So, you have a great business with great products. You’ve probably got your social media pulling traffic in to your online shop and you’ve gone through the tedious never-ending process of uploading your products to your website. Yet, you're looking at your analytics and you’re not getting much traffic at all. You google your key terms and your website doesn’t come up. Why not?
Well, to start with it’s not easy at all. There’s lots of competition out there and some companies are paying for Google adverts too.
At this point, a lot of small online shop owners will give up on hoping for organic traffic. Instead, they’ll focus on social media marketing and maybe get themselves an Etsy store. Yet, there is always more you can do to drive traffic to your own website and it starts with improving and optimising your product descriptions.
Of course, this will all be a lot simpler if you hire a copywriter, like me, to rewrite your product descriptions and create a solid SEO plan for you. However, if you’re not in a position to do so right now, then I’m more than happy to share my top tips for writing great SEO product descriptions with you, right here:
Write Engaging SEO Product Descriptions
I’m going to assume that you’re passionate about what you're selling. Whether it’s a ground-breaking exciting bit of tech, beautiful works of art or scarves for cats, you’ve chosen or made your products because you feel there’s a need. Never forget that - especially not when writing your product descriptions.
There is absolutely no excuse for boring product descriptions, so dust off the thesaurus and release your inner poet. Sell that product the way you would if you were given a 30-second slot on the shopping channel. Use exciting, uplifting language (but don’t overdo it) and make honest but bold statements.
You should be telling the story of your online store on your website, but remember that some visitors may land on your product pages first. So, if you’ve got something to say about your values or the reasons you chose these products, it is worth mentioning this in your product descriptions too.
Keep It Relevant
An expressive description is interesting to read but, ultimately, it must answer the user’s questions.
Remember, what the customer really needs to know about the product is:
What is it?
Why do they need it?
Why is it better than alternative products?
How will this product bring joy (or solve a problem)
Make sure you answer these questions and mention anything else that stands out about the item in the top section of the product description. As beautiful as the rest of your description may be, if you fail to tell them what they need to know initially then most people will never get to read any more.
Very long product descriptions are tedious and they won’t be read. Most online shoppers scan-read. There is enough choice out there that they shouldn’t have to put too much work into finding what they need, so make it really easy for them.
Bullet points are highly recommended, especially to list key features or benefits. Short sentences are also easier to read. If you’re not sure if your writing is clear enough then it may be worth putting it through the Hemmingway Editor. This will help you keep your sentence length concise and check for clarity. Be mindful though that apps like Hemmingway and Grammarly are guides and ultimately, you can disagree with them if you feel strongly about a particular phrase or word.
An ideal SEO product description will be more than 100 words and less than 500. Just over 300 words is ideal.
Don’t Be Repetitive
Beware of duplicate content. Duplicate content is basically when there are pages of content online, either on the same website or on different websites, that are the same or very similar. Google will penalise you for duplicate content, possibly not listing pages at all. Why? Because if they didn’t then businesses would launch multiple pages online for the same products and services and it all becomes a numbers game. Google works for its users, not the businesses, so its aim is always quality content that is providing what the user is seeking, hence it won’t be tricked.
The problem for most businesses online is that the intention isn’t to deceive, it’s that quite often products from the same shop are very similar. Therefore, we have to be a bit creative with content. Now, don’t panic, different product descriptions can be very similar. You just shouldn’t make them exactly the same except for the colour, for example. This can be an opportunity. Let’s look at an example:
You have several bath towels made from organic cotton. One set is plain and the other has a stripe down the side. You know the customers most likely to buy are those shopping specifically for sustainable bath sheets. However, there is a choice of terms here so rather than pick just one you can use two. List the embellished towels as ‘sustainable bath sheets’ and the others as ‘organic cotton bath towels.' Using these terms in your product descriptions, changing up the sentence structures and maybe mixing up the adjectives too means that you don’t have anything that could be interpreted as duplicate content. It means that you're also placing your bets on two different terms, increasing your keyword options.
Don’t you just love it when a potential problem forces you to be more creative?
*Don’t forget, if this is all giving you a headache pop me an email and I’ll provide a quote on writing your SEO product descriptions for you - I’ll do it directly to the website too so you really won’t have to do anything.
Have A Keyword Plan - For Each Product
You don’t have to be an SEO expert to implement SEO on your website. Your product pages are particularly important to optimise. So, open up an excel spreadsheet and list each of your products. Then, do some research. You want to search key terms and see what comes up. This may help you to get ideas. It will also give you an insight into what is going to be very high competition and what is and isn’t going to be relevant to your product. This will help you determine the keyword/keywords for each product, which would usually also become the product name online as well.
Once the keyword, or keyphrase, has been determined for each item then you should:
Make this the product name
Use this in the product description (at least once but no more than 5 times)
Make sure this keyword/keyphrase is used elsewhere on your site where the product is mentioned
Ensure the keyword/phrase is in the meta description and title
The keywords you use for each product should differ but you can expect them to be similar. The key here is to put yourself in the mind of the consumer - what are they going to be searching for when seeking your product?
Your online shop is likely to have lots of images. It’s important that these are named and that you're using the relevant keywords in the alt tags. The image alt tag tells search engines what's in the image. Therefore, the alt tag should be an accurate description of what the image is showing. However, it’s also a natural opportunity to use those keywords.
Make the most of the opportunity to tap into new keywords and keep the names of your images slightly different from each other so you're covering a range of possible key terms.
Track And Edit Accordingly
Even the experts, to a large extent, do things by trial and error. What’s important is to know what’s working and what isn’t. Ensure you have Google Analytics or other tracking tools installed so you can see where traffic is coming from and what the conversation rate (visitor to buyer) is. This way, if a product page is not getting traffic from Google you can evaluate your keyword selection. Maybe it’s the right phrase but it’s too popular and you’re not ranking high enough. Or maybe it’s attracting traffic but there's a high bounce rate which may be a sign that the item does not match the description well enough.
Be mindful that it can take a while for SEO to produce results. So, after you make keyword changes, it’s wise to refrain from further editing for 3-5 months. After that, if the product isn’t performing, change up your keywords and monitor whether that makes a difference.
Why Is Writing Great SEO Product Descriptions Important?
The online marketplace is competitive and it can be very difficult to rank high in search engine results, but don't let that put you off taking on the competitors anyway and fighting for your position.
Be careful to make sure though, that it isn’t to the detriment of a great-sounding product description. It’s all well and good driving traffic to your products but you still need to win them over with great images and a well-written, clear and impassioned product description.
Hire A Product Description Writer
If you would like help with your online shop I can assist you with writing content, creating and implementing an SEO plan or both! Book a free consultation with me today.