How to Write Effective Product Descriptions

October 11, 2016

Having a great product/service just isn’t enough when it comes to selling online. You have to show your reader WHY your service is great for THEM. In addition, if you sell the same service or product as other merchants, you have to set yourself apart from the competition, to make your offer the most attractive to your potential buyer.


So how do you go about writing effective product/service descriptions?


It Starts with Your Customer – Why Do They Want Your Product or Service?


Before you write any product description, you need to know who your target customer is. You also need to realize that your target customer is likely different for each product. Even if it’s feasible that the same individual may buy more than one of your products, the reason WHY they want each varies.


You really need to know the reason why before you start writing anything, so for each product, write a list of those reasons. It will be much easier to start writing when you have that information.


Tips for Writing Product Descriptions


Once you know who your customer is and why they want your product, you can start putting your product description together. Here are some tips that will make the job a bit easier.


Be aware of short attention spans. It’s no secret that Internet users have a short attention span. If you don’t capture their attention right away, they’ll move onto the next thing. The way you format your content plays a big role in doing just that.


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  • Use a bold headline in a larger font that will capture your visitor’s attention.
  • Keep sentences and paragraphs short, so they’re easy to scan.
  • Avoid using jargon or complicated language. Unless your target market has PhDs, you’ll lose a large chunk of your audience.
  • Use bullet points to highlight features and benefits.
  • Use photos to make your product description visually appealing.
  • Use video for people who don’t want to read and want to see the product in action.

After you have formatted your content for easy consumption, here are the various elements of your product descriptions:




  • Features AND Benefits: Customers want to know the features of your product, but it’s the benefits that will sell them. For example: “Easy-grip handle for more professional results.” The easy grip handle is the feature and the professional results are the benefit.


  • HITVirtual.comWhat do you do that’s different? If you offer a product that is the same or similar to other merchants, what do you do differently? Do you offer free shipping? Do you include valuable extras or a special guarantee? Make sure to include this information to make it more appealing for your customer to buy from you.


  • Ratings and Reviews: Today’s savvy online shopper wants to know what others think about your product. Where possible, include ratings and reviews for your products.


  • Photos: Include multiple photos of your product, so your customers can see all the details they need. Include photos that highlight the different features, show the product in use, etc. This can add up to a lot of photos, so if necessary, create a little photo gallery where users can scan through all the photos they’d like to see.


  • Videos: Videos can provide extra valuable information and are useful for people who may not want to read your product descriptions. They also add a sense of credibility because visitors can see your product in action. You can do product demonstration videos, testimonial videos and more.

While you may not have all the above elements in each and every product description, know that each element has a very special purpose in selling your product effectively.


Avoiding Product Description Pitfalls


Writing effective product descriptions takes practice and experience, with time you’ll come to know what works best for your product.


To help you get to that point more quickly, here are some ways to avoid common pitfalls when it comes to creating product descriptions.



  • Don’t make it unnecessarily short: As mentioned earlier, people have short attention spans online. If you don’t grab and keep their attention, they’ll skip over your product. However, that doesn’t mean you should cut your product descriptions short for the sake of shortness. You need to include all the information your customer needs to make the right purchasing decision and for many products, that means fairly lengthy descriptions. The key to this is to make sure your copy is scannable and easy to read. We talked about that earlier in this post with tips like bold headlines, short sentences and paragraphs, bullet points, etc.


  • Your customer trumps any SEO efforts: It’s true that in order to sell a product online, you need traffic. For that reason, many people put their focus into SEO on their product descriptions, but if you’re too focused on keywords, you’re going to lose your potential customer when they finally arrive at your website. Besides, stuffing your content with keywords is not the way to achieve good search engine rankings and there are so many other subtle factors that come into play. Instead, focus on your customer and why they would want to buy from you.


  • Always test your results:The way to know exactly what is working in your product descriptions is to split test your results. Test different headlines, opening statements and bullet points. Test the difference between including video and not including it, etc. There is no blanket rule for what makes the sale, always do your own testing.

Keep these points in mind when you write your product or service descriptions and you will increase sales.

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Author: Karen Repoli


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