Explore our Digital Experience Management Toolkit

Effective copywriting for product pages

Author's avatar By Mel Henson 25 Jul, 2013
Essential Essential topic

Web product copy

When you’re writing about an individual product, the ‘formula’ or framework is the same as for catalogue copy or indeed any written piece of sales material.  Start with a key benefit or statement of superiority, describe the benefits and end on a call to action. You all know AIDA -  Attention, Interest, Desire and Action).

The main differences between web product copy and catalogue product copy are:

  • Copy for the web can be longer but ensure it’s written and laid out so it can be ‘skimmed’ quickly and easily. Sometimes longer copy can bolster your natural search engine rankings. Be careful! as some individual product pages have a restrictive word count in CMS.
  • Websites often have a specific format including bullet points and paragraphs with headings.  These are known as H1, H2 and so on down to H6 and can be limited in characters.  As well as these, the bullet points and any highlighted words are given more weight by search engines.

    This is where the most important keywords should go, with the primary keyword in H1 (the main headline) and secondary keywords in H2, H3 and so on (the sub-headings)

It’s not just spider-friendly but consumer-friendly as well!

  • Web product copy usually needs to be rich in keywords.  ‘Rich’ but not ‘stuffed’  - ensure it flows naturally as part of the core message.

Calls to action in web product copy

In your call to action, it’s not enough to simply ask for the sale - we have to soothe and reassure our potential buyers that they’re doing the right thing.

For product copy, the final paragraph should give lots of reassurance to potential customers. The kind of messages that make customers feel safe, or push them to making the decision to buy right now are:

  • This is the only place where to buy such an item (so it’s not worth going elsewhere).
  • You have a price promise (so they can’t get it cheaper anywhere else).
  • It’s covered by a full money back guarantee (so there’s no problem if it goes wrong).
  • Stock is going fast (so they could miss out).
  • Lots of other people have bought it. (This simple reassurance is incredibly effective on the web. Simply knowing that other people have trodden the same path and done the same things is a huge motivator.)

Section (or Static) copy

This is all the copy that you have to have on a website that isn’t actually product copy. Sometimes referred to as static copy, as it’s part of the structure of the site rather than products which are constantly being removed, changed or added.

These are some of the most read pages on the site so it is worthwhile investing time and effort to get them right. All too often the static copy is created in-house by someone in the Operations Department and written with an internal view rather than the customers.  Negative messages can destroy sales and your brand such: “Customers must fill in… Failure to do so… It is your responsibility to make sure that …”

This copy includes FAQs, Buyer’s guides, Checkout, Legal notices, Location and Contact Us and Environmental policy.

Author's avatar

By Mel Henson

Mel is an author, consultant and copywriter specialising in multichannel retail and Amazon. She is Head of Content at Optimizon, an Amazon consulting agency and Head of Creative at AWA digital a conversion rate optimisation (CRO) agency. Her personal website is www.wordsthatsell.co.uk/, and you can follow her on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn

Recommended Blog Posts