Writing effective product descriptions is hard. You want to write descriptions that will help a buyer understand how your product solves their problem quickly. Knowing what people want to see before they decide to buy and how they want to see it can create confusion for a business owner. But Google has given you a guide on how to do just that.
Google’s Best Practices on Writing Product Reviews is also a guide on how business owners can write product reviews that get ranked higher in search which leads to more people seeing and buying your product. We share with you the best practices and how to interpret them for Product description writing.
Links Mentioned In This Episode
Links & information for show notes:
Products We Recommend
Links to Previous Episodes & articles
Episode 73- SEO For Ecommerce: Google Merchant Center
Episode 72- Tracking Sales For Retail Businesses
Googles Best Practices to Use when writing product descriptions
Evaluate the product from a user’s perspective
Demonstrate that you are knowledgeable about the products reviewed – show you are an expert.
Provide evidence such as visuals, audio, or other links of your own experience with the product, to support your expertise and reinforce the authenticity of your review.
Share quantitative measurements about how a product measures up in various categories of performance
Explain what sets a product apart from its competitors.
Describe how a product has evolved from previous models or releases to provide improvements, address issues, or otherwise help users in making a purchase decision.
Identify key decision-making factors for the product’s category and how the product performs in those areas (for example, a car review might determine that fuel economy, safety, and handling are key decision-making factors and rate performance in those areas).
Describe key choices in how a product has been designed and their effect on the users beyond what the manufacturer says.
Include links to other useful resources (your own or from other sites) to help a reader make a decision.
Ensure there is enough useful content in your ranked lists for them to stand on their own, even if you choose to write separate in-depth single product reviews for each recommended product.
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What we discussed:
- What is Google’s High-Quality Product Review Guideline?
- Best Practices you Can Use
Write Product Descriptions Using Google’s Latest Product Review Guidelines Transcript
*Not ready to give this episode a listen or watch just yet? Below is a rough transcript of today’s episode.*
So what if Google called you up and said, Hey, I wanna help you write better product descriptions. So we rank you higher and more people find and buy your products. Would you take that call? Well, actually they have, not called, they created a blueprint for you. but they disguised it by calling it how to write a product.
So today I’m gonna walk you through Google’s best practices for writing product reviews and share with you how you can use it to write highly effective product descriptions. Okay. As usual, little bit of housekeeping stuff before we get into the meat and potatoes. I will be talking about products here.
making recommendations, I’ll be referencing articles and other podcast episodes and, talking about links and all of that is going to be in the show notes along with a rough transcription of the entire podcast. So after you listen to it, if you wanna go and really figure out a full section, you.
so because we are a marketing agency, we are partners with a lot of product companies. It just makes sense for us to partner with them. And so when we recommend a product, we will give you our, partner link. In case you decide to buy it. We’d love for you to use those links. We do get a small commission back.
If you do, use our links and think of it as a way of you clicking through, you’re getting what you want, we’re getting a little bit back and it helps us, continue to create this content for you. What is Google’s high-quality, product review guideline? So there is a link in the show notes, and there is a full article from Google about the 14 best practices that you should use.
If you’re gonna be writing a blog post about an article review or a comparison, a lot of affiliate marketers will do this. and other sites too, like,consumer reports and other techy sites write this type of thing. and so Google is giving them a guideline, but,I like to look at things like this and say, Hey, this would actually be really useful to write product descriptions.
I like taking things for one purpose and seeing how they could be used for something else. What this is called is cross industry innovation. I use it all the time. So if I’ve got a client in pet supply, I look at what we’re doing there and what’s working and saying, can I use that across the, in-home senior living community, somewhere else in the country?
and we’ve done some really cool, great different things because of that. So looking beyond your own industry, finding new, cool, and different ways to grow your business, whether it’s through marketing, whether it’s through product innovation, that’s always a really cool one too big, big companies do this.
They hire people to just look at other industries and see how they can make their own. So the high quality review guide is Google’s telling them, Hey, here’s what we wanna see when you write a review so we can rank your review higher. But I think it’s really great to build product descriptions this way, too, because Google is going to rank you higher.
If you are hitting all the notes in your product description that they’re looking for in a review, so they’re gonna do it in search. And then when you put that whole product description inside of Google merchant center in your Google merchant center account, it’s gonna be there as. If you’re not familiar with Google merchant center, episode 73, I talk all about it and why it’s awesome.
And that, regardless of where you’re hosting your e-commerce site, you absolutely need to make sure you’re,synced in, locked in with the Google merchant center as well.
So now I’m gonna walk you through, some of the best practices, not all 14 are gonna be applicable for this, but the big ones and how we can interpret them for writing a product description. So the first one is evaluate the product from a user’s perspective and as. Owner and probably the creator of this product.
You’re very close to it. You know, the ins and the outs, what you want it to be. And sometimes that makes it harder for you to look and write a product description from the user’s perspective. So I would say, do this exercise, take someone who’s new to your company or someone who’s not quite as familiar with the product.
and interview them why it would be useful, someone that, could potentially use it or talk to one of your best customers. I’ve talked about this in other episodes where, you know, figuring out your audience, your best customer or best customers and the ones that you want more of those are who you’re writing for.
Those are the ones that you’re creating the description for, interview. and, you know, get honest answers back from them and use this information as part of your description. We’re gonna talk a little bit more about that later as an example, the next one is demonstrate that you are knowledgeable about the products.
reviewed and show you’re an expert, right? So again, it’s for those consumer reports, types of things, but here’s the beautiful thing. You are the expert. You’re the owner of the business. You probably created the product or someone in your business created the product. so you are very, very qualified to, position yourself as the subject matter expert on this and do a deep dive into the areas that are most important for this product.
So why did you create it? What problem are you solving? Share that information as part of the product description. The next one is provide evidence such as visual audio or other links of your own. Experience with the product to support your expertise and reinforce the authenticity of your review. So there is so much you can do here, right?
You can create audio files. If you do a podcast, you can talk and explain about the product in detail. It’s a lot easier for people to listen to that you can create videos you can do. How do videos you can do, behind the scene, videos of people actually making the product. Those are very popular. you could interview your team as part of this on video or, audio there’s so much you can provide here.
And if someone did write a decent review about your product, you can actually link back to it, especially if it gives you some, O like consumer reports, if they did something on your product, or if one of the tech sites wrote about it and you like it, and you agree with it, you can certainly link back to it for.
The next one is share quantitative measurements about how a product measures up in various categories of performance. So test your own product, or get anecdotal testing information back from your clients. if you are a, a product based business where it’s reoccurring over months, and you’re able to capture data, a lot of software systems can do this.
You can glean that data in. and share those measurements. you can do it against industry standards. You can have, if your industry has benchmarks, you don’t have to list specific competitors here, right? You don’t have to compare yourself to someone else. If you don’t want to. Which kind of rolls into the next one a bit.
explain what sets a product apart from its competitors. So here you’re doing something similar, but you’re directly saying we do this, the others do that, or they don’t do this, You don’t have to name names if you’re not comfortable, Not everybody’s comfortable with calling out their competitors, but.
One of the cool things about naming names is it’s really great search fodder. So if someone’s searching for that other product and your comparison comes up, they feel like they’ve discovered something. And then they’re more likely to read the details and get into it more because they found something as an alternative to what they were originally looking for.
But again, only do it if you’re comfort. the next one is describing how a product has evolved from previous models or releases to provide improvements, address issues, or otherwise help users in making a purchasing decision. I think it’s okay to say, Hey, Jen wanted this product, didn’t do this and this.
We heard you. And we’ve added that, People like to be heard. They like to know. And even if they’re a brand new customer and you’re on gen three, it’s good for them to know that you listen. because they know you’re gonna keep listening into the future. I really, really love that one. And also this is good if you’re still continuing to sell multiple different versions of the product.
so maybe one product is great for one person, but you added something for someone else. and then you can do a comparison and link back and connect all of the products together in your description. So an example is let’s say you’re doing a phone hold that loops onto the belt. Right? You can do one, that’s a solid loop and it gets threaded on, but people with arthritis have.
Trouble with that fine motor skill manipulation. And so for them, if you do something that has a split loop where they can just, tack it on, or maybe a clip and they can just clip it on where they don’t need those fine motor skills, they will be more likely to buy your product so you can offer both.
but then show the difference. this is good for people with arthritis. This one is good for,people that the, item might get banged around a lot or something like. So the next one is identifying key decision making factors for the product’s category and how the product performs in those areas.
So the example they gave was a car review, might determine fuel economy, safety handling. those are key decision factors in the industry. those are industry benchmarks. So does your industry have benchmarks? Yes. Measure yourself against those benchmarks. If you fall short, look at your product, you might need to get another version out there, which is good for you to know.
and if you don’t have industry standards, why not create them? What are your standards? What are you gonna do to set yourself apart from the competitors? And make them kind of chase you a little bit. I think that would be good. And then,you can put it in a chart. So something outside the car industry is dog collars.
Let’s say you sell dog collars. Some things are durability comfort for the dog. Easy to put on the dogs. Some dogs are wiggly worms and getting a color on them or getting a collar off of them might be a very beneficial factor for the pet owner.
The next one is describe key choices in how a product has been designed and their effect on the user, beyond the manufacturer’s saying, so you are the manufacturer. You can go as deep and dark and down as you want to. And no one out there that’s, not part of the company is ever gonna be able to Trump you on that.
So use that one to your advantage, look, to see if there’s gaps in the information. in how you’re showing the design. I’m not saying put your secret sauce out there, but you might have a diagram that you created that you can actually put out there. That’s gonna show the user, oh my gosh, this is really cool.
and then you are the source for all of that, which I think is great. I. Again, if you’re not sure what that could be, this is where interviewing your best customers and other employees and people that are, testing the product becomes very valuable. This is kind of like some of that information you can glean and pull in and fill in those gaps.
the other place to look is have competitors or,benchmarking companies done product reviews or comparisons. and see what they’re saying. Sometimes you can glean a lot of information from these folks that look on the stuff from the outside. The next one is include links to other useful resources, your own, or from other sites to help readers make decisions.
So you may have written a blog. That,does all of this comparison because it was maybe too big for the product description. You can link that back into the product description, and that’s actually really helpful for Google when you link back to your own content, because it, it gives the bot a thread to follow and say, this is like this.
These are similar. you’re helping them connect the dots, Because, they’re not like us as humans. We don’t learn as we see that stuff, you kind of have to give them the breadcrumb and the path. And then the other thing is that, if you’re putting that link in there and the person wants to know more, they can go as deep and far as they want to, without having to have all of that inside of your product description,
external links. So if you were, reviewed somewhere and you like it, this is where you would put it. if you were put inside of a benchmark, if you won an award, you wanna link back to where that’s been announced, and all those other good things, as part of the product, And so the last one and probably one of the most important ones is ensure there is enough useful content in your ranked lists for them to stand on their own.
Even if you choose to rate separate in depth, single product reviews for each recommended product. So this is talking to someone who is talking about four or five different products and they want it to be encapsulated. But the key here. Is enough useful content, not a lot of content, not blathering on and on, but really useful content.
And what Google is talking about here is they are now focusing on people first content, meaning they want the person to be able to use it, engage with it, feel good about it when they leave. it’s written by a human for humans, and they’re gonna start ranking that higher. Listen to episode 76, where I talk about.
This, new useful content direction that Google is going in. This goes for your product descriptions as well. if your product description overall is written for humans, for them to be useful for them to go, gosh, I’m so glad I bought this product because it does this and this. you’re gonna get ranked higher and not just in search, but also in the Google merchant product listing that shows up at the top when you’re actually searching for product.
So that was a lot of information. now we’ve gotten to the part of the podcast where I’m gonna talk to you about your next steps and what you should do with those, descriptions. So I want you to start with one product, right? This is a lot of stuff here. Make it your most popular product, right? One of your flagships, and then do all of this and write out all of the information.
You might have a page’s worth of information. It may look like a blog post that’s. Totally. Okay. then you need to go back and start dissecting it a little bit. You wanna put a really nice, helpful, impactful, useful summary. And this is the key two to three sentences, to get people to want to learn more about the product,to get more of that information.
Those that are like, yeah, this might be for me, are gonna go and search and read more, but you wanna get ’em in that first section. order of importance is. really important. And as I like to say, don’t bury the lead, right? Don’t put it in sentence three of five, right? Put it right at the top.
If you’re using Shopify, they have a, app that you can install called smart tabs. And what this does is it takes the native Shopify, that description area and allows you to create tabs. I’ve seen this on a lot of sites and I personally really like it where you can have your summary tab be the first one.
And that really super impactful short information is there. Then you can have one about details, comparisons. Reviews, all that other good stuff. And because it’s tapped out, it makes it easier for the person that’s looking at the product to digest the information in the way that they want to, they get to order it.
They may look at reviews first. They may look at,dimensions next, let them decide, right? Because their thought process of how they’re going to purchase this is you just don’t know what it’s gonna be. And then in all of these different sections, if you use smart tabs or anything like that, or if you’re just gonna have the whole thing, stay away from paragraphs, it is very hard for people to skim paragraphs they’ll skim, maybe the first five or six words of the first.
sentence. So use single sentences, right? So they can skim, at least each individual sentence and bullet lists are great or charts are really great. It makes it very easy for them to skim the information so they can find exactly what they’re looking for at that moment in time. Even if you do use the tabs, make sure you’re also, single sentences bullet points chart.
Then, once you get that done, I want you to start watching your data, reviewing your data for the next several months, right? This is not days and weeks. This is months, right? It is organic search. It takes longer. so you wanna look at your SEO data either from wherever you look at it or from the Google search console.
And see how your, data is changing and look at your sales data. And when you’re looking at your sales data, make sure you’re looking at where those sales are coming from. Are you seeing a pop in organic sales, which is what we all wanna see, are you ranking higher for different keywords that you’ve ever ranked before?
Are you now number one or in the top five for a keyword that you’ve never ranked before, because you have more of that in your description. And then I also want you to go into your Google merchant account and look at that data. Are your oppressions up? Are your click through rates up? Google does provide all of that information.
And then if you wanna know more about this type of data and how to look at it, I did a blog post article specifically for eCommerce and figuring out where your source state is coming from. So the links to those podcasts are also in the show. . So here are my final thoughts for you.
this is more than a five minute exercise. it’s gonna take you some time, but it’s well worth it. You don’t have to do all your product descriptions at once. You can start with one, and then you can delegate it to someone else once you figure it out your process. but make sure you try to get through all of them over a certain amount of time, cuz the more you get through and then you’re watching your data, You’re gonna wanna do more. Cause then when you start seeing one product go up, you’re like, oh, I gotta do the rest of these. start with your best sellers. Like I said before, I just wanted to reiterate that. And if you don’t have someone on your team or you don’t have time to do this, this is where you bring in a marketing agency to do this on your behalf, that they have product writers, that they understand search, that they understand this process.
so if you don’t hire us, we’d be more than happy to do this for you. We’d love writing product descriptions this way. Have a conversation with them about this, ask them to listen to the podcast and say, Hey, do you do this? Or ask very specific questions cuz they might. Yes. You and you don’t wanna be yes, but either way, whether you do it or you make the investment and have a marketing agency do it, it is well worth the time and financial investment because these product descriptions are gonna be useful for many, many years.
You might tweak them along the way, but this level of work you’re putting in the first. is so worth it because it just keeps getting used over and over again. and you get to make more sales based off of that. relatively small time and financial investment. Here at Inma. We love to give back to the small business community.
If you go to our website, inma.com. I N K YMA. I provide a free 45 minute consultation where we can talk about eCommerce search. Maybe you’ve got hybrid products where it’s a bit of a service with a product. We could totally talk about how to market that. I’d love to have that conversation. Maybe you have a quick question or you have a suggestion for a show you’d love to hear about X, Y, or Z.
I love getting those, knowing that we’re creating content that people are asking for. just makes it so much more fun on the website. There’s a contact form. Ask your question, give your suggestion, fill it out, send it on the way. in addition to our podcast here, we also have a blog marketing masterminds.
Where we do product reviews for products that, we partner with as well as we use every single day. we are subject matter experts in all of those products. we do videos how to use ’em, how to install. ’em how to make the most of ’em. And we do it all from a marketing. Perspective and small business marketing.
So I hope you found today’s episode helpful and useful for you. I hope you’re walking away going. Yeah, I got some great information. If you are, please share this with other small business owners, we are a mighty and small network across the country and we need to help each other out and sharing educational information.
Like this is one of the best ways to do it. Because my goal is to help the entire small business community grow and thrive. So thanks so much for listening and I hope you have an amazing day.