What makes a good description?

To write a well-optimized description, consider the recommendations below

Show users the benefits

Above all, show readers what's in it for them. What problem(s) does your product solve? How will it improve their daily lives?

Features are great. But to be effective, they should connect back to the user's story and goals. Share a common use case that customers can relate to. Be clear — let them know why they're going to love your product.

For example, let's say you're selling a Stream Deck profile for Photoshop. Which of these opening description lines is more convincing?

  • Example A: "Download 900 unique icons and a 215-key profile. Comes with labeled and unlabeled keys."

  • Example B: "No more memorizing complex Photoshop shortcuts. Simplify your design with one-press Stream Deck commands."

Example A reads like a product spec sheet. It ignores the customer and instead focuses on the product. Whereas Example B highlights a problem, then offers a solution. It makes the customer a priority.

That's not to say features aren't important. Your description should call out key features. After all, how else will a customer know what your product actually does? But features shouldn't be your only focus.

Think of your target customer first, then follow through with features. There's a reason why "Features tell, benefits sell" is one of the oldest marketing sayings in the book.

Highlight unique features

When you're listing out features, make sure to emphasize what makes yours special. How does your product stand out from others like it? What makes it unique?

These unique features are what set your product apart from the competition. They are selling points that help your product rise above the crowd. Make sure readers know about them — and how they'll benefit from choosing yours!

So what is a unique feature? Well, it varies from product to product. For some, it may be extra customization options. For others, it could be a bonus widget. Or maybe it's a special art style, platform compatibility, or color variation.

Let's take a scenario. Which of these stream pack descriptions sounds more appealing?

  • Example A: "The complete creator's kit. Featuring overlays, alerts, widgets, webcam frames, icons, transitions, stream screens, Twitch panels, and social art."

  • Example B: "The complete creator's kit. Featuring a customizable goal widget, 8 different webcam shapes, studio-mixed sound effects, and 2 track matte transitions."

Example A doesn't sound all that special. After all, almost every stream package contains things like overlays and alerts. Example B recognizes what makes it unique and makes it an emphasis. It doesn't waste time talking about the common elements you'd expect to find in other stream package. Example B highlights the special properties that make it a better choice versus the competition.

(Just makes sure to highlight features customers actually care about. After all, your icon pack may be the only one with a Google Stadia key. But if nobody uses Google Stadia, it's not that valuable.)

When customers have many product options, they'll look to see what sets each apart. Identify your unique edge, then play to your strengths.

Use the right formatting

The right formatting makes your description easier to read. It allows users to skim your text and quickly locate important info.

Poor formatting causes frustration and eye strain. It slows down reading and hurts comprehension.

So what makes good formatting? Generally, start with a concise, informative paragraph. Then add a bullet list of your product's key features. Finally, add less important details and specs at the end, along with a strong call-to-action.

The outline below should get you started:

  • Opening paragraph: Hook readers in with a strong intro. Briefly say what your product is. Then show the user how they'll benefit from it. Capture their interest by leading with your most important information.

  • Bulleted list: Now it's time to launch into your main features. Be direct and keep your bullet points short. Separate each feature into a separate bullet. Remember to emphasize what makes your product unique versus the competition. Include important specs and compatibility that customers may be searching for. Keep things clean and organized. Avoid long walls of text.

  • Closing statement (optional): If you'd like, you can end with a short paragraph. Include any details of lesser importance here. Then end with a strong call-to-action that urges the customer to act.

If you'd like to separate your description into sections, use white space line breaks. Or, create headings by using ALL CAPS.

A well-written description won't help if customers don't read it. Make sure they do by using simple, organized formatting.

Make it easy to understand

Be clear and plainspoken. Use everyday language that most creators can relate to. This helps your product reach the widest audience possible.

Remember, most readers will not have your level of expertise. Technical jargon and acronyms may only confuse them. Instead, explain things in a simple, approachable way. It often helps to assume your reader is a new or casual creator — versus an experienced pro.

Not all readers are fluent in English, either. After all, Marketplace is a hub for creators from around the world. Many international users may struggle to read English. The more complicated your writing, the more you'll lose out on this valuable audience.

For this reason, all Makers must first run their description through two copy editing tools:

  • Grammarly: Sign up for a free account and paste your text into a new document. The tool will flag basic spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. It will also scan your text for conciseness, helping to remove unnecessary words and simplify text.

  • Hemingway App: Next, paste your description into the free Hemingway editor. This tool is designed to make your copy simple and clear. It flags long, complex sentences, adverbs, and passive voice — all of which can make your text difficult to understand. The tool also assigns your text a reading level, which you should aim to keep Grade 8 or below.

In some cases, you may want to ignore an edit suggested by Grammarly or Hemingway App. However, any description with numerous unresolved edits will be rejected by Marketplace staff.

For an in-depth introduction to both tools, check out [our guide to editing text].

Lead with key information

Put your most important selling points at the top of your description.

There are a few reasons for this:

  • Short attention spans. You only have a few moments to capture the reader's attention. Generally, users want to skim your text quickly — to see if the product is a right fit for them. Many will only read the first few sentences of your description. Make sure to hook them fast with a strong opening.

  • Above the fold. By default, only the first [INSERT #] characters will show. The rest will be hidden, until a user expands your description. However, not all customers will do this — many will only read what they can easily see. Consider these users, and put your best content where it can be seen by all.

  • SEO keyword strength. Have a keyword you're targeting? Generally, when a keyword appears towards the top of a page, it is valued more by search engines. That means you should prioritize your heavy-hitting keywords early. See more in [our complete guide to SEO].

Generally, your description should be a progression from very important to non-essential. Start with your key benefits and selling points. Then follow up with core features and compatibility. Finally, end with secondary features, specs, and resources. This way you avoid burying your best content where few will see it.

Preemptively answer questions

Customers want quick answers to their questions. It's your job to answer these questions as early as possible. And the first place users will look is in your description.

Try to anticipate common questions about your product. Then provide clear, easy-to-find answers in your description. The more you can answer questions ahead of time, the more informed and confident users will be. If you fail to answer their questions, users may get frustrated — or skip your product entirely.

For example, let's say you've created a chat widget. Since it released, you've received lots of questions about YouTube and chat commands. Try reworking your description to include a new line:

This widget supports YouTube chat and chat commands.

With one quick sentence, your support queries may have been cut in half! And who knows how many potential new customers you've earned.

OK, so how do you find the right questions to answer? Here are a few ways:

  • Ask yourself, what are the most common questions you've received about this product? When users reach out, what answers are they most often seeking? This is the information to focus on.

  • If your product is new, put yourself in the shoes of a potential customer. What is the information you'd want to see before buying or downloading? Or, post a teaser on social media! Are there any common questions you're seeing in the replies or comments?

  • Do market research. Find a product similar to yours and see what users are asking. Look for common questions in reviews or on the Maker's social media. Better yet, scan their product description to see what information they're prioritizing.

Don't worry about less common questions. Too much information may only overwhelm and confuse users. Instead, focus on the questions they're asking most.

And remember: For every customer that asks a question, there are likely many more who had the same question — but never reached out.

Make sure it's up-to-date

Each time you add a major product version, update your description. This is especially important when you add new features — or change existing features.

Not all customers will [read your product's release notes]. So make sure to call out important new additions in your description too! That way your description reflects the most recent version of your product — and not an earlier version.

For example, let's say you're selling a pack of stream widgets. Your description may mention compatibility like this:

These widgets include one-click Streamlabs setup. Your files and settings are imported automatically, without the need for manual installation.

However, your latest version added StreamElements one-click support. Now you'll want to update your description to note this change:

These widgets include one-click Streamlabs and StreamElements setup. Your files and settings are imported automatically, without the need for manual installation.

If you didn't make this change, you may have lost potential StreamElements customers. Now, these users can quickly scan your description and see they are supported.

From your description, users should be able to discover everything they need to know. Make sure it's accurate — update every time you make big changes.

Use your brand voice

Every brand and Maker has its own voice. Your product description is an ideal place to show it off.

Here are some top tips for building a brand voice:

  • Be memorable: A unique voice helps you be remembered. This will come in handy later when users want to return to — or share — your product. Bland, boring dialogue gets forgotten quickly.

  • Show your personality: Don't be afraid to get creative in descriptions. Be real. Show off your unique style and flair. Avoid robotic or corporate speak, which sounds soulless and inauthentic.

  • Be unique: The more unique your voice, the more it will stand out. Your voice can give you an edge, especially in a competitive market. The more you sound like others, the less interesting your product seems.

  • Be consistent: Don't change your voice across different platforms or products. Always communicate in a style familiar to your followers. The more consistent you are, the stronger your brand becomes. The more your voice changes, the less authentic it sounds.

Maker A may speak in an airy, playful tone. Maybe Maker B talks like a military drill sergeant. Meanwhile, Maker C communicates like a newly-sentient AI. It's all fair game, and it adds an extra edge to your creations.

Don't underestimate the power of your voice. When done right, it can help users connect and engage with your brand. And that's true whether you're a large organization or a solo Maker.

Be thorough about contents

Customers want to know exactly what's included and what to expect — especially if your product has a price tag. Be careful not to leave anything out.

Customers don't like mysteries. Make sure you clearly list product contents. You'll attract more confident buyers if you can answer their questions ahead of time.

If you don't, there are a few possible outcomes:

  • You'll see a surge in user inquiries. These require time and effort to respond to, taking you away from other essential tasks.

  • Some customers may be less willing to ask questions. Frustrated by a lack of information, they may bypass your product and move on to a competitor.

  • Some may complain or leave unhappy reviews. Inaccurate or vague descriptions make customers feel misled — especially if the product did not meet their expectations.

Avoid these scenarios by writing detailed descriptions.

Here are some items Makers commonly forget to include:

  • Colors: How many colors are included? List each color option specifically.

  • File formats: Which file formats are included? For example, does your transition come in WebM, MOV, or both?

  • Actions: What do each of your Stream Deck plugin actions do?

  • Icon types: Which specific icons are in your pack?

  • Audio effect settings: What settings can users adjust?

  • Source files: Does it come with Photoshop or After Effects source files?

  • Twitch panels: Which exact panel types are included?

Don't be shy, this is a chance to show off all your hard work! Call out everything you've created and packaged into the product. If you don't, customers will never know it's included! You never know who may be looking for a specific component or setting.

Share important specs

Be upfront. List out the following product specs in your description clearly:

  • Requirements: Is there a minimum hardware or software needed to use your product correctly?

  • Compatibility: Will your product work with the apps, devices, and systems the user already has?

  • Limitations: Are there any known constraints or issues with your product?

With this information, customers can make an informed buying decision. This is important for a few reasons:

  • An open and honest description conveys a trustworthy brand

  • It can make your product look more professional and experienced

  • It reduces unwelcome surprises, which makes for a happier user base

  • It can lead to more overwhelmingly positive customer reviews

Avoid misleading your customers, either deliberately or unintentionally. Be forthcoming with your specs and set expectations early.

Consider off-site SEO

The better users can find your product, the better it can perform. Want your product to appear in Google or Bing searches? Then keep SEO in mind while writing descriptions.

First, select a keyword or keyword phrase you'd like to target. Hopefully, you already did this when selecting a product title. But if not, here are a few ways to find the right fit:

  • Brainstorm a list of related search terms. What would a customer look for to find your product?

  • Do a Google search using a few of the best keywords you brainstormed. What other related keywords is Google suggesting?

  • Analyze a competitor's page. If you know of a product similar to yours, look at their description. What keywords are they repeating?

  • Use a keyword research tool like Google Keyword Planner, SEMRush, or Moz Keyword Explorer. These will estimate keyword volume and competition, plus suggest alternatives.

Once you've selected a keyword, fit it naturally into your description. Make sure to follow these best practices:

  • Avoid spamming your keyword, but do use it at least a handful of times

  • Make sure to fit your keyword in naturally, don't force it

  • The closer your keyword appears to the top of the page, the better

  • Sprinkle in related keywords throughout the description if possible

  • Make sure your text is clear and easy to read

  • Never copy content from another webpage, otherwise Google could block all search traffic to your product's page

Once you've mastered the basics of keyword selection and copywriting, check out [our full product SEO guide].

Use AI copywriting for inspiration

Got writer's block? Break through with an AI copywriter!

ChatGPT by OpenAI is an excellent resource for your product descriptions. Just enter a prompt and watch AI create copy for you in seconds.

The more detailed your prompt, the more accurate the responses. For example, try entering the following prompt into ChatGPT:

Write me a product description for a Stream Deck plugin that controls Microsoft Teams. Start with a few sentences then list details in bullets.

Amazing, right? And you can go even deeper with customization once you start experimenting with some example applications!

But please note, on Marketplace you may not copy text directly from an AI generator. There are a few reasons for this:

  • AI commonly makes mistakes with facts and details, which could mislead or confuse customers

  • AI text usually includes lots of unneeded "fluff", a common term for text that takes up space but doesn't say much.

  • Unless you train it well, AI text often sounds soulless and bland. Without a unique brand voice, your description may be less memorable.

  • AI content may raise issues of copyright infringement, depending on the model used

  • Search engines like Google do not like AI content and punish webpages and sites that use it. A penalty could limit your product's search ranking and hurt other Makers across Marketplace.

For these reasons, Marketplace review staff are trained to spot and reject products that use copy-pasted AI text.

Instead, use AI like ChatGPT as inspiration for your own description. Often you'll discover ideas you never even considered! It's also great for providing structure to your thoughts.

If you do use AI content, make sure to heavily edit the text to fit your brand voice and product specifics. That way the information you present is original and accurate.

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