5 Tips for Writing SEO-Friendly Product Descriptions

Renata Aieta
Reading time: 5 minutes
11th December 2018

Want to lead your customers through the sales funnel? Unique and well-written product descriptions are a vital tool for achieving this. By adding creativity and excitement to your descriptions, your products can become more attractive and are more likely to convert to an actual sale.

And of course, there are SEO benefits to having well-optimised product descriptions, as writing optimised content is fundamental to achieving great user experience, higher traffic and a better conversion rate.

Here are our top tips when writing product descriptions:

1. Use persuasive wording

According to advertising tycoon David Ogilvy, persuasive words can convert into sales. These words can help draw readers into action. The most persuasive words include: remarkable, now, announcing, introducing, amazing, sensational, easy, miracle, magic, quick, and hurry.

We should also be honest and transparent in our wording of product descriptions. Of course, being honest doesn’t mean highlighting the product’s flaws, but focusing on its strengths to motivate and persuade the reader.

Below we can see an example of persuasive words being used to describe an expensive dress:

Image: JCrew

When reading the product description, the words allow the reader to really understand the quality of the dress. With this understanding, the reader might be convinced to buy it because they will recognise the value in the dress.

Whereas being too broad when describing products doesn’t add any value. For example, instead of describing the product simply as: “excellent quality.” Quality is expected when buying, especially if the price is above the competition. Very general references to quality can cause a user to turn away from a sale and never return. To avoid this, explain the specific benefits, for example, that the material is organic or handmade, etc.

Words have the power to change someone’s mind if the arguments are convincing  – the product is pricey, however, it’s worth it.

2. Use the power of the words to tell stories

Storytelling is a very effective way to engage readers and lead them to purchase your product.

When we think about readers sitting there on the other side of the screen, they cannot hold or feel the tangible product at this point, they’re relying on images and product descriptions.

That’s why when describing the product’s features, appealing to the reader’s imagination can be a smart tactic to boost conversions.

See the example below:

Image: Raven Lily

3. Keep copy concise

Product descriptions should be easy and quick to read. Including bullet points at the bottom of the description with clear and essential information about the product can be an effective way to create scannability.

Readers are time-poor, so providing the most important details can be crucial to nail their attention and their potential conversion.

In other words, try to avoid adding unnecessary wording that can distract and disengage users from the conversion funnel.

Below is an example of how, with a few bullet points, the copy provides the users with key information:

4. Optimise for search engines

A well-written product description is crucial for the success of e-commerce; however, content is not exclusively for users and consumers. Google crawlers also have the ability to read and scan content within a page.

By not serving what is being searched for by potential customers within a product page, this could be losing a great opportunity to deliver what people are looking for. That’s why it’s so important to meet user expectations. If they find precisely what they want, the chances of converting should be higher.

Including longer-tail keywords will help a page rank for a variety of additional terms outside of the main keyword focus. We know that roughly 15% of all Google searches have never been searched for before, so the opportunity for long-tail keywords to drive traffic across a range of products can be high.

When writing product descriptions both short-tail keywords and long-tail keywords should be considered, with search volume playing a major role. Usually if a site ranks for shorter-tail keywords (known as head keywords) there is a good chance that they will also rank for a variety of longer tail keywords, and in actual fact (as noted above with 15% of all searches being new) this is where sites can garner a considerable amount of traffic.

Most importantly, include relevant keywords without unnatural keyword stuffing.

5.  Avoid creating duplicate product descriptions

Another best practice for SEO is to avoid duplicate content at all costs. Unique copy for each product description page is key to keeping consistency. In general, creating similar (by just swapping out a few words, or rearranging words) or keeping exactly the same descriptions can be seen as a duplicate content issue for search engines. Googlebot will likely be confused as to which one is the original page to serve.

Duplicate content is a significant issue for SEO and e-commerce sites because of the number of pages and products; that’s where de-duplication comes in to keep these pages and the website as a whole healthy.

The solution to avoid duplication is by writing unique content for each page. When that’s not possible on your own website, canonical tags can be used to indicate which pages are the pages that are supposed to be indexed.

Extra tips for writing product descriptions

Check out these points to keep products descriptions well optimised and user-friendly.

  • Focus on your target – Write persona-based bespoke product descriptions focused on the target audience detailed in the brand guideline document.
  • Split test it – To know if your content is working, testing different sizes, formats, words and more can be very insightful to understand what your audience is looking for.  Don’t forget to track and compare results.
  • Length –  Conduct a benchmark analysis based on competitors, to find an average copy length. This can vary greatly depending on the product type and industry.
  • Benchmark – Benchmarking is a great way to be aware of the direct competition, how they present their products and what is working since they’re in the top position in search.  
  • Write for your customers – A trap that site owners can fall into is the practice of writing for Google and not for their customers. Writing naturally relevant, keyword rich, semantic content works for both users and bots – this should always be the aim.
Written By Renata Aieta
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