Product Descriptions - The 3 Vital Elements
Product descriptions can be tricky little things, and very easily overlooked. The name 'product description' is itself fairly misleading. You're not actually describing a product. You're selling it, or trying to. You don't get many mobile phone salesmen coming up to you saying "This is a mobile phone. It's got some numbers on it and a screen." They'll enthusiastically sell you the phone by describing it in a way that compels you to take the next step.
Too many websites include product descriptions which blandly describe what the item looks like. Half the time this description will be stuck right next to a photograph of the product, which does rather beg the question, 'what's the point?' This is the first major problem with writing product descriptions.
The second problem is that you only have a finite amount of space. Virtual real estate is surprisingly limited, and often you'll want to present several items per page, with descriptions that are concise without missing out critical points. It's vital to know exactly who your target audience is, and what they're looking for. Getting straight to the heart of the matter and leaving out all of the fluff is vital in order to convert more sales online. Bland sales descriptions which include too much irrelevant information that's of little interest to most of your customers can cost you.
The third problem with online product descriptions is that as well as being powerful sales material and beautifully concise they also have to be expertly optimised for the search engines. Structured in such a way that they gain high ranking positions in the search results is critical, as this is often the only way in which specific products can be drawn to the attention of the search engines at all.
So product descriptions have to achieve all three of these things. They have to be highly effective sales material, as brief as possible, and powerful SEO content. Unfortunately many online retailers miss out on all three things, resulting in content that's doing little or nothing to help online brand identify or convert visits to sales.