[intro]When you have completed this Guide, you will understand and be able to write Product Descriptions that are not only for your customers but for search engines too. [/intro]
How important are Product Descriptions?
Product Descriptions are an essential requirement on your Product Pages and are invaluable for both the SEO and customer experience on your EKM online shop. It’s all very nice having beautiful, eye-catching Product Images, but without further information in the form of a good Product Description, customers are unlikely to purchase a Product without knowing all of the finer details about it. They are the equivalent of a written Product Image (which is fundamental for customers who are visually impaired - a Product Description is what they depend on whilst making the choice whether to purchase the Product or not) and their content is digested by both human visitors to your shop and search engine bots too.
Do I have to write the Product Descriptions myself? That sounds like a lot of hard work.
It can be, but nobody ever said managing an online shop would be easy! It is a monotonous task, but for your EKM online shop to stand any chance of success in terms of search engine results and conversions, strong Product Descriptions are key.
How do I write a good Product Description?
Regardless of where your Products come from - a supplier, manufacturer or otherwise - you need to spend time writing your own Product Descriptions to ensure that they are unique to your brand, your company and your EKM online shop.
Do I have to write them all at once?
Well, you could if you have the time and motivation to do this - there’s certainly nothing stopping you. However, it would be more beneficial - depending on the type of Products that you sell of course - to write Product Descriptions for say twenty Products to begin with, and keep everything else hidden. Then going forward, as you write the next group of say ten Product Descriptions, un-hide these Products. This has two benefits; firstly you can promote these ‘new’ Products on your EKM online shop and any associated social media accounts you have set up, and secondly, the search engines will recognise that you are constantly working on your shop by updating Product Descriptions and ‘adding new Products’. Search engines favour shops and websites which are constantly updated as they recognise that they possess more relevant content than shops and websites that were created months and even years ago which are very rarely updated.
I’ve been advised that I have to amend my existing Product Descriptions. Why?
This is probably because your existing Product Descriptions are too short or have been copied directly from your supplier. It could also be because the formatting of your Product Descriptions is incorrect - the use of too many different kinds of fonts, font colours and so on within a Product Description does not make for a positive customer experience.
What needs to be in my Product Description?
A good Product Description consists of features - these can be traits unique to the Product such as features, functionality, measurements and specifications, for example - and a body of text. The features, usually bullet-pointed, will list all of the useful points about the Product so a customer can determine the characteristics at a glance. The text, however, is to give the customer reasons to buy the Product. You need to tell them why they need the Product, how it can be used and what it is compatible with. If you can, try and reduce ‘buyer’s guilt’ too by detailing the potential usability and longevity the customer can expect from the Product in question.
When writing your Product Descriptions, you need to:
- Identify your target market and write for them;
- Detail the Product benefits;
- Tell the customer what it does and why they need it;
- Use a natural narrative voice;
- Use positive words and terms if applicable to your brand;
- Use bullet points for the basics for those too lazy to read - make it easy to scan;
- Ensure that the content is optimised for search engines, especially if you’re planning to submit your Product feed to Google.
How long does my Product Description need to be?
Google recommends that Product Descriptions have a minimum of 500 words up to a maximum of 2000 words. 500-1000 is the optimum length. Remember that only the first 150 words will be displayed in Google Shopping. Obviously, this can prove problematic if all of your Products are similar - a shop that only sells scarves for example - will naturally have very similar Descriptions for each Product. With this in mind, if your EKM online shop only sells a particular kind of Product which doesn't have a lot of variation, aim to create Product Descriptions which are a minimum of 200 words. Below is an example of a Product Description which meets the minimum standards:
There are 212 words in the Product Description above, taken from a shop which sells only Christmas Crackers. The information which is bullet-pointed at the top of the Description is expanded upon in the paragraph below to make the Description easy to digest, and the paragraph itself is unique to this particular Product.
Why can I not use the Product Descriptions from my supplier or copy from other shops?
Search engines ideally want all online shops and websites to be filled with unique content and as a result, the highest quality content achieves higher search engine results. Duplicated content, however, indicates that the content has come from elsewhere so the ‘authenticity’ of the shop or website may be brought into question if none of the content is unique.
[tips] If you are in any doubt about your own content being used elsewhere, use Copyscape.com and paste into your Product Description to check if it has been used on another shop or website. [/tips]
Do I need to include Keywords?
Of course, you do - without using keywords, search engines would not know where to display your Products in search engine results. However, how you use the keywords is essential - once you have a list of keywords to include in your Product Description, you need to write these in a way that feels natural for a customer to read. Badly written Product Descriptions where keywords have been forced in are obvious and off-putting and can make for a negative customer experience.
[tips] If you have a Google Ads account, use the Keyword Checker Tool to look for the keywords that fit your products best. [/tips]
Sell the dream!
If it’s applicable to your Products, you need to sell the customers a dream. Although this does not work so well with industrial items, if a Product can be used in a commercial or domestic setting then the chances are that you can apply a ‘dream’ to it. Clothes shops use this tactic often, by describing the kind of occasions a specific garment can be worn for, which in turn encourages the customer to think that by purchasing that Product, they are one step closer to that dream lifestyle. The same tactic can be applied to many different Products with a little imagination; simply hint at a ‘dream’ or a luxury lifestyle to encourage your customer to purchase that Product.
Always try and work the following aspects into your Product Descriptions:
- Technical specifications;
- Sizes and dimensions;
- Any special features;
- The age range that this product is suitable for;
- The shape of the Product (if applicable);
- The available pattern or texture;
- The materials that the Product is comprised of;
- Give the customer a reason for purchasing that Product;
- Use the narrative voice for the brand of your EKM online shop.
Do not include the following in your Product Descriptions, especially if you intend to submit your Products to Google. The following are not advised:
- If you source your Products from a supplier or drop shipping company, don’t be tempted to use the existing Product Descriptions that were supplied with your Products;
- Copy your Product Descriptions from anywhere else online for the same reason as listed above;
- Use ‘Salesy’ text like ‘On Sale Now’ or ‘Free Shipping’;
- Use breadcrumbs in the Product Description which indicate the Categories that the Product is within (for example ‘Footwear > Boots > Walking Boots’);
- Any badly spelt words, bad grammar and punctuation and CAPITAL LETTERS;
- A description of your EKM online shop or company, instead of the Product itself;
- Details about other Products - even if they’re accessories to the main Product;
- Information relating to payments, billing and sales (‘Over 2000 sold!’);
- Any text comparing the Product to another Product;
- Links to your EKM online shop or any other sites, blogs or pages.
[contact] If you need our help with your EKM online shop, contact your Account Manager or Customer Support, who will be able to point you in the right direction. We're open from 8am-6pm weekdays and 9am-5.30pm on the weekends. If you'd like to suggest a feature or an upgrade on any of the EKM platforms, please let us know on the EKM Suggestions board. If you have a non-account specific question ask the EKM Team, join us in EKM Community. [/contact]