Google Introduces Short Titles for Product Ads

Google Merchant Center launched a new feature called the short title for product ads. Here’s what’s in it for you:

Unlike the required “title” attribute, the short title is optional, and it will be shown in places where users do more browsing, such as Discovery, Gmail, and Shopping ads. Google claims that it’s a brief and concise identification of your product that will match the title in a shorter, easy-to-read way. But how brief is too brief? 

How does it work?

Google recommends keeping the character count between 5 to 65 characters. This character limit is important, given that short titles are used in a more scrolling context where the user’s interaction is shorter and quicker. 

Another requirement for using short titles is to describe the product on your landing page, which doesn’t necessarily need to match the title, but it should at least refer to the same product. Google also recommends that you list the important details first and add the brand name as a differentiating factor. If you do not follow these requirements, they will effectively disapprove of your product. 

Our Point of View

This new Google Ads feature allows advertisers better control in creating a more eye-catching title that will not be truncated because of its length.  

In the images below, we can see that “GE – Classic Drip” only shows its full title once your mouse is placed on top of the ad. Google encourages advertisers to shorten their titles so that they can be fully read, even if the user’s mouse is not interacting with the ad. Results show that Google shows only the first 15 or 20 characters of your title, even if they allow you to stretch to 65. Here’s the visual:

Title shown (no interaction)
Title shown when mouse is interacting

What happens once you capture the user? Do they completely understand what you’re selling in 5 to 65 characters? Browsing usually refers to a short-sighted visual, but it doesn’t really sell an accurate description of your product. Let’s see it in an example:

It is easier for users to read “Converse High Sneakers” and see which one fits their ideal best. But what if they need to know the size of the shoes? What if they are looking for a limited special edition? Do these short titles allow advertisers to provide enough information about what they are selling? We don’t have an accurate, precise way to know for sure. These short titles should be monitored and studied so that we can assess their performance better.

Advertisers can’t really differentiate themselves and their products clearly by reducing descriptions to a minimum. However, short titles do give every advertiser an equal opportunity to capture a user’s attention, so if your team can build a strategy around a short and efficient title, you can use this feature to your advantage.

Here’s a quick checklist that could help:

  • Keep characters between 5 to 65 (for optimal results, stick to 15 if possible)
  • Describe your product on the landing page
  • List important details first
  • Add the brand’s name as a differentiating factor

Do you think shorter titles are better to catch the consumer’s eye? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

In any case, be sure to follow Google’s guidelines to avoid unwanted product disapprovals. Stay tuned for more!

About Quantikal

Quantikal is a data-driven performance marketing agency based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. We help clients scale their business through profitable digital ad spending by constantly obsessing over clients’ key metrics. Quantikal’s experience working in diverse online companies in marketing roles including media buying allows us to provide solutions in the ever-demanding increase of marketing performance, doing more with less thus becoming a strategic partner.

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