A Guide to Writing Damn-Good Product Descriptions

Product Descriptions MainThere are a lot of factors that go into making sales online (a great user experience, fair pricing, enticing images, etc.), but your product description is a major player in this process and shouldn’t be ignored or rushed through.

Yes, the fine art of seducing your buyers is done not only through the images you use, but through your words.

So pour yourself a glass of wine (optional) and let’s talk about how to write damn-good product descriptions that will score you those sales!

Step 1: Determine Your Keywords

You may not realize it, but the words you use in your product headlines and descriptions can mean the difference between coming up in search results and getting buried on page 1,958.

Determining which keywords you should use is easy, so don’t be intimidated by this process. You can use a free keyword tool, like Google’s Keyword Planner, to conduct some basic research.

For example, say you want to write a product description for dog treats.

You’d type ‘dog treats’ into the Keyword Planner, as shown below, to find out how many average monthly searches it gets, but you don’t want to stop there. ‘Dog treats’ itself gets 9,900 searches a month but has high competition for coming up in search results.

Google Adwords product descriptions

A good amount of monthly average searches — but high competition. Keep going, you might be able to do better.

But if you add ‘homemade’ to that, you’ve bumped up to 18,100 searches per month with medium competition – things are looking up already!

If you go even more specific, say, by typing in ‘peanut butter dog treats,’ you get 2,400 average monthly searches with medium competition.

Now, what happens if you type in ‘homemade peanut butter dog treats’? You get lower searches, yes, (1,000 average monthly), but that can actually be a good thing because now you’ve also got low competition, making it much more likely that this specific product will be found when people are searching for it.

PD Dog Treats keyword example product descriptions

Low competition means a much higher chance your product will come up in search results!

If you go through this process for each product you have, (I promise, it’s pretty fast), you’ll see improved traffic flow coming into your online store or ecommerce site from the various search engines.

You’ll want to use the main keyword “Homemade Peanut Butter Dog Treats” as your product headline and use it again once in the description. You might use another, say, “gluten-free dog treats,” or something like it in the description as well, but remember that the content must sound natural and flow smoothly.

Warning: If you’re tempted to put your keyword into your product descriptions 10 times because you think it’ll get you the number 1 spot on page 1 of Google, don’t do it. It’ll never happen because this is called ‘keyword stuffing,’ and Google penalizes for that, but it will also turn off anyone who happens to read it, practically guaranteeing you lost sales.

Step 2: Write Down the Specifics

Happy Tails PD example

This comes from Happy Tails Barkery’s store on Scott’s Marketplace. Notice the inclusion of health benefits and the use of bean flour. These facts are what will convert a visitor into a buyer.

When you’re writing content for each product, think carefully about the specifics that should be included.

Basically, include every important detail a customer would want to know instead of leaving it to chance that they’d actually contact you for more details.

Leaving out that a shirt is made of wool or that a painting was done on metal rather than a linen canvas are details that can cost you a sale — or anger a potential buyer who did not realize these things prior to making a purchase.

Ask yourself these questions when writing your content:

  • What exactly is my product? (Refer back to the keywords you researched in step one.)
  • What materials is it made of?
  • What process was used to make it?
  • What colors does it come in?
  • How is it used?
  • Who is it best for?
  • What sizes does it come in?
  • What are the dimensions?
  • Is it customizable?
  • What makes it unique or special?
  • How does what I offer stand out from competitors?
  • Will I offer a warranty or money-back guarantee?

Step 3: Make It Jazzy

Fluff It PD example

This comes from Fluff-It Marshmallows’ store on Scott’s Marketplace. They do a great job of making their product sound tempting, while including crucial specifics customers want to know.

Now that you’ve got your keyword(s) and you know what specifics must be included, it’s time to put them all together into a brief, yet damn-good, product description.

And, no, simply writing “Red T-shirt” or “Toy for dog” does not fall under the category of “damn good.”

Take some time to make your descriptions sound, well, descriptive. After all, you’ve got to first sell that buyer on your product before you’ll actually make the sale.

Including a couple power words can help jazz up your content. For example, a “head-turning black dress” sounds better than simply saying, “black dress.”

Here is a small list of power words to get you started:

Limited-edition Head-turning Jaw-dropping Stunning Rare
Trendy Fashionable Perfect Sexy Complement
Delicious Tempting Must-have Beautiful Gorgeous
Silky-soft Incredibly Charming Exclusive One-of-a-kind

Step 4: Proof and Test

Always run your product descriptions through a spell-check program before setting them live. Typos can make your business seem less credible and less professional, which can cost sales. Never give a prospective customer a reason to take their business elsewhere.

If you have someone who would read your descriptions for you, (someone impartial would be best), have them go through them carefully and rate them. Was any information missing? Did they find any typos? How persuasive was the content? Was it too long/too short/too boring?

Having this insight can mean the difference between a customer hitting ‘add to cart,’ or navigating away into the vast black hole of the internet, never to be seen again.

But, don’t worry too much, if you follow the four steps above, you’ll be on your way to writing damn-good product descriptions in no time at all!

Have questions on your product descriptions? Share below!

About the Author

Shannon Willoby

Shannon is the director of content marketing for Scott's Marketplace and has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil. (Or crayon.) When she's not blogging, you can find her daydreaming that she's Khaleesi from Game of Thrones.


    • Shannon Willoby says

      Hey there — if you follow the steps in this post, I think it will help you craft great descriptions! Good luck!

  1. says

    It’s a lot easier to make food descriptions mouthwatering, but how do you do that with jewelry descriptions? How do you write something that shows the customer why they need these earrings, or that bracelet?

    • Shannon Willoby says

      Hi Melissa! I’ve read that staying away from the common descriptors is a good start — like “lovely,” “beautiful,” and “pretty.” Use words like “sparkling,” “charming,” “heirloom-quality,” “handcrafted,” “lustrous,” “classic,” “mesmerizing,” and “queenly” instead. You may want to play on trends too by saying something like, “This bracelet is perfect for the mermaid-lover in you.” Or “perfect for the bohemian babe” in you, etc. Follow the same rule to describe the materials you’ve used to create your jewelry. Skip “beautiful stones,” and get more descriptive, like “Flawless green gemstones that bring a piece of nature with you wherever you go.” Obviously you will need to tailor to your target audience, but I hope that helps!

  2. June says

    Thanks so much. I have been debating for a while on opening my own online shop. These are great tips. I actuay never knew Scotts marketplace existed. I thought shopify and Etsy were my only choices.I started at one blog then bounced to another lol…Thanks for taking the time totoi share all info and tips.

    • Shannon Willoby says

      That’s great to hear, June! Glad you found out about us and found the posts helpful. 🙂

  3. says

    Good Product Descriptions increase customer reduce bounce rate and increase time on products page its effect on amazon products ranking. Engaging images, videos also reduce bounce rate.

  4. says

    How would you go about describing a hand made doll? My description is definitely lack-luster, but I don’t know how to go about it in a better way other than list what the doll is made of? I’ve tried other ways of phrasing and it feels forced

    • Shannon Willoby says

      Hi there! I think your descriptions already do a good job of providing details for your customers, but maybe what they’re missing is the creativity you obviously put into the dolls. Here’s an idea: “Straight out of HP Lovecraft’s imagination and into your home… Cthulhu is a handmade, medium-sized voodoo doll, approximately 8-inches tall and around 10-inches wide (wing span). (But don’t worry… he only flies at night while you’re sleeping.) He is made out of a padded, cotton type fabric and filled with a polyester filling, and his wooden button eyes see much more than they let on. Won’t you adopt sweet Cthulhu?”

  5. Julia Stansel says

    This was a very good article! I find I can basically sell anything when talking about it in person, but hadn’t put a lot of thought into writing descriptions. I find for myself I don’t like to read people’s lengthy descriptions of stuff so have kept mine short. Now I see where short doesn’t have to be a bad thing when you use power words! Thanks again!

    • Shannon Willoby says

      Exactly! Power words are important in ecommerce. They help set your products apart from others and encourage browsers to buy. Thanks for your comment!

  6. says

    Thanks for this, searching for Keywords can seem overwhelming, but with a little thought, you get the backbone of what it is you need to be writing about. So many people take it for granted.

    • Shannon Willoby says

      Keyword research can definitely seem intimidating, but it really isn’t. And since even basic SEO can be beneficial for small business owners, it’s a very important task to make time for. Thanks for your comment!

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