Do’s and Don’ts of Product Descriptions for your Online Store

There is a saying about writing description: “Write a description as if you didn’t have an image”. This rule of thumb still applies when writing a description in today’s ecommerce world, but sometimes that is not enough in today’s market and it is very difficult to look at eBay or Amazon for guidance. Amazon has minimal product information (under product details) and eBay sellers are all over the map – from a three word description to the 8-page tome that needs a table to contents. The best answer lies somewhere in the middle.

    The Do’s

DO List the important details first (the meat of your product, what it is, what it does)

DO Use bullet points for finer details to make your description readable (one run on sentence product descriptions are hard to read, buyers tend to do the quick glance, bullet points are much easier to read.

DO Use Keywords, which describe your product, it not only helps SEO, but helps reinforce what you are selling.

DO Show Benefits of purchasing your product. Imagine a television commercial that just lists out the manufacturers specs. This is the WHY question. Why should they buy this product?

DO Use easy to read font to make your description readable. Using a font that is too frilly or too small makes the description hard to read, the last thing you want a buyer to struggle with.

DO Use common words for common products. A mop is not an engineered absorption swabbing devise. It’s a mop. A Hammer is not a manually controlled multi-directional variable impact device. It’s a hammer.

DO Spell Correctly. If you do not believe me, go to eBay right now and search the word “bowel”. I guarantee you will find many pretty bowls that are misspelled. This is important especially when you have your own store and want to portray a professional image.

    The Don’ts

DON’T Put you terms and conditions in your product description. eBay has taught sellers that they need terms of service. Go to any major department store on the internet and read their descriptions. They do not say anything about “check must be mailed in three days”, and so on. Keep your product description all about your product.

DON’T Copy from Manufactures. I’ve seen many sellers copy descriptions from manufactures. You’ll want to make sure that if you are copying that you not only have permission, but that the description is well written. Many manufactures descriptions are quite unappealing.

DON’T Keyword Spam in your content. Keywords are important, but make sure you are describing your product and do not over do keywords of related items. For example, if you are selling a Sunbeam Iron, it would not be advisable to mention every Iron ever manufactured. Keep it all about your product.

DON’T Put in negativity. This may be another eBay action holdover. Putting in negativity of any kind in your product description is bad marketing (unless you have a product where tongue-in-cheek bad mouthing of your product is part of your marketing). Make sure that your tone to your new customer does not project a tone from a previous bad experience.

DON’T Overdo the HTML. When you create your page and you are adding a lot of html, it’s always helpful to step back and look at the page. I’ve had pages where there is so much going on that I can’t find information about the product. Keep it simple.

Above all, when you are creating a product description, think about what you would need to know in order to purchase this item.

Happy Selling!!

One Response to “Do’s and Don’ts of Product Descriptions for your Online Store”

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