Writing good product descriptions is a delicate and difficult task. A nicely written description can decide whether a particular visitor will become a customer or bounce to another site.
In this post, we will be looking at a step-by-step guide that you can follow to write compelling product descriptions. By “effective,” we mean those descriptions that can quickly transform a lead into a customer.
Table of Contents
Understand Whom You Are Writing For
The first step that you have to take to write a good product description is to understand your audience. This part is popularly called ‘audience research' or ‘market research.'
Before discussing how you can conduct this research, let's digress a little to understand why it is essential in the first place.
Understanding your audience lets you know the tone and style you must adopt when interacting with them. For example, what you'll write for a teenage audience will not look suitable for a middle-aged market, and vice versa.
When you want to conduct your audience research, you have to start at the broadest level, i.e., their geographical location. This step is relatively easy. One of the simplest ways to determine the region to which your target market belongs is simply using an SEO analytic tool.
Here's how it works.
You can take a popular keyword related to your brand. For example, if you sell woolen jackets online, you can search for the keywords' woolen jackets for men in an SEO analytic tool. For this example, we'll use SEMrush:
This screenshot shows that this keyword has a high volume in India, followed by the UK. Considering this, you must tailor your descriptions more specifically for your Indian clientele.
For example, you could start the description with words like:
“Thinking about a trip to Keylong? Our woolen jackets come with multi-layered…” (and so on)
Keylong is a town in Himachal Pradesh, the northernmost province of India. It gets pretty cold there in the winter. Mentioning it in the product description will automatically show that you're targeting Indian customers and providing them with a solution.
While the above was just an example, it hopefully helped you understand what research and background work you must do before writing a good description.
Keep it Readable and Concise.
Once you finish the research, you must move on to the actual writing phase. Our following few tips will pertain to how you can complete this part.
The first thing you must be careful of when writing your product description is readability.
You have to remember that different types of people will read your description, and not all of them can possess the ability to understand complex terminology.
Take an example here. Suppose you write your description like this:
“Inducing salivation, our culinary curries will confound the crumpets you consumed in Cornwall.”
Leave alone a layperson; even a learned person could have trouble understanding this nonsense.
But, if we stick to keeping things readable, the same description could be worded as:
“Our mouth-watering curries will make you forget those English breakfasts!”
And as you can see, this is much easier to read.
Now, depending on who you are and your writing style, you could have trouble keeping your content readable. You may unknowingly use difficult words in the text without realizing it.
To get around this problem, you can take help from readability checkers. Readability checkers are made to spot readability issues in your content so you can take the necessary steps to fix them.
Hemingway is a popular name in this field. Here, you can see how the tool points out the readability issues in the content and highlights them using different colors.
Another thing that can make your descriptions hard to read is the length. In other words, if your content is needlessly long, it won't be as easy to read as a short text.
A good piece of advice that you can apply to shorten your product descriptions is simply summarizing them. If you've written 240 words, you can try rephrasing it to around half its length.
If you don't have the time to do it yourself, you can always take the help of a summary generator instead. The image below demonstrates how we used a summary generator to shrink a product description. We'll be using the summarizing tool by Paraphraser.io for this purpose:
In the screenshot above, you can see that the total number of words in the input is 104 words. But, once we start the process, you'll see that the terms get shrunk to the 30% of the total size:
Talk about the Benefits
In many cases, the actual specification of the product being promoted is not very understandable compared to its benefit. For example, if a person says:
“Eight-piston engine construction….”
…it won't look very appealing since it does not denote the benefit. But if the same person decided to use industry jargon and also talk about the benefits, the description would come out like this:
“Super-fast V8 engine…”
This is much better since the words used are much more descriptive of the actual benefit. Plus, the help, i.e., “super-fast,” is also written in the description, which makes it all the better.
The trick to correctly nailing the balance between technical details/specifications and benefits is not taking it to any of the two extremes. A bland description of just specifications would be too dull, whereas an overconfident description c only benefits would sound unreliable and inaccurate.
Here is an example of a nicely-balanced description:
In the “About this item” section, you can see how the brand first mentions the benefit, i.e., “SEE YOUR SURROUNDINGS,” and then talks about the “1-year Birdseye Satellite Imagery Subscription”. If it were to say “1-year Birdseye Satellite Imagery Subscription,” it would have made no sense to the reader. Similarly, if it had been “See your surroundings,” it would have looked…funny, I suppose.
Remove All Errors and Imperfections
Once you are done writing your product description, the next thing that you have to do is check and remove any errors and imperfections that it may have.
There are several different errors that product descriptions can usually contain. Let's look at each one separately.
Everyone makes grammar errors, be they, professionals or rookie writers. The number of mistakes made can be different depending on how proficient the writer in question is.
It would be best to consider the possibility of grammar errors in your final draft, no matter how much work you've put into it. Grammatical perfection is more emphasized in product descriptions than in other types of content since they (the reports) portray the brand's integrity. If a company were to make errors in its product descriptions, it would lead the reader to get a wrong impression of them.
Before you publish your product description, you have to make sure that there are no issues with the formatting itself. Some formatting issues that can count as errors and imperfections include:
- Excessively large or small font size
- Too widely or closely spaced letters
- Too much or less line spacing
The last thing you want your readers to discover is that you've plagiarized your descriptions. Even though you may not have actively taken someone else's content to use as your own, there are always the chances of accidental plagiarism since so much material is available online.
Plagiarism can be counted as an imperfection in your description, so it is necessary to find and eliminate it before finalization.
Nowadays, there are a lot of plagiarism checkers available on the internet that you can use to determine the uniqueness of your product descriptions. Even if the accidental plagiarism occurring in the text is sparse and scattered, a good plagiarism checker can detect it.
Here, let's quickly demonstrate this using an example. We will use the plagiarism checker by Check-Plagiarism for this demo:
In the text above, three sentences are unique, whereas one line is plagiarized. We've placed the plagiarized line at the third spot so that it gets sandwiched in between.
As you can see in the image above, the tool spotted the plagiarized content and left the unique part as it was without highlighting it.
Proofread and Finalize
Once you finish the above steps, you can move on to the last phase of the description-writing process, i.e., proofreading.
Considering that we've just discussed removing errors and imperfections in the previous heading, it could sound a little redundant to talk about proofreading again.
But… we're still mentioning it. As we said, maintaining perfection in all aspects is necessary for product descriptions since they reflect the brand's reputation.
During the proofreading phase, you can do one of two things:
- You can read the whole thing yourself a couple of times
- Or, you can hire a professional proofreader to do it for you
Writing product descriptions isn't hard, but making them effective isn't easy.
If you follow the steps mentioned in this guide, you can quickly develop a description that will help boost lead conversions and drive more sales to your business.