How to Write Search-Friendly Product Descriptions

By the time a prospective customer lands on one of your ecommerce site’s product pages, your sales funnel is in great shape. Not only has the customer already performed most of the legwork by this point—researching their pain point or general interest, discovering a possible solution, and narrowing the solution down to a specific product—but they’re also in a conversion-focused mindset. Compare, for example, the person searching for “trail running tips” to the person searching for “Nike Air Trailrunners.” Which person is more likely to buy your Nike Air Trailrunners? Which person is more likely to be shopping at all during the time of the search?

If only it were easy to lead those low-funnel, high-intent customers to your product pages in the first place. Unfortunately, because those searches are so highly specific, they’re few and far between (relative to comparable high-funnel queries). That’s why product page SEO is such a critical part of your overall SEO strategy: when those singular product searches do crop up, they’re worth their weight in gold—if you can convince Google that your product page is the most relevant one for the search. And the best way to reinforce the relevance of your product page keywords? Write relevant product descriptions.

This post will walk you through a quick, five-step process for writing conversion- and search-friendly product descriptions, helping you connect with this valuable target audience and win more conversions.

1. Perform Keyword Research

It’s a common misconception that keyword research isn’t terribly important on product pages because the keywords are low-volume and low-competition. They’re also self-explanatory: naturally, your keyword will be the specific product itself because it’s a precise match for the customer’s search. You wouldn’t want to choose a broad keyword geared to people searching for content or other information because many of those users would deem your product page irrelevant and bounce.

That said, it’s still important to know how your customers are searching for each specific product. Do they make branded searches? What additional words do they include in the search? If there are two popular ways to reference your product, which way is more popular? This is the kind of information you’ll be looking for as you perform your product keyword research—which, granted, won’t be nearly as extensive as the keyword research you’d perform for the broader, more high-competition keywords on your higher-tier pages.

Unfortunately, there aren’t many accurate and free keyword research tools available for this part of the process; even Google’s keyword tool, if you have a Google Ads account, won’t give you the specificity you’re looking for here. If you’re making your own optimizations, it’s worth it to scout out a paid keyword research tool like Ahrefs. Run variations of your product through one of these tools and select the keywords that have decent search volume (or any volume at all, as the case might be for super niche products).

2. List Your Value Propositions

As an exercise, list the key benefits of your product before you start writing your copy. Remember, people actually read your product descriptions; they’re not just for search engines. In fact, product copy is often the critical last touchpoint the customer needs before they can make the purchase. Listing out the crucial benefits you wish to communicate will help you keep these front and center as you write the description. That, in turn, makes it more likely that your copy will be inviting enough to close the sale.

3. Draft Your Product Description

Now it’s time to write your product description. While it varies from person to person, many SEO specialists and copywriters choose not to think about the keywords at this point so they can focus on writing clear, compelling copy that tells a story. This is the strategy we recommend for people who can’t naturally add the keywords as they write, which is most of us (even seasoned SEO pros). At this stage, simply focus on writing the best, most customer-friendly copy you possibly can.

Keeping the customer’s needs or pain points at the forefront, share what makes your product different. List product specifications if needed; most ecommerce stores break their copy into a short, punchy product description that can be read right away with additional, more extensive information the customer can reference if they’re interested. This additional information can also include customer reviews and testimonials, videos, FAQs, and more.

4. Add Your Keywords

Once your product description is complete to your liking, add your keywords where they most naturally fit. Fortunately, this part isn’t usually too hard on product pages because of how highly targeted they already are. There’s no hard and fast rule regarding the number of times to add each keyword; we recommend sticking with what feels the most natural. This means ideally, you’ll be tweaking existing phrases that are very similar to your keyword, not shoehorning in new information for the sake of it.

5. Proofread Your Copy

Last, read over your masterful copy to make sure it’s as clear and compelling as you want it to be. If your inclusion of the keywords created any awkwardness, smooth that out now. Then proofread for spelling and grammar, and critique the clarity and flow of the writing itself. As a final step, assess the text for its visual readability: is the font readable? Are your paragraphs short and clear? Have you broken up your text using headers, bullets, bold font, and other visual cues?

Once you’re satisfied that everything is in top shape, you’re done with the product copy. The only thing left to do is optimize other elements of the page like meta data and image size (compressing your images reduces the page load time), then publish the changes. Measure your results on an ongoing basis so you can make adjustments as you learn new information about your search audience.

If you can perform these steps on all of your priority product pages, the results won’t just pay off in traffic and revenue—they’ll also introduce you to a new base of eager, conversion-friendly customers.