch, especially if you hand make your products or you have a personal story about the design to share.

Buyers tend to respond well to seeing a real person involved in the process when they’re making a purchase: when a buyer sees your face and hears you speaking, she knows that she’s not just buying from an automated system. She trusts you as a person to provide her with the product she wants.

Product description videos need to stay short — even a full minute may be more time than most viewers are willing to invest. Despite that short length, you need to polish your videos as much as you possibly can. Telling a story, rather than reiterating bullet points, is even more important in a video. Take the time to write out your story and rehearse it, before turning on the camera (and, once again, consider going a step above your cell phone).

Test Your Product Descriptions

Even if your ecommerce software does not have built-in tools for split testing, it’s worth your while to figure out how to test different versions of your product descriptions. Little tweaks can have a surprisingly large impact, provided that you can find the right ones. Different jargon can be appealing to different audiences, different benefits can convince different buyers and even different photographs can catch different browsers. Don’t leave it up to chance.

Go about your testing in a very systematic way. Identify the elements that make up your product description and what you might consider changing. You can get some good feedback from testers who aren’t actually buying, but until you can put the various versions of your product descriptions in front of people who are actually considering buying, you won’t have definite data.

Your product descriptions aren’t something that you write once and then forget about. You need to keep testing them to make sure that they’re still the right explanation of your product for your customers. Down the line, one benefit may become more valuable than what you’re promoting right now, requiring you to switch things up. Make a point of revisiting your product descriptions on a regular basis.

The best product in the world won’t sell if it has a terrible description. Here’s how to boost yours. tweet this
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