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Marketplace listings: your product description manual

The crucial factor that’ll decide whether a customer buys your product or not is as simple as whether or not they can find it.
The better your items are described, the higher their visibility is on online marketplaces. This manual – put together with the help of our partners at WebInterpret – gives you the formula you need to create the most effective product descriptions. 

Item description must-haves:

●Unique identifiers
Keywords: Put yourself in your customers` shoes
Start by identifying five keywords that capture exactly what it is that you’re selling. (This is recommended as best practice by eBay.)
These five keywords should be used in the product title and be what people would typically search for (e.g. style, colour and brand name). Description requires you to adopt the mind-set of your target audience: You’re trying to match the language you use to the words a buyer would type into a search engine.
Remember that customers don’t search with words like “wow”, “great”, or “awesome”. 

Unique Identifiers: Include the particulars
Online buyers often have a good idea of what they’re looking for, and will search for specific brand names or even a manufacturer's part number (MPN). It’s therefore important to include unique identifiers in your item descriptions.
To increase the chance of buyers finding your product, add details like universal product codes (UPCs), European article numbers (EANs), or international standard book numbers (ISBNs). Being specific will also help your products get picked up by search engines like Google. 


Title: Keep it simple
As we’ve already noted, “awesome” and “totally brand new” are not the best words for titles (they might even be the worst). “Wow” means nothing and “totally brand new” is the kind of over-enthusiastic language that gives buyers misgivings about the sincerity of your description.
The listing title is a key factor in natural searches: Effective title elements are things like the name of the item designer, brand name, size, colour and model number.
What you should avoid is using website and email addresses, phone numbers, block capitals, spelling mistakes and false claims. Don't use any words that may flag your item as illegal by either governmental or eBay standards, or include brand names other than the specific brand name of the item you're listing. This is called ‘keyword spamming’ and is banned by eBay.

Description: Give the bigger picture

Your product description is an opportunity to give online buyers all the information they need to convince them to buy the product. Use bold headers and a font size of 12 or 14 maximum.
Your description should be no longer than 200 words, with the most important keyword phrases making up 5 to 7% of the total. (If you have 200 words of text, this means you’ll want to use your keywords 10 to 14 times.) Search engines only read a certain amount of information on each page, so don’t overload your description with non-essential information.
Although keywords should be included, they shouldn’t be used too excessively in the description – this is another variant of keyword spamming and is considered a violation of eBay policy.
Structure the description in paragraphs for better readability, grouping similar topics together. You should start with the most important details that buyers need first, specific details like size, shape, colour, age, manufacture date, country of origin, company/artist/author, and any notable features or markings. It is also essential to clearly state the item's condition, such as new, used, or still under warranty, and be sure to mention any flaws or repairs in detail, to avoid any unhappy customers further down the line.
Specify clearly what’s included and the type of packaging you're going to use. If your shipping policy for international returns is different from your return policy for domestic buyers, make this clear.
You can also use the description as an opportunity to add links other products in your online store. The words that you link should be relevant to the destination – “Visit my store” or “See other items” are more likely to be followed than “Click here.”
Don’t forget to include alt tags if you do your own HTML. This provides yet another opportunity to optimize key words or phrases that describe the product and are consistent with your content.

What next?
Now you’ve mastered the art of the perfect description for your product listings why not take a look at some quick tips to taking a professional product picture, also from our partners at WebInterpret. They help online sellers using eBay and Amazon expand their store internationally by providing the localised listings essential to securing overseas customers.

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