Demystifying Product Descriptions: 5 Laws of Magnetic Copy
One of the commandments of ecommerce is never to let the finer details fall by the wayside. Beautiful brand imagery is essential, a fully functioning customer journey is non-negotiable and a vibrant, varied product range is vital - but a thriving ecommerce business is a rich tapestry, and one very small but very important piece of the puzzle is your product descriptions.
As the last content touchpoint before your website’s checkout process, this high-stakes content snippet can make or break your conversion rate - either paving the way for purchases or cutting a customer journey short at the final hurdle.
Luckily for you, in today’s post, we’re breaking down the golden rules of writing product descriptions that drive conversions - helping you understand the theory behind these laws of user attraction and decide whether to take these on yourself or leave it to the copywriting experts.
Focus on features, but don’t forget benefits
Naturally, your product descriptions will need to illustrate the various features of your products so that users can make an informed decision, knowing exactly what they’re spending their hard-earned money on. Whether the unique selling point of your product is a low price point, state-of-the-art features, premium design or whatever else, this is your opportunity to broadcast these winning features and give users the last incentive they need to head to the checkout.
Beyond that, though, if the features alone aren’t enough to persuade more discerning shoppers, it pays to highlight the benefits that accompany each of those features. If your combination of high-quality materials and competitive prices mean customers can spend less in both the short term (thanks to the smaller initial outlay) and the long term (due to needing less frequent replacements), tell them. If ever in doubt, let them know not only the whats but also the whys.
Write for shoppers, not for search engines
The SEO landscape has changed dramatically in the last 10 years - namely because 10 years in search engine terms equates to around 100 in human years. 2011 brought with it Google’s Panda algorithm update in an effort to eradicate poor quality content from coveted positions in search results - and since then, the bar for content quality has been raised on a yearly and even monthly basis (we’re looking at you, BERT).
What this means for your product descriptions is that outdated methods of writing for search engines (such as keyword stuffing) have been left to gather dust in favour of more evolved, user-focused approaches to content, wherein users are spoken to like human beings. We’re not saying abandon keyword optimisation, as a subtle, sophisticated approach where keywords are used to inform topics (rather than stuffed in on a whim) absolutely has its merits. The lesson is to try to put search engine criteria out of your mind and instead focus on the needs of your customer base.
Harness the power of storytelling
Storytelling is the backbone of any effective marketing campaign, and what’s true of creating Christmastime TV adverts is true of writing product descriptions. At this level, the narrative doesn’t need to be quite as complex, but there’s certainly still a place for aspirational copy here - especially in light of the need for whats and whys, as we covered earlier. Put simply, before committing to a purchase, many customers will need to know how their life will be changed by buying the product in question.
Cast your mind back to when you made the decision to launch your ecommerce business - what was the driving force behind this decision? Whatever you felt was missing in the market at the time - be it affordability, choice, quality, originality or something else entirely - this should be the focus when spinning a narrative to inspire purchases. Play on users’ aspirational sides and enlighten them as to how your product will fill whatever the gap is that exists in their life at this moment.
Hone in on long-tail keywords
As we touched on earlier, while search has changed almost beyond recognition in recent years, there is still very much a place for keyword optimisation - as long as it’s done with care and a keen strategic eye. The core keywords that surround your product range will likely be broad enough that your category pages will be the most logical places for targeting these. This leaves your product pages perfectly placed to hone in on more niche, highly relevant queries to which your products are the only answer.
Long-tail keywords are, by their very nature, longer search queries and, with respect to products searches, often include not only the product type but also a handful of specifications. As a trade-off, they do come with naturally lower monthly search volumes - but with that level of relevance, you can be confident every visit driven to your product page from a keyword like that stands a strong chance of resulting in a conversion.
Always remember less is more
Writing product descriptions is a balancing act - and on top of illustrating features and benefits, telling powerful, relatable product stories and incorporating relevant long-tail keywords, you’ll also need to find a way to keep your copy concise and impactful. Not an easy feat, we know. The key here, as with all written content in the age of semantic optimisation, is to say no more or less than what needs to be said - so identify your talking points and satisfy them, then stop writing.
Bearing in mind that the sole purpose of your product pages is to sustain shoppers’ interests and shepherd them towards the checkout, it’s vital not to overindulge when it comes to writing your product descriptions. Avoid an overwhelming wall of text that distracts from your product imagery and all-important call-to-action buttons, and stick to succinct, powerful, no-frills messaging that leaves users in no doubt of the benefits of your product. With that, they’ll have all the incentive they need to kick-start the purchase process, confident and informed in their decision.
It’s time to take your product descriptions to the next level - and we’re here to help. At Paragraft, words are our business - and we love weaving together irresistible product descriptions that give users no option but to buy. Get in touch today to find out how we can use the power of handcrafted short form copy to take your site’s conversion rate to the next level.