One of the most common pitfalls that we see with eCommerce websites is that of republishing manufacturer descriptions. It’s an understandable mistake. Copying and pasting a few hundred descriptions is certainly quicker than rewriting them. Some sites even use RSS or product feeds to populate their site, which further cuts down the time it takes to produce and publish content.
However, Google and your visitors won’t appreciate the lack of effort. What’s more, your business and your website performance will suffer. Your branding will also endure a negative impact. Below are five reasons to either rewrite your eCommerce content or have somebody rewrite it for you.
1. Google Duplicate Content
Google hates duplicate content and, with years of practice, it is very good at recognizing the site where content was originally published. By using manufacturer content, it means that you run the risk of your page not even being displayed in search results. Instead, it could find itself consigned to the omitted results section of search engine result pages. Even if your page does display in results, it will be much harder to rank it above the original content than if you had rewritten it.
2. We’ve Seen It All Before
The visitors to your site will also disapprove of your lack of effort. Modern consumers are well educated. They know how to shop around, and they know to look at several sites that offer the products they are searching for. As such, they will recognize when you have simply republished existing content. They will get a line or two into the product description, recognize it, and consign it to the back of their memory. They certainly won’t remember your brand in a positive light.
3. Keyword Targeting
Rewriting content also means that you can use different or additional keywords to the original piece. Bear in mind that dozens or even hundreds of pages could have the same content, this means they are also targeting the same keyword. They have the same content as you, which means that you will gain no on-page benefit. Writing your own descriptions means that you can use targeted phrases from your keyword research, and you can benefit from natural, long-tail keywords.
4. Narrative Voice
There are many elements to brand recognition. As well as the design of your site, the consistent use of your logo, company name and other elements, even the narrative voice that you use on every page of your website is a consideration. By using duplicate content, you surrender the right to include your own narrative voice. Rewrite the content, add your own calls to action, and use your own voice to help promote the products that you are selling.
5. Expanded Descriptions
Manufacturers know their content is going to be used by a host of sites. As well as ensuring that their own content is indexed first, many will only put together a few lines. By writing your own content, you can greatly increase the amount of content you have. You can expand on ideas, you can include frequently asked questions and you can link to relevant guides on your site. In fact, by writing your own content, you have total editorial freedom to do as you want.
Original eCommerce content will yield better results than duplicate content. Ensure that it is high quality, try to include rich media such as images or videos, and create better content than your competitors (which includes manufacturers at this point). You will yield greater results.
Matt Jackson is the founder and lead copywriter for Ethical Link Building, providing SEO link building campaigns including press release writing and article marketing services. He provides eCommerce writing services, including the writing or rewriting of production descriptions.
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