Murder sounds like a harsh statement but if you read on I think you will find it is justified.
We encounter a lot of eCommerce stores in our business and these are the top three issues on product pages that we encounter:
- Thin content – very few words – almost like the product has been thrown on and the owners are hoping that it will sell itself
- Duplicated content – the content is the same as the suppliers/manufacturers so there are multiple websites with identical copy on them
- Underwhelming content that isn’t scintillating or informative and just hangs on the page like an accident because the person who wrote it had lost the will to live
Each one of those will render your product pages useless.
You may hope to rely on your category and subcategory pages and if you have an active blog that might work.
But…you are missing out on some serious Return on Investment with this approach.
How can you refer authority up to subcategory and category pages?
How can you compete against competitors who are optimising theirs? The first thing customers do is copy the title and place it into Google to see if anyone is cheaper. If they have a great description they are more likely to convince your customer to buy on their store.
How can you have a successful Google Shopping or Search Ads campaign without optimised pages that include relevant keywords and give a great shopping experience?
Your website is your content hub and you sell products so your products are the very core of your content hub.
Don’t worry I am going to tell you exactly how to optimise your product pages for maximum impact.
First…let’s look at what we know for certain.
This is what Copywriters know as Fact
As readers we like subheadings ^
- We like information to be bite size or bullet-pointed
“The occasional quote will likely catch our attention”
And BOLDED WORDS make certain phrases or information stand out to us.
Sometimes when we write product descriptions we go for the simplest and quickest approach possible. There are a lot of products to get on a website and business owners have little time to give each one the care and attention they need.
But if you did…
If you gave each product description/product page its moment then you would seriously enhance your websites SEO and definitely enhance your Quality Score ratings with Adwords.
This is what SEO experts know as Fact
The simplest way to get fresh content on an eCommerce website is via product pages.
Writing a blog is very time consuming, in fact, any cornerstone pieces of content, whether they are PDFs, videos, or guides, are time-consuming.
If you took your top ten best selling products and thought of creative ways you can enhance that copy then you are winning in two ways:
- You are optimising a page that Google is already aware of because it sells, so you have good metrics like dwell time and conversion rate helping with those rankings
- You draw Google’s attention by adding more value to an already valuable page – fresh copy persuades search engines to visit pages and reconsider their position in the rankings
One blog post could help with traffic if you have an engaged blog and you would also point a link from it to your top landing pages which might pass on some juice. But, optimising 10 product pages gives you ten opportunities to enhance user experience and get noticed by the all-powerful Rankbrain algorithm.
This is how you need to format your product pages
Product pages need to deliver a lot to the 21st-century website browser. It is not that people are picky it is just that they digest the same layout, the same key features, every time they visit a product page – so their expectations are super high.
You have Amazon and other top brands to thank for spoiling them. But the problem is once people have been spoiled they do not want to step backwards so their patience is limited.
All they have to do is press the back button and their potential sale is lost.
It comes down to seconds…
So how do you capture their attention and keep it on your product?
- Your product title states clearly what they are looking at
- You have reviews front and centre – people like to be reassured that others have purchased and left their thoughts
- The price is clear and bold and any discounts are genuine and clear
- Is it in stock? Be clear and make sure they are in no doubt
- Give them anticipated delivery expectations or at least have your delivery information there to see (free delivery, free over £20, next day delivery)
- A short description that is creative and informative sits at the top of the page to the right of the image
- The image is clear, in high definition and shows multiple sides of the products so they can browse, scroll and zoom in and really get to know that product
- A more thorough description is below so they can scroll down and really get to know the ins and outs of the product. This should have technical information, guarantee info and really sell that product – just think how much info Amazon put below the fold – they are content driven when it comes to products
- The buy button is bold and positioned above the fold where you cannot miss it whether you are on mobile or desktop
- You have optimised the copy with your product name and any related keywords – do not detract attention away from main landing pages here or get spammy though
- If you have any unique selling points that can convince people to buy then they should feature also – nice and clear
- Related products are key to keeping people on your website but are not convinced by the first product they meet – some people just like to browse a few for comparison
The list above is not really a suggestion list anymore. It is an ‘if you want to be competitive then these are your minimum requirements’ list.
Sure, if the product is super cheap and you have free delivery then you can get away with it. But, if you do not have a big hitting selling point on your side then the above is what your customers expect.
10 Ways To Enhance Your Product Descriptions
Now that you have the perfect format it is time to think about what you need to put in that description and how you can enhance it.
This is the part that in an ideal world you would use a copywriter for. Someone who enjoys words and can think outside of the box when it comes to describing the product in front of them. Here are a few points to remember as you get creative about your products!
The tone and language of your description should reflect your brand and also appeal to your target audience. A brand that does this well is Innocent.
Their language is conversational and fun. They appeal to children as well as adults who appreciate the fresh approach.
Your product description must be unique to your store. It doesn’t matter if 50 stores sell the same product you must write something unique for yours. That way you will not compete against everyone else, you will surpass them!
This is such a short word and yet captures so much. Finding different ways of approaching pretty dull products or common place items is a stretch for even the most imaginative copywriter. Creativity always wins. If you can present your product from a fresh perspective or with a unique voice then you will win the attention game.
This is a nice example from Innocent again, just adding some sparkle to their ingredients list:
- Key information
It seems silly but there will be certain points that people want to know first and these should be at the beginning of the content section. You want to catch their attention and equally shout about what is great about the product. They will instantly be hooked and hopefully read on.
- Answer a Pain Point
There are many products, not all, that address pain points. So a work shoe might replace a really comfortable but worn out predecessor. A memory card might give someone more capacity to play their favourite games or store their favourites streamed movies.
If you can address a pain point within your description then it instantly makes the product more appealing. The story connected to the product instantly resonates with the buyer. This is a golden connection that is difficult to achieve but it can certainly help with conversion rates.
Here is an example that subtly refers to the impact of running in trainers and the desired cushioning and comfort buyers are looking for. It also alludes to grip in wet weather:
- Be Honest
Nobody likes excessive sales speak because these days they just read right through it. If you are promising the Earth but delivering a pencil then you need to shrink down the grandiose language.
Speak simply and honestly with your audience mapping out to them exactly what you are selling but in a creative, fun and original way of course.
- Break Up The Blocks
Blocks of text just blur into a big blob for customers and make them far less inclined to read them. Usually, people approach your product pages ready to skim read. You have a finite window to capture their attention.
So break up your text with short paragraphs and bullet points. Luckily it is what your audience expects and what most of the top brands deliver. Here is an example from Under Armour:
- Bold out key terms
If you offer free delivery. If the product is eco-friendly, organic, handmade, one of a kind…you get the idea, then bold those terms.
It will just make some key terms pop out from the page so your audience instantly connects with them if they are key to them. You can call them power words but I like to call them principled words. We all shop with some principles that sway our purchases. If you can tap into those then you have an instant hook with that customer.
- Do not rush
A rushed description will not be your finest. A product description is just as important as a blog post or the copy on your About Us page. When you craft an email you put time and effort into it. The same should be said about your product descriptions.
I know this is a huge ask because some of you will have tens of thousands of products but think of it this way. If you were going door to door you wouldn’t just show someone your product and then open your hand for their money.
You would craft your sales pitch and try and make it unique to the person stood before you. Each product is an opportunity for you to connect to the buyer. Take a look at your product pages and ask yourself if they would slam the door in your face or not!
- Pictures Speak Louder than words
When it comes down to it the biggest persuasion to buy will be the image. So it doesn’t hurt to break up your text with a few more images. Amazon does this really well by making the whole page a deep dive into a product but they have quite a large budget to use up!
What you can do is add any relevant icons or symbols that designate key features such as delivery (a van), the location of product manufacture (a flag), whether it is vegan, gluten-free, a winner of an award, environmentally friendly. Icons can convey a lot of information quickly and they also look good.
This will not always work but anything that can break up blocks of text should be considered. Here is an example of a fruit tree seller, Pomona Fruits, using icons well:
It is time for me to hand your time back to you so that you can start writing some impressive product descriptions and optimising those product pages.
Bring those product pages back from the dead!
I hope you have found our suggestions useful. If you would like help optimising your key pages we do a standalone package that includes keyword research, keyword mapping and meta creation for your key pages.
More articles by Jodie King
I think growth is a word we use a little too much in our industry.