E-Commerce Help Line: Easy Tips for Writing Web Copy That Sells

Has the pandemic given you the nudge you needed to expand your brick-and-mortar dance store’s e-commerce? Here are copywriting tips to make sure customers reach your website—and then buy from you.

Illustration of writers with laptops creating internet content.
Getty Images

Having to write catchy product descriptions, sharp headlines and an engaging “About Us” page can cause a case of writer’s block in even the craftiest retailers’ brains. We turned to Gilbert Russell, owner of Brio Bodywear in Ottawa, ON, and certified retail coach, for some web copy tips. 

Make sure you are using the right keywords

Russell suggests creating a Google Ad Words account or using Ubersuggest. Make sure you’re using your keywords in the product descriptions and product titles, and include them in your image titles, as well. “Be sure that the brand and model number is listed,” he adds.

Search engine optimization (SEO)—used to increase your site’s visibility and ranking in relevant searches—is important enough to contract out if you don’t feel comfortable taking it on yourself. That’s exactly what Victoria Lyman Guimarães, owner of Allegro Dance Boutique in Evanston and Barrington, IL, did. “A lot of people are eager to find work during the pandemic,” she says. Look within your community for SEO consultants who offer one-time or ongoing service packages. 

Tighten up your product descriptions

Keep them short, and turn your product features into easy-to-read bullet points. “First, appeal to customers’ emotions,” says Russell. Start your description by telling the customer how they will feel in the product. “The second line can give them the facts. And the third, your expert opinion.”

This formula will help you appeal to the logical buyers and the emotional buyers at the same time. “We use a lot of keywords in the description, like ‘soft fabric’ and ‘quick-dry,” says Nathalie Velasquez, owner of Nathalie & Co. Dancewear | Swimwear | Activewear in Phoenix, AZ. “Then I do bullet points with the facts for that logical buyer.” A description for a St. Patrick’s Day tutu, for example, has a line that conveys the fun of seeing kids and babies in the shamrock tutu, then three bullet points about the tulle fabric and trimmings, lining and waistband. The copy finishes up with expert advice on how to style and care for the item. 

Use an FAQ page to your advantage

The FAQ page gives you a place to address some of your customers’ common objections. If you find that people are turned off by a high price, use this page to share details about how the item is made and what materials it uses so they can see its enduring value. Or if you discover customers complain about street parking, share some nearby public lots where they can park. 

Make it about the customer 

The “About Us” page is the second most visited page on your site, and it’s the place where you can tell your story. Here’s where to let the customer in on who you are and personalize your shop, but don’t make this page just about yourself. Russell suggests sharing what makes you special, from the customers’ perspective. Change your language: Instead of saying “Our store has the best leotard styles,” say “You will find the best leotard styles at our store.” 

DIG DEEPER: Download Gilbert Russell’s 12-point checklist for how to get more customers and improve your online game.

Libby Basile reports regularly on visual merchandising, retail strategy and store design. She is a former editor in chief of Dance Retailer News.