If you’re struggling to find success on Google Shopping, it's time to revisit your PLA titles.
Google uses your product titles to determine if your listing is applicable to a specific search query. If your title is lacking keywords that shoppers are searching for, it's likely that your listing will not be returned in their search result. And just like that, you’re missing out on a potential sales opportunity.
Google isn’t the only one who cares about your product titles. Shoppers do too. The title, next to the image, is one of the more noticeable parts of the listing. Titles should highlight the most relevant product attributes so that shoppers can easily skim through them and determine if the product is worth clicking on. If a shopper is confused about the details of what you are actually selling, they will simply move on to the next listing.
For example, shoppers looking for clothing will likely place more importance on attributes such as the brand and color as opposed to an attribute like the model number or dimensions.
The key here is to think about what features are most important to your customers and add these keywords to the title. This will not only increase your product’s search performance, but it will help get them in front of the right customers.
Whether you are a Google Shopping veteran looking for new ways to boost ad impressions or completely new to the channel, it’s time to invest the time in your PLA titles.
Titles are the most important part of your Google Shopping PLAs. Sure, price, images and descriptions are all important, but titles weigh heavily on three key events. First, titles affect how Google's algorithm indexes your products and serves them for impressions. Second, optimized titles help shoppers find your product as they sift through SERPs. Finally, optimized titles entice shoppers to click by clearly displaying the important information they need to make a buying decision.
So, we can all agree: Optimized PLA titles are important. But what does an "optimized PLA title" look like?
The answer depends on you product. Your PLA title should be optimized based on your product type in order to present the most impactful information to your shoppers.
In order to properly optimize your titles, focus on the structure of your title (the arrangement of information) and the keywords in your title (the collection of terms shoppers are looking for).
Note: For the sake of clarity, we are using the term "keyword" to refer to the words in your title -- i.e., brand, size, color -- that searchers are looking for.
Use Your Best Keywords in Titles
A good title can boost PLA impressions and clicks, and because it helps filter unqualified searches, it can improve conversion rates too. That’s why it’s vital to choose keywords that have a positive impact on both your feed’s health and the performance of your campaigns.
Here's how to find the right keywords for your titles:
Focus on Key Product Features
Before we dive in, let us say that not all keywords are created equal across all product types. A key product attribute for one type of product may be irrelevant for another type of product. For example, model numbers are an important attribute for electronics but not an attribute to highlight when it comes to clothing.
Start thinking about what product features are most important to your audience and what features could potentially sway a shopper’s purchasing decision. Some of the more prominent features we see on listings include brand, product type, size, color and even occasion. But like we said before, this all depends on the product that you are selling and there isn’t a consistent formula across the board.
Mind the Order of Keywords
When it comes to Google, the order of the keywords matter as they place more weight on ones at the beginning of the title. Depending on the shopper’s screen size, they may only see the first 70 or fewer characters. That doesn’t mean that you should only add up to 70 characters. Be sure to use all 150 to increase your chances of coming up in a user’s search.
Use Search-Specific Keywords
When deciding on keywords, you want to make sure you are focusing on search-specific keywords. What are your target customers searching for? What words are they using? It’s also a good idea to see what keywords your products are ranking for.
You can use a Search Terms report in AdWords to see what the highest performing queries were and what ended up landing you conversions. Then use these keywords to help build your product titles.
A/B Test Keywords
During the keyword choosing process, remember A/B testing is your friend. You can test out multiple title formulas and keywords for products to see what performs the best and tailor your strategy accordingly.
Use Title Structure that Works for You
Not all keywords are created equal. At least not as it relates to how Google weighs their importance in your titles.
Google places more weight on keywords in the beginning of the title. Keep that in mind as you structure your titles. Put keywords that your shoppers are most likely to look for first, then arrange following keywords in order of importance.
We created the following structures based on our experience with Google Shopping feeds. These are intended to work for a wide variety of product types.
- Brand + Product Type + Color + Material
- Brand + Size (length, width, height) + Product Type + Color
- Material + Product Type + Color + Brand
- Style + Color + Product Type + Brand
- Product Type + Size + Color + Feature+ Brand
Branded vs Generic Title Templates
Products can be broken down into two categories: branded vs. generic. Branded products are items where the brand is a relevant factor in a shopper's purchasing decision while generic products are non-branded items. The brand is not part of the shopper's decision to buy.
Why does this matter? Because it affects the structure of your title and keywords you will include in your title.
Generic Product Titles
Going back to the custom mug example, if you are selling non-branded items then you need to think of the keywords that your customers will likely use in their searches. Check out the formula we found when searching for “custom mugs.”
- Template: Number of items + Style + Size + Product Type + Color
- Example: 12 Personalized Classic C-Handle 11 oz Mugs, Grey
The seller didn’t bother to put the brand into the title as it wasn’t relevant enough to the specific product he or she was selling.
Another example is for graphic T-shirts. If your a cat lover, you may want a “Caturday” shirt. Again, the brand is not a relevant part of my search. See the below formula for our “caturday t-shirt” search result.
- Template: Focus of Graphic + Product Type + Color + Size
- Example: Caturday Night Fever T-Shirt - Black - M
When creating your titles, you always want to put the most important keywords first. Depending on the screen size of the user, they may only see 70 characters or less of the title. If you still believe that brand is relevant to your product but not so important, you can always add it to the end.
Branded Product Titles
Switching gears now, let’s discuss branded products. Brand loyalty has become a large part of our culture. If I was a fan of the running shoes I had but they are just worn down, I’m likely to search for the same brand.
A shopper who already knows the brand of the product they want to buy is likely further down the shopping funnel and closer to making their purchasing decision. In the running shoe example, I’m more likely to type in “Asics womens running shoes” over “womens running shoes.” Therefore, if you sell Asics running shoes, it would be beneficial to put the brand as one of the first keywords.
The same goes for other items where brand is likely relevant to shoppers. Another example would be Ray-Ban sunglasses. As you can see, “ray ban” is one of the first two keywords in all results of my search “ray ban sunglasses.”
Depending on if you’re selling branded vs. non-branded products, you’ll need to adjust your keyword strategy accordingly. Try and think how your customer would be searching and then decide if brand is relevant enough to be added within the first few keywords.
Electronics Title Templates
When it comes to electronics, ask yourself what are the key features that your customer is searing for? If the shopper already has the exact product that they want in mind and are just looking to compare prices, that may be the MPN.
If shoppers are browsing more generally, they may search for keywords such as “Smart TV” or the size of a computer monitor they are looking for.
- Template: Brand + Model + Feature + Tech Specs (i.e., Processor, RAM, etc.) + Operating system
- Example: Dell Inspiron 3263 All-In-One Computer, 21.5in. Touch Screen, Intel Core i3 Processor, Windows 10 Home
- Template: Brand + Model + Feature1 + Feature2 + Product Type + Color
- Example: Skullcandy Hesh 2 Bluetooth Wireless Over-Ear Headphones- Black
- Template: Brand + MPN + Size + Product Type + Keyword
- Example: LG C7 Series OLED65C7P - 65” OLED Smart TV - 4K UltraHD
Choosing keywords for your title can be an ongoing process filled with lots of testing. Try out some of the above formulas and see what works best for your product types and tailor your PLA strategy accordingly.
Apparel Title Templates
When it comes to apparel, key attributes include brand, color, size, gender, material, product type and even occasion. Again, what you choose to use will depend on what you are selling. For example, if you are selling bridesmaid dresses specifically made for a wedding, you want to include the keyword ‘bridesmaid’ dress in the title.
We’ve done some ‘shopping’ and thought we would share a few PLA titles that follow basic formulas.
Disclaimer: Some of the formula attributes that we provide in the examples may differ for your ad, depending on how you classify your products. For example, some may consider 'Short Sleeve Training Top' a product type, while others may consider 'Short Sleeve' a keyword in their product data.
- Template: Brand + Product Type + Gender + Feature1 + Feature2 +Color + Size
- Example: Nike Pro Short Sleeve Training Top Men’s Short Sleeve Pullover Carbon Heather/Black/Black : LG
- Template: Gender + Feature1 + Feature2 + Brand + Color + Product Type
- Example: Women’s Miami Dolphins Ryan Tannehill Majestic Aqua Fair Catch V Name & Number T-Shirt
- Template: Gender + Brand + Material + Product Type + Size + Color
- Example: Women’s Blanknyc Faux Leather Jacket, Size X-Small - Brown
- Template: Brand + Feature1 + Feature2 + Product Type + Color
- Example: Vera Wang Bridesmaid V Neck Bodice Dress-Midnight
- Template: Brand + Product Type + Color + Size
- Example: Lauren Ralph Lauren Pleated Cocktail Dress - Black 8
Home & Garden Title Templates
When it comes to the Home & Garden category, there is a wide range of product types to say the least. That’s why it is key to choose accurate, detailed attributes for your PLA titles. If you’re not choosing search-specific keywords, you can lose out on showing up in relevant searches. If your product has a unique characteristic, such as the era it is from, you may want to highlight that in your title. Also, if it contains any specific imagery that shoppers could be looking for such as a painting with a sunset, it may be beneficial to add to the title.
Here’s some common formulas we saw during our time “shopping” online.
- Template: Brand + Product Type + Color + Room Type
- Example: West Elm Tripod Table, White Lacquer - Dining Room Tables - Kitchen Tables
- Template: Brand + Usage + Material + Usage + Product Type + MPN
- Example: Coral Coast Losani All Weather Wicker Outdoor Rocking Chair - LV-434C
- Template: Style + How it’s made + Product Type + Color + Size + Brand + Product Type
- Example: Mid-Century Embroidered Rug, Silver, 5’x8’ at West Elm - Rugs - Home Decor - Floor Decor
Sports & Outdoors Title Templates
If you're selling sports and outdoors products and are looking for a way to help land you some relevant impressions, it may be time to revamp your title.The key is to think like your shopper. For example, are they going to be most interested in seeing the type of sport, age group and/or size? Asking yourself questions like this will allow you to derive keywords that can improve the shopping experience for your customers and lead to more sales. Of course the exact attributes all depend on the product you are selling and will vary depending on how you classify your products.
Here’s some common formulas we saw during our time “shopping” online.
- Template: Type of Sport/Activity + Sports Team + Age Group + Product Type
- Example: NFL Miami Dolphins Toddler Folding Chair
- Template: Brand + Sport + Product Type + Color
- Example: Adidas Ghost Lesto Soccer Shin Guards, Black
- Template: Brand + Gender + Color + Size
- Example: Salomon X 08 Ski Pole Men’s Grey/Yellow, 50
Jewelry Title Templates
Titles are a crucial part of any jewelry PLA. To show up in relevant searches and land those sales, you want to ensure that you are including accurate and descriptive keywords in your title. Some of the more common attributes we see in the jewelry category are length/width for bracelets and necklaces, costume vs. fine jewelry, gem type and metal type.
- Template: Brand + Weight+ Shape + Style + Occasion + Metal
- Example: James Allen .5ct Round Inspired Engagement Ring in Rose Gold
- Template: Style + Metal Type + Shape + Product Type + Size (i.e., Length, Width, Weight) + Gender + Product Type
- Example: Fine Jewelry Personalized Sterling Silver Round Monogram Charm Bracelet (One Size) - Womens - Bracelets - Charm Bracelets
- Template: Age Group + Metal Type + Gem Type + Shape + Product Type + Size (i.e., Length, Width, Weight)
- Example: Little Girl Sterling Silver September Birthstone Heart Pendant Necklace
Optimized PLA titles will have a huge impact on your Google Shopping campaign's success. The above formulas are a great starting point. But it’s important to note that they can vary depending on the particular product you sell. If your product has a feature that is a selling point for your customers, don’t be afraid to highlight it in your title.
It’s always good practice to A/B test different structures and keywords. That way, you can see what performs better for each of your product categories. Happy selling!