Online shopping has seen a significant rise in popularity in recent years, with the internet now believed to be involved in up to 90% of all buying decisions. This has opened up a whole new door for stores and sellers to attract new customers in a fresh new way. Without the usual catalogues and advertising, online stores have had to devise new strategies to sell their products. As such, it is now more important than ever to make sure that your web copy is able to appeal to the online market. With so much emphasis on SEO and keywords, people are so intent on getting the attention of the search engines instead of grabbing the interest of the online visitors, but what should we really be focusing on?

If you’re running an online shop or you’re writing product descriptions, here are a few tips that can help you write better content to attract both search engines and potential buyers:

Write them as catalogue copies rather than web copies

The difference between a catalogue copy and a web copy is simple. Web copies focus on writing for search engines. That includes including the right amount of keywords, adjectives and specifications. Web copy aims to gain visibility by using all the relevant keywords they can to get their product to rank higher on search engines. Catalogue copies, on the other hand, are more concerned about what the readers read and how they feel about what they’ve read. You can still incorporate SEO and all those techniques, but what matters the most is using words that would appeal to readers.

Write for the audience

But before you even write for them, you have to get to know them. Know their demographics, the words they’re likely to find appealing, and the thoughts you’d want them to have about your product. If possible, use slang, analogies or other writing techniques that your demographic would find interesting and enticing. For example, writing for professionals and corporate employees would be very different from writing for teenage fashion-loving students.

Represent the brand

Aside from the audience, it’s equally important that you also know your brand, what it represents and the voice it uses. Is your brand an authority with a professional persona that appeals to inform? Is it more of a fun and carefree brand that appeals to the younger crowd? Is your brand meant to be seen as a wholesome and family friendly brand? Ask your client for a copy that would represent the brand, a visualization of the persona of the brand and the persona’s voice. For instance, the persona can be a beautiful glamorous woman, an internet savvy professional or even an affluent businessman. Read the copy you’ve written in the voice of the persona to see if it sounds like something he or she would say.

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Focus on your product’s features and benefits

Of course, the buyer is after the products features and benefits. So bank on this by telling the customer why they should buy the product. Answer questions like what problem it can solve, what edge it has over its competitors, how well it can solve the customer’s problem and so on. Also, make sure you incorporate the product’s features to the benefits it can give your customers. For instance, instead of simply saying that a shoe has heavy duty treads, mention that it can be used for long hikes and camping trips.

Don’t overload the description

Adding different adjectives and adverbs allow you to show the many different benefits of your product. However, using too many adjectives and adverbs would only serve to confuse your customer with a string of positive words, and if it’s obvious, you probably don’t need to state it. Also, use only one adjective per noun and one adverb per verb. Lastly, avoid using overused and bland-sounding words like awesome, fantastic, great or good too much. Try to tap into the reader’s senses by using words like fragrant, citrusy, smooth, velvety, or radiant.

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Keep the writing positive and appealing, but not personal

Sometimes, writers would list down the numerous benefits of a product without noticing that they’ve inserted their personal opinions into their description. Avoid this at all costs because this would only make the description sound too flattering and untrue. In addition, you should try to add a personal touch by making the words flow instead of making them sound like robotic statements.

Add variety to your words

It’s always a good idea to use different sentence structures and different words in order to describe a product. Don’t keep using the same word to start your sentences, and don’t keep using simple sentences in the description. If you’d like to stress the usefulness of a product, use other words like practical, helpful, or functional. The thesaurus would be a great help for you in this case. But try not to use words that are too extravagant or uncommon.

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The reader always comes first

Make sure that the description you’ve written will appeal to the reader. Do the above tips and then proofread for any edits that may make your description more readable and understandable. Use short paragraphs as opposed to big chunks of words to keep the reader interested. Try to limit each paragraph to three or four lines, and the rest can be in list format. Lastly, make your sentences sound natural and allow your statements to flow into each other by connecting them or ordering them coherently.

Optimise later

Many writers focus too much on optimizing the text for search engines that they end up sounding robotic, bland, and redundant. You can avoid this by adding in the choice keywords after you’ve written your initial description. Sometimes writers sacrifice readability for optimisation. And though this may work to help your product rank higher in search engines, this may still deter readers from considering your product as the description they’ve provided doesn’t speak to them.

Whether you’re selling products or your personal brand, being able to do so effectively relies on how well you are able to make it sound like you’re worth the consumer’s time and energy. Online shopping may be convenient in terms of delivery, but if you want people to go to the effort of putting in their address and credit card details for your products, you need to make it worth their while. Writing clever, succinct web copy is definitely the way to give your products an extra dash of pizzazz!