Consumers scour the Internet to research products before
making a purchase. Today's shoppers want information before they buy. Those retailers
providing the information shoppers seek in a unique manner can enjoy significant
advantages over other retailers competing for a shopper's purchase. And now with Google's MayDay Update
wreaking havoc on long-tail rankings for some ecommerce stores, the time is right for getting your product descriptions ramped up.
Here's why you'll want to make sure each of your products has unique descriptions.Your product pages can gain organic search engine visibility
There's much to be said for having your products show up on the first page of
Google or Yahoo. Organic search engine listings can bring valuable traffic
directly to your product pages without the per-click cost of paid search. You
can reach way beyond existing marketing campaigns to a whole new set of
consumers who may have never heard of you or thought to shop on your site
July 12, 2010
But search engines don't like duplicate content. They work hard to return
useful results to searchers - and that means filtering out all the "me too" web
pages containing the same content.
This puts you at a severe disadvantage if you're using the standard supplied
copy for product descriptions - the same as every other retailer. Search engines
are likely to favor the manufacturer's web site or a retailer that has added
elements to customize its product page, while filtering out all the other sites
showing the standard copy. Including yours.
Sometimes customizing your product descriptions is all that's needed to help
your product pages show up in searches naturally. Just be aware of important
keywords for each product - retain the keywords used in the original content and
ensure other possible keywords are also addressed in the new copy. That way your
product pages will not only enjoy the likelihood of ranking above those of other
retailers for the same keywords in the generic product descriptions, but they
can show up for a larger set of search terms, too.
Just one thing. Keep in mind that in order for your product descriptions to
help with search engine visibility, the architecture of your product pages must
support indexing of that content. Be sure to ask an SEO expert for a structural assessment when you're looking at your product pages.
Shoppers who land on your product pages are more likely to buy
Let's face it. Most manufacturer-supplied product descriptions are pretty
bland. Well-written product descriptions can help increase the shopper's
propensity to purchase from you. Studies have shown that consumers are reluctant
to buy from sites that don't include enough information to answer all their
questions. Your unique product descriptions can offer more details than
competing sites, alleviating any concerns or unanswered questions the shopper
would face elsewhere.
Even if you offer commodity products that normally compete on price, you can
create perceived value with the information you provide. While some consumers
may still use your site for research and then shop elsewhere to find the lowest
price, you'll find that others assign a premium value to your web site,
appreciating that they can research and buy at the same online store.
In addition, creating complete, unique descriptions for each of your products
can also go a long way toward boosting credibility. Consumers are more likely to
trust a web site that has invested in well-written, thorough product
Your online store builds more valuable brand equity
You sell products provided by a lot of different manufacturers. Each vendor
has its own format for the descriptions it provides, leaving your product pages
a patchwork of different copy styles, occasional grammatical mishaps and
generally very boring, incomplete information.
When you invest in unique descriptions for all the products you sell, you can
match the tone to your own store brand. Customers experience a seamless voice
from your home page through category landing pages right down to each product.
You'll be more likely to build rapport with customers, which can create a point
of differentiation for your store and support greater shopper loyalty.
Yes, it does take a significant investment to provide compelling product
descriptions. But with the payoff of greater search engine visibility, higher
conversions and enhanced brand equity, rewriting manufacturer product
descriptions is well worth the investment. The retailers that recognize this are
the ones creating a long-term advantage online.
Why not make your store the place to research and buy the products
you sell, rather than just another choice among hundreds?
Stone Reuning is president and founder of SEO Advantage, Inc., an online marketing firm and website optimization company that helps businesses turn their websites into powerful lead and revenue generation tools.
Beginning with a focus on search engine optimization in 1999, SEO Advantage now brings a full multi-disciplinary approach to each client website. Clients enjoy dominance on Google, Yahoo and Bing through a suite of unique pay-for-performance search engine optimization and online marketing services. Experts in SEO, social media optimization, online reputation management, and website conversions work hand-in-hand with small business owners and client marketing departments providing complete copywriting and creative web design support.
You'll find SEO Advantage referenced in books such as Writing Web-Based Advertising Copy to Get the Sale and the BusinessWeek bestseller The New Rules of Marketing & PR, as well as popular ebooks like The Small Business Blogging Blueprint.