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How to Write Good Product Descriptions

As an author writing a product description you take on the role of the seller and conduct a virtual dialogue with prospective customers. But how do you manage to convince a potential buyer that he cannot do without a certain product? In this academy, we explain what you need to know to create strong-selling products.

To create product descriptions that sell

As an author writing a product description you take on the role of the seller and conduct a virtual dialogue with prospective customers. But how do you manage to convince a potential buyer that he cannot do without a certain product? In this academy, we explain what you need to know to create strong-selling products.

Many online product descriptions are just conveniently copied from the manufacturer, and consist of a careless juxtaposition of interchangeable product features. But more and more vendors are recognising the enormous importance of good product descriptions for the success of their online shops. This is not just a duplicate-content issue, Google ratings also penalise texts copied from the web. Good product texts are also exclusive, differentiating a product from rivals and selling demonstrably better.

The online shop is a virtual shop window, but the actual sales takes place on the product pages. The aim of each product description is to persuade the visitor to make a purchase. But before a prospective customer is convinced, he must first recognise the product’s added value and feel fully informed. As an author, this is where you come into play.

Firstly, the information contained in the Order Description is, of course, important:

  • What kind of shop is it? Are there any sample pages? The tone and structure of your text should match the rest of the products in the vendor’s shop.
  • Does the briefing specify how the customer should be addressed? Is a direct approach required, and if so, what form should this take?
  • Are there any structural guidelines, such as the number of the paragraphs and subheadings?
  • Is there general information about the shop which must be mentioned? (for example, delivery or shipping)

If the briefing contains no specific requirements, you are free to choose your own approach.

 

Some clients insist the order must only be accepted by authors who have used the product. This is understandable, because after all, authenticity is very important for a good product. But, regardless of whether or not you have already tried a particular offer: only those who understand a product can successfully convey its benefits.

In general, the structure of a product description follows a certain pattern. Broadly speaking, this consists of a header, a body text, possibly a list of features, and a call-to-action.

The rules for good web texts also apply to product descriptions, but product texts aim to trigger a response from the reader. This is what makes them so special.

And so to begin:

1. Choose a meaningful headline

Because web users are very impatient, the heading should also contain the main selling point. This is the so-called USP (Unique Selling Point) of the product, a unique feature which distinguishes an offer from its rivals. Ask yourself: Which product feature should have the greatest prominence? What are the positive characteristics of the product for the target group? You could, for example, write about a “cleaning agent which protects the environment” or a “lace dress made from an Italian designer fabric”.

2. Answer the target group’s questions

To write a successful product text, you should adopt the perspective of its potential customers. What are the target group’s needs, and what solution does this product offer?

Your text should answer the main ‘wh-questions’ which you would provide for the customer in a sales pitch. Also think about things which are not immediately obvious from the product’s visual image. These questions could be, for example:

  • What are the most important product attributes?
  • What makes this product unique?
  • What are its advantages and disadvantages?
  • What is this product used for?
  • Why would you buy this particular product?

3. Inform and convince

Place the most compelling feature (USP) for the target group in a prominent position in the text. And wherever possible, please support this with facts. Has the product, for example, already received an award, or does it boast a prestigious label? Awards, certificates or seals of approval are a great way to highlight the benefits of a product. Does the product have a compelling history to offer, or does it relate to a particular tradition? Such backgrounds help to give the product an individual appeal, making it truly exclusive.

Once you have addressed the most important product features, you can start working on the lesser details. Fashion texts, for example, have developed the “top-down”, then “outside-in”principle. Describe only the main external characteristics of the product, before moving to the inner, less-important details like “handbags” or “lining”.

It is important that your text should always be honest and objective. Is a product unsuitable for certain applications? Then be open about this and offer some tips on how it can be used. This approach creates trust and avoids the risk of negative reviews.

Remember: The more complex the product, the more information the consumer needs before making a purchase decision. Nevertheless, focus on the essentials so that you don’t bore the impatient web reader with too many details. When in doubt, explain the concrete benefits of one or two features for the target group rather than merely listing the product specifications.

4. Pay attention to language and style

Whether you use a formal style or a more casual tone, of course, depends on the shop and the product. After all, different tones will be required for a cool game console and an elegant luxury fountain pen.

Each industry has its own jargon with certain terms which appeal to their target audience. Sometimes a very particular form of language is required (for example, with a trendy fashion store: “must-have”, “edgy”), whilst a very informative and objective style is more appropriate for other clients.

However, no matter what you are describing, use positive and colourful language as much as possible in order to breathe life into the product. Raise your discussion to an emotional level, describing not just the product but how it represents an experience or a solution.

If you write a text on a cot, for example, you are not limited to a description of its features. Get the customer to visualise the product experience by mentioning phrases like “sweet dreams”, “stuffed animals” and “bedtime stories”. Note, however, you must always follow the style guidelines in the Order Description.

Another useful stylistic device is to give the product a personality: a red lipstick is the “perfect companion for festive occasions,” a cold remedy could be “your guardian angel in wet and windy weather.”

Bear in mind a product’s specific benefits – whether it makes her “more beautiful”, or helps him “sleep better”, always mention how it will make the customer feel good.

5. Use lists

Short lists are a good way to give the reader a quick overview of the most important product features. Via bullet points, the reader can see the product benefits at a glance, and the main features and benefits of the product can then follow on in list order after the introductory text. This is where to place items such as dimensions, size and technical details, summarising each list element in the fewest possible words.

6. Don’t forget SEO

Search engine optimisation is very important for products. Firstly, the e-commerce market is highly competitive, and a product detail page is also a landing page which web users reach via search engines such as Google. Therefore, in addition to unique content, the placement of relevant keywords – if possible in the headline and near the beginning of the text – is critical.

Textbroker clients have the opportunity to use SEO options and decide how often a particular keyword or keyword combination should occur in their text. Often, a meta description – a short search engine description of the relevant product page – is also required.

Whether in a text or meta description: ask yourself what a customer might be looking for in connection with the product, and include some useful and appropriate terms in the text. That means your writing will automatically be search-engine optimised.

7. Call-to-action!

A concluding call such as “Come in and see for yourself!” is a standard feature in many stores. If this is inappropriate, some other request which calls for consumer action will increase conversion rates. Where something less promotional is required, a suitably implicit call-to-action might be: “Why not try something new?”

Every day, product texts affect millions of web-purchase decisions. If they inform the target group, and are written in a genuine, convincing style which conveys emotional value, the product will soon end up in the shopping cart.

We hope you found a few helpful suggestions in this Academy tutorial, and wish you many top-selling product texts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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