How to Write Captivating Copy (With No Experience)

Store Build Series Week 6

It’s amazing that this week some aspects will finally be coming together to start completing the look of my online store.

New to this case study series? Don’t worry, I’ll catch you up.

Week one was all about choosing a niche. I broke down all the steps I take when choosing a new niche to build a store around.

Week two I started to set up my Shopify store and I even chose an amazing theme called Grid.

Week three was all about choosing and ordering product samples for my online store.

Week four product samples arrived and they looked amazing.

Week five a major tragedy occurred making me consider scrapping this whole project. But I pulled myself together and started taking product photos for my store.

And this week, I’ll be teaching you my strategy for writing product descriptions and an about us page.

Copywriting plays such a huge role in the success of your store. It can attract your customer and help them better relate to you but it can also scare them off. I’ll be breaking down exactly why I wrote my product descriptions the way I did and share some of my copywriting tips along the way.

Writing Product Descriptions

While it’s true that photos play a major role in getting customers to buy your product, it’s important to know that your product descriptions can also help you better convert the sale.

Your product description needs to help the customer know why they need to buy your product. I mean, you can look at a photo and think ‘wow, that letter board looks really cool.’ But the copy should make them realize ‘hey, I need to buy one of these.’ The copy helps connect the dots to help the customer understand why they need to buy.

It should also include important information like dimensions, sizing, color and other details to help them buy the right product for them. By the way, I know that sometimes it seems weird to include the color of the product when the color is clearly shown in the picture. However, you should always still include copy that might seem obvious to you. Sometimes details you think you captured in a photo aren’t actually clear to the customer. And the copy can help customers confirm little details about the product.

When a customer shops for a product in a store, they’re able to feel the texture, lift it, visually see the size in comparison to the world around them and more. With an online store, they don’t get the same type of experience. Your copy can help make your customers feel like they’re in a store, looking at and touching your product, simply by vividly describing how the texture of a product feels or helping them imagine how much joy your product will bring them.

Directly in the Oberlo app, under Import List, you’ll find the products you added that you need to write copy for.

When it comes to writing product descriptions, the copy you write needs to match who your audience is and the product you’re selling. Why? Because if your audience is playful and you’re writing plain, descriptive copy, you don’t connect with them. Maybe a few will still buy because they want the product. But your copy didn’t help start the process of building a relationship. It also needs to match the tone of the product you’re selling. If you’re selling unicorn makeup brushes, you likely don’t want to use dominant or aggressive words. While unicorns aren’t real, they’re still considered graceful and there’s a sense of youthfulness to the product. And so the language you use needs to cater to the product you’re selling.

How to Research Your Audience

It’s possible to write a product description on day one, even without knowing who your audience is.

How do you do this?

Research.

You’re probably not the first person in the world to sell your product, especially as a dropshipper. Fortunately, you can browse Instagram or even competitor’s websites to better understand what style copy you should be writing.

So, let’s start off with Instagram.

Instagram Letter Boards

I browsed a few instagram hashtags to see what type of content people share. You can tell by the letter board quotes that people often write funny or inspirational content. After scrolling through countless pictures, it’s become clear that upbeat and playful copy should do the trick. That’s who my target audience is and that’s how I need to attract them.

Still, I decided to look at competitors’ websites to get a sense of their copywriting style.

I read through the product descriptions on a few competitors’ websites, Amazon, and a couple big box retailers.

One competitor focused on merely describing features with half a sentence describing what the letter board can be used for. They focused on the what instead of the why. Meaning they focused on what the product is instead of why someone should buy it. And I knew that I didn’t want to write copy like that.

Other mistakes from competitors included a lack of SEO, salesy product descriptions, and one seller even mentioned his competitor by name and told people not to buy from them. Yikes.

Also, I noticed a lot of competitors used exclamation marks, which is something I tend to avoid in my copy mostly to tone down the sales pitch feeling.

After browsing Michael’s website, a popular arts and craft retailer, I liked the format they used for their copy. They wrote a short paragraph description and included bullet points for product details and contents. I decided to break down my product details in a similar way to ensure that the customer has all the little details they need to make an informed purchasing decision.

Michaels

After browsing a few other websites, I’ve decided to use a combination of styles. I’ll be using a similar format style to the Michael’s product description but it’ll be written in a playful and funny style like one of the competitors.

When it came to writing my product descriptions, I wanted it to be SEO optimized. So in my first sentence, I knew I had to include the keyword ‘letter board.’ I used the first sentence to introduce the product – it answers the question what is it?

However, immediately after answering that question, I focused on the most important person: the person reading it.

I wanted to make sure the person reading it knew that I knew how awesome he or she is, in this case, they’re funny.

The following sentence was used to inspire the potential customer (remember how I mentioned most of the posts were either funny or inspirational?). I wanted to encourage the potential reader to share their sense of humor with others.

I then focused on detailing what the letter board can be used for so that the potential customer could know whether or not it’s the right product for them. I decided to use a little bit of humor in these next few sentences to better relate to my audience.

The last sentence in the paragraph was used to tie in emotions. I mentioned that they’d have fun with this product because it really is a fun product.

I kept the product details in short, easy to read bullet bullets so that people can scan the information quickly without having to find it buried within a paragraph of copy.

In the end, this is how I formatted and wrote my product description:

Product Description

Tips for Optimizing Your Product Page for SEO

  • Include your main keyword. Aim to have that main keyword show up on your page for at least 1% of your copy. You can use a tool like Keyword Density Checker to help you determine if you’ve optimized the page for that keyword. Don’t forget to include the keyword in your page title and product images.
  • Add relevant keywords. You’ll notice in the product description above that I also used the keyword ‘felt board.’ This has two purposes. First, it helps another keyword rank on that product page. Second, it helps prevent keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing is basically when you use the keyword too many times to try to rank for it which can result in a Google penalization.
  • Update your product description every six months. As you start to grow your sales, customers will start to give you feedback on your product. Include a couple points based on the feedback from your customer to better sell the product.
  • Add a review app like Product Reviews. While product reviews help more so with social proof, they also show search engines that the page is constantly being updated with new information. Your customers writing a product review helps increase activity on the page without you directly doing it.
  • Add internal links (links to other pages on your website) from blog posts. Say you write a blog post about the 10 best beauty products. You can add a link to the product page from a blog post which not only helps drive traffic to the product page to boost rankings but also gives the webpage a slightly higher rank.

Writing Copy for the About Us Page

There are a million ways you can write and design an about us page.

Most people talk about themselves when they write an about us page.

‘Uh, Nicole it’s about us though.’

Nope, not really.

Your about us page is more about your customer than you.

Your customers want to know whether you’re aligned with who they are and whether or not they can trust you.

And so when I write an about us page, I zero in on the customer.

I want my customers to know that even when talking about my own brand, the focus is still on them. They’re more important than me.

Here’s what I ended up writing:

About Us Page

When writing the about us page, I use the first word to hook them in and to let them know who this page is really about so the first sentence is just the word ‘you.’

I use the second sentence to mention how important of a role they played in the creation of the store.

The next three sentences center around what the product helps them do but in an inspirational/emotional way rather than a logical way. So I didn’t say ‘You can use this letter board to write funny quotes’ but instead focused on the impact they can have on others by saying ‘channel your creativity into something that makes you and others around you laugh.’

It isn’t until the 8th line until I mention how we help the customer. But even then, the focus is on us as a coach or a mentor while the real player in the game is the customer. ‘All we do is help encourage you to get it out there’ shows that we play a minor role in their special moments.

I then decided to end the the copy with a compliment and a little bit of encouragement.

Optimizing the About Us Page for Sales

Since About Us pages can get a lot of traffic, I decided to add a product to the page.

I simply added ‘Buy Button’ as a Sales Channel in the Shopify backend and chose the product I wanted to add. All I had to do was add some lines of code to the About Us page.

By adding the best-selling product to the About Us page, you increase the chances that a customer will add a product to their cart. Why? Because they don’t have to change pages to find the product. It’s about simplifying the shopping experience for them.

Ideally, you should consider having product listings on your highest traffic pages. So, I also included the best selling product on the homepage of our website as well. As you start to get data on what your best performing webpages are, you can better optimize those pages to encourage people to buy your products.

Bonus Copywriting Tips

  • This article focused on writing product descriptions for a lifestyle product. However, some products solve a burning problem for customers. If you have a product in a niche like weight loss or teeth whitening, you might choose to use PAS copywriting formula. In this situation, first you present the problem, then you poke at the problem and finally you provide the reader the solution: your product.
  • You can also write copy based on themes. For example, some brands focus on writing copy that helps build social proof. In this case, you’d write copy that tells your customer who uses your product and how its helped people. Or if your theme is to build trust you might mention that you have a money-back guarantee or free returns.
  • Tie in emotions into your copy. Your copy should get an emotional reaction out of your potential customers. Whether you make them laugh, excited or desperate for a solution will depend on the product you’re selling. But your words can powerfully compel a complete stranger into buying your product.
  • Your copy should always be scannable. The main reason why I used the Michael’s template earlier was due to readability. Bullet point details are really easy to read and scan for a customer. You’ll also notice I bolded subheadings. I also spaced out the lines of the About Us page to make it easier to scan through.
  • Focus on helping your customer imagine the experience of owning your product. What benefit does a customer get out of your product? How does your product enrich your customer’s life?

Next Week

Next week, I’ll go over how to price your products and how to set your store’s currency to USD. I’ll also be going over the finishing touches of the website to make it ready for its grand debut.

Want to learn more?

 

 

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