5 Ways Your Product Descriptions are Costing You Money

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Your website’s product descriptions are one of your most powerful selling tools, but are they costing you sales instead of earning them?

When your buyers are weighing their options, a strong product description can provide the tipping point they need to make a decision. It’s also a way for potential customers to find your products online through search results.

If your sales are struggling, your product descriptions could be to blame. If they’re guilty of any of these five major flaws, you might be in need of a rewrite:

#1 – Your Product Descriptions Aren’t Optimized for Search Engines

Product descriptions are able to be crawled by search engines, just like your web pages and blog posts. You should include keywords in your product descriptions to boost their visibility in search results.

To optimize your product descriptions, think about what phrases or terms buyers would use when searching for your products. Would aspects like color, material, style, dimensions, flavor, or finish come into play?

Good product descriptions should be descriptive so that buyers and search engine algorithms alike will know what you’re selling.

Also, you can further optimize your descriptions by adding features.

If you’re not familiar with the term, you will likely be able to recognize it:

Precious Accents - SERP

Product schema may show star ratings and number of reviews, price, free shipping option, call wait time, or other rich data that will make your listing stand out from others on the search engine results page.

#2 – They Tell, but Don’t Sell

All product descriptions should give the viewer an idea of what the product does, but many fail to include the things that buyers are most interested in: what it can do for them.

Your conversions will likely increase when you also talk about the benefits of the product and not just about the item’s features. Whatever you do, do not simply copy the manufacturers product description.

Remember, your descriptions don’t have to be boring, even though most descriptions are. They don’t have to be dry and dull. You can use your product descriptions to infuse your brand voice, add a little humor, or incorporate other elements that will make you irresistible to buyers.

Dollar Shave - Product Sample

When creating your descriptions, think about the information your buyers are most likely to need to make a buying decision. Simply talking about the product isn’t enough, especially if there are size options, dimension considerations, color choices, or other factors that might not make it a great fit for the buyer.

Adding this information can help buyers make an informed decision, but it can also prevent you from having unhappy customers who purchase your item only to find out it didn’t meet their needs.

#3 – They’re Too Short

As a digital marketer, you’ve probably heard all your career that short is better for digital channels. Consumer attention spans are short. People don’t have the time or desire to read a lengthy description, so it’s important you get straight to the point and keep it short.


This is true in many cases, but product descriptions are one of the exceptions.

For starters, the more you write about your product, the more content search engines have to crawl. It can give algorithms a better idea of what you’re offering.

Also, you’re able to communicate with potential buyers what your product is and can do for them without leaving out any crucial detail.

Of course, you don’t want each description to be an entire blog post. But don’t limit yourself as to how much you place in each description. If you feel the need to mention features, benefits, size and color options, materials, country of origin, and other details in the same description, do it (keeping structured data in mind).

#4 – They Don’t Have Visual Impact

Your product descriptions don’t have to resemble a giant block of text. Large paragraphs make it difficult for readers to skim for information. They may take one look at the description, not find what they’re looking for (even if you included it) and head to your nearest competitor.

Instead, try formatting your descriptions to be visually appealing.

For example, you could write a description of the product, then include any size or categorical information in bold or italic format. Or, you can divide your description into sections with headers, if space allows. For example, you might use Features, Benefits, and Buying Options as three different sections. This way, the consumer can find what’s most relevant to them quickly.

You can use also bullet points to create easy-to-read lists that are brief, yet still get the point across.

#5 – There are Errors in Your Product Description

There’s nothing more disheartening than investing in expensive printing costs only to find a glaring typo or error. When this happens, you’re either forced to reinvest in printing costs to fix the error or use the product as in. Digital media is a little more forgiving, as editing a small error can be taken care of in seconds. But even a minor typo or misspelling can do plenty of damage while you remain unaware of its existence.

When someone sees a mistake in your product description, online or in print, it can lead to a decrease in credibility for your company. Buyers may believe you’re not attentive to details, and may not feel like you’re a trustworthy source.

Spelling mistakes and other errors can be avoided by hiring a proofreader or having another set of eyes give your product a once-over before you make it available to the public. It’s better not to proof your own work, as your eyes have likely become used to seeing the error and you may not detect it.

How to Audit Your Product Descriptions Quickly and Effectively

Are you guilty of any of the above mistakes? If you’re not sure, give your product descriptions a brief audit. Get a sample and pit them against the above mistakes. If you find a few errors in the sample, it’s highly likely you will find similar errors in the rest of your descriptions.

Good product descriptions don’t have to be complicated, but they shouldn’t be overlooked, either. Give them a second glance to make sure they’re helping you sale, and not costing you profits.

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