If you run an e-commerce site where you sell things online, you know just how important your product description copywriting is.
Unfortunately, many marketers miss the bar when it comes to crafting product descriptions that actually sell and return on their copy investment.
If you think about a product description objectively, it’s clear that they’re the first experience customers have with your product or service.
While it’s one thing if a customer can pick up your product and feel it in person, selling takes on an entirely new flavor if that physical contact is impossible.
When the magic of incredibly good product description copy happens, that’s like the Holy Grail of online content – a visitor reads and buys, over and over. Your investment comes back 100x.
If you’re interested in learning how to overhaul your product descriptions and boost both their SEO and customer appeal, read on!
5 Typical Product Description Copywriting Mistakes You Should Never Make
While product descriptions may seem simple, they’re some of the most common things that marketers mess up.
With that in mind, here are the five most common mistakes new and experienced marketers alike tend to make with product descriptions:
1. Falling Victim to Bland Copy
If you think about it, product descriptions are meant to get people excited about your products.
Copy that doesn’t excite won’t inspire conversions. Being too dull or boring will sink your ship quickly. The best product descriptions include some degree of enthusiasm and urgency that makes people want to buy your products right now.
While this is not to say that you should be overly salesy, it is to say that getting excited about your product and letting that show through your descriptions is an excellent idea.
Check out how Dollar Shave Club brings the fun into their descriptions, with phrases like “butter up” to describe applying their shaving cream:
2. Not Providing Enough Information
If a customer can’t pick up your product, try it on, and feel it for themselves, it is essential to give them as much information as possible to ensure that they have what they need to make their purchasing decision.
Unfortunately, one of the most common mistakes marketers make is to offer the bare minimum of information in their descriptions.
If you look at clothing websites like Backcountry, you’ll see examples of detailed, in-depth product descriptions that leave nothing to the imagination.
Backcountry incorporates lengthy user reviews on the page along with their very detailed product description, answering every question you could probably have on the subject, for example with this Patagonia men’s sweater jacket:
Instead of providing a skeletal, textual product description, these companies offer images, videos, and real-life measurements of their models so people can get an idea of how to size the clothing they’re purchasing. Follow this model to make your product descriptions as valuable as possible.
3. Sloppy Writing
One of the deadly sins of online writing, product descriptions included, is to be sloppy with your grammar or facts in your language.
Because product descriptions aren’t quite as glamorous as other forms of content, like blogs or social media, they often get overlooked. That’s a dangerous mistake since product descriptions are some of the most critical forms of content on your website. Plus, the facts within the descriptions can make or break the sale.
Overlook them, and you risk creating sloppy material that alienates customers and may even cost you some sales.
Treat your product descriptions as a high priority form of content. Draft them, and then go back to re-write and edit them. The more attention you pay to your product descriptions, the better they’ll turn out in the end.
4. Not Including All the Critical Details
As a general rule, a product description is not the place to assume that your customers know anything about your product.
Instead, it is a place to give them all the information they need to be educated about your products, goods, or service.
Provide as much information as you have about the product, including background information. For example, if you are a company that sells baby carriers, you might provide information about the baby carrier, and how different women in different cultures wear them.
From there, you can transition to talking about the fabric of your baby carrier, its various carrying options, and how much weight it can safely carry. While most marketers assume this kind of information is overkill, it’s critical to help inform your customers at every turn.
Look how Tula does this with their baby carriers. They even bold the phrases that most parents will probably look for when selecting the best baby carrier to purchase, like positioning, baby weight limits, and key ergonomic and comfort phrases:
How To Write A Product Description That Sells: 6 Actionable Tips
Whether you’re a new e-commerce company just getting started, or you’re looking to improve your existing product descriptions, these guidelines will help.
1. Know Your Audience
The first and most critical step in any good writing is to know who you’re talking to. You have to understand the audience for each product description before you write them.
Who is going to be buying this product? Is it a mom with a toddler? Is it a person looking for inexpensive cleaning solutions? Is it a teenager?
Knowing the answers to these questions will allow you to target your product descriptions accordingly, and ensure that each one you write speaks directly to the customers who will be interested in the product.
2. Get Comprehensive
As we discussed above, the more complete your product descriptions are, the better. Keep in mind, though, that there is a right way and a wrong way to be comprehensive. Consider one of the critical lessons of selling anything: don’t talk about the features, talk about the benefits. This applies to your product descriptions just like it would any other form of online content. Instead of telling your clients what your product does, tell them how it will help them.
How will it make their lives better? Which problems would it solve for them? An excellent way to ensure that you offer a comprehensive list of benefits is to start by writing down all of the things that make your product unique before you write your product description. This will help you hit all the nails on the head and be as compelling as possible for your readers.
3. Write Like You Speak
Lots of brands have the wrong idea about product descriptions. While it’s true that they should be professional and informative, they should also offer an inside glimpse of your brand.
For an excellent example of a company that does this well, let’s go back to Dollar Shave Club:
Although their product descriptions are informative, they’re all so funny, which is arguably a large part of the reason the company has exploded in value over the five years since its Inception.
Their internet-famous “Our Blades are F***ing Great” video racked up 4.75 million views in just three months after it went out, netting 12,000 subscription signups in just 48 hours. (Entrepreneur)
Take inspiration and infuse your voice into all the product descriptions you write. This will help keep them approachable and relatable and will prevent your audience from becoming bored stiff.
4. Make Them Scannable
These days, people don’t read many things from start to finish. This goes for product descriptions just like it does blog posts and other forms of content.
With this in mind, it’s smart to make your product description skimmable.
This involves using a bulleted format to showcase critical details of your product, using bolded headers and sub-headers, and dividing the product description into sections like “features” and “compatible with.”
5. Optimize Your Text For Persuasiveness
The most compelling text focuses more on the customer than it does on the product. To bring this into your product descriptions, use the word you more often (third person).
This shows that you value and understand your customers.
It’s also smart to keep the wording of your product descriptions simple, avoid jargon, remove generic phrases as much as possible, and replace weak words with more specific ones. Once you’ve done all of this, read your copy from the point of view of a customer. Does the product description make you want to buy? If not, what can you do to make it more compelling?
6. Optimize All Your Copy For SEO
Last but not least, you want to optimize your content for SEO. One of the best ways to do this is to use your keyword phrases in the headline, sub headers, and body copy of your contents. Just like you would with any other type of text, be sure to keep your keyword inclusion natural rather than stuffing it as full as a Thanksgiving turkey.
Make Magic Happen With Thorough, Fun, Branded Product Descriptions
Creating irresistible product description copy can sometimes feel like working a miracle.
Take inspiration from our tips, and know that in essence, product descriptions are a formulaic type of content everyone can learn.
Most of the mistakes made with product descriptions are simple ones: dry language, a lack of detail, a focus on the company rather than the consumer, etc. – all of which can be fixed with some attention and time.
The more you understand what makes a great product description, the easier it will be to ensure yours live up to the bar every time.
Need help writing product descriptions that make your items fly off the shelves? Check out our product description copywriting today!