The Do’s and Don’ts of Writing Product Descriptions for Ecommerce Websites

One of the most important aspects of content for an ecommerce website is well-written product descriptions. When writing this content, your baseline goals are to describe the items and entice online shoppers to make the purchase. A good product description, however, serves other important purposes such as assuring your site visitors that your merchandise is superior to that of your competitors whether that pertains to product features, reliability, price etc.

Venturing further, informative product descriptions will improve search performance for the most relevant queries; earning higher rankings in organic search engine results pages (SERPs). In other words, if someone searches for a “blue widget with a green button,” it will help if your product description mentions that the widget for sale is blue and has a green button.

With the above goals in mind, this post helps identify some do’s and don’ts for writing effective product descriptions.

DO strike a balance between persuasive marketing copy and writing for SEO.

If you manage your website’s content and are looking for writing tips, a Google search offers a plethora of suggestions for creating winning product descriptions. Some information may seem helpful, but not all sites offer comprehensive digital marketing advice. A few sites may focus on just the creative approach. These sites will tell you to use words like “brilliant” instead of “pretty.” Other sites emphasize SEO techniques such as using the appropriate keyword research. If you solely employ an SEO-friendly approach, however, you could end up with phrases like “cheap handbags” that may only target one particular audience. Balance is key to hitting the important objectives of staying appealing to your potential customers and performing highly in search engines.

DO keep a target audience in mind.

Your digital marketing campaign should not try to attract ALL possible customers. Some ecommerce businesses, such as the food industry or a supply company, may be able create product descriptions for a broad array of customers. Other niche businesses, like fashion or specialty services, may have to identify a key demographic and/or stick to a particular brand identity. The identity could be framed by age, price, gender, etc. Once you have an identity in mind, conduct the proper keyword research to discover the search terms your potential customers are using to find products like yours.

DON’T rely on manufacturer descriptions.

Creative marketers and SEO experts both agree on this tip. Manufacturer descriptions are often bare bones, lacking the persuasive language to convince online shoppers that your products are superior to your competitors.

Ecommerce website owners often copy product descriptions directly from the manufacturer’s website, which can result in hundreds or thousands of online stores using the same description for the same product page.

When Google encounters this type of duplicate content, their search algorithm will filter pages out of search results. Even when the duplicates aren’t filtered out, the manufacturer’s own website will often outperform sites with duplicate product descriptions because they were the first to publish.

If you are a retailer with too much merchandise to write unique product descriptions, consider hiring an SEO firm with experience writing optimized product descriptions for successful online stores.

DO highlight any relevant features of your products.

This may seem obvious, but many product descriptions leave out critical descriptive information about product attributes. Length is often the concern that constrains the amount of details in the descriptions. Nevertheless, you need to include noteworthy features of a product.

Possible considerations include:

  • Is your merchandise available for a discount?
  • Do your items have unique characteristics or features?
  • Are your products known for being durable and/or contain a warranty?
  • Do your items cater to special needs? (i.e. gluten-free, petite sizes, paraben free, etc.)
  • Do you have any reviews or testimonials?

Thorough keyword research is the best way to identify the product attributes you need to highlight. Keyword research reveals what your potential customers are searching for, and you should use their language in your descriptions.

Further analysis by you or an SEO firm will also uncover the terms your competitors are using. While you want to stand out from the pack, if your competitor performs well in search, a page or two from their book may be the right idea.

DON’T forget to make sure the content is visually appealing.

When writing your product descriptions, pay attention to how your content is presented. Digital marketing experts will advise you to adhere to visual guidelines such as using tabs, bulleted lists, enough white space, shorter paragraphs, etc. This will prevent your content from appearing too wordy and will allow your site visitors to skim the product description yet still see all the main points. Images are also a good idea. Just be sure that the images are optimized for site speed purposes and contain SEO-friendly alt tag descriptions.

Though you may be tempted to implement ecommerce SEO strategies yourself, there is no denying that optimization is a time consuming process. More significantly, if you are untrained in this area of marketing, a mistake with your wording or application could prevent your page from appearing in user searches.

Don’t bog yourself down with content writing and the other SEO techniques required for ecommerce businesses. Hire an expert SEO firm like Paramaya Web Consulting to increase your customers and maintain your productivity. Call 678-824-5560 to schedule a consultation now!


Nancy Rapp

Nancy Rapp has a law degree and works as a professor of legal studies in addition to being the Executive Attorney Editor of Enjuris. Her unique background allows her to view the world of law firm SEO from the eyes of both an attorney and a digital marketing professional. See more at LinkedIn.

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