The average global e-commerce conversion rate is just 2.86%, 2.63% in the US, and 4.31% in the UK. Research suggests that when a visitor arrives at your website, you have only 15 seconds to capture their attention. Even when a customer adds products to their shopping basket, they are still likely to click away before handing over their payment details; 69.89% of carts are abandoned.
From these statistics, it’s clear that even the best products don’t sell themselves. To boost your conversion rate, you need to produce compelling product descriptions that entice your customers to buy. Eighty-seven per cent of online shoppers report that product descriptions are a major factor in their decision-making process, and 98% of online consumers have decided not to buy a product on the basis that its description was absent or inaccurate.
Fortunately, you can learn how to write outstanding descriptions. With these 9 strategies on your side, your conversion rates will skyrocket.
- 1. Use niche market research
- 2. Watch your rivals
- 3. Choose focus keywords with care
- 4. Devise template for product description
- 5. Ask yourself key “why” questions
- 6. Hire professional writers if possible
- 7. Localize product descriptions
- 8. Always proofread your work
- 9. Monitor results and learn from mistakes
1. Use niche market research
To engage your audience, you need to understand their problems, their characteristics, and the topics that grab their attention. By establishing your audience’s demographics and psychographics, you can put together descriptions that appeal to them.
For example, the language and cultural references you include when writing copy for young women who are interested in a vegan diet will differ from descriptions you use when targeting middle-aged men who are looking for wide-fit business shoes. The better the fit between your target audience and your descriptions, the greater the appeal for your customers will be.
There are several established methods for researching your niche market. You can start by visiting online forums, blogs, and websites that appeal to your market. Read the most popular threads, if applicable, and learn about the problems they face. You should also pay attention to the tone they use when writing, because you will need to emulate it in your descriptions to stand the best chance of success.
You can use Ahrefs Tools to monitor current trends within your niche. This helps you stay relevant by offering products, services, and descriptions that suit your audience. Ahrefs’ Content Explorer helps you identify the best-performing content in your niche, including articles and social shares.
2. Watch your rivals
Keeping an eye on your competition is the first step to outranking them for search terms. Utilize SEMrush to get insights into your competitors’ strategies in organic search. This useful tool will tell you which specific keywords have worked best for your rivals, thus helping you make an informed decision when choosing keywords for your site copy.
You can also carry out this kind of research manually. Once you have used Ahrefs or a similar tool to identify the most popular e-commerce sites in your niche, spend some time reading through the descriptions of their best selling products. How does the company structure its descriptions? Which features are they keen to emphasize? How much copy do they use on a typical product page?
3. Choose your focus keywords with care
SEO often provides a higher ROI than paid adverts or social media campaigns. If you overlook SEO, you will miss out on valuable organic traffic. SEO offers excellent return for little effort; advertising campaigns require ongoing maintenance, but a well-written description containing focus keywords will carry on yielding results for weeks or even months at a time, with minimal work. Research shows that organic and direct sources account for 80% of traffic to e-commerce sites.
You need to find keywords that aren’t too difficult to rank for in Google, otherwise, your site won’t be listed on the first page of results. If you choose keywords that aren’t popular or aren’t associated with buying behaviors, you will miss out on organic traffic that converts. When used properly in your descriptions, they will boost your conversation rates by making your store easier to find.
Use tools such as Google Keywords Planner to find high-volume, low competition keywords that express commercial intent. Long tail keywords that feature “buy” or “purchase” are most likely to be used by people who are actually looking to make a purchase rather than find general information on a topic. Terms like “find” or “best” are more popular with people who are still researching their options.
Look at a keyword’s average CPC to gauge the strength of the relationship between the keyword and buyer intent. As you might expect, keywords that attract people who are ready to spend money are more expensive. You should also note that when people are searching for specific models, they are generally in a purchase, rather than research, mindset.
Along with SEO and keyword tools such as Ahrefs and Google Keywords Planner, you can also look to Amazon for inspiration. The rationale is simple – if someone is on Amazon, the chances are good that they are looking to buy a product. Type a keyword into the store’s search bar, and Amazon will generate a useful set of associated words and phrases. You can then dig deeper and get a sense of each keyword’s popularity by using Keyword Tool Dominator, which will yield a popularity score for each.
4. Devise a clear, standardized template for your product descriptions
To maintain a professional appearance across your store, you need to decide how best to present information for each product or service. Otherwise, customers will become confused or assume that you are an amateur, neither of which bodes well for your conversion rates.
There is no universal formula, but the following guidelines will help you structure descriptions:
- Begin with a few sentences, but no more than two paragraphs, that give your customer an overview of the product, its key benefits, and how it will make their life better. Don’t be afraid to show your brand’s personality. If there is a story behind the product’s development, tell it.
- List your product specifications. Use concise bullet points that the customer can scan quickly.
- Finish with a call to action that creates a strong sense of urgency. For example, if your product is only available for a limited amount of time, make sure your visitor knows that if they don’t order the product by a particular date, they will never have the chance to buy it again.
You can also make reference to a customer’s most pressing problem, and emphasize why they need to take action to start solving it today. For example, if you are selling a book or course that teaches a reader how to improve their marriage, you could end the description by highlighting the emotional and financial cost of divorce, and how crucial it is that relationship problems are tackled sooner rather than later.
If you have sufficient time and space, you can also include a table comparing your products to those of your competitors. Not only does this strategy clarify why your product is best, but it also keeps the customer on your website. If you provide a useful comparison chart, they won’t need to visit other sites to weigh up the pros and cons for themselves.
5. Ask yourself 6 important questions before publishing your description
Who, what, where, when, why, as well as how – use these questions to assess the quality of work before publishing the content. By answering each question, you will create a product description that conveys not only the technical specifications of your goods but also a sense of narrative that will leave a lasting impression on your customer.
Let’s break these down further:
Who: Who, exactly, is this product for? Is it for people who live a particular lifestyle, people of a particular age group, or people who work in a particular industry? You should already have carried out market research into your ideal buyer and should know what kind of terminology and tone they prefer.
What: What is the product made from? How big is it? What functions does it serve?
Where: Is the product for indoor use, outdoor use, or both? Should a customer use it at work, at home, in the car, on vacation, or somewhere else?
When: What time of day, week, month, or year should your customer use the product? Is it for a special occasion, or suitable for daily use? This is a great opportunity to emphasize the long-term value of a product. For example, if someone can use it every day for several years, they are likely to perceive it as a sensible purchase.
Why: In what way is the product superior to other similar solutions available? You should be well-versed in the benefits it offers your customers, and why they will enjoy a better experience if they choose your brand over your competition. You may not be able to compete on price, but your product might be produced in a more ethical way, it might last longer, it may have extra features, or perhaps it is simply more aesthetically pleasing.
How: Customers won’t be keen to purchase a product if they don’t understand how it works. If a customer will need specialist knowledge or extra equipment to enjoy the benefits, you need to communicate this in your description.
6. Hire professional writers if possible
Your product descriptions need to tell a story that sells not only your products but your brand as a whole. If you aren’t confident in your ability to write descriptions, hire a professional writer. When you consider the difference a good description makes, you’ll see why it’s well worth the investment.
Check that your writer understands your description template. Dina Indelicato, content creator at PickWriters had this to say on the matter: “Inadequate written content, translation and/or localization usually happen due to miscommunication, not a general lack of skill or expertise. It’s important for both the client and the writer to look at the brief objectively and meet halfway for best results to take place.” If they suggest any amendments, take their feedback on board, particularly if they have a lot of experience in writing for e-commerce stores.
7. Localize your product descriptions if necessary
Make sure your descriptions are suitable for your target market. Although many non-native English speakers are accustomed to reading English content online, the majority of customers prefer to purchase a product if its description is written in their native language. Therefore, you may need to translate your descriptions.
In addition, you need to avoid confusing or offending your prospective customers with references to irrelevant cultural practices, festivals, or celebrities. For example, if you are selling winter-themed sweaters to people in countries where Christianity is not the dominant religion, it wouldn’t be appropriate to suggest the customer could wear them to the office Christmas party.
8. Always proofread your work
Incorrect spelling and grammar will make your descriptions – and brand – appear unprofessional. Whether you have written the descriptions yourself or outsourced the work to a writer, always proofread them before publishing them to your store. Use Grammarly or similar software to automatically proofread product descriptions.
9. Monitor your results, learn from your mistakes, and strive for excellence
Data is your best friend when evaluating your product descriptions. You can use Mixpanel or another similar solution to get advanced product sign-up and purchase analytics. User behavior data, such as how long visitors spend on a product page and how often they share product descriptions on social media, gives you a valuable insight into whether your product descriptions are doing their job.
Review your product descriptions on a regular basis. Putting some distance between you and your work will help you identify areas for improvement. Learn from your mistakes. For example, if you realize that your descriptions include lengthy CTAs that may cause your visitors to lose interest, you could tweak your template so that it encourages more concise wording.
Use the right product descriptions and see your conversion rates grow
Unless you master the art of writing powerful product descriptions, you will miss out on sales. You need to take a multifaceted approach, taking into account your customers’ needs, their buying journey, search engine rankings, and how you intend to structure your content. Product descriptions should never be an afterthought; they are a crucial aspect of your e-commerce strategy.
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