Are Your Ad Descriptions Optimised?

For brokers and regular sellers, writing ad description text can become a chore. With so many regular uploads, it’s easy to simply place the boat’s specifications into a text box and think that it will suffice. A collection of buzzwords and technical jargon come together to create a paragraph that while technically correct, isn’t very persuasive, let alone engaging. 


We’ve compiled a guide with some top tips on how to ensure your ad descriptions are up to scratch!


Have you written a full description?


It is imperative that you have provided the user with a description. It is extremely unlikely that you will generate the optimal amount of enquiries with a simple “contact for details”. Buying a boat is a substantial financial commitment for the audience and they want to know everything they can about each boat. They don’t expect to be resigned to contacting every seller for the boat description and specifications. 


The more information you can include, the more you’re likely to attract buyers. You’re not limited in terms of characters, so there is no cap on the amount of material you can include. When writing your ad, simply think - what would you want to know as a buyer? This is a good way to ensure you have captured all aspects that will be important to the audience.  


Is your description too product focused?


With so many features to highlight, it can be easy to slip into just listing components of the boat. There are so many exciting elements to the vessel that you just want to shout about them. However, a simple list isn’t likely to create much of an impact. 


Improve your listing by reassuring the reader how these specifications will benefit them. To do this, ensure to combine the technical elements with what’s in it for the buyer. For example, “This yacht offers a cartographic GPS, which uses satellites to pinpoint your location, ensuring you always have a clear route”. 


Before trying to write your ad, we suggest you establish a comprehensive list of all of the boat’s features and how these benefit the buyer. A focus is necessary on any components that are likely to increase the functionality and enjoyment for the user as well as any that solve potential problems or pain points. Having a plan in place will aid you in creating a much more effective and persuasive advert. 


Is your advert full of low impact words?


There are so many terms that are heavily used when writing descriptions, for example ‘market-leading’ or ‘top of the range’. These phrases appear in such high frequency across boating ads that they’ve lost their effect. They no longer add as much meaning or impact to the ad. If you can’t prove these claims with facts and figures, then they’re probably not true. 


Back your statements up with evidence, for example instead of claiming that the boat is ‘world-class’, state any awards it may have won, include a testimonial or any impressive sales figures. Meaningless claims won’t carry any weight with your potential buyers, but no one can argue with validated facts. 


Is your description too jargon heavy?


The marine and boating industry is a very jargon heavy sector - which is great if you know how! However, you don’t want to alienate a whole audience of amateurs. Not all of your ad viewers are going to know their jibs from their windlasses. You should cater for this. 


We suggest you save the technical talk for the allocated specs fields during the upload process. If you still have jargon-heavy elements to discuss, create a specifications paragraph at the bottom of your ad. This way, the information is there for the people who need it but it’s not too intimidating for those who aren’t familiar with these terms.


Is your description too adjective heavy?


While you do want to make your boat sound appealing, an adjective overload won’t do you any favours. You should definitely be including terms that help to explain what the boat looks like (appearance), what is does (features) and how it makes the user feel (benefits). However, by including too many adjectives, it can make the text difficult to digest.


For example: This beautiful luxury new model of the well known super yacht rides the waves gracefully with it’s dominating presence and sleek silhouette. 


This excess of adjectives make the sentence hard to read as well as negating the impact of the features. The important words are lost in this busy sentence. 


We suggest: The latest model of this superyacht is large in size (70ftx17ft) with sleek features. 


This sentence is more clear and concise, allowing the reader to understand easily. Simplicity is often key when writing persuasive ad descriptions. If you only use the occasional adjective it holds much more power and guarantees a more impactful effect. We suggest using just one adjective before a noun and ensuring that it is a sensory or emotive word. For example, the boat offers a thrilling ride rather than the boat offers a good ride.


Is your description unique?


It is imperative that your description is unique, for the purposes of search engine optimisation. Duplicate content will not rank as highly in a Google search and therefore your ad will not receive as much traffic through the search engine. 


If you have copied the description over from another site or manufacturer page, improve it’s rating by switching out the adjectives for similar words and altering the sentence structure.


For example,

Original: A beautifully fitted out river cruiser with 4 berths in 2 spacious cabins.

Altered: This river cruiser is excellently fitted out, with the 2 large cabins with 4 berths. 


Have you checked your description?


The final step is to reread your ad. Editing is the most important step of the process as you have to ensure you haven’t made any errors. This is where you make sure your text is persuasive and includes all of the necessary information.


You should make the following checks: 


  • What might stop your ideal customer buying your boat? Have you addressed each potential problem and proved otherwise?
  • Price is often a pain point with users - ensure the price is justified by reminding them how much value they will gain from the boat. 
  • Is your content user focused? The buyer should be able to envision themselves with the boat so using ‘you’, rather than ‘I’, is important.
  • Cut words that aren’t giving impact such as ‘just’ ‘really’ or ‘very’. These terms don’t add any meaning and take up unnecessary space. 
  • Divide your text into paragraphs to make it seem less daunting. Small chunks of text are much more digestible than one huge paragraph. 
  • Check for spelling errors. A good method of doing this is to read the text backwards as it means you are looking at each specific word rather than skim reading. 

Once you’re happy with your description, upload it to your ad and watch the enquiries roll in!


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Abbie Rogers
Boatshop24 Marketing Team
Published on 2019-07-18