Product descriptions have the power to convert buyers and drive targeted traffic to your website. Learn how to curate well-written keyword rich product descriptions that will rank in search results + download our FREE product description template.
*Updated for 2023
Writing epic product descriptions that will rank in search results is a big task for any eCommerce website.
From an SEO perspective, investing precious time into writing detailed category and product descriptions is possibly one of the most important tasks any serious digital marketer should execute.
According to Matt Janaway, curating detailed and well thought out product descriptions is one of his top 3 eCommerce strategies for SEO growth. With Google’s highly advanced artificial intelligence now understanding website content better than ever before, product descriptions offer the chance to take advantage of long tail search queries and search intent – which is an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed!
If you’ve found this blog post because you’re searching for tips on how to write killer product descriptions, you’ve found the right place. With eCommerce revenue consistently growing, product descriptions are now more vital than ever before.
If you’ve landed on this blog post because you’re looking to re-vamp your product descriptions and drive huge SEO growth, we look forward to seeing your performance results! Before we jump into how to write the perfect product descriptions that will rank in search results, we first need to take a step back and understand what a product description is, take a look at the good, the bad and the downright ugly and more importantly, why they are so necessary in today’s crowded and content filled online shopping world.
What is a product description?
A product description is simply the content or contextual copy that describes a product or item for sale on a website. In the most basic form, product descriptions are supposed to highlight key product features and the benefits to the customer.
Ultimately, product descriptions are needed to provide website visitors with enough compelling product information to buy the item through the website. Product descriptions should answer simple visitor questions such as;
- What is this product?
- What problems does it solve?
- What makes it different from other products?
- What is it made of?
- Where does it come from?
- How do I use this product?
- Why should I buy this product?
Product descriptions should provide the bedrock of content across any eCommerce website. More importantly, they should be unique to every product and be between 200 to 500 words. The image below shows a standard product description example.
Why are product descriptions so important?
Product descriptions play two very important roles. Firstly, they can heavily influence a website’s conversion rate (CRO), both in terms of providing more information and helping to improve your eCommerce website design, and secondarily, they contribute to your site’s search engine optimisation (SEO).
Alongside informing and influencing your visitors to convert and buy your products, product descriptions also offer the unique ability and chance to target new long tail keywords, rank for synonyms and drive targeted traffic.
Product descriptions are possibly one of the most undervalued SEO tactics with most eCommerce websites either brushings off the task of writing descriptions or writing thin and unattractive content for product pages.
From a users perspective, product descriptions offer the information they require, much like an in-store assistant, to buy the product they need. Without descriptions, users are left bewildered, confused and uninformed about the products on your website.
Products without descriptions can effectively drive your traffic away or may result in unnecessary customer support being needed in the form of telephone calls and emails. A great way to understand what your customers may ask when they land on your product page is to install a live chat plugin within your website. Zopim or Tawk offer free live chat accounts and can help you capture these all-important customer questions.
These questions can then be answered within your new curated product descriptions which in-turn, can help reduce customer emails and telephone calls.
From a search engines perspective, product descriptions offer ‘search bots’ the opportunity to fully understand product pages. As they can’t read images (they only see ALT text), ‘search bots’ use content to contextualise each and every page and therefore appreciate detailed product descriptions.
Deeply understanding product pages allows search engines to show search results that meet the need of targeted search queries. Google’s Panda algorithm update specifically mentioned that rank results are heavily influenced by unique and valuable content – something that all search engine likes to see on every product page! Filling your product descriptions with manufacturer numbers, SKU codes and copied catalogue content, unfortunately, won’t cut the mustard in helping your website’s SEO.
Product description guidelines
When it comes to getting down and dirty with writing descriptions for your products remember, writing something is better than nothing! The worst thing you could possibly do is to not write anything at all or show boring copy from your supplier. Leaving product pages thin on content will definitely result in poor search rankings and may even lead to a Google penalty.
You may be thinking… ‘but I’ve 20,000 products on my website, that’s going to take me a lifetime!’ – writing product descriptions isn’t a quick process, but their value is unprecedented. You could even look to AI to assist with your strategising for these product descriptions.
Breaking down the writing process into manageable chunks for you and your team is the best way to tackle this important task. We’ve put our heads together here at Marketing Labs HQ to outline some writing guidelines for when you create product descriptions.
At a minimum, write product description bullet points for all your products
If you’re struggling to find the time or investment needed to write detailed product descriptions, aim to try and create a few key bullet points that may benefit your visitors for every product. This ensures there is at least some content on every product page but also opens the opportunity to easily bulk the content at a later date.
A great place to start is to re-word your supplier’s information, including the product benefits and its features. Think about what you would like to read as a customer on the website; what questions can they not answer by looking at the picture? Here’s a great example of a quick bullet-point description that offers value.
Be bold and don’t follow your competition
Stay away from following your competition. Copying what a competitor may be doing, because they rank in a top position for a key phrase is only a downward spiral tactic. It leads to more boring content and highlights no creative thinking. More importantly, Google ‘search bots’ appreciate unique content and reward websites who deliver vs those who copy content from elsewhere.
Use your competition as a base platform, pick apart their descriptions and see how you can rise above with product descriptions that are different, creative and unique.
Set a target to write a few descriptions each day
Writing product descriptions can be a daunting and long process. We know how hard it is to find the time to write product descriptions, they take creative flair, patience and skill. Regardless of whether your eCommerce website has a team of 20 employees or you’re a one man band, set yourself / your team an achievable goal to write just 1 product description each day.
Download and edit our FREE product description template below and spend some time manipulating the template questions for you and your team to work with. If you really are too short on time, you could always hire a freelancer from Upwork or Fiverr to write product descriptions on your behalf. If you need to create product descriptions for international SEO, there’s a ton of great value Fiverr gigs out there.
Avoid these words
Product descriptions need to be informative, persuading and well-written. When curating new content try to avoid using lazy, negative and gap fill words. They can make you sound unprofessional and could result in fewer conversions. Words to avoid include; got, get, actually, literally, honestly, stunning, just, nice, maybe and sorry. Avoid these words at all costs. If you find yourself using the same describing words, use www.thesaurus.com to browse alternative synonyms.
Be long, detailed and over the top but focus on content structure
With on average just 20% of website content is being read by visitors, you may think this point contradicts user experience (UX). However, don’t forget that for every visitor who may not read the product description, there is a willing and waiting ‘search bot’ who can’t wait to understand what the page is all about!
The trick with product descriptions is to find a happy medium between satisfying UX alongside SEO strategies. When writing product descriptions, focus on creating detailed paragraphs about each product.
However, to ensure visitors don’t get frustrated with lines of text, curate the important information into bite-sized bullet points and lines that can sit alongside the product images. You can then offer a ‘view more information’ button which will take users down the page to the extra content. Here’s a great example to show the perfect description layout that works nicely!
Find niche and easy to target long-tail keywords
Product descriptions offer the chance to target long-tail keywords that may be difficult to incorporate across other website pages.
Long tail keywords are search terms that are usually specific to a product, type, colour or size and therefore are perfect to target within product descriptions as the content you write will naturally contain these description phrases.
A great way to research long-tail key phrases is to use SEO tools such as Moz Keyword Explorer – which can highlight relevant keyword suggestions around your product ranges that you could incorporate into your descriptions. For example, if you sell bathroom taps, long tail keyword terms that could be specific to your products may include; long spout bath mixer taps, thermostatic bath shower mixer taps or even German made bathroom taps.
Creating content around long-tail keywords and phrases can send strong signals to Google to rank your product pages for specific phrases that your competitors may be missing.
Product description examples
From detailed product descriptions to the downright useless, the World Wide Web is full of examples of weird and wonderful descriptions. We’ve gathered together three of our favourites to show a good example, a poor example and an innovative product description that was created to catch attention.
Remember, use your competitor’s websites as a platform to create something more unique. Take the time to look around the internet and get inspired before curating your own product descriptions.
A good product description example
This bath bomb product description could be a model template example! The content is a good length and highlights the benefits and reasons to buy the product. The short bullet points give a quick overview for visitors to decide if the product is suitable.
The content is split across easy to read bullet points and a longer SEO paragraph towards the bottom of the page. The longer SEO product content contains keyword rich header titles that have been correctly assigned with H2 & H3 title code tags.
A poor product description example
If you’re looking to buy a £4,000 bath tub, you certainly not going to buy this one! This is a great example where investing time into writing a very detailed product description could help convert a buyer – it only needs one conversion to make it a worthwhile task. This product page would also benefit from multiple high-res images that can show the quality of the product.
A creative product description example
To catch attention, sometimes you need to write product descriptions with some ingenious creative flare! In order to spark some online interest, this boring steel drum trolley product page had a serious makeover and content overhaul.
If you look closely, the product description highlights how this steel drum trolley is perfect for moving severed limbs of rival gangs and how it closely matches the drum used by ‘Heisenburg‘ in the TV series Breaking Bad. This over the top product description not only converted buyers but it also created a series of natural links to the page, further boosting rankings. Now, that’s a product description to be proud of.
Product description FREE template
After reading about the dos and don’ts of writing the perfect product descriptions, it’s probably time for you to give it a go. Before we let you have our template download, we wanted to explain what the template is all about and how you should use it.
When we take on a new SEO eCommerce client here at Marketing Labs, this is the actual product description template our team uses to drive SEO growth. We are sure by following this description template you too can also sky rocket your product search rankings to generate more sales and improve your users’ product page experience.
We recommend writing product descriptions that are between 250-500 words that include keyword rich phrases and product titles. But, remember, do not force this as it may result in spammy content. Our template questions are moldable to your products and are there only as a guide. You are more than welcome to adapt the template into your own style.
Our FREE product description template outlines;
– How best to layout your product description content to maximise SEO potential
– What questions you should focus your product description content around
– Professional hints & tips when writing your product descriptions
Thanks for reading this post! We hope it has helped you and your team better understand the importance of writing unique, SEO friendly and keyword targeted product descriptions. If you have any questions about our FREE product description download template or need help with writing product descriptions, feel free to contact us. Happy writing!