E-commerce Product Descriptions and Their Impact on SEO

E-commerce Product Descriptions and Their Impact on SEO

Quality SEO product descriptions can play an important role in the customers’ decision-making process. Whether your products attract attention or not depends on how you present them. Ideally, content should be appealing to both Google robots and users. What is the recipe for success, and how to take your copywriting to the next level?

Table of contents:

Why are product descriptions important? Why should you ensure that they’re unique if you’ve already provided exact prices and copied texts from manufacturers? After all, users can see what they’re buying, right?

Not really!

In today’s entry, we’ll spill the beans and tell you in detail how to create SEO product descriptions that sell, and we’ll start with answering the most common question, meaning:

How do quality product descriptions improve sales?

  • They make you stand out from the crowd – seriously, descriptions created according to SEO principles aren’t solely blocks of texts filled with keywords (we’ll talk about it more in the section devoted to things you shouldn’t do when writing product descriptions). Modern SEO focuses on elements like moderate keyword saturation, good UX, and a fast website – and these aspects will help you keep the user on the website for longer and gain a competitive edge over your market rivals thanks to high positions.
  • Build a unique brand image – although branding seems to be something exclusive and unnecessary, modern online marketing (and not only) proves that it becomes the cornerstone of effective activities. In a world filled with ads and huge competition in almost every industry, your brand needs to be recognizable and distinctive so that people want to interact with it.
  • Attract users’ attention and build relationships – unique product descriptions that are in line with your brand image are necessary to communicate effectively with buyers at the very beginning of their customer journey. Moreover, they’re one of the most important elements that may convince potential buyers that it’s worth purchasing your goods. Properly structured descriptions with storytelling elements and interesting visuals will attract users for longer.
  • Have the potential to increase product page traffic – if you apply keywords wisely, users will be able to easily find you, and this will improve your Google visibility. Well optimized product pages with catchy descriptions are ranked high in the SERPs. Check it out!

Refined web design, quality texts and technical SEO optimization are a recipe to satisfy users and meet the requirements of Google algorithms.

Product descriptions – how to write them

Get to know your recipients

It’s impossible to create quality content if you aren’t sure who the addressee of this content is. Similarly, it’s hard to determine highly converting keywords if you don’t know who will convert. Therefore, first, you need to get to know the users who are interested in buying your product – identify their demographics, interests, needs, and expectations, as well as the language they like and the brand they want to see.

Select keywords

Now, you know who will read your product descriptions. That’s great. Next, you need to attract those people to your website.

When it comes to SEO, we’re primarily interested in organic traffic, but this isn’t everything keywords are about (they’ll also come in handy in Google Ads or social media campaigns). However, regardless of the functionality, their main purpose is to determine what queries a user can type into the search engine to find a particular product.

Write/outsource copywriting

This point is about combining the effects of previous activities. Once you’ve identified your target audience and chosen the perfect key phrases, it’s time to write the text. You can do it on your own or commission the task to professional copywriters or agencies.

However, regardless of the person responsible for content creation, you should know what the process should be to meet the most important requirements of marketers, customers and Google.

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How to create product descriptions

  • The text should be divided into logical paragraphs, and it’s good to start some descriptions with headers optimized for SEO. Additionally, remember about marking the most important elements. While rich content is welcomed by Google, a block of text can effectively discourage a user from reading the description (perhaps even a potential customer won’t be able to find relevant information quickly, so they’ll leave the page without making a purchase).
  • Both Google and users like bullet points and lists, so don’t be afraid to list the most important benefits of your products.
  • Use benefit-driven language. Make sure that it’s not too pushy, but at the same time show the user advantages of your goods. Instead of writing that you’re the best manufacturer of the most durable thermal clothing, (which doesn’t change much in the life of an average recipient), describe the actual applications and benefits of your products. Mention that they’ll be useful during mountain hikes, morning jogging, or skiing on the slopes.
  • Combine product features with product benefits. Show what specifically makes your items special. If a vacuum cleaner has less than 60dB, say it’s extremely quiet and suitable for a home with pets or children; with a woolen hat, explain that the composition allows the scalp to breathe, and when selling the latest graphics card, emphasize why it performs better.
  • Storytelling is partially related to the above points but develops them even further. This procedure is about building experiences, and feelings associated with the product to make sure that users remember it for longer. A lot of storytelling is about telling a story and building a narrative with a specific mood, based on the theory that emotions are more important than facts, especially in marketing.
  • Long =/= better. Don’t make the text too long, but make sure that the description is comprehensive.
  • Allow users to add reviews. User-generated content is at a premium! Product reviews in an online store are extremely important and it’s great if your website also includes the voices of your users.

Optimize texts for SEO, but don’t forget about users. 5 important to-dos on your list

Do it for users

Do it for SEO

Tailor your writing style to your audience – keep it light or professional, humorous or reassuring, depending on the needs of your target audience and the brand you’re building.

Match key phrases to the audience – find out what your customers are looking for and answer their needs.
Make sure your content is user-friendly, also from a graphical point of view: divide the text into paragraphs, separate it with sub-paragraphs, use highlights. Optimize headers for SEO: remember that the ones important for the search engine are H1 and H2 (often Header 1 or Header 2, depending on your CMS). Mark key phrases and important information with the <b> tag.
Don’t write too much: a wall of content without highlighted passages doesn’t invite people to read it. Saturate the page with content that can be easily interpreted by Google: include pre-selected key phrases in descriptions. Avoid keyword stuffing (remember: moderation is the key to success).
Provide actual product images, preferably taken in daylight or from the manufacturer (if you’ve received permission to use them). Optimize graphics according to guidelines such as Core Web Vitals: take care of size, weight, format, and alt descriptions.
Show users similar products they may be interested in. Link them under the description of the item they’re currently looking at or provide links in the text.

Links to other products (and also categories) can help you build internal linking.

What NOT to do

You already know some good practices. But there are also bad habits you should avoid. What shouldn’t be included in SEO-friendly product descriptions?

  • Don’t copy descriptions from other sites – this will increase external duplicate content which has a negative impact on your site authority (check out: Do you really need a unique description for each product in your store?).
  • Don’t duplicate descriptions within your site – even if the products are similar (be sure to check out our post: Similar product but different color version – what to do with descriptions?). Such actions increase internal duplicate content which may result in cannibalization and are severely penalized by Google and its Panda algorithm.
  • Don’t expand product descriptions with content that doesn’t bring value to the recipient – always think about the customers.
  • Avoid keyword stuffing – make sure that your keyword density is natural and not overwhelming.
  • Don’t use brand-centric language (“WE are the best company,” “OUR products are better than the ones offered by our competition”), emphasize the role of the recipient (“We created this product for YOU so you can…,” “Your morning routine will be much easier with…,” “Fulfill YOUR dreams,” etc.).

E-commerce product descriptions – a brief takeaway

The process of creating product descriptions isn’t complex, but it definitely requires knowledge of the language, marketing trends, and user needs. A copywriter or agency you cooperate with (or you if you create descriptions on your own) should remember the most important rules of writing good product descriptions. Make sure that you write for your target audience because even seemingly purely technical elements like the choice of keywords should start with people.

This is an update of an article published in 2018. 

FAQ

No – copying descriptions from other sites, including manufacturers’ sites, is a violation of copyrights. Moreover, it causes external duplication which may decrease your positions in the search results. Apart from that, you can be penalized by Google.

Therefore, investment in good copywriting and unique descriptions is a must if you care about high positions in the SERPs and customer satisfaction.

Internal duplicate content is one of the most common problems. If you want to know when to use unique descriptions when to synonymize them, and when it’s best to introduce canonicals, we have a comprehensive answer for you – check out our blog entry where we described it in detail:

Similar product but different color version – what to do with descriptions?

There is no clear data from Google, but SEO specialists, based on their experience and tests, recommend that the product description should be about 300 words. Keywords shouldn’t constitute more than 20% of such a text.

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Author
Sr SEO Specialist - Milena

Sr SEO Specialist

Associated with the SEO industry for 3 years. Successfully optimizes online stores on the markets in Poland, Germany, USA and Norway. And the three keywords that accompany her after work are cactus, Hearthstone and Escape Room.

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