The Danger of Boring Product Descriptions and 5 Ways to Fix Them

Click. Buy. Download.

Your website’s content should inspire visitors to take action. And nowhere is persuasive copy more important than in your product descriptions. Often small business owners approach this text as a laundry list of features, describing the what but not explaining the why to potential buyers.

That’s a dangerous mistake.

Product descriptions play a significant role in the customer’s evaluation and purchase process. Not taking the time to craft conversion-focused copy can hurt your bottom line (and SEO). Whether you’re developing new content or simply reviewing your current material, these five tips will help you write descriptions that do exactly what they’re supposed to: sell your product.

1. Know Your Buyer

Creating customer personas is an important part of any marketing objective, but it’s a necessity for writing product descriptions. Knowing who your target audience is will allow you to speak your customers’ language — with the right amount of depth or simplicity — assuring them that you understand where they coming from. Using words and phrases that resonate with your audience will make visitors more receptive to your message.

2. Prioritize Features

After you’ve identified the right tone for your descriptions, it’s time to determine which of your product’s features are most important to highlight. This will be hard. Your product likely has many great features, but it’s your job to whittle that list down to just a few key elements that will be compelling to your customers and differentiate you from competitors. In this case, less really is more.

3. Outline the Benefits

Once you’ve zeroed in on the most important features, think about how those features will benefit buyers. Customers care what a product or service will do for them and not necessarily about a particular feature. As you write, remember that the goal is to sell the product, not simply describe it.

4. Keep It Interesting

Product descriptions can be clever, inspirational, and, gasp, even entertaining. In the nineties, the J. Peterman Company’s copy earned the retailer a recurring role on Seinfeld (the show’s fictional J. Peterman literally speaks in product descriptions). Advertising executive David Ogilvy famously said, “Nobody was ever bored into buying a product.” And he was absolutely right. Go the extra mile to assure your product descriptions are engaging.

5. Be Scannable

Even if you pen amazing copy, remember that most consumers won’t take the time to read every word. Instead, they’ll quickly scan the information. Break your descriptions into logical sections and use visual cues, like bolded fonts or bullet points, to separate ideas.

If you don’t feel like you’ve got the skills to personally overhaul your product descriptions, consider partnering with a marketing agency or hiring a freelance copywriter to help you workshop ideas. Whether you tackle the copy yourself or bring in professionals, these tips will help you craft descriptions that wow potential customers and, most importantly, close sales.

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