Product descriptions or category descriptions? What to choose first?

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The owners of new online shops often wonder what to choose first: product or category descriptions? What is more important in terms of positioning? And most importantly – which type of content will yield results faster? This article is intended for beginner entrepreneurs who have a limited budget and want to get the best out of it. We will answer the question of what is the best to invest in, depending on your business goals.

Product description vs category description – difference

The main difference concerns the characteristics of the content that affects the sales potential and SEO. Both types of texts are characterized by different properties and the speed with which they bring results, therefore the priority in the implementation of descriptions depends on the specific situation. Let us briefly discuss the features and originality of these texts.

Product descriptions

Product descriptions are persuasive content that encourage customers to buy your products. The texts are written in the language of benefits, and also contain key phrases that affect the positioning positively.

Unfortunately, their concise character, which is necessary to draw recipients attention to your product, makes it impossible to obtain a large-scale description. Because of this, the content only support SEO, which contributes to increase organic traffic only a little.

On the other hand, a small number of characters means a low price of the text. Thanks to this, we receive attractive content that ensure conversion at an optimal level at a low cost.

Category descriptions

Category descriptions are the extensive content. Their aim is to describe general issues and facts related to the product. The texts are comprehensive and SEO-oriented to position your online shop.

They are, in fact, the basic tool which allow you to gain organic traffic. Well-described categories are characterized by reliability and large volume, which is warmly welcomed by the search engine algorithms.

It should be remembered that these are also associated with a large investment, especially when your online shop is of the most extensive structure.

Product descriptions or category descriptions – what to choose?

Both types of content pursue specific marketing goals and therefore bring business benefits to your online shop. However, it takes a lot of work and therefore money to describe all of the positions. With a  limited budget, you can not have both, so we need to answer the question – which type of content is more profitable: product descriptions or category descriptions?

Fast sales and transaction finalization

The primary goal of every online shop is to generate sales. To achieve it, entrepreneurs use various methods to attract customers. Some of them bring recipients straight away, while others take time and obligate you to be patient.

If our investment is limited, but we want profits immediately, attractive product descriptions combined with a Google campaign and/or Facebook Ads is an interesting solution. In this case, it is also worth taking care of persuasive content in advertising creations.

During the first months of online shop operating, organic traffic may be low due to the “youthfulness” of the domain and some other factors. Do not be under the illusion that the category descriptions will always bring customers from the start. As we have mentioned, they are an incriminating expense for every novice entrepreneur.

Long-term positioning and the influx of customers

If you are thinking about your future marketing efforts seriously, then think of compiling all categories by creating comprehensive descriptions. Doing so will ensure substantial organic traffic not only now, but also in the following years, which will reduce advertising expenses. Although the final effect is usually quite satisfactory, it appears in time, and also depends on other factors, in particular off-site positioning and website structure.

Notice that the category descriptions generate website traffic, and thus familiarize users with your assortment. Therefore, this type of content cannot exist without properly described products that present the offer in a good light and have influence on transaction finalization. That is why in most situations products descriptions take precedence.

The exceptions are large, extensive shops and dropshipping platforms. In the first case, the number of positions make us focus only on describing the most important products, so as to improve the categories for SEO. If it comes to dropshipping, import usually includes descriptions that do not contribute positioning, but initially fill the information gap.

Category descriptions generate website traffic, and thus familiarize users with your assortment.

It should be remembered that the duplicated content is not attractive to search engines, it also does not show company nature and therefore does not achieve intended marketing goals at all. In addition, everyone regard such content as not of the highest quality. However, if the products are described to some extent, we can focus on missing categories (which dropshipping warehouses usually do not have) to make the best use of the investment resources.

If it comes to positioning, it is worth paying attention to blog articles as well. Texts for the online shop should also be taken into account (in order to attract customers more by using niche key phrases).


  1. Product descriptions and category descriptions differ in terms of the specificity of the text and its purpose, which ultimately affects the degree of positioning and sales.
  2. The first type of content is an absolute basis (if we want to present our offer in the most attractive way and to gain optimal conversion rate). The second contributes significantly to organic traffic, which reduce future expenses on acquiring customers. However, the effect can be seen after a few months, which online shops cannot afford.
  3. Thus, product descriptions and category descriptions bring many benefits, but are not enough to continue effective marketing efforts. We can not forget about paid campaigns – especially in the initial phase od the online shop operating.
  4. It can be said that product descriptions are the basis for making sales, while categories descriptions are marketing supplement that increase positioning and brings consistent profits in the long run.

Bartosz Ciesielski

Experienced copywriter who explores the secrets of marketing and positioning. In his articles, he refers to the contemporary achievements of psychology and the philosophy of language, creating cross-sectional content. As a member of the Content Writer team, he takes care of technological and organizational solutions that increase the quality of work. Privately, he reads a lot of books, learns new languages ​​and composes piano pieces.

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