How to Use Excel to Write Thousands of Product Descriptions Easily

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This post originally came from Eralis.com. Read the whole article here.

A problem many E-commerce website owners face is duplicate product descriptions. You originally pulled all your descriptions from the manufacturer website and now Google have, over the last few years, tightened their reins, you’re not ranking as well as you used to. Maybe you’re building a new site and you want to give your site every possible chance of ranking well by adhering to Google’s best practice guides.

The real issue is how you can realistically write 2000 unique product descriptions whilst you’re trying to manage your website, business and potentially staff. You could, of course, find and employ a copywriter who has existing knowledge on your product base. What’s that? You sell high performance liquid CPU coolers?

The solution

Don’t waste your time worrying about it or working out how many days it’s going to take to get thousands of descriptions finished if you average 10-15 a day…(quick answer – many days). I would always recommend writing unique descriptions for all of your products, BUT when time or money is an issue, until you can do that, I propose this…

FIRST whip up a spreadsheet with columns for your product name, manufacturer, category, subcategory, warranty, range, available sizes, dimensions, color, features etc and every other product detail you might include in your product description.

THEN in a second tab/spreadsheet, create 5 or 6 or so rows titled opening sentence, second sentence, main sentence (and so on). Now start writing generic sentences with the specific product details in brackets.

So it will look something like this (I chose gardening equipment – don’t ask me why..)

How to Write Ecommerce Product Descriptions Quickly   Eralis SEO Blog

(My categories were things like Pond, Garden etc and subcategories pond filter, garden light etc)

Please bear in mind my sentences were very generic – yours should be much more specific to your market and if you operate across multiple markets – then do this multiple times for each.

The idea behind this is, that once you have enough sentences written, (I wrote 25 which took me about 30 minutes, but they were generic so you should spend a few hours writing as many as you can.) then you use a formula to make your sentences which would look like something like this…

Excel
=INDEX(Description Sentences!$B$1:$F$1,1,TRUNC((5*RAND())+1)))

Then you would want to obviously produce your full description by tying multiple formulas/sentences together. This would look something like this…

Excel
=CONCATENATE((INDEX(Description Content!$B$1:$F$1,1,TRUNC((5*RAND())+1))),” “,(INDEX(Description Content!$B$2:$F$2,1,TRUNC((5*RAND())+1))),” “,(INDEX(Description Content!$B$3:$F$3,1,TRUNC((5*RAND())+1))),” “,(INDEX(Description Content!$B$4:$F$4,1,TRUNC((5*RAND())+1))),” “,(INDEX(Description Content!$B$5:$F$5,1,TRUNC((5*RAND())+1))))

So your end result might look something like this..

“If you’re looking for a [subcategory] the [product] is perfect for you. The ultimate in versatile gardening, the [product] takes the pain out of garden maintenance. Made from [material] the [product] is both durable and will stand up to those outdoor conditions. The [product] comes with a [warranty] manufacturer warranty. Full instructions or fitting guide included.”

Now we then have to replace the product variables with the actual information. So we could a substitute formula such as…

Excel
=SUBSTITUTE(G2,”[product]”,A2)

This will replace all instances of [product] with the product name. Repeat this for all the different columns of information you’re inputting into your description. If you do this correctly, making sure each next column is referencing the previous one i.e…

Excel
=SUBSTITUTE(I2,”[product]”,A2)
=SUBSTITUTE(J2,”[manufacturer]”,B2)
=SUBSTITUTE(K2,”[category]”,C2)

THEN hit F9 (assuming you’re working in excel..) and the last cell with fomulas in will look something like this…

“If you’re looking for a pond cleaner, the pondomaster 3000 is perfect for you. The ultimate in versatile gardening, the pondomaster 3000 takes the pain out of garden maintenance. Made from pure gold*, the Pondomaster 3000 is both durable and will stand up to those outdoor conditions. The pondomaster 3000 comes with a 24 month manufacturer warranty. Full instructions or fitting guide included.”

* I’d recommend trying products made from alternative materials

So that’s my roundup of how to write 2000 descriptions in a day. Please bear in mind that you should be working towards writing unique descriptions for each individual product, where you can, but until you achieve that goal, or if you stock hundreds of different broom handles which lack the features to make for an interesting description…this is a quick fix.

Kevin Joshua Ng
Kevin Joshua Ng
Kevin is Content Marketing’s humble scribe. He has no doubt in his mind that Content is still king and he will serve it ‘til the day of his demise. He’s known to lurk around the walls of social media, thinking and writing. So follow him on the BuiltbySF blog and on LinkedIn, Twitter.

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