Product Listing Ads – Part 2: Titles and Descriptions

In the second part of this three part series on Product Listing Ads, Todd goes through the nuts and bolts of optimizing titles and descriptions in order to create the most effective ads.

Watch part 1 covering product identifiers here.


Todd Bowman: In addition to unique product identifiers, you want to focus on a title and a description. The title is the part of your ad that people are going to see every time in addition to the image. When they see that title, you want to have that as descriptive as possible with as much relevant information about the product as you can.

Google recommends that you have a title of less than 70 characters. They say this because Google Shopping will only show 70 characters, and you want to avoid having your title get cut off so that a customer cannot see the entire title.

Now, in addition to that, on a universal SERP page, a lot of times the title can be cut down to about 25 characters. So it’s very important to front load your title with the relevant information about that product.

One example of why it’s important is to talk about couch covers. If a client has a couch cover that they’re advertising and the image is a couch, but the first 25 characters of their title has the brand, maybe the color, and it doesn’t ever say couch cover, then somebody may think that they’re actually selling a couch, click on a product, go to their site, and see that it’s actually a cover and now they have a wasted click and it’s not going to convert.

So you want to make sure that in the first 25 characters you’re identifying exactly what your product is.

With the description, Google has put more emphasis on a description. They really look at the first 1,000 characters of the description for information about your product, but you can send a description of up to 10,000 characters if you like.

In that first 1,000 characters of your description, you want to focus on the special attributes about the product. Adding color, size, material, where it was made, dimensions of the product that may not necessarily relate to size, any of that information is very helpful to Google to know more about your product.

You also want to put those values in the other columns in the feed that are available to help with the overall quality of the feed. Putting them in the description not only helps Google understand the relevancy of your product, but it also will help the customer whenever they do see that description to know more about your product.

So focusing on unique product identifiers, the title, and the description should be the first thing that you do when you’re trying to optimize your feed for Google.

The next step should be focusing on all other required or recommended columns that Google offers. Some of these columns will be additional image links or the actual image link, because that’s required for all products. Gender, age group, color and size are all required for the apparel category, so knowing exactly what category you have and what’s required is very important.

The other additional column that you can put on that’s recommended for most categories is the Google product category. Google product category is a taxonomy for Google to help with their categorization and know what your product is.