Do Your Product Descriptions Suck? Here's How to Make them Better

When written effectively, product descriptions should explain the product and sell the product simultaneously. Your goal is to make your customers fall in love with your product before ever having it in their hands.

The product description can make or break a sale- so it’s not time to half-ass this, or hope that the product sells itself.

According to a study completed by Nielsen Norman Group, 20% of sales failures were potentially the result of an unclear description.

Don’t be part of that 20%.

1. Define who you’re speaking to

If you don’t know who you’re writing to, then it’s going to be more difficult to pinpoint what information to include.

You need to define your audience- gender, age, location, interests, etc.- and then speak directly to them.

If you’re selling shoes to a middle-aged male, you’d describe the product differently than if you were selling to a mid-twenties female.

Base your word choice off of your ideal customer. Ask yourself what these customers might be looking for in this item. Which leads to the next tip...

2. Focus on the benefits- not the features

Tell your customers how your product will benefit them. Instead of listing only features, give an example of how those features will improve your customer's life. Identify their struggles and how that product offers a solution.

Let’s say, for example, you’re selling a waterproof jacket to a twenty-something female.

Instead of highlighting the fact that it’s just waterproof, describe how her hair will stay dry on her morning walk to her 8 am class- You just solved her problem! Although it seems simple (a waterproof jacket will protect her hair, duh!) you have to remind your customer that this product offers a solution to their struggles. After all, we're always looking for solutions to our biggest problems!

3. Use Clear Formatting

Have you ever read a product description that was just too long- consisting of multiple ideas and features- all crammed into one long paragraph?

Depending on your customer, most people are going to skip over this and you may have just lost the sale.

Most people are only reading about 20% of what is on the page.

Appeal to these “scanning” readers with easy to read formatting. You can break up long lists into bullet points, use bigger bolder text for titles/subtitles, and use short paragraphs with concise sentences.

Formatting is important not only for your description but for your entire site too! Make sure site is easy to navigate and that "add to cart" button is easy to find!

4. Use Triggers That Sell

By using a dash of psychology behind your writing, you can create product descriptions that convert.

Now, the goal here is not to brainwash your clients into believing that your weight-loss pill is the solution to all of their problems. The goal is to use psychological triggers to enhance the credibility of your product (provided that it is actually credible- no snake oil salesmen and false claims here please).

Certain psychological triggers are proven to increase the likelihood of someone taking action and are worth adding to your descriptions.

Some examples are:

  • Use power words, such as “new”, “free”, “you”, and “instantly”.

  • Create a fear of missing out (F.O.M.O).

  • Provide the social proof that your product works

  • Create urgency with phrases such as “limited time offer” or “ limited stock”

5. Ensure descriptions are Search Engine Optimized (SEO)

Have you ever misplaced your keys or your phone? Yeah, we all have. Sucks when you can’t find things, huh? Well, that's how Google feels when your site isn’t optimized. If Google can’t find your content, neither can your customers.

Make it easier for Google crawler bots to find your site by including a few relevant keywords in your description, title, alt-image text, and the URL.

BUT, whatever you do, use keywords organically, and do not keyword stuff.

Before you write for Google bots, you must write with the real-life person in mind, you know, the one on the other side of the screen that you’re trying to sell your product to. Yeah, that person. If you stuff a ton of in-organic sounding keywords into your description, say bye-bye to your credibility and hello to being a snake-oil salesman.

6. Include Necessary Information

While you want to be mindful of the length of the description, never ever leave information out. Customers should be able to read the description and have all the information they need to make a purchase decision.

If your customers have additional basic questions about the product, then your description did not do its job.

Product descriptions will look different for a clothing item, versus a weight loss supplement, or an anti-aging skincare line, due to the fact that the less familiar a customer is with something, the more information they require before making a decision.

Include a frequently asked question section to reduce the likelihood of a lost sale, studies show that 17% of sales failures are due to the customer's inability to find an answer to their question.

The Takeaway:

Don't be that company that is losing out on high-quality clients because of their product descriptions.

The description is sometimes the only information the customer sees before making a purchase. When someone can’t touch or see the product before buying, words can often tell more than the picture will show.

Interested in rewriting your old product descriptions, or creating awesome descriptions for your new product line? Contact me at I’d love to help!

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