For those of you who are part of the Seineld generation (Jerry, Elaine, George & Kramer), you may remember the famous product descriptions from the J. Peterman catalog like the one above. In fact, J. Peterman is a real company that offers long, sometimes rambling product descriptions meant to create enticing stories about their products. Those creative product descriptions are a big part of their company brand.
In the world of online retail sales, product descriptions are even more important. Not only do they attract shoppers, they are vital when it comes to search engine optimization. Are your product descriptions selling for you?
The Short Description
The short description is the first description that you read about the product. It is the sexy text; the fluff that draws you in. This is where you want to personalize the description, talking about why you love the product, how it transitions from office to home, or something similar. It’s where your salesperson is talking to the shopper and selling your product.
This section should be two to three well written sentences describing your product and should be unique to whoever is writing it. Google search doesn’t like when people plagiarize, and it knows who has written the text first. If you copy text from another site or even from the manufacturer’s description, you get put in a Google time out and your organic search rankings will drop.
Need another reason to spend a little extra time on the short description? If you’re sending your products to online marketplaces like Google Products or TheFind, it’s the short description that we send over for our clients. If you want to be differentiated from the other products out there, make it good!
The Long Description
This is the area where you want to put specific details from the manufacturer that you want to include (fabric, detailed product features, sizing, and so on). It’s a great place to put product details located on the tag that the customer can’t see. If you list this information, use the bullets. It makes the information easier to read. A quick note – copying and pasting from MS Word is bad – especially in this field as it messes with formatting. There’s no need to pick a font or size, the code on the site will convert the text so that it will match the look and feel of the site.
This should be used for “special” scenarios – pre-orders, special shipping scenarios, etc.
While the search engines read all the information on the page, the short description is what is displayed on the search engine results page, under the link. So be sure to take the time and tap into your creativity to create a short description that is compelling and unique – one that helps your sells your products and helps them get found.