First thing I do is go to their website, choose a few products at random and plop the item’s description into Google.
Bingo! Mystery solved.
Their store, along with dozens more, are using the exact same item description – otherwise known as duplicate content.
When I point this out the same excuse usually comes up. “I don’t have the time to write descriptions, so I use what the manufacturer gives me.”
It’s at this point I go into my usual rant about the importance of having unique product descriptions for your items in order to get good rankings in Google and the other search engines.
This usually serves as a wake-up call for most store owners and they pledge to start writing new descriptions. Others say they’ll do it, but they never do. They’re the ones who call me a few months later with the same complaint.
I can’t stress the importance of having unique product descriptions on your website enough. I realize that as a small business owner you have a lot of hats to wear during the day, but this is your baby – your paycheck every week.
It should take, on average, three to five minutes to rework one product description that includes relevant keywords. (If your products are very detailed and have a lot of specifications, it may take a bit longer.) If you dedicate one hour a day to this task, you can rewrite around dozen item descriptions a day.
If you are confident you or a member of your staff can’t undertake this task, you need to find a way to do it:
- Go to your local college or university and look for a student who is studying English or creative writing and is interested in an internship. You can get interns either on a paid or unpaid basis and their work on your site will benefit not only you, but them.
- Post an ad on Craigslist.com or ask friends and family if they would be interested in this writing task. Come up with a per-description price that you are willing to pay them and get them started.
- Hire a part-time writer – someone who is in college or fresh out of college and is looking to earn a few bucks and has good writing skills. You can pay them by the hour and put them to work right away. This is my favorite option and the one I would recommend.
- One final option would be to hire a company to write the descriptions for you. This is going to probably be your most expensive option and one that I would recommend only as a last resort.
No matter what route you take, it’s going to cost you time, money and effort to get this task done and done right. But the benefits it will reap for you down the road will more than make up the investment. I know it’s a pretty daunting task and just the prospect of re-writing descriptions sends a chill down your spine, but it’s something that you have to do.