Getting thousands of visits would be useless if what visitors find does not convince them. A thousand visitors that make a purchase are worth more than a million that do not.
Do you know what the key factors to converting those visitors into sales are?
Descriptions or product cards.
But wait! Uploading the generic product card from the manufacturer isn’t enough. You must differentiate yourself.
Here we will explain how you should write them step by step so your customers will fall in love with your products. But not just that, your cards will also help your products get a higher positioning in Google searches.
Grab a pen and paper and get ready to write, or better yet, “describe” your product cards. ;)
What is a product card and why is it so important?
Imagine that you shopping in a physical shop. An item grabs your attention and you stop to look at it in more detail. After a few seconds, you are able to get an idea of its features: its size, weight, colors, etc.
On the other hand, an online sale doesn’t give you that possibility.
Combatting the “solitude” of the e-commerce shopper is our trump card that transmits all of the information and product details that we want—the product card.
The product card is a unique and specific page for each item that explains its most relevant benefits.
Clear so far, right?
So then why should optimizing your product cards be one of your obsessions?
It’s always said that content is king, but that conversion is queen.
No matter how much work or how many resources you put into your e-commerce, if you don’t work on optimizing conversion, and therefore your product cards, it will never take off and reach its full potential.
A vague card without details is capable of ruining even the best of products; on the contrary, a clear explanation that is both concise and well thought out can help a product beat out the competition.
Have you gotten an idea of their importance yet?
Well, then let’s take a look at what they need to include. ;)
What is the ideal format for a product card?
Use this list as a checklist, but don’t obsess over any point in particular. Success lies in the sum of many small things.
In the end, like with everything in life, common sense rules—an excessively overloaded card will have the same negative affect as the opposite.
1. Name or title
This doesn’t appear to need much explanation, but it’s not unfounded. You have to be careful with the name for several reasons:
- It’s the first thing the user sees.
- Using similar names could be harmful to your SEO (we’ll talk more about this later).
- It should be short, but 100% descriptive to attract clicks.
- It’s what appears on the categories pages and on the shop page.
Furthermore, many CMSs use these titles as the H1 Meta tag, making it incredibly importance with respect to SEO if we want to position the URL.
2. Short description
The basic details and main reasons to purchase it told in just a few words.
It’s common to use lists or bullet points to make this part easier to read. If your product includes free shipping, this is a good place to point that out in addition to its delivery time.
Don’t get caught up here by putting text that nobody is going to read.
The goal of this short description is that upon knowing the essential details, the user continues reading the long description or viewing its photos.
Don’t hide shipping costs or fees—that will only make many clients abandon their cards when they see the added cost.
If you want to see other strategies to minimize that, take a look at this post about improving your abandoned shopping cart rate.
3. Long description
If the short version isn’t enough to convert, we move on to our next weapon in the arsenal—the long description.
Send in the infantry!
Before we were limited to just a few points in a list, while here we can expand much more. And, furthermore, we’ll do it by using a copywriting strategy (persuasive writing).
Even without being a professional writer, classic and easy to apply structures like PAS (Problem, Agitate, Solve) or the 4Ps (Problem, Promise, Proof, Proposal) can work like magic on a product’s long description.
If you have noticed, based on opinions or reviews from clients, that one of your products has a negative feature, don’t run from it. If there is some obvious obstacle to users buying your product, don’t deny it.
Users already know.
Work on being natural and using reason, not passing the buck. All products have their pros and cons. A description should boast about the positive parts and use that to overcome the negative aspects… but without avoiding them.
A typical example is the price barrier with high-quality products.
A good description will talk about the implicit benefits of the high price:
- And more.
And it does that until the mental block regarding its price loses importance compared to the advantages.
The reality is that it’s easier said than done. If you’ve written your own product cards, you probably already know the difficulties of writing to sell.
That’s why they are so important and why it’s so necessary to dedicate some time to them.
4. Images and videos
So far we’ve only talked about text, but the power of images is undeniable. Photos, along with the short description, make up the bare minimum duo that you absolutely must optimize on a product card.
More quality photos always means improving the buying experience.
Just think that images help us to give the user the sensation of seeing and touching a product as if they were in a physical shop. That’s why we should always use photos of the product being used to show how it would be to have the product.
And, of course, a good video also helps.
But be careful because there can also be some limitations, especially regarding size. Dozens of high-quality images will slow down your page too much, so you should, again, find the right balance between quality and file size while making sure you still show all the details of the item.
- How to optimize your e-commerce images to have a website as fast as the wind
- How to use video marketing in your online shop to duplicate your sales and foster client loyalty
It’s a fact that people love reading other purchasers’ opinions. We are social beings and we want to be sure that there have been other people like us that have bought it before.
It’s called social proof and it’s a crucial factor regarding conversion that we have to work on. “But my products don’t have any reviews.”
Don’t worry—that’s normal. What you should do is provide some incentives for writing them:
- Give away free products in exchange for product reviews.
- Include an invitation to write a review and a link in your follow-up email.
- Hold raffles among those who have left reviews.
If none of those techniques work, ask your most-trusted clients for a favor. In the world of reviews, it’s possible to run into the “empty bar syndrome”—it’s not easy to convince people to leave the first comment.
6. Related products
The majority of the people who look at a product won’t end up buying it. However, instead of giving up there, we have one more card to play: related products.
If they don’t decide to buy after reading the short description, the long one, viewing the photos, and having all the information available, perhaps the product just isn’t for them—but others might be.
In order to explore those other interests, we can use the cross-selling or related products technique. We go more in depth in this article, but it’s basically about offering other products from similar categories to encourage more browsing.
Have a look at how Amazon does it by proposing other items that clients interested in this one have bought.
We never throw in the towel when it comes to keeping the possible conversion flame alive.
Dropshipping and descriptions: the problems with generic products cards
When you create an online shop, especially when it is based on dropshipping, the supplier will send you all the products cards.
You may think “ I don’t have time to re-write them, I’ll use these cards and I will change them later ”.
Do you know what the problem is?
You will end up leaving them the way they are and that could ruin your business .
Why could it be ruined just because of the generic product cards?
- Duplicate content: your supplier sends the same products and cards to more people. There could be 10 online shops using the same content and, for Google, you would be copying it. That would mean a painful penalty for your shop.
- Indifference: your shop and that of your competition would be the same. The clients will not find any reason to choose you over them, unless you offer a lower price.
- No SEO optimization: suppliers do not think about positioning. They do not use any SEO strategies to write the cards, therefore, getting your products to the first positions will be impossible.
To sum up, a generic product card will mean a sanction in the worst scenario, it will not allow you to differentiate your shop and it will destroy any chance of positioning your products well in SERPS.
Have we convinced you that you must write your own product descriptions?
We hope so, since now we are going to give you some advice about how to write them strategically.
Guide to write an ideal card for your online shop
There are only five steps, but that does not mean that they are easy or quick ones. Writing a product description is a process that must be done patiently and every step must be carefully thought out to be able to make the best out of each one of them.
- Use appropriate language for your audience : write the product card as if you were selling it to your ideal client. Imagine that they are in front of you and you are trying to convince them to buy it.
- Do not leave any unanswered questions : answer any question that the client could possibly have before buying the product. If they do not have doubts, they will most likely buy the product. If you leave some unanswered questions, the client will start to think about it and will leave without buying.
- Design a flashy CTA : when you go to Amazon’s website, what’s the element that grabs your attention? The ADD TO CART button. Remember that the main goal of the card is to make the client click there. Do not make it difficult for them to do so. Try to write a product card with an image so great that you cannot help but click to see an enlarged version.
- Add amazing pictures : not just any picture is good enough and one that all the shops use is even less so.
- Do a deep keyword research: if your product is well positioned you will get hundreds or thousands of visits for free. If you do not have much competition, a good keyword research could be enough to get you into the first few positions. You can use tools such as Kwfinder, Ubersuggest or Keyword Shitter and add all types of variations of the main keyword.
Product cards and SEO: basic guidelines
The first thing you should have clear is what your shop’s SEO strategy is:
- Which pages are you interested in positioning?
- Are you going to try to rank the categories or the products?
- Which URLs or URL levels will you leave without indexing?
As a very general rule of thumb, here are some basic guidelines:
- Use friendly URLs and category hierarchies: some CMSs like WordPress (WooCommerce) or PrestaShop make it a bit difficult to achieve an optimal URL structure. You may have to fiddle with the code a bit, but it’s worth it.
- Only index product cards with searches: This means that if nobody is looking for a product on Google, it’s not worth indexing it.
- Focus your SEO efforts only on indexed product cards: Use keywords in the Meta tags of the long description and in the alt descriptions of the images, among others.
- Create powerful content for the categories: This is the strategy that often works the best; attack powerful keywords within your categories and long tail keywords with your products.
- Use canonicals to fight the risk of cannibalization or duplicate content: If you have several products competing for the same keywords or duplicate content, you can tell Google which one you are interested in ranking with a canonical tag.
You also have a lot more information about e-commerce SEO in this mega-article.
What should you do with the old product cards?
A common problem that we run into with online shops is how to proceed with the items that are no longer in your catalogue.
Let’s differentiate between two cases:
- The product card is indexed on Google: In this case, although Google says that deleting it and showing a 404 page isn’t a problem (we don’t completely believe that), the best thing to do is show a 301 redirect page to the category. An alternative is to put it in “noindex” and delete it once it is unindexed.
- The product card is not indexed: It’s not so important in terms of Google, but you should keep an eye out for internal links on your site to make sure that users don’t run into any errors. If you have external links, the best strategy is to use a 301 page.
Don’t worry about old product cards for the moment. It’s better to start working in the right order. Keep reading.
How to start optimizing the product cards?
It is not necessary that you change all the product cards at once. If you have to write hundreds of descriptions, start by analyzing which products are the most visited and change them first. Analytics can help you determine the order you should follow.
You can follow these steps:
- Find the URLs with the most traffic in Google Analytics: As we said, focus your efforts where they are going to have the most impact.
- Look at the Search Console if you have cannibalizations for your most important keywords: You may find that you have several product cards competing against each other.
- Decide which strategy to use: If you run into cannibalizations, use canonicals with the category or product that receives the most organic traffic. If they are old products, use a 301 redirect.
- Optimize your content: Make a list of product cards to improve and start working on the descriptions, images, and everything else we’ve seen in this article.
- Be patient: Don’t think that anything is going to change overnight. Step by step you will achieve big results.
And that’s it. You don’t need anything else for the time being.
Now it’s your turn
Analyze your shop, organize the cards you have to edit regarding their importance and start applying our 5-step guide to write the ideal product card.
Once you have done this, you will see how your conversion rate rises and your shop starts getting better positioning in Google.