Writing a product description isn’t simply about making a list of specifications and features. Appealing to the readers and helping them make informed decisions on whether or not to purchase the product can strengthen and add value to the piece. A product description may be the ultimate deciding factor in a purchase, so you want to make sure that you do it right.
The following tips can help you create killer product descriptions whether it’s for your own business or for a client.
1. Know What a Product Description Is
A lot of people confuse product descriptions and product reviews, thinking that they are the same thing. A product description is a professional report that explains the product in a way that highlights the benefits in order to help people make a purchasing decision.
A product review is a customer’s report on how they enjoyed the product and what features they liked. As a professional writer you should be focused on providing a positive, professional product description.
2. Know That Less is More
- Describes the product
- Helps readers make informed decisions
- Boosts SEO of the product
While it may appear as if you can better complete these tasks with long, descriptive copies, you can often achieve these functions more efficiently when you keep it short and simple. A product description should rarely exceed 300 words, but you should most often keep it around 150 words depending on the amount of features that the product offers.
Why do you want to keep it short?
- Readers don’t want to read a long description; they want the information, and they want it now.
- It keeps you from adding too much information that is not pertinent to the copy and helps you focus on the most important features.
- A short copy will keep the reader’s interest throughout the entire description so that they get all of the information that they need.
3. Do Your Research
Before you begin writing, you need to know what the product is all about; even if you have written about similar products before, you can’t always be sure that they feature the same benefits. Some aspects that might change between similar products include:
- Product material
- What the price includes
Know your product before you begin writing about it, and don’t rely on a similar product’s specifications to write your copy.
4. Know Your Audience
No matter what type of piece you are writing, you always have to know who you are writing for, and a product description is no exception. You have to know who you are speaking to in order to list benefits that appeal the target audience. To help you decide who the target audience is, consider who would likely purchase the product and what they would use it for.
For example, if I am writing a description on a pair of running shoes, I will appeal to runners specifically and not mention other sports in the description.
Some other aspects that you might consider about the audience include:
- Social status
- Regional area
5. Stick to the Facts
When you write a product description, it is important that you never assume certain product features. If you start assuming and advertising falsities, you are setting yourself up for future issues that could lead to countless unsatisfied customers. Above all else, do not lie to get people to purchase the product; this is a dishonest practice that can damage the company’s reputation.
6. Focus on the Product’s Strengths
A product description is all about appealing to customers, so you want to make sure that they understand the product’s strengths. You don’t have to list everything. In fact, you don’t even have to include any negative aspects; save that for product reviews. In a product description, you should always include the best benefits that users will receive from the product.
For example, if I am writing about an athletic shoe, there are plenty of benefits I could list, but I should probably just focus on a few. For instance, I might mention:
- The material—people want to know if the shoes have good traction and if they breathe easy.
- The type of support they provide—the type of cushioning and support gives people a good idea of how comfortable the shoes will be.
- The specific type of athletic shoe—serious athletes don’t want just any athletic shoe; they want one that will work best with their sport.
What are some bad examples of things I could focus on in a description for athletic shoes?
- Size—unless there is only one size available, customers will be able to choose their own size when purchasing the shoes, so there is no need to mention this.
- That it includes laces—what pair of shoes don’t come with laces? This one is a given and does not need to be mentioned.
7. Report What People Want to Know
Always provide information that the customers will want to know. Put yourself in the shoes of the reader; what do you want to get out of a product description?
While certain features may not be vitally important, these may be aspects that most people are interested in. For example, you might include:
- Available colors
- Dimensions (if applicable)
- Brand or company that designed the product
8. Mention the Benefits
You know that you need to mention the top features of the product, but almost every feature should come with a clear benefit that it provides. Don’t stick with just a list of features; tell the reader what makes these features great.
Bad example: The shoe features a mesh material and a rubber sole.
Okay, but what does that mean?
Good example: The mesh material creates a breathable quality to enhance comfort, and the rubber sole promotes traction so that you’re always at the top of your game.
This tells the readers why the feature is positive and why those features help put the product above similar items.
9. Prove Yourself
When trying to sell a product, you could simply give a list of benefits that users will receive, but customers want to know why the product is beneficial. When you find a benefit, consider the underlying aspect that crafts that benefit.
Bad example: This shoe is very comfortable.
What makes it comfortable?
Good example: With a specialized gel cushioning system, the shoe absorbs shock and better protects your foot for a comfortable experience.
This tells the reader what makes the shoe comfortable, giving them a better sense of the product and more trust in the description.
10. Be Natural and Realistic
When you’re trying to sell something, you want the reader to be able to understand you, making it important to remain natural and realistic. Don’t try to find the most descriptive words out there, but be straight-forward, throwing in some quality adjectives here and there. Don’t go over the top to try to sell the product; most people can see right through that. Write naturally and avoid sounding technical because this could reach a point where the reader can’t even understand you anymore.
11. Wrap Up the Description
Don’t ever leave the product description hanging so that a reader has to ask if that was it. You don’t want to finish with a final list of features, but you want to wrap up the product description by mentioning the entire product and revealing it in a positive light.
Bad example: The shoe also features a rubber sole for enhanced traction.
While this is a great feature to mention, it doesn’t wrap up the description to tell the reader that they’ve learned all that they need to know about the product.
Good example: When designers bring all of these qualities together into an outstanding shoe like this, the perfect choice shoe emerges for runners seeking quality and comfort.
This sentence wraps it all up, telling the reader that the entire product is beneficial instead of focusing the last sentence on just one aspect.
When you consider all of these tips, you can easily produce a killer product description that will help improve SEO and give customers a better decision-making tool. If you haven’t mastered the craft yet, continue practicing and writing and it will soon come naturally to you.
About the Author
Alicia Rades started her freelance writing career with Copypress in 2010 and has been freelance writing ever since. She is currently working on her bachelor’s degree in health promotion and wellness at the University of Wisconsin and has a passion for health-related subjects. Visit her personal blog at StandingHealthy.com, like her blog on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.