Product descriptions are a crucial part of having a successful eCommerce business. Regardless of whether you’re using a dropshipping partner, such as camaloon.com for instance, or whether you have an independent online store, SEO-friendly product descriptions serve a fundamental role in convincing the reader that your product offers real value to them in a way that resonates.
What is Product Description SEO?
A product description that is SEO friendly, means taking certain steps to ensure that your eCommerce product descriptions rank highly in search engines. It also helps you gain organic search traffic.
Why Writing an SEO-friendly Product Description is a Must
Every search engine works like an internet directory – it tracks thousands of websites for a search term. When users type a search term, search engines show a list of results on several pages. But really, whoever goes past the first page results? No one. So, writing an SEO-friendly product description helps search engines place your product on that first page. They do that by relying on their algorithms to evaluate the relevance and originality of any given web page. This way, they help the users find relevant websites at the top of the first page.
Effective product descriptions give the reader the confidence to make their purchase and rank well on search engine results pages, therefore, unique, and well-written product descriptions are a vital tool to leading your customers through the sales funnel.
How to write an SEO friendly product description
The number one rule for proper SEO is to write for people, not the search engine web crawlers. The main concern is relevance for the user, so what is good for your audience is also good for search engines. The whole point of search is to help users find exactly what they’re looking for. If your product descriptions are written properly, you’re going to please Google and rank high.
When writing your descriptions, you should always aim to help, inform, enlighten and, ultimately, help the online buyer make a purchase decision. In the world of eCommerce, the SEO friendliness of a product page is all about the end-user and their convenience. Here are the 5 steps you should take to ensure your product descriptions please both Google and the end-user.
1. Writing style
Storytelling is engaging readers and leads them closer to purchasing your product. Since online shoppers see the product virtually, they rely on images and product descriptions. Therefore, when describing the product’s features, it is important to appeal to the reader’s imagination to boost conversions. But keep it natural – writing relevant, keyword-rich content works for both users and Google bots. You should always write thinking primarily about your user – this should always be the aim.
Write in short, concise, and readable sentences, generally not exceeding 20 words. Product descriptions should be easy and quick to read. However, meta descriptions on product pages should be around 160 characters or less. Providing the most important details to your time-pressed readers is crucial to get their attention and the conversion. However, length can vary greatly depending on the product type, industry, and buyer awareness.
Low Awareness online buyers
Online buyers with low awareness of your product will need a more convincing explanation of the product. Therefore, you’ll need to describe your product thoroughly to bring them to the level of awareness needed for a sale.
High awareness online buyers
Online buyers with high awareness, on the other hand, are already fully cognizant of both the product and why they need it. They don’t require as much convincing to reach for their wallets.
Common vs. special features
If you sell a common item that everybody knows all about, such as an everyday cotton t-shirt, you don’t need to explain the purpose or special features in detail. However, if you have a product with special features, then you do need a longer description to elaborate on them. For instance, if it is a cotton t-shirt made of organic cotton, sustainable material, or handmade, with special printing details, et cetera – you will need to elaborate on that a little bit more.
Use pictures, headings, and line breaks. Whether a product description has a professional or friendly tone of voice, it must always adhere to good standards of writing. First and foremost – write readable content. Good content uses sentences that are short and concise, while bullet points are highly informative and rich with product details. Including bullet points at the bottom of the description with clear and essential information about the product can create effective scannability for the time-pressed readers.
Think meaningful, technically proficient writing meets lifestyle writing. Tell a story that features the values and goals of your target audience. Reflect your brand voice by adapting the voice to a serious informational tone of witty humor and relatable references.
Lifestyle writing offers value in a product description, so if you have a lifestyle brand, aim to embody the values and goals of the target audience. Lifestyle content is very powerful, but if written for the wrong demographic, it loses much of its appeal.
Using persuasive wording adds value and can convert into sales. Some examples of persuasive words include remarkable, now, announcing, introducing, amazing, sensational, easy, miracle, magic, quick, and hurry.
The content you write should cater to the needs, expectations, and common reading behavior of end-users. Use plain language to make sure the content is readable. Every write-up needs to be simple and in plain language so that it is convenient for the end-user.
- Define a content structure.
- Write unique copy. This originality of a product page is the foundation of SEO, as search engines expect the uniqueness of your products.
- Write for your buyer, not the search engine bot.
- Start with the core features of your product.
- Add benefits.
- Use examples that are practical and real, to let the buyer know of the different capabilities of the product. It helps the buyer relate to it.
What not to do for effective SEO writing
Do not use overtly promoting language and do not use assertive words such as very, really, especially, excellent quality, great value, et cetera. Vague acclaims are clichéd and push clients away. Also, avoid elements of poor writing such as generic writing and duplicate content.
Content is fundamental to the SEO benefits of having well-optimized product descriptions. It provides a great user experience, higher traffic, and a better conversion rate.
You must include the right keywords in order to correctly optimise SEO for product descriptions. These keywords help search engines understand your pages, and they also help online buyers find your product.
Which Keywords to use
When writing product descriptions you’ll encounter both short-tail keywords and long-tail keywords. Short-tail ones, as the name says are short and simple. Long-tail ones are more specific and longer. You should consider them both, with search volume playing a major role. However, long-tail keywords usually have high search frequency and low competition keywords. This means they are often the ones that lead to the highest chance of a conversion. Also, including long-tail keywords will help your page rank higher for a variety of other terms outside of the main keyword area.
Keyword research starts with a keyword tool such as SEMrush, KWFinder, or Moz Keyword Explorer. These tools let you search up specific keywords and give you valuable data. For instance, you can find out how many people are searching for a given keyword (Search Volume), how hard it will be to rank for a given keyword (Keyword Difficulty), and any related terms you could perhaps also use in your content. To further narrow down the keyword, consider the product details, benefits, and features.
Once you have the most suitable keywords in hand, you need to place them in your product descriptions. Place keywords naturally in body text, metadata, and titles. Also, you need to use interlinks and heading, and subheading in order. Here’s a short list to help you remember:
- Once in the page’s URL
- Once in the product description title or once in the page title and H1
- Once or twice in the body copy
- Once in the alt image tag
General optimisation of a product page includes several structural elements. They include a heading that is descriptive, a title tag and meta description, a unique product description, high-quality images with descriptive alt text, and a human-readable URL structure. All with perfectly embedded keywords.
Tailor and optimise descriptions
Tailor product descriptions as much as possible. Simply stating that you have a high-quality product is not enough. Write a unique description, including the product title, detailing the product benefits, features that a user will find informative. If your product happens to be precisely what the users want, the chances of them making a conversion are higher.
If you have too many products and simply can’t write a unique product description for them all right away add a “no index” meta tag to those pages. This tells search engines to essentially skip the page, which helps you avoid receiving a penalty for a page that looks like a duplicate. Once you add all unique content, just remove the “no index” tag.
Step-by-Step keyword help
- Research keywords best for your products
- Add keywords to the headline, subheadings, and body content of a landing page
- Optimize images by inserting keywords
- Write an informative feature/benefit description first, then optimize it for SEO
What not to do when using keywords in SEO
Do not use long sentences or the passive voice and avoid sentences over 20 words. Also, avoid product description generators because they create impersonal content that doesn’t reach the user. For the content to be SEO AND user friendly, it must reach the user.
Do not add overuse the keywords. This is easy to do in short descriptions of 300 words or less. Use your focus keyword just 2-3 times in a 200–300-word document. Overuse of keywords is going to hurt your ranking. Too many keywords signal the SERPs to remove your product page from top rankings for spam or keyword stuffing.
Search engines consider similar or the same descriptions for all products as duplicate content. They penalize this, and the result is very, very low rank or even invisibility – neither of which you want.
3. Customer Value
Emphasize unique features and benefits, exactly what your product can do for your customers. Include the specific ways the product will improve their lives. Simply stating features doesn’t tell the reader anything, but when paired with benefit, it resonates with the reader much better.
Be informative, transparent, and honest in the wording of product descriptions. Offer real value by focusing on the product’s strengths to motivate and persuade the reader. The words will then allow the reader to understand the quality and move closer to buying once they recognize the value.
Highlight the key Features vs. Benefits
Apply the feature/benefit comparison to your product. An SEO-friendly product description lists the basic features and benefits, along with the practical use of a product or service. Discussing your product’s key selling point within the description is very important. With all the online competition, online buyers often only spend a short time on your web page, just enough to scan it. In that short time, you need to convince them quickly and effectively that your product is exactly what they are looking for.
Features describe the product in technical, impersonal terms. They state what a product can do, what it looks like, or how it works without making a connection with the buyer. In other words, it gives you a list of technical features and raw information, but it doesn’t tell the buyer how it will improve their life. Therefore, it doesn’t offer any value to a customer because they cannot relate to it.
Buyers will, consequently, bounce from this page within a few minutes and you will lose a sale. Not only that, but this is bad for SEO too because the longer users stay on a page, the better Google will rank its relevance.
Unlike features, benefits get personal by describing how the product features will relate to the buyer. They address exactly how your product will improve their lives or liberate them from a pain point. In just two sentences, explaining benefits gives you the power to change someone’s mind with proper arguments. For instance, saying that a certain product is pricey, but that it is worth it for this or that reason that benefits the buyer.
Describing benefits is much more useful and interesting to your audience than simply listing features. Adding product benefits along with features makes your description relevant to the buyer, and that makes it better for SEO. Remember, it is always about the end-user, not the search engine bot. Stick to the benefits of your products in your descriptions, your persuasive power and SEO will be effective.
What not to do when providing customer value
Don’t focus on flaws. Don’t be too broad when describing products that don’t add any value. Simply saying ‘excellent quality’ for a product, especially one that is priced higher than the competition will decrease the value, as a product is expected to be of excellent quality to start with. Very vague, too general references about quality can cause a user to turn away from a sale and never return. Also, praising a product repeatedly while overusing phrases like best-selling, most demanding, top ranking, etc., can also harm your brand instead of doing good. Don’t overdo it!
4. Use CTAs
CTA is a culmination, a cherry on top of a beautifully written and optimised description. A powerful call to action encourages the reader to buy the product. It can be a quick summary that reminds them of the product’s benefits or a subtle add to cart button strategically placed beneath the description. Your words should also lead the user towards the CTA, so make yours unique.
What not to do when using CTAs
Do not use a template that makes your CTAs identical. Also, do not use CTAs that are pushy. They are demotivating, uninspiring and make a buyer feel like all you want is to reach into their wallets.
5. Buyer Persona
Your product description should stimulate your customer’s desires, help overcome their hesitations, sell them on your product, reflect your brand’s character and cultivate a tone that appeals to relevant demographics. To do this effectively, you need to know your target audience, aka buyer personas.
Buyer personas make up your target audience, and as such are a vital component of any effective marketing program.
Defining your target audience
Every product has its buyer, but it depends on how quickly you discover and target them. Define the people who are likely to be interested in your products. Think of this like buying a gift. If you know the likes and character of the recipient, it’s easy to choose the right gift. Similarly, you can write a product copy when you know who you’re writing for. To create the buyer persona, evaluate the common behavior of your target audience and pinpoint their pain points. Pun intended. In this step, many businesses benefit from the use of various data, including market trends, customer profiles, and similar information to understand their ideal customer.
What not to do when deciding on the target audience
Do not be broad. Marketing any product to everyone is useless because not everyone likes everything. Focus on your target audience to see positive results.
Final Word on Perfect SEO Product Descriptions
If writing the perfectly optimised product description sounds challenging, you can always hire a copywriter. SEO for product descriptions brings up a host of difficult questions and getting the answers right is essential. To sum it all up:
- Write for Buyers, Not Bots
- Focus on Benefits but Include Features
- Target the Right SEO Product Keywords
- Do not overuse the keywords
- Let Buyer “Awareness” Drive Your product description length
- Create Unique SEO Product Descriptions for Each product
- Focus on your target audience
Writing well-optimized product descriptions requires continuous improvement. There are numerous ways of describing a product, but selecting a friendlier tone and highlighting the features that are high in demand is always the best way to go. Use SEO-friendly product descriptions to highlight the core benefits of your products. Consequently, the well-done optimisation of your products can make you a winner in the eyes of potential buyers.