Practical Ecommerce

5 Ways to Improve Website Copy and Grow Sales

Ecommerce merchants have many pages to write copy for. Home and landing pages, category pages, product descriptions, articles, and shopping messages are just a few. This article will describe five ways to improve your web copy, and the concepts here can be applied to all pages on your ecommerce website.

1. Establish a Tone That Matches Your Niche

As you write, imagine that you are speaking to your niche group in person. Set a tone with your copy and continue it throughout your online store. Good descriptions establish credibility by demonstrating that you actually know something about the product, other than what the manufacturer provides. Share your personal insights and manager’s notes, or add specific customer testimonials. You can even ask employees to choose their weekly picks.

Create relationships between products and categories with text links and not just with navigation buttons. Create text links using keywords relevant to product and article pages. If your customers include multiple sub-niche groups, create a page that allows them to choose specific questions they want answered, rather than trying to answer everything for everyone on one page.

2. Differentiate Your Products and Your Store

Differentiating your online store from the hordes of competition is one of the most critical, profit-producing elements any ecommerce site can accomplish (competing on price alone will typically leave you paddling against a very strong tide). Compare your site against your three nearest competitors, and make sure people know exactly why they should shop with you over them. Your website cannot replace human contact, but it can work 24 hours a day to show people exactly how your ecommerce store is the better solution for them.

Create charts or checklists to identify ways your product is unique. If the product is not unique, then demonstrate how your company or service is better than the competition. Use concrete examples and customer testimonials whenever possible. If you are relying on your expertise, create links to articles and how-to information on your site that back up your claims. Tout your great customer service by including a phone number, hours of operation, and a contact person on the site.

For those stores carrying unique handcrafted or individually made items, remember that unique in itself is not a clear selling point. Explain how receiving a handmade gift makes someone feel, or describe how your product(s) fill a need for individual expression.

3. Educate and Inform Customers

Educate and inform your customers by making product facts interesting. Tell a story, be specific, and give examples on how to use it, when to use it, and what not to do, if applicable. Use multiple image views or videos to show the product in use. Write product descriptions for both scanners and diggers. (Scanners want bullet points, comparisons and checklists. Diggers want specification sheets, more details, and extensive product descriptions.) You can even add a PDF download for the super diggers. Add multiple image views or a checklist of ways to use the product. Create articles that answer common questions in detail and link to them from product pages.

Copying and pasting the same information on each page is a huge mistake, and it creates massive duplicated content within your site. Instead, write articles to answer similar questions, and link to them. This allows you more room for explanations, and gives every page unique content. If you have multiple products with similar descriptions, try using short video clips with a simple voice over to show how each individual piece is different. Think of any question a customer might have and find a way to include an answer.

4. Create a Clear Buying Path and Help Customers Follow It

Customer confusion hurts ecommerce sales because when a customer gets confused they rarely buy. People want to make sure they have the right information before they decide to buy. And, once they decide to make a purchase, customers want to know how to buy and how other factors, like shipping, availability, returns and cost, will affect the sale. Be sure to tell the customer exactly what you want him or her to do, and spell out what will happen next.

Give your customers multiple ways to purchase your products on the same page. Make the buying process simple, but don’t just rely on the “buy it now” button. You can also add text links and image links to lead people to your checkout page. If there is a step before checkout, such as choosing a color, include it in the text. Don’t make people register before they buy. This confuses some and annoys others, and very often you will lose the sale. Make it easy to trust you and even easier to buy.

5. Improve Search Engine Optimization

Use relevant, varied keyword phrases in page titles, headlines and descriptions. To the search engines, “coat hanger,” “coat hangers,” “coats hanger,” and “coats hangers” are separate keyword phrases. Most keyword topics have dozens of versions of search phrases for a particular topic. Parcel your keyword phrases across multiple product pages throughout a category. When you have similar multiple items, spread out the keyword phrases using one or two phrases per product.

Look for creative ways to use strange-syntax keyword phrases. Many people search for non-grammatically correct phrases like “coat hanger wide wood” or “hanger clothes plastic.” Optimize your product descriptions for unusual phrases, and do your best to work them into sentences that makes sense. In the example “coat hanger wide wood” you could write “No coat is too big for this coat hanger, wide wood version that keeps even the largest heavy winter coats in shape.”

Summary

Your online store offers you the opportunity to connect with potential buyers and to differentiate your products while establishing credibility and trust. Make the most of this opportunity by diving into your website copy with a clear purpose in mind. Just like any first impression, it’s important to make it count.

Examples of Websites With Good Product Descriptions

These two web pages use creativity, multiple images and video to showcase products:

References

Jan Riley

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Comment ( 1 )

  1. mikebpo July 7, 2009 Reply

    Great article.