23 Sep How to write great product descriptions
In all my years of copywriting, the subject I’ve been asked most about is how to write good, compelling product descriptions – especially when you’re not a natural copywriter. Bad copy, more than anything else has the power to destroy your online sales, because if you don’t get your copy right, your customers won’t even be able to find you…
So let’s get the technical stuff out of the way first. When you’re writing product descriptions you have to be mindful of how search engines like google work. The first thing that will spring to mind is keywords and yes, they are important. But, not important enough to stuff your copy so full of them it explodes out of the realms of readibility. Good product descriptions will boost your SEO efforts, bad ones will render them useless.
The second thing to consider is that your content should be unique. Not just so you don’t upset your closest competitors by ‘borrowing’ their copy (even if it is innocently). But also so it doesn’t affect your page rankings as google will prioritise sites that have unique content over ones that don’t.
Use your first 100 characters wisely. These can be used as meta descriptions and show up in google searches, especially product searches (sites like Etsy use them too). So, make sure they accurately describe the product and function as a standalone sentence too.
So, now to the fun bit. How to write good, compelling product descriptions.
First step – think like your ideal customer.
To write truly compelling copy you need to be able to get into the mind of your ideal customer and understand what they want, why they like it and what motivates them. If you can think like your ideal customer then you’ll be able to write in a way that will speak to them.
Make them feel good about the purchase.
Now, we all know that buyer’s guilt. Where you’ve seen that new pair of silver tassel brogues and just have to have them, but your mind drags you back to the seven other pairs you have in the cupboard, or the three bills you have to pay this week. Our job here is to reassure the potential customer, make them feel good about the purchase, and leave them with happy feelings inside. Simple.
- Reassure them. Use soothing, comforting words that point out what a fabulous product it is.
- Make them feel that the product is exclusive or essential.
- Focus on the benefits of the product and how it will save them money, or have several uses etc.
- Don’t focus on words like treat, or expensive (as this could remind them of the bills…)
Tell them a story
Now, if you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’ll know I’m a big believer in the power of stories. When we buy anything we buy into the story of that product. So it’s imperative that when we’re selling products we share its story too.
This could be how it’s made, where the components are from, the journey you went on to create it etc. It could be something as random as the famous people who use it. It all depends on what you’re selling and who to of course (remember to think like your customer). But the key things to remember are:
Set the scene – use your words to conjure up powerful images in the customer’s mind. Think about where or when the product could be used, use this to create a scenario they can imagine themselves in such as relaxing on a beach, or lounging by a pool…
Sell the lifestyle – we never buy anything without having bought into it first, even down to items like toothpaste and toilet paper. Think about your customer and what motivates them and use this information to help you to shape your descriptions.
Consider this – an ‘executive’ product is rarely purchased by an executive. it’s far more likely to be purchased by someone who wants to be an executive. By buying the product they feel one step closer to realising their ambitions’ they’re ‘living the dream’.
Remember the customer – all of the scene setting and lifestyle selling in the world won’t sell anything to the wrong customer… You have to get this right otherwise your copy will be all wrong.
So there you have it, my tried and tested formula. Good luck with writing your product descriptions and don’t forget, if you get stuck, I’m here to help!