A good product description is a key influencer in the online customer’s shopping journey. In fact, the description alone can be the deciding factor and increase conversion rates by 30-100%. If there is too little or too much information, it could mean the user will click on another item or leave the site entirely.
In my previous blog post, I discussed the challenges of missing product data in writing descriptions. I mentioned the lengthy steps I took as a product descriptions writer just to get the correct product attributes. But, what happens once I have gathered all that information? How do I know how to write a good description versus a bad one? Let’s start by taking a look at what makes a good product description.
With some basic googling, it isn’t difficult to understand that product title, descriptions, images, and myriad other factors such as reviews and various SEO elements help convert casual browsers into buyers, and (hopefully) ongoing customers. However, we’re digging into product descriptions and product titles, since those are two key decision-making (and SEO) elements.
A good product description starts at the top, with its title. Your customer’s first impression of what the product is comes with the title. It should include descriptive keywords that clearly identify the product. It should include the brand name, and you may want to include specific attributes like size and color.
When looking up “Ruffle Skirt,” I found this eBay listing that does a great job with its title for searchability purposes, “Ecote Urban Outfitters flowy pale blue ruffle pleat mini skirt size M.” It clearly lists the brand, color, size, and uses the key search term “ruffle.” Unfortunately, while that title signals well, it reads awkwardly to shoppers.
Here is an example of a title for another ruffled skirt, “FLASH!! SALE!! Women Dark Blue Denim Hilo Ruffle Skirt S M L 1X 2X 3X.” While there are aspects that are technically correct, they have included some things you will want to avoid.
For example, most people do not search for terms such as “Flash Sale.” You also want to try and omit punctuation marks, asterisks, and symbols, since these are not optimized for search rankings and can come across as a bit spammy. Instead of trying to grab attention with catchy phrases or spammy formatting, think of the title as a perfect place to be creative with SEO and drive people to your product.
Prose meets product in the description. You romance your customers with unique, descriptive copy that entices them to buy your product. You want the content to provide as much detail as possible to consumers to replace the experience they would have if they were to go into a store and see and touch the product. However, keep in mind that these paragraphs should be short and concise. Many retailers use bullet points to showcase product attributes, in addition to or in replacement of short paragraphs. Let’s look at an example of a good product description using both methods.
Modcloth does descriptions right!
First, pay attention to the title. They name the brand, the style, and color of the dress. Before you even get to the description, you already know about the dress. Next, look at that short paragraph. They beautifully describe the way the dress will look on the customer. They address the fabric and style all in a simple paragraph with fewer than 60 words. They also include additional details about the dress on a separate details tab if you need more information to help you make a buying decision.
Not all descriptions are created equal though. Take a look at this description from another retailer.
While they provide lots of pictures and a few bits of information on the measurements of the kimono, they don’t include an enticing description. They don’t elaborate on how it will feel or look. They don’t mention color except to say that it’s floral. They don’t explain where it will fall (just above the knee) or that it has stylish embellishments (mesh and edge tassels). So, while this page does give some information, it fails to give a buyer the touch and feel aspect that boosts conversion in online shopping.
Here is another example of a product description that does a good job of using bullet points.
Notice that it has no romance copy (description). However, this retailer does provide short bullet points that highlight the important features of this top. The bullet points mention the material, how it hangs (relaxed silhouette), and calls out all the embellishments such as fringe, lace, and zippers. Based on the picture and detailed, bulleted attributes, the customer gets a pretty good idea of how this top would look in real life.
A good product detail page combines both: A beautifully written description that allows the customer to imagine how the item will make them feel, and concise, descriptive bullet points to give them additional details about the product. The product page should have rich data about the product and present it in a way that makes the customer feel like they are in the store and experiencing the item themselves.
As you can see, a keyword-rich title and engaging, short product description for each item on your site will provide a fuller experience that will seduce people into buying your products. The more information you can present in creative, alluring ways, the longer shoppers will remain on your site. They will feel they have the information they need to make the right purchasing decision. The more involved and knowledgeable a consumer feels about the products they are looking for, the more likely they are to purchase that product.
Also published on Medium.