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How to Write Effective Product & Service Descriptions

HostPapa Blog / Marketing  / How to Write Effective Product & Service Descriptions
12 Mar

How to Write Effective Product & Service Descriptions
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(Last Updated On: March 19, 2019)

The way you write your product or service descriptions has a direct effect on your sales figures.

What’s strange, many small business owners pay little attention to their product or service descriptions.

On most websites, especially online stores, you’ll find product descriptions that are just a wall of text, offering nothing but basic information. Sometimes, descriptions are just copied straight from the manufacturer’s website.

Any business that’s selling products or services online should avoid that approach. It will cost you sales. According to a report published by the Nielsen Norman Group, 20% of abandoned purchases are the result of “incomplete or unclear” product information.

This means that, if you write high-quality descriptions for your products or services, you can expect your sales to increase.

In this article, we’ll show you how to do that.

Why Product & Service Descriptions Matter

Did you know that 88% of customers research a product before they buy it? That’s true whether they’re shopping in a physical store or online.

Today’s tech-savvy customers want detailed information about any new product or service they’re considering buying. And remember, as mentioned above, 20% of purchases are abandoned because customers can’t find the detailed information they need.

So, clearly, product and service descriptions do matter. But the question is, why?

  • They highlight value. When a customer considers purchasing what you have to offer, the only question in their mind is, “How is this going to benefit me?” If your description answers that question well, it can convince a potential customer to pull the trigger on a purchase.
  • They describe the benefits. Every product or service has features that are directly tied to its benefits. A good description emphasizes those benefits, increasing the desire for your products or services.
  • They showcase your unique selling point. What makes your products or services different from your competitors’? A good description will clearly communicate that difference to your audience, so your offering stands apart from other, similar options in the market.

In the simplest terms, a great product or service description is vital because it will quickly answer the most pressing questions about what you sell. That makes it easier for customers to decide whether to buy. 

Learn How to Write Crystal Clear Descriptions

How to Write Crystal Clear Descriptions

When writing product or service descriptions, your top-most priority should be to make them as clear and concise as possible. They’re not the right place to crack jokes, use fancy words, or show off with insider lingo.

Clear and concise descriptions will help you get your message across to your audience more easily, which means you’ll make more sales.

You don’t have to take our word for it. An article published by the Nielsen Norman group backs up this idea:

“In our recent usability study with domain experts in science, technology, and medical fields,
we discovered that even 
highly educated online readers crave succinct information
that is easy to scan
, just like everyone else.”

While writing clearly is a must when creating product and service descriptions, it’s not the only thing you’ll need to do to make them stand out.

In this section, we’ll discuss several ways you can take your descriptions to the next level.

Keep Your Target Audience in Mind when writing a product description

Keep Your Target Audience in Mind

Before you write a single description, the first thing you should do is research your target audience.

Your target audience is that category of people who are most likely to buy your products or services. For example, if you’re selling phone accessories, your target audience might be tech-savvy people under the age of 50 who own an Android phone or iPhone.

Once you figure out who your target audience is, you’ll be able to move on to the next step, which is to gather information about them that relates to what you’re selling.

Returning to our phone accessories example, someone in that line might want to research the most popular phone accessory and how much people are willing to pay for it. They may look into which accessories people are frustrated by, and which accessories people wish existed.

Basically, you have to find out the unique wants that your audience has, and learn about the problems they’re facing.

Once you find that kind of information, you can frame your product and service descriptions in a way that relates to your target audience.

Headlines play the most important role in attracting new customers

Image Credit: Writtent

Focus on Your Headlines

It doesn’t matter whether you’re creating an online store or a website landing page for your products or services. The fact is, on either one, headlines will play the most important role in attracting new customers.

David Ogilvy, one of the most legendary advertisers of all time, explains why headlines matter so much:

“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”

He’s right. Nearly 80% of people will only read your headline. In most cases, the number is higher. Only 20% will continue reading to take in your whole product description.

This makes the headline the most crucial part.

The better the headline is, the more people it will lure into learning about your product or service. The more people that take the time to learn about your offering, the more sales you will make.

There are four main qualities your headlines should have:

  • Urgency: Your headline should convey a sense of urgency. It should be clear to the reader why they need your product or services, and, more importantly, why they need it now.
  • Unique: Your headline should tell people about at least one feature that makes your product or service unique.
  • Useful: What’s in it for your customer? Your headline should convey why people should care about your product or service.
  • Ultra-specific: Nobody likes generic headlines, especially if they’re clickbait. To make your headlines more trustworthy, try to be as specific as possible when explaining what your product or service is all about.

Of course, your headlines will probably never have all four of these qualities, but try to focus on at least two or three of them.

Also, every headline you use, especially if you’re selling a highly valuable product or service, should appeal to a particular emotion that people have. For example, you can write headlines that are:

  • Aggressive: Sometimes you’ll want your headlines to show people that, with your product or service, they can become better than everyone else. For example, “The fishing rod that will help you rule the water.”
  • Competitive: Your headlines can appeal to the competitive nature of humans. For example, you can write a headline like, “Win fishing competitions will this ultra-advanced rod”.
  • Curiosity: Headlines that successfully raise a reader’s curiosity are always very effective. You can write something like, “The best fishing rod money can buy.”

In general, you should write headlines that are focused more on explaining the benefits of your product or service than on stating technical features. For example, if you say that your product is fast, you’re describing a feature, but when you point out that it will save users one hour out of their busy day, you’re describing a benefit.

Use Tested Copywriting Techniques

Let’s be honest, you can’t become a copywriter in just one day.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t follow the same well-planned, tested framework that copywriters use to write high-quality product descriptions.

In this section, we’ll discuss three copywriting techniques you can use to make your product or service descriptions more effective.

AIDA

AIDA stands for Attention – Interest – Desire – Action.

Use AIDA model to create better copys

This is a highly popular framework that marketers use when creating copy for products and services.

  1. Attention: The first part of your product or service description should capture the attention of your readers. You can do that by asking a compelling question, for example, or presenting them with a shocking statistic.
  2. Interest: The next step is to increase the reader’s interest. You can do this by quickly listing the benefits of your product with bullet points.
  3. Desire: After capturing their interest, you will want to increase your reader’s desire for your product or service. A way to do that is by promising a desirable result, or by describing a specific outcome they will achieve by using your product or service.
  4. Action: When you have successfully created a desire for your product or service in your reader’s heart, give them a specific action you’d like them to take. In most cases, that will be a prompt to purchase what you’re offering.

With those four steps taken, you’ll have successfully written your product descriptions according to the AIDA framework.

FAB

FAB stands for Feature – Advantage – Benefit.

This is a popular copywriting technique you can use when showcasing the benefits of your product or service. It helps grab attention and create desire. Here’s what each part means:

  • Feature: When following this framework, you will start by clearly describing a feature of your product. For example, “This LED light uses 50% less electricity than a conventional light bulb.”
  • Advantage: Then, you state the effect that feature will have on your customer. Continuing our example, the advantage statement would be ”Using this LED bulb will lower your electricity bill.”
  • Benefit: And finally, you state the result or outcome that will be achieved. In our LED bulb example, the benefit statement might be, “You will save hundreds of dollars every month.”

While FAB is not necessarily a framework for writing a complete description, it will come in handy when you’re trying to creatively state the features and benefits of your products or services.

PAS stands for ‘Problem - Agitate - Solve’.

Image Credit: CoSchedule

PAS

PAS stands for ‘Problem – Agitate – Solve’.

This, like AIDA, is an extremely effective copywriting framework you can use to write your product or service descriptions. You may have seen this strategy used in TV commercials, but it works great for written product and service descriptions too.

Here’s a break-down of this strategy:

  • Problem: At the start, you emphasize and reaffirm the current problems your reader is facing. For example, if you’re selling a smartphone power bank, the problem you would stress is having your phone battery run out in the middle of the day.
  • Agitate: The strategy of agitating is what marketers call twisting the knife. You intentionally make your audience uncomfortable by exaggerating or expanding on the problem you described.

In our phone power example, having the battery die in the middle of the day can mean missing a call from your boss, getting lost because you can’t use Google Maps, or missing an important email.

  • Solve: In the final part of this strategy, you take a positive turn and show how the problem can be avoided simply by using your product or service. Returning to our example, you could stress that buying your power bank means the reader’s phone will never die at the wrong time.

In short, with the PAS formula, you make your audience uncomfortable in their current situation, then turn up the heat by highlighting additional problems they might run into. Finally, you release the tension by describing how your product can save customers from ever even experiencing the problem.

There’s some psychological manipulation involved, but PAS is a very effective strategy for writing product descriptions!

Include Keywords in Your Product & Service Descriptions

Include Keywords in Your Product & Service Descriptions

If you’re selling your products or services through the internet, one thing you must focus on is keyword optimization.

That’s because, on the internet, people are always searching for products using search engines like Google. When they’re searching, they have a high buyer’s intent. That means they’re very close to buying and are just looking for the right product or service.

You want your offerings to be shown to these motivated prospects, and the only way that’s going to happen is if you optimize your product or service descriptions with high-value keywords.

To find profitable keywords, here are three good sources you can use:

  • Google Keyword Planner: Google Keyword Planner was originally the go-to tool when people wanted to get information regarding keywords. If you’re a Google Ads user, this might prove to be a valuable tool. It will show you how many searches are being made for a particular keyword and what the competition is.

This knowledge will be useful when you’re choosing keywords, and it will help you avoid a keyword that nobody is using in searches.

  • Ahrefs: If you want a robust search engine optimization (SEO) tool that can provide a lot of data about specific keywords, Ahrefs is a great choice. It will help you find new keywords, and you can use it for other SEO tasks as well.
  • Answer The Public: For those who need a tool that helps find a lot of long-tail keywords, Answer The Public is a good option. This handy tool lists keywords that are related to a specific keyword you enter.

The last tool listed is especially important. Before you begin your keyword research, it’s important to understand the benefits of using ‘long-tail’ keywords. These are keywords that have high value and less competition, meaning it will be easier for your website to rank higher if you use them.

Finally, after you’ve found the appropriate keywords for a particular product or service description, add them in the following places:

  • your description headline (i.e., H1 tag),
  • the body text, two or three times,
  • sub-headings (i.e., H2 and H3 tags),
  • metadata descriptions.

Enhance Descriptions with Images & Offers

Enhance Descriptions with Images & Offers

After you’ve successfully implemented these strategies, you don’t have to stop there. Here are some additional ways you can improve your product or service descriptions.

Use high-quality images. Images are proven to increase conversion rates. The best thing you can do is take high-quality pictures of your product or service in action. When you add the image next to your attractive description, the result will be more engaging than text alone.

Add compelling offers at the end. To boost your sales, you can add an attractive discount offer, a money-back guarantee, or free replacement. Include this at the end of your product or service description as a final hook that will prompt the reader to respond to your call to action.

These two ways of improving your product or service descriptions will help them perform much better, and this will result in increased sales.

Better Product & Service Descriptions Means Better Sales

If you’re serious about improving your product and service descriptions, implement the tips we’ve covered in the article.

  • Your descriptions will be clear and concise. By using simple language, a tone of voice that resonates with your customers, and a tested copywriting framework, your product and service descriptions will have a bigger impact on your target audience.
  • You’ll build trust. Because your descriptions are easy to understand, your audience will find what you’re saying to be highly relevant. This will increase your audience’s trust in you.
  • You will increase your conversions. The benefit of high-quality product or service descriptions is that they will directly impact the behavior of your audience, turning many of them into customers.

That’s the bottom line. Well-written product and service descriptions result in more sales!

María Bustillos

María is an enthusiast of cinema, literature and digital communication. As Content Coordinator at HostPapa, she focuses on the publication of content for the blog and social networks, organizing the translations, as well as writing and editing articles for the KB.

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