Arguably, the most important content that you create for your product detail pages is the first 150 or so words. If your product detail content does nothing else, it should, within the first three sentences, provide an accurate overview of what your product is, what it does, and what user benefit it will bring your customer. If your intro fails in these steps, you will lose potential sales.
[This post is part of our ongoing series, The Art and Science of the Enhanced (A+) Page.]
This is not sexy stuff. There is no plug-in that will help you. No RSS feed or java script to install.
This step involves employing a native English writer to put "pen to paper" and "tell it like it is." Or as poet Louise Gluck so Zenly put it, "The master said you must write what you see..."
Dissing the Master, in this case, will be bad for your brand, bad for your sales, and bad for your corporate career. Here's why:
One of the oldest truths about the Internet is that visitors to web pages take about 7 seconds to decide should I stay or should I go?
Granted, you may not have control over the design of the e-commerce site on which your product description resides, but you have complete control over the product copy.
Repeat after me (again and again): I have complete control over my product copy.
But you have, at most, seven seconds to convince a reader that your product content is worth reading. In future posts, we'll talk about the use of images, layout, side bars, headers, and other best practices to keep your reader's attention. For now, focus on making certain your introduction pulls its weight.
Specifically, if your first 150 or so words do not include this essential information:
... your visitor's itch will quickly become palpable and they will leave.
Good example from http://www.amazon.com:
With the Belkin Bluetooth Music Receiver, you can wirelessly connect your iPhone or iPod touch to your home stereo or stand-alone speakers. When you pair a Bluetooth-enabled device with your home speakers, you'll not only enjoy superior music quality, but also the convenience of a wireless connection. Change music tracks or skip to another artist from the comfort of your sofa.
Bad example from over 32,000 web pages, including www.electricshaverdeal.com:
Featuring arc foils and blades arced to nestle gently into the skin, together with triple blade action shaving and the added comfort of an adjustable pivoting head make for Panasonics closest shaver ever. Two foils and a center slit blade all float independently, while it’s pivoting head feature rocks up and down, and back and forth, allowing the blades to form and follow every contour of your face.
It's bad enough that this poorly written description exists on any site, but sadly, thanks to what I call the Butterfly Effect of content merchandising, this content resides on no less than 32,000 pages across the Internet. That's a lot of lost opportunity.
In the next post I'll discuss the Butterfly Effect and how poorly written and inaccurate introductions of product copy that's written in Peoria can cause havoc in Portland and heavy returns in Kentucky.
Investing in producing accurate, concise, and informative introductions to your product descriptions will help you retain eyeballs and increase conversion rates.