Product Description Success Formula

Have you noticed more people are using Google PLAs (Product Listing Ads) to sell products? They are, and your product description copy must be great if you expect to compete. Sure, you'll sell something here and there with mediocre copy. But excellent writing gives you conversion rates that get your business rolling in cash instead of struggling or failing.




Your ability to convert readers into customers determines how much you spend on advertising to generate $1 of revenue. If you spend $1.25 to produce $1 your business is failing no matter how much merchandise you sell. If you spend $0.80, you are struggling. If you pay $0.10, you are doing fantastic.

There are a few simple things you can do to improve your product listings.

Understand Your Target Market

Product listings are usually jam packed with product features. That's a mistake. When people buy something, the features of that something are always of secondary importance. People purchase products because they believe they'll get benefits by having it. Those benefits they perceive meet some basic need they have.

There are two kinds of needs. First, and most obvious, is the explicit need. Think of that as the "logical" need. For example, "I need to drive nails, so I am going to buy a hammer." That's a no-brainer.

Less obvious is the emotional need. People always look for one or more of 8 key emotional benefits.

  • They want more free time
  • They want a better family life
  • They want more freedom to do what they want
  • They want more peace in the life
  • They want to achieve their dreams
  • They want more comfort in their lives
  • They want food for their ego

There can be other emotional needs like the need to feel sexy, but at least one of the emotional needs listed above is always a factor.

For a person to make a decision to buy, they must believe a product will meet both their "logical" and "emotional" needs. You can only create an effective product listing and write compelling copy if you understand exactly what those needs are. You've got to get into your customers' heads.

You do that by hanging out in Facebook (or similar) user groups and reading reviews (on Amazon). See what people talk about.

Understanding The Sales Funnel

pla sales funnel

A sales funnel is a process that takes a person from the point where they perceive a need to making the decision to buy. Any complete sales funnel must do 2 critical things. It has to convince viewers the product meets their needs... it's the right product for them both logically and emotionally. After it's done that, it needs to convince the viewers to buy the product from YOU instead of a competitor.

Different types of advertising introduce viewers at various points in your sales funnel. SEO typically brings people in at or near the top. That means your copy has to do all the sales funnel work.

PLA Ads bring viewers that are already far along in the sales funnel. They probably have already made the decision to buy the particular product, or at least the type of product you're selling. So, the copy you write needs to focus on convincing them to buy from you. Does yours?

Landing Pages

Internet selling has created the concept of a "landing page." That's the page that a viewer sees after they make a decision to click on your internet ad or SEO result. Landing pages have evolved over the years from seemingly endless pages with massive amounts of copy to short pages with or without a video.

PLA ads typically take viewers directly to a page where the viewer can buy the product shown in the ad. So, with PLAs, the product listing page is also the landing page. That means your product listing page mainly needs to convince people to buy the product from you. It needs to drive them to make a decision to click the Add To Cart button and buy from you NOW.

Let's look at an example of what NOT to do.

Consider this DOG STATIC REMOTE TRAINER. The copy in the PLA is...

The Little Dog Remote Trainer is the reliable way to train your dog off-leash. This versatile and easy-to-use remote trainer will help you teach your dog new commands and manage misbehavior. At the push of a button on your remote, your dog receives a safe but annoying static correction from the collar. The correction gets your dog’s attention, and with 16 levels to choose from, you can be sure to find just the right level for your dog.

Is this boring? You bet! Chances are, the viewer already knew this. Remember, they entered a search phrase like "dog training collar." They pulled up this ad already having an idea of the product they want. So, you click...

You see the same picture again and the following description...

For dogs up to 40 lbs. and necks up to 33". 100-yard range. Electronic handheld transmitters deliver correction signals to the remote training collar from a distance of up to 100 yards.

  • Adjustable, waterproof receiver dog collar
  • Electronic remote provides correction signals to dog's collar
  • 16 levels of stimulation plus a tone-only button
  • +2 boost button option for distractions

Over 50 vendors sell this product. What encourages anyone to buy from this seller? Nothing. The copy is just a list of features... the same features the other vendors list. It doesn't address logical or emotional benefits, and it certainly does not give viewers a reason to buy from this seller NOW. If your copy looks like this, it's no wonder if you're not making many sales. Take a minute and go look at your product pages.

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Why People Buy From YOU

Viewers will buy from you over your competitors for a few basic reasons.

  • Higher Perceived Value - people buy when they think they're getting more value from you. That happens if your price is lower or if they get something more for the same or even a higher price. In drop shipping, manufacturers usually set a MAP, so you generally can't sell below your competition. That means you must offer more. Free shipping, no tax, and bundled bonuses are ways to do that. But even creating the impression that you have superior customer service can be perceived as a higher value.
  • Reciprocity - people will want to buy from you when they feel you have done them a favor of some kind. Believe it or not statements like "Sale Prices Extended For 3 Days By Popular Demand" both create Reciprocity and Scarcity.
  • Social Proof - people will want to buy from you when they know other people have bought from you and been both satisfied and happy.
  • Authority - people will want to buy from you when they believe you are an expert in what you are selling.
  • Scarcity - people will want to buy now when they believe they will lose something if they don't.
  • Jargonless - people will want to buy now when they feel you are talking to them and not just using the same, lame product jargon.
  • Better Benefits - people will buy from you when they believe you understand their needs better than your competition does and, consequentially, will deliver the benefits they want better.

A Product Listing Formula

Your successful product listing reminds viewers of the benefits they will get by owning the product. It shows them the experience of owning the product. It also gives them a reason to buy from you. A product listing template is shown at the left. This model has produced six-figure sales on a regular basis. The different sections should be in more or less the order shown, but you may need to make adjustments for your theme.

For the purpose of example, let's use the same dog training collar and create a better product listing.

Product Title - carefully craft a product title that describes the product, distinguishes you from your competition, and incorporates the most widely used search term. For example... "PetSafe Little Dog Wireless Remote Static Training Collar."

Product Pricing And Order Button - clearly state your price and any savings the viewer gets by buying from you. If you find just one other vendor at a higher price, the viewer can save by buying from you now. Don't be afraid to let them know. Consider... "$57.49 compare to $67.67". Make sure the Add to Cart button is clearly visible near the price.

Product Images - product images are important, but it's important to distinguish your images from everyone else. Most of your competition will just take the image the manufacturer gives them.

You can add a slight variation as shown at the right. It's important to include multiple images that give viewers an idea of what it's like to use the product. At least one lifestyle image is a good idea because it gives the viewer a visual idea of the benefits they will get after they buy. The picture at the right implies the viewer will have more comfort (happiness) in their life if they buy your product.

Product Videos - Depending on the particular product, videos are a great way to visually show viewers what benefits they will get from the product and how to use the product. Manufacturer videos are good, but YouTube videos will work so long as they don't direct viewers to your competition. Review videos are great, but be sure you watch them first.

Product Logos - product logos are great eye candy and may give the viewer the impression that you are the manufacturer. They may perceive this as another reason to buy from you. The best choice is a logo for the particular product on the page, not a generic manufacturer logo.

Bonus Offers - always should be at the top of your page. This is what distinguishes you from competitors. In marketing lingo, it's part of your Unique Sales Proposition (USP). Make sure people see it.

Benefits Description - this is where you connect with your viewer and let them know you can deliver the benefits they're looking for. The first sentence is critical. It must relate to the emotional reason they are buying the product. Consider the following...

"Imagine the fun you'll have when taking your favorite friend on a walk when they instantly respond to the instructions you give them, even off their leash. Your Little Dog Wireless Remote Training Collar eliminates out-of-control behaviors. A simple push of a button delivers a gentle stimulation or beep through the dog collar up to 100 yards away and gets your pup's attention."

Your Recommendations - you want to show your viewers that you're an expert and that you have selected this product specifically for them. A little research makes this easy to do. Consider...

"Get the best results from remote training collars by starting with both the training collar and a leash. After a short time, your dog will respond to the collar alone. We don't recommend leaving the collar on the dog for extended periods of time. Use it when you're outdoors and take it off in the yard or in the house. This is for small dogs. Your dog should weigh at least 10 pounds and less than 40 pounds."

Product Features - one of the most common mistakes is confusing product features with benefits. The product features are important AFTER THE VIEWER HAS ALREADY DECIDED THEY WILL GET THE BENEFITS THEY ARE LOOKING FOR. Consider...

  • "Waterproof black collar
  • Range up to 100 yards
  • Easy-to-read digital remote transmitter
  • 16 levels of stimulation with +2 boost option
  • electrical stimulation or beep
  • trains 1 dog at a time
  • Includes receiver collar, digital remote transmitter, wrist strap, test light tool, operating and training guide, and four batteries.
  • 1-year limited warranty."

Testimonials - testimonials are great, and the best testimonials tell viewers how great you are. Consider...

"I love this product. It didn't take long for my dog to adjust to the collar. What I'm particularly pleased with is the excellent advice I got from Specialty Dog Stores. Their instant phone service provided the help I needed to get the system working out of the box."

Other Information - anything else that supports the customer's decision to buy. Things like shipping details, warranty details... they go here.

So, let's take a look at the product listing landing page. Would you tend to buy from Specialty Dog Stores? Of course.

You will make significant gains in sales conversions by realizing that your product listing pages are really another type of landing page (product landing page [PLP]) and designing them to do four basic things...

  • Show the viewer you understand their logical and emotional needs and that the product you are selling will meet those needs.
  • Demonstrate to the user that you can meet all their needs better than your competition.
  • Convince them that you provide a better value that your competition.
  • Inform them of key product features.

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The more time you invest to create a great product landing page the better conversions you will see. Edit your PLPs several times before publishing them. Do some kind of split testing. When you get it right you can see a 20-30% increase in sales conversions. It's worth it!

Ron Morefield

  • Erica says:

    Proofreading your listings would also be wise! 😉

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