Don’t Be Afraid of Adjectives: Copy Writing That Works

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Small business owners face a unique challenge when it comes to creating copy for their websites. The language on your site needs to serve at least three purposes:

  1. Inform your customer about your business’ service or product offerings
  2. Serve as a sales tool, convincing the customer they want to buy from you
  3. Impact your site’s SEO in a positive manner, making it easy for customers to find you and boosting your position in Google and other search engine rankings

All of these objectives are important. We’ve found that while most small business owners are very clear on what they want to say to inform their customers about who they are and what they do, and they have a pretty good understanding of the importance of SEO – everyone wants to be number one on Google! – effectively using language as a sales tool is a very big challenge.


Enter the adjective.

Thinking back to all of those boring, tedious, dull, repetitive grammar classes in elementary school, you’ll remember that an adjective is a word used to describe a noun. The products you sell and the services you provide are, for the most part, nouns.

Adjectives are in surprisingly short supply on many e-commerce sites. When you look at a product listing, for example, you’ll find a bare-bones description of the item in question – the size, the materials it’s made of, perhaps the country of manufacture, and facts like that. All of this information is necessary to list – but it’s not everything you need to say. What’s missing in the description is the adjectives: the descriptive words that make your customer want to buy the item.


Let’s say you’re selling sweatshirts on your website.

Can you see the difference between these two listings?

#1

copy-bluehoodie

Made in the USA blue sweatshirt features raglan sleeves, front pocket and drawstring hood.

#2

copy-bluehoodie

Made in the USA vibrant royal blue sweatshirt features raglan sleeves, roomy front pocket and a warm, comfortable drawstring hood.

Which sweatshirt would you rather buy? Even adding a minimal amount of description, as you see in example #2, makes your merchandise more appealing. Investing the time to add adjectives to your copy will be rewarded with increased sales.


Adding adjectives to your copy can be a daunting prospect if you have dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of items on your website. Here are some tips to make the prospect less overwhelming:

  • Remember you don’t have to update every product listing at once. Start with your best-selling and most profitable items, and work your way through your website, updating a few items at a time until they’re all done.
  • The language you use to sell your merchandise or services in person will be effective online. Think about the benefits you point out when you’re hand-selling an item. Those benefits will be important to your online customer as well.
  • Struggling to come up with an adjective? Think in terms of your senses: how does the item look, feel, smell, taste? These sensory words will help you sell.

Every piece of copy on your website is an opportunity to sell your prospective customers on the idea that doing business with you would make their lives better, easier, or more fun. It’s always a good idea to read your copy out loud – before it goes live! – and think through how it sounds to your customer. This is an easy way to catch any errors. Additionally, have a staff member or friend give the copy a once over for typos or misspellings. You’ll be glad you did.


Need help with your website copy? The Technology Therapy team will help you craft copy that meets all three essential objectives for small business success. The process is simple and easy. Give us a call!

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