7 Essential Elements for Product Descriptions that Drive Sales

product descriptions that sell

You have a great-looking ecommerce website!

You have an inventory of awesome products…

Or you have a drop-shipper ready to ship multitudes of orders you send their way.

But, your product descriptions may leave a lot to be desired. The lack of or low quality of your descriptions likely leave customers unfulfilled and Google a distant stranger.

In this article, we discuss 7 research-backed elements that are absolutely vital to quality product descriptions that boost traffic and sales. You’ll love this guide.

Let’s get started…

1. Emotional Connection

Buying decisions are highly charged emotional events. We may think we want a certain thing, but generally, it’s not just the “thing” that we want.

What we really want is a feeling, an emotion. We want the relief, the joy, the excitement, the meaning, the acceptance, the security, the love. And we hope the product or service will give us just that.

We don’t necessarily “think” in those terms, but if we don’t “feel” like our needs are met, we will likely move on and keep looking. Leave out the emotional connection between your product and your customer at your own risk.

It’s ok. Be emotional.

That feeds right into the basic nature of who we are as people. Studies show that humans make emotional decisions first and follow those decisions up with rational justification.

We experience a gut reaction when we are exposed to something new. Irrational, raw, and nearly final. We make snap decisions in seconds. The bulk of the decision is made in the emotional part of our brain.

Then, we justify the decision through the rational part of our brain, using other information available to us.

At the most basic level, there are certain feelings that act as triggers to influence us one way or the other. And it all starts with emotion.

2. Powerful Words


Let’s talk about words.

Powerful words convert better.

There is a boatload of science and real-world experience that show the power behind certain words to evoke emotion and action.

As ecommerce store owners, we want our visitors to buy, sign-up, or share our content. Action.

The secret to creating super-powered product descriptions is weaving in words that are proven to influence action.

It’s been said the 5 most persuasive words in the English language are:

  1. You
  2. Free
  3. Because
  4. Instantly
  5. New

It’s important to understand what makes each one of these words powerful and in what context they should be used, because careless use or overuse could backfire.

Even the arrangement of words has an influence on the way we react. Writing for the web is different than writing for your English teacher. Grammar is important.

But to keep your reader interested, sometimes you need to set aside the rules about complete sentences and appropriate punctuation. Especially when writing product descriptions.

Short sentences rule.

Consider the following example from Nasty Gal.

Nasty Gal

Notice the short, snappy wording in the product description. Incomplete sentences, filled with descriptive (emotion-evoking) words like “glammed” and “ruby red pout.” Also notice the word “FREE” very close by.

Check out this big list of high-converting power words. Start using them today.

3. Juicy Details

Make sure your product descriptions include juicy details about your products.

While our emotions are sub-consciously at work drawing us in to learn more, our rational mind plays a part in the decision to proceed with a purchase. We want to know the features, materials of construction, usage ideas, and generally how we benefit from the product.

Your customer is asking, “what’s in it for me?”

Don’t hold back here.

Give your customer enough information about the product to be able to visualize herself using it. Think about how she interacts with your product. How it appeals to the senses:

  • How does it feel to hold, wear, or use the product?
  • What does it sound like in action?
  • How does the product smell or taste?
  • What does it look like?

The folks at Vat19 are considered masters in the craft of creating compelling product descriptions. Notice how they describe the World’s Largest Gummy Bear in the product description.

Gummy Bear

You can picture it, feel it, taste it and imagine yourself chomping into it… kind of like a lion.

Also notice the emotions they are targeting – power, awe, confidence – and their use of power words like magnificent, enormous, and beast.

When writing about the details, put yourself in your customer’s shoes:

  • What problem does your product solve?
  • What pain do you help your customer avoid?
  • How does your product help your customer reach his or her goals?
  • What feeling does your product create?
  • How does your product enhance their social status or image to others?

Don’t forget to include details about who uses your product if it’s not otherwise clear who your target market is.

4. Your (Customer’s) Personality

Obviously, every customer group is different.

And the structure of our product descriptions – the words used, and the target emotions – will vary greatly by industry. We don’t sell jewelry the same way we sell auto parts or running shoes.

The language is different. The emotions are different.

Caution should be exercised here. While very descriptive, power-packed language resonates with certain markets, more straightforward, informative language may be in line for other markets.

It’s important to understand your customers’ culture. Their values. The way they talk. Their concerns. Their hopes. Their interests.

You can find these things out by talking directly with them. Survey your customers. Give them a call, and get to know them.

Then combine your customers’ needs and expectations with your own personality to draw them in.

Especially, if you run a small business, be yourself. Let your colors show through your website. Generally, you will attract customers that share your values and your lifestyle.

People like you may become your best and most loyal customers.

In fact, the transparent approach is not just limited to small companies. John Legere – the pink t-shirt wearing CEO of T-Mobile – has rejuvenated the company’s growth, all the while being brash, crude, and entirely irreverent. Attractive to some, repulsive to others. But there’s no denying his transparent method of communicating has built a loyal following.

Be yourself, and communicate in language that resonates with your customers, and watch your conversions take off.

5. Important Facts

Now that you’ve described the product and how your customer interacts with it, you need to make sure you’ve included some of the most important facts about the product.

These include things like:

  • Weight
  • Dimensions
  • Specifications
  • Colors
  • Flavors
  • Country of origin
  • Options
  • Care & usage instructions
  • Size charts
  • Technical details
  • Nutrition facts
  • Ingredients
  • Allergens
  • Part numbers
  • Brand name
  • Alternative names

These details will help your customer feel confident in knowing exactly what they are buying and may help with search engine optimization, so you get better rankings.

6. Mobile Friendliness

Smart Insights recently reported that time spent on mobile devices has taken over time spent on desktop devices. The latest data shows that consumers spend 51% of all digital consumption time on mobile.

What does that mean for you?

It means that you need to embrace the mobile commerce movement in the structure of your website and in the way you write your product descriptions. This is important, not only, from a user experience standpoint, but also from a search engine ranking standpoint.

Google recently changed their algorithms to give preference to websites that include a user-friendly mobile experience. In other words… a mobile website or responsive website that looks good on all devices.

How can you write product descriptions that are mobile-friendly?

  • Use shorter sentences and short paragraphs – walls of text are a turn-off when viewing websites on a mobile phone
  • Include bullet points or lists – this allows your visitors to quickly scan the page. Attention spans are short, and it’s rare that visitors actually read all of a page’s content
  • Include the most important information near the top – the most important description and information should be included high on the page, while technical data or details can fall lower

7. Target Keywords

Keywords provide the foundation on which your product page content is built and are a vital part of search engine optimization.

Good keyword usage offers the best opportunity for ranking in Google and other search engines.

Before writing one word, research the best keywords for your product.

The term “Keywords” refers to both single words and keyword phrases.

Keyword research can be as involved or simple as you’d like. The more involved and detailed you get with keyword research, the better chance you will have to rank.

You may want to identify one primary target keyword, along with 1-3 secondary keywords per product.

The primary target keyword might include the product name or brand name. Sometimes, it will be the part number. Or it could be a word that describes your type of product.

Secondary keywords include additional words or phrases that give a clue to Google about the “commercial intent” of the page. These words may include words like: shipping, coupon, deal, buy, brand name, etc. Be sure to include these words on your page, so Google knows it is a product page where someone can buy vs. an information-only page.

Typically, individual product pages will rank better for long tail keywords. These are typically 3 or more words long.

So, instead of targeting “maxi dress” on the product page, you would target something more specific, such as, “royal blue maxi dress.”

If you are marketing items with part numbers that are regularly used to search for products in your industry, you will want to include the part number as part of your target keyword.

Your primary keyword phrase should be used in the following areas:

  • Product title
  • Product URL
  • Image ALT tags
  • Body copy (high up the page)
  • Meta page title
  • Meta page description
  • Links pointing to the page

If you want to better understand how to do keyword research, read this definitive guide, using the Google Keyword Planner at a bare minimum to select your target keywords.

Bonus Fuel For Your Product Pages

Here are few more elements that can really amp up your product pages. Work these in as you are able.

  • Humor
  • Videos
  • Beautiful Photos
  • FAQ’s
  • Related products
  • Subscription products
  • Product Reviews

See it all in action here.

Now It’s Your Turn

You’ve just learned 7 of my favorite elements to work into your product pages…

Now, it’s time for you to put them into practice on your website.

The task of writing dozens of product descriptions might seem daunting.

Just start with one… and then another. Before you know it, you will have several high-quality product descriptions helping your business grow.


About the Author

Russell Frazier is Founder & CEO of Visigility, a digital marketing agency specializing in ecommerce. He’s been called a digital business growth engineer, taking a “whole business” view of client companies when planning growth. Russell’s team has worked with hundreds of ecommerce website owners in the development and marketing of goods and services through proven online strategies that increase website traffic and grow revenue. When he’s not building business or writing, he can be found trail running around Tulsa, Oklahoma or teaching one of his many teenagers how to drive. Contact Russell through his website, www.visigility.com or on LinkedIn.

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