Wednesday, October 30, 2013

How Copy Writing Can Give You High-End Credibility

How Copy Writing Can Give You High-End Credibility

You have clear, beautiful pictures of your product, a hard-earned and well-deserved reputation as a quality seller, and you may think you’re good to go - but you can undo all of your hard work by ignoring the importance of good copy. From the title of your listing to the description, careful writing can increase views, drive up sales, and lead to trust and interest on the part of your customers. Experienced sellers know this information by heart, but many find it easy to let little things go as their customer base expands and the number of listings grows; after all, what’s one or two little errors on one listing? What’s wrong with using a template description with just one line actually describing the product? However, these errors can cost sellers sales and customers, and they’re easily fixed by recognizing what customers want out of listings and descriptions.

Stand Out From Other Listings

In the early days, at the dawn of eBay, it might have been a new and innovative eye-catcher to use tricks like all caps, excessive punctuation, and liberal use of words like “rare” to lure in curious customers. Yet all bandwagons eventually fill up, and instead of a speedy race to the finish line you get an overburdened heap that lags behind the people who just dust themselves off and start walking. Buyers today - particularly the collectors who are the lifeblood of some sellers - are looking for coherency, accurate information, and confidence. Think about it in terms of offline stores; the ones whose salespeople are shouting and over-hyping their products are generally low-end, while high-end businesses treat their customers with dignity, intelligence, and quiet respect. No matter what you’re selling, it’s always better to be seen as Armani rather than the neighborhood dollar store. Keep your listings as grammatically correct as possible while still listing the important details, be scrupulously honest, and STOP SHOUTING.

Keywords For SEO

Search engine optimization used to be a black-hat hacker trick, and despite advances in using its powers for good, savvy internet users - that is, your customers - are quick to spot the sloppy work of SEO amateurs. While this might not deter them if your items are interesting enough, many might roll their eyes and click away. Employing trained search-engine specialists isone option, particularly if you need to give your store a jump-start, as you can also train yourself by studying the work they provide for you. For smaller stores, or those who are comfortable with their rate of growth, a major tip is to write normally (ignoring SEO writing for the moment) and then go back to change certain words to SEO-friendly keywords. The key is for it to appear natural and for the information to remain as informative as possible. After all, all your work won’t amount for much if you earn a click through SEO but your potential customer is turned away by a wall of shoutygibberish.

Keywords For Interest

It’s also critical to consider which words your customer might be looking for when they scan your listing and description. This may seem like an obvious point, but it depends on your target customer base, and many sellers make this mistake when branching out. Take vintage and antique furniture, houseware, and collectibles for example. There are two main market bases for these items: the average person who is interested in cultivating a certain mood and style in their home, and serious collectors who are more likely to be interested in specific details. Sellers targeting the former should focus on descriptions which are evocative, words which reinforce the buyer’s image of themselves, and any interesting history which will provide that all-important backstory. For sellers whose market is primarily collectors, a straightforward approach will be more successful; many collectors are suspicious of or annoyed by the stylistic approach to what most consider a fairly academic hobby. This tactic applies to almost any product, although the different markets for other products are likely to be different.

Stay Spare And Stylish

Most sellers have a template for their descriptions, which can work very well when used correctly. Unfortunately, the majority of these templates arebusy, confusing, and bury the information their customers are looking for. Given the fast pace of most eBay buying and browsing, this can easily lead to a distracted click away. Remember to always keep your descriptions front and center, using bold to create informative headings and avoiding its use in the copy itself. Whenever possible, put the rest of your template’s store information below the primary description, instead of over it; if you choose to use a sidebar, make it unobtrusive. Finally, remember that templates are not a substitute for good descriptive copy. Think of your template as simply a blank page - if one line on a blank page wouldn't be enough for you to buy an item, it’s likely that it won’t be good enough for your customers either.

Written by Melissa Gardner