Speak your customer’s language with killer Product Titles

- Andreas Reiffen
Speak your customer's language with Feed Title Optimization

What’s in a name?

Well, unfortunately, when it comes to paid advertising a rose by any other name does not smell as sweet. Sorry, Shakespeare.

In the world of Google Shopping, the name you give your products in your product feed is quite possibly the most important thing you can do to ensure a good ROI. Not only do your Product Titles help Google decide whether or not your product is relevant to the search query, but they will also entice more shoppers to click on your product.

Providing all the required data in the right format according to Google’s product data specification is mandatory, of course. But, to really make the most of Google Shopping, you need to start speaking your customer’s language.

What do we mean by that? Well, we did some testing to see just how much Product Titles effected performance and what sort of language works best.

3 Product Title improvements

For our experiment, we tried three different Product Title enhancements. In each case, we added very specific, keyword-rich terms in front of the existing Product Title. We got these terms from Google’s Search Query Report and matched the most popular search terms with the relevant products in the Feed.

Adding a search term

The first thing we tried was adding the most used search term in front of the existing Title.

Product Category.png

Adding a Product category

If there wasn’t one major relevant search term that described the product exactly, we broadened our approach and tried adding the most searched product category to the front of the original Title.

Product Category_2.png

Adding a Search Term AND lengthening the Title

If the Title was well below Google’s character limit, we not only added the Category or Search Term, but we also lengthened the Title by adding size and gender.

Product Category_3.png

The Test

We tested 136 fashion products over the course of six week.

In Google Shopping it’s technically not possible to properly split test alternative titles by showing two different versions of the same ad simultaneously to different people (like you can with Text Ads), so we had to compare two different time periods.

For the first three weeks we left the Titles as they were given to us by the client. Then, we changed the titles and analyzed the impact over the subsequent three weeks.

To make sure this timing difference wasn’t the reason for any uplift, we also analyzed the total performance of all the products over the full 6 weeks.

Unfortunately, 62 products ran out of stock during our experiment and so had to be excluded from the analysis, which we performed on the remaining 74 products.

Right. Now that the boring sciency stuff is out of the way, let’s get cracking!

So much uplift!

The results of our test were absolutely mind blowing. Every single product saw an increase in clicks.

On average, there was a slight decrease in CTR of 4% across the entire Google Shopping account (remember we also measured total performance as a control). But, the products with optimized, more keyword-rich Product Titles saw a CTR uplift of 18%.

Account Average.png

Even more exciting, if the search term was exactly the same as the key-words we added to the Title the uplift was 88%!

Account Average_2.png

So, it’s pretty clear that having a good Product Title can get you more clicks. A lot more in fact.

Here’s how each of our three test types broke down in terms of impressions.

Adding a search term

Product Category A.png

Adding a Product category

Product Category B.png

Adding a Search Term AND lengthening the Title

Product Category C.png

How to optimize your Product Titles

Okay, so at this point you’re probably chomping at the bit to dive into your Product Feed and start changing Titles.

So, to figure out exactly which terms you should add to your Product Titles, you first need to understand a little about how Google’s algorithm chooses which products to display to the searcher and which search terms your audience is using to find your products.

Let’s start with Google…

Google’s matching algorithm

We know from previous tests that Google’s algorithm considers the words at the beginning of the Product Title to be the most important when selecting which ads are most relevant for the search query.

The word order also seems to matter, so that “green shoes” is not exactly the same as “shoes green”. That means you want to make sure you match the most popular search query exactly when you’re adding to your Product Titles.


Finally, Google struggles when comes to matching synonyms. Some people might search for party dress while others search evening dress, but they all are actually looking for the same type of product. Google often doesn’t understand these synonyms and does a basic string matching. That means that if you have a range of fancy dresses, you want to use different descriptors (party, evening, fancy, nice) across the category to make sure you cover all your bases.

Speaking your customer’s language

Okay, so you want the exact term in the right order at the front of your Product Title. Now where do you get it from?

The first step, is to have a keyword-rich, normalized product feed to work from. Google recommends you include the brand, product name and basic product characteristics like model, color and size. Most Feed Management tools will do a great job of giving you a solid, rule-based Product Feed from which to start optimizing.

Once you’ve got the basics right, you can move onto the fun stuff like including the right search phrases in the right Product Titles by overwriting select Titles.

To come up with our new Title suggestions, we used Camato, a tool we specifically built to automate this sort of dynamic Product Title optimization. Feed management tools can then pull the optimized Titles through an API to replace the old Titles.

But, if you’re not a Camato user yet, you can still replicate the work our tool does manually by accessing your AdWords Performance Report and identifying popular search terms that are relevant to your products.

Here’s how:

  1. Get the data:
  1. You’ll need a Search Query Report and a Product Performance Report from your AdWords Account
  2. Get your product feed from Merchant Center
  1. Identify words and combinations of words which are contained in search queries, but not in your Product Feed
  2. Identify relevant products and change their Titles to reflect the correct search terms

Benefits of Feed Title Optimization

Feed Title Optimisation is an important part of scaling your Google Shopping campaigns. It can increase your impressions, click throughs and help you grow your shopping revenue.

By optimizing the Feed Title you can not only influence which products appear for which query, but also increase traffic and conversion by displaying ads which are more likely to reflect the searcher’s needs.


Andreas Reiffen is the founder and CEO of crealytics and data-driven online marketing strategist with his focus concentrating on online retailers.

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