Improve Google Shopping Ads Performance by Analyzing Product Title

Improve Google Shopping Ads Performance by Analyzing Product Title
Ramesh Karki | August 28, 2020
product data analysis of sports and outdoors

To get a product feed accepted by Google Merchant Center, retailers and agency partners must share their feed per Google’s product data specifications. However, complying with the specifications is not enough to stand out against competitors since the majority of retailers follow the specifications.

Product Title is an important component of any shopping ad’s content. It takes significant real estate on the ad auction. To optimize performance, retailers and agencies can understand ad title trends and optimize that component. The product’s title should be composed on the product category and your customers’ search query tendencies.

An enriched title helps increase the Click-Through Rates (CTR) of your Google Shopping Campaigns.

For example, for categories such as apparel & accessories, sports & outdoor, search preferences are based on brand, product variants like color, material, size and demography. Model numbers and manufacturer part numbers are generally preferred for categories dealing with pieces of equipment & hardware. Therefore, enriching with keywords like brand name, variants (color, material, size), demography (age, gender), model number, manufacturer part number, etc. not only increases Ads Impression but also reduces Max Bid for better Ad Rank as it increases your Quality Score for those important keywords that your customer most likely uses in their search queries.

Additionally, it improves CTR as searchers will find what they are looking for in your title. And having a higher CTR further improves your quality score and decreases your required max bid.

Let us say you search for a large pair of yellow leather gloves (Figure #1 below). You would most likely notice and select either option 2 or 3 as these explicitly give you what you’re looking for in terms of color, size, material, and product. This is obvious from the title and image.

Figure #1

shopping ads of yellow leathered gloves

Using GrowByData Search Ads Intelligence Solution, we collected and analyzed over 410K ad’s product titles. These were for 1,800 search keywords with a monthly search volume of 23 million per Google Keyword Planner in the Sports and Outdoors category on Google Shopping Ads.

We analyzed the title from two dimensions –

1. Inclusion of Search Intent Keywords in the Product Title

Our search data shows us that it is important to consider the shopper intent and think like a shopper while preparing the product title. In a category like sporting goods, the purpose of the product on the title could be a more relevant attribute compared to other categories. The purpose of the product means adding action words like ‘running’, ‘diving’, ‘training’ etc. This goes along with the notion of understanding and catering to the intent of your customers’ searches. What keywords are your customers most likely to use in their search?

Per our Google Shopping data on 410K ads, one or more search keywords were present on the ad’s product title 94% of the time. There was a high match* between the search keywords and the product title on over 55% of the ads presented by Google as shown on graph #1 below. And a low match* on almost 40% of the ads. This means that recognizing the intent of the shopper’s searches is crucial while composing the product title. Not using the right keywords on the product title could lead to you missing out on potential sales opportunities.

Graph #1

product title search keywords comparison

*High Match means all of the search keywords are on the product title. Example: Search keyword = ‘Tennis Ball Machine’ and title of the product = ‘Spinshot Player Tennis Ball Machine

*Low Match means at least one of the search keywords is on the product title. Example: Search keyword = ‘Track Hurdles’ and title of the product = ‘Champion Agility Pole Hurdle Set’

*No Match means none of the search keywords are present in the title of the product.

2. Product Title Composition

We analyzed title composition to determine whether brand, variants (color, materials, and size) and demographics (gender, age) are available in the ranked ads.

Brand Name

Brand name is one of the key product identifiers that shopping platforms like Google use to understand what you are selling. Our data showed that 77% of the product titles included the brand name. When we dug into the rankings, we found that 80% of the ads in the 1st to 5th position had the brand name in their product title. That percentage dropped to 74% for ads ranked below the 20th position as shown on graph #2 below. The trend line shows a gradual decline in brand names being present on the title as it moves down the rankings.

Graph #2

ad rank with brand name compare

When we focused on just the ads in the top 5 positions, we discovered a downward trend as presented on graph #3 below. This demonstrated the importance of the brand name on the product title to gain a higher ad position.

Graph #3

ranked ads with brand in product title

Variants like Color, Material and Size

Variants such as color, material and product size help in differentiating your product. There are many unique and interesting colors like ‘pascal’ or ‘sapphire’. While these may be interesting, it is best practice to use the standard colors as most people search for them. Shoppers use variants like color, size, & material to refine their searches.

We found that almost 60% of the 410K product ads we analyzed had a variant such as color, material, or size on their product title. On average – color was present on 19% of the product titles, material was present on 8% of the titles, and size was included on 31% of the product titles. A breakdown by ad rank is shown on graph #4 below.

Graph #4

ad rank with a variant

Demographics like Gender and Age Group

Other features/attributes that allow a product title to stand out are demographic attributes like gender and age group. Adding gender and age group on the title makes the searching process easier for the consumer and gives them exactly what they are looking for without having to dig too much. Especially for a category like Sports and Outdoors, shoppers may be most interested in seeing products by gender and age group.

We found that around 33% of product titles had a demography attribute like gender or age. To be specific, 15% of the product titles included gender on the title and about 18% of the product titles included age as shown on graph #5 below.

Graph #5

ad rank comparison based on demography

Combination of Brand + Variant + Demography

On graph #1 (above), we saw that around 77% of product titles included brand names. Graph #6 (below) shows our finding for a combination of brand, variant and demography. Ads ranked higher (1-5) have a greater number of product titles using a combination of the 3 attributes.

80% of the ads ranked in the top 5 have a combination of brand name and at least one variant or one demography attribute in the product title

Conversely, only 71% of the ads ranked below 20 have a combination of brand name and at least one variant or demographic attribute on the product title.

Graph #6

ad rank by brand, variant, and demography


A retailer trying to increase their Google Shopping Ad Impressions and Click-Through Rates can greatly benefit from structuring their product titles with the right combination of keywords, attributes and features. Google uses the above-mentioned attributes to understand what you’re selling. And the easier it is for Google’s algorithm to understand your product, the better they can help in boosting your ad performance.

Product title optimization plays a crucial role in your Google Shopping Ad campaign’s success. Displaying ads that are more likely to reflect the user’s desires can lead to an increase in traffic and conversion rate. You may be wasting your ad dollars and missing out on potential customers by not optimizing your product title. Investing in analyzing your ad performance based on product titles means that you are taking the right steps to gain an edge over competition.

See Also: Market Analysis Using Search Ads Intelligence

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