The Dreaded Product Description – Wildcard Friday



It’s Wildcard Friday, and I’m your presenter Ché. Today, we’ll discuss one of the more challenging sections to write within a website: The Dreaded Product Page.

Many people, myself included, have trouble with product pages because they are often so similar to one another that it seems almost impossible to keep the content unique. But you must! Today we will delve into some tips and tricks to tackle this tricky topic.

First things first. This is an example of a product page from the Saks Fifth Avenue site. We all know how the Christian Louboutin black pumps get my heart pounding, so I figured it was an appropriate example. We will come back to this in a few minutes, but for now, let’s review some simple guidelines to help you get started on your product pages.

Product pages can be a little more creative than other pages of your site, but there are still rules you want to follow when writing yours:

– You still want to adhere to the rules we have recommended for other pages, like having more copy than your competition, maintaining the appropriate keyword density, enticing people to buy, etc.
– You need at least 150 words of copy to ensure your page has a chance of appearing in search results. More is always better, and, as always, the copy should be completely unique. Your goal is to entice the visitor to buy the product, so be sure you place the most relevant information at the top of the page where it is easily accessible.

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– Online shopping is completely different than browsing a store. People shopping online are usually looking for something in particular, and often want to complete a quick purchase. This means that, if they have questions, they are not likely to ask. They will be more likely to find the answer elsewhere. Keep them on your page by anticipating any questions they could possibly ask and use your copy to provide interesting and helpful answers. For instance, a shoe shopper might want to know what material this shoe is made from, whether the sizes run large or small, how high the heel is, whether they are comfortable, whether it is easy to purchase replacement soles once the red wares out a bit, etc.

– When writing copy for your site, you always want information organized in a way that is easy and quick to read, and lists the most important selling points first. However, on product pages, people are reading even less than on the category pages. Bullet points are an excellent way to extract important information from a block of text and place it in a position where visitors can easily scan it. If you’re writing about several similar products, put the basic information in the same spot on the page so visitors know where to look. For example, if you sell clothing, put the fabric content and size information in one place. Or, if you sell books, list the chapters at the bottom of your main copy. Order information in a way that makes sense.

– Finding new ways to write about the same information over and over and over….and over and over and over….and over…can be difficult, and nearly impossible after about the tenth page. I absolutely get stumped sometimes. When this happens, take a break to clear your head. When you return, think of ways your product is useful to people, or creative ways people can use it, and list those ideas out for prospective buyers. For instance, I wrote for a party supply site one time and I listed games that children could play with the party hats. Sky’s the limit.

The bottom line is this: these are your products. You chose this business for a reason. Have fun with it!

Ok so let’s look at some shoes.

Did I say shoes? I meant examples.

This is the aforementioned example of a product page. I doubt you can read the writing, but the bullets provide useful information about the shoe’s material, heel height, platform height – they even take into account the heel/platform ratio and provide an estimate of the heel height that it would feel like. That’s very useful to women concerned about such a high heel. This page also has the recommendation to “order one size up because the style runs small.” This is all highly useful to a prospective buyer who cannot physically slip her feet into this shoe before buying.

What’s missing is the copy. These highly useful bullet points should be accompanied by 150+ words of copy, perhaps about Christian Louboutin himself, the history behind the designer, interesting factoids about the red sole or which movies these shoes have appeared in.

Moving on, this page is a little different. The bullets are not quite as inventive as the bullets on the previous page, but they still make critical information about the shoes easily accessible. The important thing to note here is that that same information is included on every shoe page of this site in the exact same location. Additionally, they have a bit more copy than the previous page. Not quite the amount we recommend, but a valiant effort, nevertheless.

Finally, this page is set up a bit differently. The bullets are at the bottom of the page, but contain the same information about the heel as the first page, including the heel/platform ratio. Information about the material and design is written out at the top of the page.

The thing I like about this page is that the middle block of text is a Style Note suggesting outfits with which these shoes would pair well. Inventive, useful and appealing.

Find the information that sets your products apart. Look and see what competitors are doing, and try to set yourself apart. Once you get the hang of it, it’s actually really fun.