When you are running ad campaigns on Google Shopping there are hundreds of factors to consider in order to achieve the best possible results. For the purposes of this article we are going to focus on two specific elements of your ads: the titles and descriptions.
Often overlooked, these textual elements to a Google Shopping ad can be easily optimized, and the principles of doing so are, in many ways, the same of SEO. We’ll start off by explaining in what ways ad optimization may already be familiar to those who’ve worked with SEO, then offer a few examples of how you can improve Shopping ads.
How is ad content optimization similar to SEO?
It probably doesn’t need to be stated that the titles and descriptions which you give products you are selling online is pretty important. No matter if you are listing the product on your online store, on price comparison websites or on online marketplaces, it needs to be eye-catching and relevant to your viewers.
More than this though, the layout and content of your titles and descriptions affects how Google’s algorithm indexes your products. Taking the steps to ensure you include the relevant keywords and search terms in your text copy means search engines can understand what it is your selling and encourage the right audience to find your listings... sounds a bit like SEO right?
If you’re already putting in the labour and money into running ad campaigns for Google, it makes sense to ensure they are actually delivering the Return On Investment that you want. Let’s start off by looking at some factors to consider for your product titles.
What makes product titles important to Google ad performance?
As I mentioned above, Google's algorithm will use your titles to decide which search queries your listings will be applied to.
What that means it that if you are missing certain important keywords that your target audience is searching for, you won't be listed in their search and will miss out on a purchase.
Therefore, your titles should outline product attributes in a clear way which is tailored to the specific product and its industry - placing the most important info at the start (furthest left).
For example, shoppers browsing for clothes will place importance on the brand and gender (see screenshot above). Did you know that 65% of a company’s business comes from existing customers? For shoppers who are loyal to certain brands which you stock, the brand of a product could be the deciding factor in whether or not they click through to your ad.
For that reason, make sure you are always including the brand in those first few characters somewhere. In contrast to the clothing or apparel industry, those looking at building supplies or electronics might be more interested in unique product IDs (SKUs) so they are sure it is exactly the right product they are purchasing (see screenshot below).
That means it's about finding the keywords which your audience is searching for and making sure your titles include these so they are finding the right shoppers.
The best means of finding relevant keywords is to use a Search Terms report in Google Ads. This will identify your audience queries and the most common searches which landed you conversions. Reports like this can then help you start constructing optimized product titles.
For more info check out Delante’s guide for Keyword Match Types in Google Ads.
What does an optimized title look like?
Well, as stated above, this will depend on what you are selling. Each title will be optimized and structured based on the type of product - so it announces the most important keywords to your audience in the most impactful way.
Clothing industry Title Templates
In the clothing (apparel) industry, the most important attributes are, from a consumer perspective, fairly obvious.
Think about some of the features which you'd want to see when searching for a new item of clothing:
Brand, color, size, product type, gender, material
In the following couple of examples we've done some research to show some of the basic formulas that your Google Product Listing ads may follow.
Template: Brand + Feature + Product Type + Gender
Example: Under Armour + HeatGear Core + Long Sleeve Baselayer + Mens
Electronics Title Templates
For online merchants selling electronics, the keywords your shoppers are searching for may be very different from clothing shoppers.
They may have an exact product or size specifications that they have in mind - so the MPN or specific measurements may be important to include.
Template: Brand + Model + Size + Product Type + Operating system
Taking the straightforward step to optimize a title for Google Ads can have a significant impact on your listings impressions and clicks. For example, Legeakademiet saw a 61% rise in conversions following optimization of their listings from WakeupData.
What about Google Ad product descriptions? Are they as important as titles?
Stately shortly, descriptions play a key role towards your search rankings using the same SEO principles I covered with titles above.
Perhaps they don’t have as much bearing on the ad’s success as titles (as these are the first thing shoppers see), but the descriptions are still vital. Search engines will crawl your feed to determine if your listing is relevant for different search queries. The keywords you use in all your ad text play a vital role in Google determining that relevancy. That’s why it’s important to add accurate keywords to not only your title, but your description as well.
A detailed, interesting (example above) and well-written product description can draw in your visitors and convince them to convert into paying customers.
You might have already read that Google lets you use 5,000 characters for your product descriptions. But I think it's fair to assume that no customer is likely to read an essay like that about your product!
So let's forget about that 5000 limit for a moment. Maybe that is fine for your own online store, where shoppers are only browsing your items.
When it comes to competitive markets like Google Shopping, you ideally want to keep your descriptions between around 500 to 1000 characters.
Even then, Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), will shorten to descriptions down to a shortened view of between 150- 180 characters (see screenshot below) - which means including your most important info at the start - just as we saw with product titles.
So if you're going to get your shoppers to read more about your listing and click through to the product, you need to make sure they are fully optimized for the character count which Google gives you.
If you are having to produce descriptions for thousands of products, it might seem tempting to just use pre-written info from manufacturer websites.
But think about this from an SEO perspective, duplicating content will lower your conversion rates and your SEO ranking as you will be penalised by the Google algorithm. It may seem like a clever, time-saving strategy but the negatives far outweigh the positives.
Think about including some of the following factors in your product descriptions to ensure you are drawing the right traffic:
Material (metal, silk, plastic, etc);
Technical Specifications (RAM, hard disk space, etc);
Special features (waterproof, flame retardant, etc).
Summing up - your titles and descriptions for Google Ads
This has been a whistle-stop tour through the importance of choosing the right titles for Google Ad campaigns and the benefits it can have.
When it comes to producing this text, remember the key element is to have a buyer persona in mind. Think about it from their point of view: what they want to achieve, and how they make decisions – all of this will help you target your descriptions to include more vivid, personal and persuasive language which speaks to them.
If you are an eCommerce business selling thousands of products on Google Shopping, it may well seem overwhelming to try and improve all the titles and descriptions. And the reason for that is that it is overwhelming! Trying to do this inhouse to try and increase clicks and conversions can take hours of time. That’s why data feed management tools have the solutions to optimize thousands of product listings for Google ads in a matter of seconds. At a minimal cost, these tools save hours of time while significantly boosting your Return On Investment.
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