Content Creation Part One: How Focusing on Copy Elevates eCommerce Strategy

by Autumn Demonet
February 5, 2021

Limitations Inherent to eCommerce Platforms

Despite its many progressions, eCommerce today still falls short of providing an experience that encapsulates the five senses. You cannot smell, touch, or taste an online product listing, and even a product's images can be misinterpreted when there is no sense of scale. When translating the shopping experience from a brick-and-mortar store to a virtual selling platform, there is a fundamental need for product content to fill gaps in understanding on behalf of the shopper.

In eCommerce, product content typically begins and ends with the attributes displayed on a product page--basic information like dimensions, weight, color, form factor, and more. This product content can also include long- and short-form copy; text with greater detail that provides more context for the reader and likewise improved search engine rankings.

The Role of Search Engine Optimization

eCommerce experts know that one of the best ways to draw new customers to a website is implementing a great search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. Google has even explicitly stated in their SEO Starter Guide that when building an SEO strategy, compelling and useful content determines a website's success over most other factors. The pitfall to avoid when creating content is to avoid keyword stuffing or recycling content without spending too much time developing the unique, engaging, and above all, relevant product copy that search engine algorithms reward.

So, how can you make sure that your product copy goes beyond the basics and really allows products to shine on the web?

By creating copy that is not merely decent but excellent!

Decent vs. Excellent Product Copy

Decent product copy uses keywords to highlight product features and draw search engine attention. It is essentially a placeholder on the page, though. While decent copy is straightforward and direct, it is often overly generic and bland. It does not inspire an emotional response from the customer and probably won't make the difference in a purchasing decision.

Excellent product copy, on the other hand, exceeds the basic standards of SEO. It endeavors to go farther than filling the gaps between specifications on a product detail page and the customer's understanding of that product. It leverages a brand's tone and voice to craft a description that goes beyond merely using specific keywords and elicits a positive emotional response from the customer, whether it be excitement, desire, or a general easing of anxiety. It does not just highlight key features but calls out the specific benefits of a product. It assures customers of core company values without using heavy-handed or salesy language. In short, excellent copy can begin to forge a deeper connection with consumers and spark brand loyalty.

For example, decent product copy might look like:

"BiC Xtra Life ballpoint pens write 90% longer on average than the leading competitor, making them perfect for use in schools, offices, and at home. The flexible round barrel is comfortable and easy to grip, with a translucent design for visible ink supply."

This copy is successful at noting key features such as the longevity of the pen, the different places it can be used, and the main design features. However, it falls short of eliciting an emotional response.

By contrast, excellent product copy might look like:

"Tired of rooting around your drawers for a pen that works all the time? BiC Xtra Life pens write 90% longer on average than the leading competitor, meaning you spend less time looking for a pen and more time writing with it! Plus, the flexible round barrel is translucent, letting you check ink levels at a glance and the vivid blue ink glides effortlessly across paper, never leaving scratches or blots behind as you write. Lightweight and durable BiC Xtra Life ballpoint pens are made of sturdy plastic that resists the wear and tear of busy offices, restaurants, classrooms, and nearly everywhere else."

The excellent copy example starts by introducing a problem and then immediately provides the solution. The features such as longevity, visible ink supply, effortless writing, and durability are presented and translated into specific benefits such as time saved, effort reduced, ease of use, aesthetic results, and resistance to wear and tear. All of this subtly builds the argument for why this pen is superior to similar available options.

Hiring Professional Copywriters to Craft Content

Enlisting professional copywriters to create your web copy can make the difference between decent and excellent. Professional copywriters have the knowledge and expertise to research, write, and proof copy efficiently without losing their grasp on branding. Not only that, but a diverse group of copywriters will, in turn, provide a diverse base of knowledge that can be selectively applied as appropriate. Despite the cost of a copywriting team, expecting a return on investment for such a project as measured by improved search rankings and/or conversions is more than realistic.

Where to Find Experienced Copywriters

There are many places that you can find copywriting talent online. LinkedIn is a great resource, and there are numerous platforms explicitly built for connecting freelancers around the globe with potential clients.

Sitation maintains a team of experienced freelance copywriters to create fresh content for our clients, from broad copy describing a number of products on a category page down to specific copy meant for individual products.

Plezio Content Portal

Our skilled copywriters submit copy using the Plezio Content Portal, a content management solution that forms one part of Sitation's proprietary eCommerce data management platform. The copy is tracked on key metrics such as word count, keyword density, and other custom, client-identified components as it is written. Plezio also automatically highlights salient points for a quick visual confirmation of even dispersal of keywords throughout the text. The copy is then reviewed, edited, and approved internally by the Sitation team before going to the client for final approval.

For more information about how custom copywriting can elevate your eCommerce strategy, look for upcoming blog posts on common copywriting pitfalls and how to avoid them, how rich product descriptions improve conversion, and more.

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