Online shoppers might have seen an ad featuring your most popular products. They could have had friends and family specifically recommend one. There are also instances where consumers will search Google for one of the product categories you carry.

Even then, however, browsers don’t always convert into buyers. As Salesforce recently reported, online e-commerce orders have seen a significant 4% year-over-year drop – the largest in the past 5 quarters. Other research has found 76% of consumers switch brands after a single less-than-perfect experience.

Product title optimization is a surprisingly powerful way to address many of these issues. It helps you ensure customers find the items they want, that they’ll have all the details they need and that your content is ready to be distributed through any digital channel. .

What is product title optimization?

Hopefully, your brand is already actively practicing search engine optimization (SEO) for the various sections of your website. This usually involves researching relevant keywords that reflect what your target market tends to look for on platforms like Google.

Product title optimization is part of SEO, but one that’s easily overlooked. It’s a process of making changes in how items are described to improve their performance. By optimizing product titles, you’re ensuring that what you’re publishing online relates to common search queries.

This helps your brand on several levels. From a marketing perspective, learning about Google Shopping product title optimization will drive more organic traffic back to your eCommerce pages. If you’re selling on marketplaces, perfecting Amazon product title optimization, for example, will give you the best chance of being discovered by a large audience of shoppers.

A well-optimized product title also makes intuitive sense. If your customers were visiting a physical store, you’d want to make signage clear and provide enough information to lead them directly to the products they want. The same principle holds true online.

Product title optimization: Examples

The most valuable customers – the ones who spend more, and spend more often – are always looking for something specific and special.

If they search on Google for “luxury handbags,” for instance, generic results won’t interest them.

Optimizing product titles should take into account the materials you use, the uniqueness of a style, and anything else that might make a search result or ad stand out. Consider the following:

(Brand name) Trendsetter Saffino Leather Compact Yellow Handbag

In just a few words, this fictitious brand has not only included its product’s name (Trendsetter), but details that speak to its quality, size, and color.

The same goes for other kinds of products. If you’re selling footwear, there’s a big difference between “men’s dress shoe” and “Men’s Italian leather upper tasseled loafer.” In this case, little things can make a big difference – not only in terms of how content is displayed on the web but in product feeds that support all your digital channels.

How does product title optimization work?

There’s a lot to consider when you’re optimizing product titles. Make sure you address all of the following:

1. Study the requirements of any search engines, digital channels, or online marketplaces

Most brands don’t rely solely on their own websites to generate the online shopping activity they need to grow. If you’re taking advantage of popular search engines or marketplaces, do your homework by checking what they expect to see.

Google Shopping product title optimization, for instance, has specific syntax, schema, and structure to make the most of its services. Look for any information that is provided to sellers, like this SEO guide that includes steps for Amazon product title optimization.

2. Use keyword research to ensure relevant search queries

Digital shoppers may be searching online without realizing you carry exactly what they want or need. The only way to ensure you align is by using keyword search tools and imagining yourself in their place to identify the kind of phrases they’re likely to key into Google.

In general, the right use of keywords will communicate what your product is, what it does, and what kind of problem it solves – even if the “problem” is adding the perfect garment or accessory to their wardrobe.

3. Balance being descriptive with keeping titles short

There’s an art in conveying the value your product is providing without asking consumers (or Google) to parse a significant amount of text.

Aim for seven words or less, or about 50 to 75 characters. As you’re optimizing product titles, ask yourself if there is anything redundant, unnecessary, or overly verbose. Bear in mind that shoppers will be seeing your products among many others. Respect their time and give them a great experience by making it easy to scan.

4. Weave product variations (size, colors, etc.) into titles

Customers love choice, which is one of the reasons many brands have learned to offer their products in a variety of styles, colors, sizes, textures, and more.

Product title optimization should take into account these variants, including those where there are none. “One size” might be included in a title for an item that is one-size-fits-all, for instance.

5. Structure titles by prioritizing the most critical information first

Some of your target market is probably still shopping online using their desktop PC, but many others will have opted for a mobile device like their smartphone. That means there is the chance a portion of your title could get off when it’s displayed in search results or shopping ads.

To mitigate this, think carefully about structure when you’re optimizing product titles. You can begin with your product’s brand name, for instance, followed by the material, color, and size. Depending on what’s most important to your customers, however, it might be better for the brand name to be followed by the color first, then size and material. Outside of fashion categories, specific product features might need to come before other descriptors.

6. Optimize titles with product descriptions in mind

While product title optimization is important, it’s not your only chance to sell consumers on the value an item is providing.

When they click through an ad or search result, for instance, you’ll have the opportunity to provide a more detailed product description on your website or an online marketplace. Don’t simply repeat the same information in these areas. Think of the product title as the cover of a book and the description as the story they came to hear.

7. Review competitor brands and revise accordingly

Back when telephone print directories were the easiest place to search for a business, a housepainting company might have called itself AA Painters so it would be listed first. A competitor might try to get ahead by calling itself AAA Painters. You have to be more sophisticated when you’re using search engines, but it still pays to keep an eye on what rival companies are doing.

Are your competitors using the same product title structure for most of their items? It might mean shoppers gravitate to that format, but it could also be a chance to innovate by highlighting a different detail first. Do they use the same adjectives that you use? Maybe you can find a synonym to set yourself apart. Always be looking for attributes in product titles that will convey your uniqueness as a brand.

8. Act like a “Mystery Shopper” and think through the customer journey online

Now and then pretend you’re not an employee at your brand but the kind of person it is hoping to cultivate as a long-term customer.

Building on the point about competitors above, do a search online for one of your products and be honest: would you choose your own company’s item first? If not, why not? Do the same exercise on an online marketplace.

9. Avoid overly promotional phrases

Words like “stylish,” or even “luxury” might work well enough to generate click-throughs and purchases. Sticking in phrases like “Buy one, get 50% off” in titles is a bad idea too. They could even run you afoul of search engines if you’re trying to fine-tune Google Shopping product title optimization.

What shoppers want instead are details that matter. This could include phrases like “oversized,” “skinny fit,” “waterproof” or “insulated, among others.”

10. Check for capitalization, grammar, and overall quality

Not every word in your title needs to be capitalized. Unless it’s not a proper brand name, stick with capitalizing the first letter of the first word instead.

Needless to say, optimizing product titles isn’t finished until everything has been proofread to ensure it makes sense and that everything is spelled correctly. This is also where you can consider the use of symbols, such as dashes or commas, to help separate key elements or ideas within your title.

Remember that your product titles are part of the first impression you make with customers, so the copy needs to be as professional as possible.

Explore product title optimization tools

You may want to establish your quality standards by optimizing product titles for an initial set of products, but in some cases, your inventory can include hundreds of products or more. The effort involved in product title optimization for everything you sell can become a considerable burden. There are some free online tools available to assist with this, such as product title generators, but the best automation solutions scale across your product feeds.

Highstreet.io, for example, has been developing a patent-pending system based on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to enhance every aspect of product title optimization. This approach starts with identifying accurate, precise categories and product types, and then extracting the most popular search keywords. Before going live, however, users have an opportunity to review optimized product titles and accept them at their own discretion.

Reach out to us to learn more and begin your journey to improved product title optimization today.