Product Descriptions – Making them Work for You

by Stacey Cavanagh October 6th, 2011 

So for those of you managing large ecommerce websites, product descriptions could either be the bane of your life or the magic ingredient to search success! Here are a few hints on making product descriptions work for you!

For a big ecommerce website with hundreds, or even thousands of products, those specific product pages are going to account for a large quantity of your overall website content.

Google has been incredibly open about the fact, in the Post Panda era, that quality content on certain pages on your website can have positive knock on effect for your entire domain. By the same token, poor quality, unoriginal and duplicated content on some pages on your domain could have a negative impact on the whole site.

Dont Duplicate

A common problem on ecommerce sites is that retailers tend to pull product descriptions from the manufacturers database. What this means is that there are potentially hundreds of websites running the same content. This is duplicate content.

As an example, if you visit www.giro.com (a manufacturer of cycle accessories) and check out their Giro Atmos helmet, youll see the following description:

Atmos continues to set the standard for high performance, matchless style, and comfortable fit. Its low profile silhouette, 26 Wind Tunnel vents, and benchmark in-mold Roll Cage make it a top choice for road, cross, and XC riders alike.

If you run a search for that description in Google, you will find over 9,000 results and interestingly enough, Giro itself is outranked by 2 other websites.

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By having just the manufacturer description on your product page, youre giving Google one less reason to show your website in the results for searches for the product.

When it comes to product descriptions:

If you must run the manufacturers description, dont make this the only tbing on the page!

Include a couple of hundred words of your own content, preferably in place of a standard manufacturers database but in the very least in addition to it.

User Generated Content

One way to get unique content onto your website is by encouraging your buyers to leave comments.

In order to boost the amount of unique content on the page, Fawkes Cycles began encouraging their clients to leave feedback about the products on their site.

One of their best selling products is the Giro Indicator Helmet and the company encouraged all buyers to let them know their opinions via the website. The response was good:

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This has led to an increase in unique content on the page and has had a positive impact on rankings for the relevant keywords and thus traffic to the page and, most importantly, sales of the product.

Multimedia

You dont just have to rely on text as content on a page. You could also include images and video.

Image alt tags and video descriptions are additional content and offer users more information. Not only can this help with content on the page but it can also improve conversion to sale if users are able to view the product.

FAQ's

Another means of adding content to your product description pages is by adding FAQs. If you receive a question from a client about a product, youll most likely be spending the time responding to that query anyway. So why not take an extra moment to add the question and your answer about the product to a FAQs section on the product page? This has the potential to drive traffic from long tail searches in relation to that specific product name and again bolsters the unique and original content levels on each page.

Do you manage a large ecommerce site? If so, what do you do to set your product pages apart from the competition?

Stacey Cavanagh

Stacey Cavanagh is the Digital Marketing Manager for Tecmark, a UK Digital Marketing Agency specialising in Internet Marketing and Mobile Application Development.

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