Ecommerce runs on words. Words describe just about everything we see online--hidden in titles, meta tags, URLs, and image descriptions or visible in product descriptions. All of these components are important for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), your site's ability to attract Google's attention.
The product description, however, is probably the trickiest to write because it has to sell your product first to Google and then to your customer. It must be written to two different audiences, one a human and the other a logarithm.
An effective product description should have several qualities:
- Length: This varies according to the type of product. If you're selling solar panels, for example, you'll probably want to include a whole bunch of information to help your customer make her decision. A $10 toy, on the other hand, might need just a few sentences. Aim for 200-500 words, but adjust that as necessary.
- Keywords: This is the trickiest part of the equation. First, you'll need to think about what phrases your potential customer would likely use to search for your product. These keywords will also populate the page's title, meta tags, alt image descriptions, etc., but in the product description they need to be woven carefully into a cogent text, preferably in the first 160 characters or so. The effect can be clunky to read, but a well-written description will load keywords without alienating the human reader. One easy trick is to replace words like "it" and "these" and with the name of the product or other important keywords.
- Uniqueness: Again, this can be tricky. The easy answer is to just copy text from your manufacturer's or vendor's website (with permission, of course). Unfortunately, most of these are badly written or require substantial modification to work on your website. But, even if their description is perfect, remember that everyone else out there is probably doing the same thing. You're site will look bad and rank low on Google if you're using the same text as Amazon and everybody else. At best, use a boilerplate product description as a starting point and adapt it for your business.
- Selling: Remember to sell your product! What problem does it solve? What lifestyle does it promote? Even the most SEO-optimized description still needs to motivate the customer to click on "buy now". Include personal testimonies and descriptions of when and where the product would be effective or useful.
- Design: There's no rule against building rich product descriptions with bullet points, additional images, pdf fact sheets, and video. For more complicated products, this can be a great way to connect with your customer. It's also useful when appropriate to include H2 or H3 header tags in longer descriptions with embedded keywords. Remember that each additional element you add should also be keyword-rich.
- Additional information: Your customer may appreciate any additional information you can provide, especially facts that are hard to find elsewhere. For example, unlike most ecommerce sites, our toy store always states country of origin for every product. Other important details might include weight, dimensions, or UPC code.