Every eCommerce owner’s dream is to get more product pages to rank on search engines.
But there’s a problem—search engines don’t like ranking product pages.
There are a few reasons why. But today, we’ll talk about one of the easiest to fix: product descriptions.
A well-written product description can boost search traffic and on-page conversions at the same time. But nearly every eCommerce site is leaving money on the table with product descriptions.
I’ll share what I’ve learned about better descriptions. But first, the question you’re probably asking.
Editor’s note: This article comes from years of experience helping clients sell more using high-converting content. If you’re interested in more sales at your eCommerce store, send us a message.
Can better product descriptions really help me rank?
The short answer? Yes, absolutely! Even better, the ROI is fantastic.
That’s because product descriptions are fast and easy to change. Even if you get less than a 1% lift in your rankings, that’s a solid return on a few hours of your time.
There are a few reasons product descriptions help your SEO.
First, writing good product descriptions ups the page’s perceived value. Search engines don’t often recommend product pages because they don’t help the reader. Better descriptions teach and thus look more credible to computers and humans.
Second, descriptions are the perfect way to rank for questions. Google populates its “people also asked” list with short, clear explanations to common questions—exactly what we’ll put in our product description.
Third, better product pages boost category pages. Category pages are Google’s favorite pages to return for broad search terms like “women’s running shoes” or “PVC plumbing supplies.” And better product pages make for stronger category pages.
And finally, you can passively build backlinks. The more details you provide on a product page, the more likely others will link to you, which is gold for your rankings. This is especially true if you include little-known information, as we’ll see in a minute.
The benefits are clear. So now, let’s look at how you can write a product description that ranks.
Do your research
Don’t copy your competitors, but you need to study them. Your goal is to find missing information customers want to know about.
Read the product descriptions of your competitors’ best-selling products. Write down what emotions they appeal to, what information they include, and what details they leave out.
Another place to find missing details is the “Customer questions & answers” section on Amazon product pages.
You’ll also need to choose a keyword for each product page. If possible, run a report on software like MarketMuse or Clearscope to find related phrases to include.
Use a three-paragraph structure
Now it’s time to write!
Remember, SEO writing isn’t just about writing for machines. Search engines are looking for some features, yes, but the humans who will read your content are far more important.
You’ll want to write a longer description than you’re probably used to. Length helps SEO and also provides more information for interested prospects.
I also recommend writing a custom description for each product. If you have hundreds or thousands of products, at least write a custom description for your bestsellers.
Paragraph 1: An emotional hook
Start with a sentence that grabs the reader’s attention with emotion. I recommend a phrase that invokes the experience you’re selling. For example, “experience a night under the stars like never before,” instead of “this durable camping tent is one of our bestsellers.”
We buy with emotions, not logic, so start with an emotional appeal. Use the rest of the paragraph—just two or three sentences total—to connect that emotion to this product.
Starting each product description with a different opening sentence is also one of the easiest ways to make each one unique.
Paragraph 2: Support the logical side
While we buy with emotions, we support those decisions with logic. So the next paragraph should give compelling reasons to support the emotional decision from the first paragraph.
A good structure is to share a unique benefit supported by a technical detail. Think of what the buyer would say to friends and family to justify the purchase. For example, “this knife will last a lifetime since it’s made from surgical-grade stainless steel.”
Use the “inverted pyramid” structure from journalism—start with the most important benefit, then the second-most important, and so on. This is also where you’ll include important keywords.
This second paragraph might expand to two or even three, depending on the complexity of the product.
Paragraph 3: Answer common questions
You’ll conclude by listing smaller technical details. These aren’t major buying triggers, and a lot of prospects won’t even read this section. But our job is to provide the details serious buyers want to know.
It’s also a great SEO boost. We’ll answer questions competitors don’t and give search engines more reason to rank the page higher.
This is where you’ll fill in information from your earlier research.
Here’s a simple template you can use:
[Emotional reason to buy]
[More detail on emotional reason]
[1st benefit + technical explanation]
[2nd benefit + technical explanation]
[3rd benefit + technical explanation]
Here’s what a complete example might look like. The target keyword in this example is “travel coffee mug.” (I’ve put keywords in bold here, but you wouldn’t do that in the actual description.)
Enjoy the full-bodied flavor of how your coffee is meant to taste, even when you’re on the go. We’ve designed our travel coffee mug to preserve even the finest flavor notes without leaving a metallic taste in your mouth.
This travel mug keeps your coffee hot for up to 15 hours using double-wall vacuum insulation, making for a perfect cup every time. Its one-of-a-kind stylish stainless steel design means it’s shatter-proof and long-lasting. And it protects you and your car from splashes with its safety flip lid.
The mug maintains the temperature for any kind of hot or cold drinks, including tea and cold brew. It fits standard cup holders, Keurig machines, and pour-overs. Dishwasher safe.
When it comes to eCommerce SEO, product descriptions might not be the first idea that comes to your mind.
But there’s a lot of opportunity hiding in how you describe your product.
Interested in getting expert help writing product descriptions that rank and convert? Share some details and see if we’re a good fit.
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