You know the old adage…a picture is worth a thousand words? Well, sometimes it isn’t. If you run a product-based website, words become senses. Online you can look, and that’s great, but can you imagine going into a sofa shop and being told you can’t touch it or sit on it but expecting to buy it?? Without the option of your consumers being able to pick it up, feel it, smell it, taste it, try it on or hear it (first-hand anyway) your words become the most important aspect alongside your images.
So how do you write fantastic product descriptions that help the browser become the buyer? Follow some of these tips and you will be well on your way to product description perfection, you can also take a look at some brands who are wise with their words.
Think About the Customer
This sounds really obvious doesn’t it? But what I mean by this is to think about the person who would buy your product and what/who they would buy it for. If you’re selling designer sunglasses, chances are your customer is a person who places value on their image and as a result loves to feel glamorous. How do they think and feel? What words do they love? Do they use humour? Think about how your choice of words and how those words will shape your product description. Cox and Kings Travel Company know their clients – luxury, extravagant, tailor made holidays are their thing. The language of hotel and resort descriptions matches those expectations perfectly.
Search Engine Optimisation
Ok, I’ll be really honest here. Search Engine Optimisation is something that, as a writer and lover of words and creativity, I really hate. But, as much as I hate it, I can’t deny (and neither should you) that it’s important. Inserting key words into the product description and meta data of your pages that will capture the people searching for those words is going to help you, even though it pains me to say it. But be careful, no one wants to read a product description that is spammed full of the same word to rank you higher. Blend it, and blend it well, and Google will love it. Topman delivered well on SEO when I typed in “Tweed Suit” so they’re doing something right, unfortunately the rest of their product description leaves me a little disappointed.
People love detail if it is relevant for them. If you can tell them; what size, the colour, how to use it, what it goes well with, how to wear it, what it feels like to sit on it, then you win big brownie points. And you know what? If your size 14 comes up a little small, then don’t be afraid to tell people. Don’t rely on customer reviews to do this for you, be honest about it. Better than having a lot of returns right? And here’s the shocker…detail can be fun! Dollar Shave Club expertly balance detail whilst keeping it packed full of personality too.
Keep It Direct
You don’t have many words to play with on product descriptions so make sure you’re getting to the point. Keep long words and sentences out of the way of the essentials. And avoid the obvious stuff that uses up valuable words like; “This is a really great product.” Obviously it is otherwise you wouldn’t be selling it now would you? The content has to be skimmable as people don’t really read stuff online any more (see my previous blog post). Bohoo.com has a great way of keeping it short and direct. Their product descriptions are split over a few tabs, meaning it’s easier to read but doesn’t compromise on what you need to know.
Buying stuff online is difficult because it takes away your senses. How you describe your products will be how people think about them. Replacing normal sounding descriptions like; “This perfume smells of pineapple”, with descriptive ones like; “Float away to a tropical beach with the aromas of exotic pineapple and passion fruit in this gorgeous perfume, this is the ultimate holiday scent.” The more you can make someone feel the product, the more likely they are to buy. Lush cosmetics are fantastic at descriptive – they are punchy, fun and leave you feeling like you know the product.
Tell the Story
If your website is based around products that have a story, then tell it. I talk a lot about building relationships with customers through your words and a good (short) story can help you do this. If you run a business that is based on tradition and workmanship then tell the story behind the product. What prompted you to make it? Why is it so special? It puts the human behind the product, consumers begin to get to “know” you and your relationship grows, as does your sale rate. New Forest Cider do this very well, you get a nice background of how your cider is made and what makes it so special.
Inject Some Personality
There’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re purchasing from a faceless, lifeless corporate website. Small businesses usually find it easier to inject some personality so don’t be afraid to. There are some big corporations out there who manage it successfully, so if personality is part of your brand then just go for it. Have a look at how Cadbury keep their product descriptions short and sweet but with plenty of personality.