How To Write Amazon Product Descriptions (Properly)
Any seller worth their salt will want to list products on Amazon. It’s an incredibly popular retailer that gets hundreds of millions of visitors each month. The downside of this is the sheer number of sellers on there. Depending on what you sell, it can be hard to stand out from the crowd and attract those all-important buyers.
Sellers are always looking for ways to differentiate themselves, whether it’s to do with price, speed, or free delivery options. But one of the most important things you can do is focus on the quality of your product descriptions. They are absolutely crucial for two reasons.
Firstly, they are the equivalent of your salespeople in this virtual world. They can help convince people to go from viewing a product to actually buying it.
But just as importantly, the product description helps attracts buyers in the first place. Think of it as somebody standing outside your store, and bringing people in off the street.
Amazon uses an algorithm to rank its search results, and the higher you rank, the more chance of people visiting your page. The algorithm uses a number of factors to determine where you’ll be in the search rankings. One of these factors is your sales page content. A well-written product description will improve your chances of a good ranking.
So in effect, your product description should appeal to both buyers and the Amazon algorithm at the same time! This isn’t the easiest of tasks. In fact, it’s a bit of a specialist skill.
Some entrepreneurs are fortunate that they can do this themselves. Some may have an in-house team that can put these together. Others decide to outsource the task to professional writers who are genuine specialists.
Whatever option you choose, there are a number of key points to bear in mind. Here are a handful.
Find the right keywords and phrases
Amazon keeps a record of every single search people make on the website – this allows them to know what’s important to their customers. They are also able to collate a list of best-selling items in each category, which they display to customers.
This is where competitor research comes into play. You do it for many other aspects of your business and this should be no different.
Find the category which your product falls into and look at the top-selling items. Go through each one and do a detailed analysis of their descriptions.
What descriptive words and phrases have they used in their product descriptions? Create a list and make sure you go back and update this on a regular basis. It might seem like a lot of effort but it’s worth every second.
Once you know what the keywords and phrases are, try to include these throughout your own descriptions. However, you need to manage this without overloading and making it obvious that it’s only for search purposes. This actually ends up harming your search ranking.
Mastering this part of the product description requires an element of subtlety and creativity. Professional writers are usually very good at this – they have the ability to tell the story of your product while also being keyword-friendly.
Avoid repetition as well – if you’ve used a keyword a couple of times at the start, you don’t need to mention it again. This is why, when you’re doing your research, you need to come up with multiple different keywords and phrases.
Finally, you can get specific with long-tail keywords. These are words or phrases that are quite specific, compared to commonly searched keywords. For example, rather than just “socks”, you may put something like: “100% cotton black running socks”
These will get less search traffic, but have a higher conversion value. In simple terms, if someone searches for that specific phrase, it means they know exactly what they want – and there won’t be as many results that come up in front of them.
Create buyer personas
You can only write effective product descriptions if you know exactly who the target buyers are. Work out the types of people who would usually buy your product. What demographics would they typically fall into, and what would they use your product for? There may be more than one group of people here.
Once you’ve done this, you can tailor the keywords in your product description. For example, you might sell fitness equipment, with one of your buyer groups being young professionals who want to keep fit but don’t have time to go to the gym. They might search for things like “home weights” or “storable gym equipment”.
Prioritize the title
Your title is initially the only information a customer will have about your product. You need to hook them in early, so think about what customers absolutely need to know when searching for an item. Your most important keyword should feature in the title. Also include any crucial details – for example colors, brand name, sizes, or special features. This will help attract eyeballs straight away.
Finally, if you have enough characters, consider using some powerful adjectives in the title, to really catch people’s attention. There’s no need to go overboard and you certainly don’t want to sound boastful or salesy. However, there’s no harm in one or two words which emphasize the quality of what you are offering.
Sell the end result – not the specs
A common mistake made by beginners is to simply list all of the great features of their product. This isn’t a good way to grab someone’s attention.
Take a look at adverts for some of the world’s leading brands. What do they focus on – their product, or what people will be able to do after buying it?
Customers want to know what benefits the product will bring to them. What will they be able to achieve by using it? For example, if you sell storage boxes, don’t just list the dimensions and material. Mention how the storage boxes will make people’s living rooms clutter-free, and free up their time. Perhaps you’re aiming at parents who have small children. Why not mention how your storage boxes are a good way to make tidy up time a fun event for their child?
It’s all about taking the customer to the end of the journey. A good product description writer will position your product as the solution to a problem, which is a far more compelling story. This is one of the main reasons businesses hire professional writers, as they have a natural expertise in creating a story with a hook. You may be put off by the cost of outsourcing your writing, but in actual fact, the increased conversion rates can pay for these costs pretty quickly.
Use bullet points
The key features of your product will still be important though. You will need to find a place to display them, but they must be readable. Customers tend to find big blocks of text off-putting, and if you go down this route, you could lose them just as they’re ready to buy.
Instead, you should list the key features with bullet points. Each one should start with a short title in capital letters, followed by a brief elaboration.
Altogether, each bullet point should be no longer than two lines, and you should have no more than four or five bullet points altogether.
If a customer is in a rush, they will scan those bullet points and make up their mind as to whether the product fits their needs. This means you need to decide exactly what information should go in there. Which features are most likely to persuade a buyer right there and then?
Be attractive to Google as well
A significant portion of the traffic to Amazon actually comes from external search engines, namely Google. Its algorithm looks at your product description and decides where to rank your product. The ideal scenario would be for your product to be high up on both the Amazon and Google searches, and to do this, you need a solid knowledge of SEO best practice.
The key things Google looks at is the search term in your title and first paragraph. If you’ve followed the steps above, your main keyword will have been used in the title, so your content is on the way to being SEO optimized. The key then is to include the keyword or phrase in your product description.
If this description is well written – in other words, natural and engaging – then Google will use the beginning of it on their search engine. This tends to work out at around 156 characters.
Expand your vocabulary
If you own a business, how often do you receive a resume where the applicant has used the same old words to describe themselves as everyone else? It’s something many people find annoying and this also applies to customers. They will not be as attracted to your product if you’re describing it in the same way as your competitors. Not only is it uninspiring, but it also makes you seem a tad lazy.
There is a famous entrepreneurial saying which states that you should “Observe the masses and do the opposite”. One area you should definitely apply this saying is when it comes to your written content.
The most successful businesses have writers (whether in-house or outsourced) who can produce different ways of saying the same things. Don’t be afraid to use a thesaurus either!
Having this ability will help set you apart from the competition – not just for the individual product, but your brand in general.
Follow the rules
Amazon has a specific set of guidelines that you must follow, otherwise your listing can be taken down. Make sure you’ve paid careful attention to these – the last thing you want is to have written a brilliant product description but get red-flagged for a technicality.
For example, you are forbidden from using customer testimonials in your product description. Any testimonials will come from the Amazon customer review section. So, you may have some great feedback on your own website, but don’t try and use them on your listing. For those businesses who have built up a large customer base away from Amazon, this may be a bit of a pain, but don’t be tempted to try and game the system. Once you begin making sales on Amazon, the positive feedback will follow.
Likewise, the only thing you should be promoting in the description is that specific product. Don’t try and promote or link to other items in your inventory – Amazon will do that for you if they feel it is best for the customer journey. And as tempting as it may be to have a boilerplate template that you use for each product, this is bad practice and something Amazon doesn’t approve of. Every product should have its own individual product description.
These are just some of the tips to help you sell smarter.
At the very start, we mentioned the Amazon algorithm and how they looked at your sales page content to determine where you rank in search results. Something else which they look at is your Click to Sales rate (CTS). This is based on the conversions – the number of customers who click on your product page and then go onto buy. If you have a high number of recent sales, it shows Amazon that your product is popular, so they will rank you higher up the list.
In effect, it becomes a cycle. The more professional your product descriptions are, the more likely you are to gain a good CTS. Once you’ve achieved this, Amazon will naturally rank you higher. It really is a profitable cycle.
Despite the many transactions which take place every day on Amazon, there is an art to being a successful seller. Words matter – both in terms of the story and the specific keywords which are related to your product.
While this may be time-consuming for the writer, it provides great results, which equates to more money in your pocket.