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How to increase your online sales – Part 1

Running a successful online shop isn’t just about having the goods, it’s about how you present them as well. It doesn’t matter whether your e-commerce site sells directly to customers, auctions its merchandise or is host to third-party sellers – unique and well-crafted product descriptions are vital to performing well in search rankings and attracting as many customers as possible.


Keep it original

The first step to making sure your business has the best possible product descriptions is writing unique ones. It can be tempting to use the descriptions straight from the manufacturer’s website but this creates duplicate content, and duplicate content is bad.

Using ready-made descriptions is the e-commerce equivalent of a journalist claiming a press release as their own work. Google doesn’t like that just as much as it doesn’t like unoriginal entries for goods in online shops, and the pages containing them will be punished in the search results and are quite likely not to appear in them at all. Bing is also a stickler for duplicate content so it’s always important to stay original.

Shortcuts such as editing the existing descriptions to make them more unique may help to avoid Google’s traps but creating your own quality descriptions will help boost rankings, improve sales and show you’re knowledgeable about what you sell.


Quality, quantity and frequency

Quality, quantity and the frequency with which you post the descriptions are all important factors to consider when creating your content. Quality goes without saying and the more useful the content is to your customer the higher it will rank.

It’s hard to put an exact figure on quantity but good product descriptions should be at least 200 words long. Generally speaking a few hundred words, around 300-500, will be enough to avoid duplicate content, allow for a natural distribution of keywords and give you room to show off your expertise.

Frequency will be determined by how often you update your stock but it’s worth publishing on a schedule and keeping to it as Google likes and rewards regularity.


Tone of voice

Although Google can’t detect tone of voice your audience can and it’s important to write in the right style for what you’re selling and who you’re selling to. Being too serious and using long words isn’t going to help you sell toys, just as being too jovial probably won’t get people coughing up for coffins. Finding the butter zone when it comes to tone of voice will help you to engage with your customers and keep them coming back for more, while not alienating those outside your core audience.

Finally a great tip to avoid duplicating the manufacturer’s description is to sell the benefits of the product rather than describe its features. This approach of “selling the sizzle” will not only help your products to perform better in Google’s searches but will also make your copy more engaging and more likely to sell the product it’s describing.