The Thorn Birds
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If you want to really persuade your visitors to become customers, you will need to spell out the benefits of these features in your descriptions. Tell them exactly “how” a particular feature is useful for them, and “why” they should make this purchase.
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Writing product descriptions, along with having great product photos, is therefore a vital tool which the store owner can use to take control of their sales. Product descriptions are tough to write well, because in a short space of typically 60-80 words they need to:
- Persuasively describe the benefits of the product and what problem it solves
- Describe any important features which aren't clear from the product photos
- Use SEO keyphrases to make the page rank more highly in search engines
- Differentiate the product from similar ones in a way that encourages purchase; perhaps explain why the product should be purchased from that website versus others. Faced with such a challenge, website owners might be tempted to use the standard description provided by the manufacturer, or copy text from a competitor's website. But this could lead to Google penalizing the page as it would contain duplicate content, and it misses a big opportunity to give the ecommerce site a unique voice which builds the brand and keeps visitors coming back.
- There are plenty of professional copywriters who specialize in writing product descriptions for ecommerce, who the job can be outsourced to. Yet many online store owners will take the view that no-one knows the product or market as well as they do, in which case there are a few things to consider when writing product descriptions that sell.
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
A page of original content about a product is a boon for getting a page indexed in search engines. While writing product descriptions is primarily an exercise in appealing to the potential customer, a few simple considerations will make sure the SEO potential is maximized too:
- Include a headline which uses the targeted SEO keyphrase, but also grabs the reader - just using the name of the product is a missed opportunity
- Use keywords selectively in the description. So if the keyphrase is 'men's cutthroat razor', it's a missed opportunity to call it a 'shaving device' in the descriptionMake use of image captions. Rather than just the product name, this is another chance to include a keyword-rich sentence which also appeals to the customer - Include the keyword in the title and description meta-tags in the source code of the web page - Include the keyword in alt tags of any images, in title tags associated with links out from the description (if links to other sections are used) and also in the anchor text of any links pointing to the page
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