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SEO for Product Descriptions: 7 Tips to Drive Traffic and Sales

Impacting organic search rankings, traffic volume, and customer buying experience, SEO is not something to be underestimated when it comes to your ecommerce strategy. Read on to find out more about the importance of SEO for product descriptions, and how to craft the perfect product copy on your ecommerce site.

Written By
Han Dickson

Driving rankings and visibility, search engine optimisation (SEO) is just one of those ways to help the longevity of your ecommerce site. Of course, improving the SEO of your site pages can be done by many means, including focusing on metadata, image tags, keywords, and inbound links, but today we’ll be looking at the importance of SEO for product descriptions.

With over 2.14 billion people worldwide having shopped online in 2021, and global ecommerce sales amounting to 4.9 trillion U.S. dollars (forecast to reach a staggering 7.4 trillion by 2025), it’s imperative now more than ever to make your business stand out from the crowd.1

Often overlooked, descriptions optimised for SEO can have major impacts on your organic traffic. Let’s first take a look in more detail at some of the reasons why SEO-friendly descriptions are integral to a successful ecommerce marketing strategy, before sharing some best practices for product description writing, with insight from Anna Giles, Digital Content Marketer in our Growth Accelerator team.

Why SEO for product descriptions is important

Get your product descriptions right, and you can boost search rankings, improve brand awareness, and enhance the customer buying experience. Get them wrong, and you could be missing a valuable chance to maximise sales, which explains why 74% of companies invested in SEO last year.2

According to research by BrightEdge, organic search is responsible for up to 53% of all website traffic, whilst paid search occupies 15%, social media just 5%, and 27% comes from other sources. By expanding your visibility in organic search results, you’re increasing the likelihood of conversions and, ultimately, more revenue.3

Optimised for search, your product descriptions can help get your products in front of the right people at the right time, pulling high-quality leads onto your ecommerce site. And with a well-crafted description, you’ll find reduced bounce rates, greater buyer satisfaction and longer customer lifetime value.

But don’t just take our word for it, 61% of B2B marketers claim that SEO and organic traffic generate more leads than any other marketing initiative!4

Without further ado, let’s go through our tips to help you compose the perfect product description for optimum searchability.

7 tips for successful product description writing

#1 Know the basics of SEO

As previously mentioned, there are a myriad of ways to improve the overall SEO ranking of your site, from link building to metatags. By learning the basics of SEO, you can apply the same rules to your product descriptions and watch your visibility improve. For example:

  • Avoid writing in the passive voice;
  • Implement keywords naturally throughout your copy;
  • Keep sentences under 20 words where possible;
  • Use headings and subheadings; and
  • External link building.

However, it’s no longer enough to add a few keywords to any old content and expect to increase the visibility of your business or boost your organic search rankings. Rather, try to keep up to date with emerging trends, technological advancements, the behavioural patterns of your audience, and, most importantly, follow our remaining tips!

#2 Watch your language!

With only a short paragraph in which to sell a product, you may be tempted to fill each sentence with superlatives, boasting the impressive features of your prized commodity.

Resist the urge to jam pack your descriptions with overly promotional language, empty adjectives or generic assertions that something is ‘best-selling,’ which often do more harm to your SEO rankings than good. Remember, the search engines will be looking for informative over deceptive content.

Similarly, avoid superfluous words such as ‘really’, ‘very’, or ‘great value’, which offer nothing to your customers and can easily be replaced with a more exciting turn of phrase.

Instead, focus on offering real value with your descriptions by describing the benefits and unique features of your products, offering ways in which it can improve your customers’ lives (more on this later). This will inevitably help to ensure a positive buyer experience and increase those all important sales.

All this being said, double check your copy is readable for most audiences. No two people’s vocabularies will be the same, so don’t go overboard with synonyms!

Check out how our client Union Hand-Roasted Coffee have used enticing words in this product description that evoke the senses and have customers racing towards the ‘add to cart’ button. 

seo-for-product-descriptions-union-roasted-coffee

#3 Tell a story

Building upon the previous tip, on top of careful word choice, it’s integral that you craft an alluring narrative throughout your product description, offering value to the customer which only your product can fulfil. 

Try applying the feature/benefit dichotomy that will elevate your product description from a list of technical features and specifications to one which, more importantly, sells a lifestyle for your customers to enjoy. 

“The ultimate goal of a product description is to help a potential customer find exactly what they’re looking for. But it’s important to strike a balance between product descriptions that are keyword-optimised and product descriptions that are written to help the customer make an informed purchase decision.

Targeting the right keywords helps search engines understand your product page which leads to better rankings and higher visibility. But the buyer needs to know how your product will work for them and ultimately improve their life! That’s why there is a general rule that if you write for your customers first, you’ll be well on your way to writing successful product descriptions for SEO.”

– Anna Giles, Digital Content Manager at Swanky

Leading shaving subscription retailer Friction Free Shaving have done exactly this, providing genuine benefits that customers will experience when using their products, as seen in the example below:

seo-for-product-descriptions-ffs

By focusing on what your product can do for your target audience, whether that’s providing silky smooth skin, coffee that will brighten your morning, or a low-maintenance routine (as seen in the example below), your unique copy will increase sales and circumvent buyer’s remorse. Moreover, you’ll see positive impacts on the SEO rating of your site, leading to increased exposure of your ecommerce business. 

Ask yourself, ultimately, does your product description inform, inspire, and persuade? 

seo-for-product-descriptions-union-roasted-coffee-features

#4 Define your target audience: write for buyers, not bots!

One of the most important things to remember with SEO is that it’s not simply about attracting any old visitor to your site. You want to be pulling in high-quality leads who will complete that all important conversion. There’s no use in producing a wonderful piece of tempting copy if it won’t be seen by the right people.

That’s why it’s vital you define your target audience by creating buyer personas. These can then be used as a reference point for every product description you construct, ensuring you hit the mark when it comes to understanding customers’ buying behaviours, interests, and needs. After all, research has shown that $37 billion is wasted in ad spend every year from ads that fail to engage the target audience.

Paired with the right keywords (see our next tip!), a well-defined product description will improve SEO and soon find itself in front of high-intent buyers, engaged and ready to purchase.

#5 Be strategic with your keywords

With 70-80% of search engine users only focusing on organic search results, it’s essential your site is set to cut through the SERP clutter and outdoes your competitors. One of the most impactful ways to achieve this is by optimising SEO for your product descriptions through careful keyword implementation.

Help the search engines understand your product pages and you’ll be directly helping potential buyers find what you’re selling.

Firstly, conduct some comprehensive keyword research using a solid tool such as SEMrush or Moz’s Keyword Explorer which provide valuable data on search volume, keyword difficulty, and related terms or topics to use in your copy.

More often than not, you may discover during this research stage that potential buyers are using key phrases instead of single keywords, otherwise known as long-tail keywords. Don’t underestimate these, as the purchase intent of people that search them is often high; the longer the search query, the more likely they are to convert.

However, it’s important not to go overboard with your keywords, as this can actually harm your ranking. The search engines are looking for meaningful over spammy content, so keyword stuffing should be avoided at all costs. Instead, use your keyword naturally in the title, ALT tags, any image file name, and your product description.

Remember: your keywords will evolve over time due to shifting trends, changes in terminology, or as your product line grows, so make sure to periodically review them!

#6 Keep it concise 

Keep your sentences short (ideally no more than 20 words), or consider using bullet points, images, headings and line breaks to present your information.

By improving readability, you’ll help users find the information they’re looking for as efficiently as possible. This will keep them on your site for longer, helping to keep your bounce rate down (great news for your SEO efforts).

Take a look at how fashion giant Asos present their product information, utilising a bullet point system for all of their items that not only give details on product features, but their benefits as well:

seo-for-product-descriptions-asos

#7 Avoid duplication

Returning to the basics of SEO, duplicate content on your site can often negatively impact search rankings. Google actively avoids ranking pages that feature content copied from others in its index, so you may experience less organic traffic if your product descriptions match word-for-word to other copy on your site.

Negate the risk of impacted rankings and traffic losses, and help the search engines understand your content, by ensuring each and every product description you write is unique, rather than simply copying and pasting information from other pages on your site.

Summary

Throughout this article, we’ve explored the importance of SEO for product descriptions, and offered seven ways you can craft the perfect copy on your ecommerce site. With the tips we’ve shared, you can be well on your way to boosting organic search traffic and rankings, improving brand awareness, and increasing those all-important online conversions.

Remember that the process of product description writing should be an iterative process of improvement. Rather than simply ‘setting and forgetting’, we’d recommend regularly reviewing your descriptions and experimenting with different variations through split testing. This will help you to craft the most effective product descriptions and drive maximum results.

Swanky’s ecommerce digital marketing service

Looking to improve your digital marketing strategy? Swanky offers a dedicated Digital Marketing service, delivering business growth at every stage of the funnel.

As an agency with multi-disciplined expertise, we focus on driving measurable results across all the metrics that matter, through SEO and paid ads, to content marketing and social media.

To find out how our digital marketing experts could help transform your ecommerce strategy, get in touch today!

 

For reference:

[1] https://www.technavio.com/report/content-marketing-market-industry-analysis; https://www.statista.com/statistics/379046/worldwide-retail-e-commerce-sales/

[2] https://cmosurvey.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/The_CMO_Survey-Highlights_and_Insights_Report-February-2021.pdf

[3] https://www.brightedge.com/blog/organic-share-of-traffic-increases-to-53

[4] https://www.hubspot.com/state-of-marketing

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