Words are powerful tools.
When harnessed effectively by ecommerce retailers, the words you decide to use in the titles of your products have the power to engage, influence and ultimately convince buyers to make a purchase.
The more effectively a product is defined by its title, the higher are its chances of being sold. No one will want to buy a product that is confusing or lacks clarity.
In this article, we’ll take a look at how your product’s title helps with organic campaigns, the key role it plays in boosting conversions and what steps you can implement to help showcase your products better, to a wider audience.
Sounds good? Let’s dive right in!
The words you include (or exclude) from your product listing titles can have a massive effect on the decisions online shoppers choose to make.
If you invest in writing your own unique and high-quality product titles (and descriptions), you aren’t just ensuring the potential customer is convinced to purchase your items. You are supporting good SEO practices too, as all Search Engines will prioritize fresh and unique content.
Take a look at the titles above and below. Unless the customer already knows the exact product they are after, the keyword-rich title (above) is more likely than the shorter, stock title (below) to attract colder leads further up the funnel, as well as rank for far more search terms on SERPs.
Having complicated, duplicated or unclear titles can seriously damage your chance of making a sale - in fact, at least 20% of purchase failures are caused by missing or unclear product info. Click To Tweet
As we’ll see in this guide, it’s a fine line between creating longer, keyword-rich titles than grab attention and over-filling your product title full of irrelevant copy that will scare your shoppers away!
The takeaway message? Taking the time to build unique titles pays off in the long run. Read on to find out how to go about making titles stand out and what to include.
As we’ll see from the template examples given later on, almost all e-commerce industries get the best results in terms of conversions from retailers who place the product brand at the very beginning of their titles (screenshot below).
Add to this the fact that 82% of consumers say they are loyal to specific brands, it probably makes good sense to get that included in the product title as the very first word they’ll read!
Someone who is already familiar with the brand and has experience with them in the past is further down the funnel to making that crucial purchase decision: If my current Amazon Kindle Paperwhite has broken, I’m more likely to search Google for “Amazon Kindle Paperwhite” than “e-reader”.
Or perhaps you are a manufacturer, and thus your customers are aware that all products you sell on your store are from the same brand?
If this is the case, forget about adding the brand to your character-limited titles and instead focus on important keywords that are relevant to your customers.
Here I’m talking about the color, quantity, product type, size, age range, material…anything that gives a potential buyer the immediate info that distinguishes it from your other products.
Unbranded product Template: Color + Size + Product Type + Quantity
Example: Black+ Medium +Ballpoint Pens + (Pack of 50)
The takeaway message? Unless you’re selling unbranded products, make sure your brand gets included as a primary keyword – i.e. as early as possible in the product title. Many customers know the brands they are looking for, so making it the first word will draw their attention.
This also helps to sort your items in the proper categories if you decide to sell on sales channels like Google Shopping. On top of this, it will give your product page a better chance of being discovered organically through SERPs.
Here I’m talking not just about adding the product color to your title (although that can be an important factor!).
What I’m talking about is any interesting, unique and eye-catching factors can be added to give some extra ‘color’ to your product titles.
Alongside brand, mention traits like gender, material or special features which make your product stand out (e.g. waterproof, insulated) when applicable.
The character limit will vary depending on whether you are creating titles for your own online store or for external sales and marketing channels like Google Shopping (150 characters max, with 70 displayed on shopping ads) or Amazon (200 characters max).
Whatever the restrictions might be, try to make full use of the available character limit by using strong keywords. It’s unwise to add irrelevant words to your title just for the sake of using the character limit, but when you’re certain it could add value to a product title, add it in.
The addition of extra keywords to further describe the item style or appearance could bring exposure to your item through relevant searches. In cases where you may have a relatively short product title, consider expanding by adding a search term alongside the usual specifications for your product (see example below).
In this study by Crealytics, it was found that adding several more keywords to the search term dramatically increased the number of impressions.
If you’re unsure of how to word your item title, try searching for your item on Google Shopping (see Google Shopping titles below). This will help you think about your item from the search term perspective of your shoppers. It will also give you insight into the titles other sellers are using that have been approved by Google.
This means they want as much info as possible as quickly as possible. For that reason, make your product titles are interesting and eye-catching as possible by adding relevant keywords and extra features which you know your audience will be interested in.
Not sure about adding certain keywords to your titles? Experiment by running A/B tests from your online store, or via the product feeds you send to ecommerce channels. These will give you tangible results you based on the clicks and conversions each ‘trial’ title achieved.
While writing this article I came to a realization.
Due to the varied nature of titles between e-commerce industries, it’s easier to outline what you 100% shouldn’t include!
We’ll still take a look at how titles should look based upon your industry, but for now let’s check out what they definitely shouldn’t look like!
Not only can it give your titles an aggressive and over-the-top appearance (I doubt that’s the look many retailers are trying to go for!), but it can also act as a deterrent for shoppers browsing your item further.
Think about it from the perspective of a physical brick-and-mortar store. You will be more likely to scare off potential customers if a seller is shouting “BUY ME BUY ME!” “SALE 50% DISCOUNT”!
What’s more, you’ll face issues if you decide to sell your online store’s products on ecommerce channels like Google Shopping or Facebook Ads. The majority of them don’t even allow titles which contain excessive capitals or ‘gimicky’ punctuation
Here I’m talking about: S*A*L*E, bLaCk FrIdAy – annoying, scammy titles like that!
It almost goes without saying, but you’d be surprised how many online retailers fail to spot errors in their product titles.
I don’t need to tell you that an online store which has errors in titles, descriptions, ads (above) or website text looks unprofessional and careless, and that the chances of a customer converting after seeing such a mistake are going to drop through the roof.
Granted, when you have 10 000+ SKUs on your site, it can take a lot of time to grammar check titles (which is where data management tools can be useful). Yet doing so shows shoppers that you value their business and want to provide them with the best user experience.
What I mean by ‘fluff’ words are those that might sound impressive but which don’t actually add anything when outlining your product to the viewer.
I’m talking about words such as ‘real’, ‘authentic’, ‘high quality’. These end up detracting from the appearance of your product listing and take up valuable space in a character-limited product title.
Now we definitely know the factors to exclude from your titles, let’s have a look at what a good-quality product title should look like.
As mentioned at the beginning, the industry of your business will affect the way your title should appear and be structured. Shoppers browsing for clothes and apparel will place importance on brand and color, while those looking at building supplies might be more interested in the Manufacturer Part Number (MPN) or the weights and measurements of the product.
A technique to utilize for the titles and descriptions of your online store could involve ‘smart defaults’. These are templates that you define, and that work great in 90% of your pages, meaning you have to manually adjust the remaining 10% to make sure they include the right keywords, and aren’t too long.
As stated above, a good title for ecommerce stores is easy to read, contains important keywords, is unique, and has a length between 285 and 575 pixels (30 and 60 characters respectively) – get more info on putting ‘smart defaults’ to use here.
Having worked with thousands of clients across a wide range of ecommerce industries, I’ve produced a template for how different online retailers can structure and adapt their titles.A good title for ecommerce stores is easy to read, contains important keywords, is unique, and has a length between 30 and 60 characters Click To Tweet
The following is based on client results for Google Shopping, but rings true for ecommerce stores and other sales channels too.
As a shopper searching for a clothing or accessory item online, it’s no different from shopping in a physical store.
When you see an item of clothing on a shelf, your first questions are going to be something like:
What’s the brand? What color is it and is it in my size? How about the material?
That’s why the recommended structure for an ecommerce clothing title looks like this:
Template: Brand + Feature + Product Type + Gender
Example: Under Armour + HeatGear Core + Long Sleeve Baselayer + Mens
How about ecommerce retailers selling electronic goods such as phones, tablets, laptops, tvs, etc?
While still being most influenced by the item’s brand, the electronics shoppers here are probably going to be after more exact product specifications in terms of size and capacity.
So a template for an electronics seller could be something of this nature:
Template: Brand + Model + Size + Product Type + Operating system
Example (below): Lenovo + 20ks003nus + 15.6″ + Thinkpad E580 Notebook + Intel Core I
As with the electronic industry products above, the audience here will have a greater interest in the technicalities of the product.
Generally speaking, this means less emphasis is placed on important factors for other industries (like brand) and more focus on factors that tradesmen will be interested in, such as the size, material and function.
Template: Material + attributes + Product type + size
Example (below): Aluminium + self tapping + screw + 5mm x 12mm
The product titles for jewelry and accessories provide a crossover between the brand-focus of clothing and the technical focus of DIY.
Interested buyers want to know the material and maker of the product, but they are also looking for specific factors like weight, identification numbers and industry identifiers like karat (proportion of gold in an alloy).
Template: Brand + gender + feature + Product name + Product type + karat + material
Example: BVLGARI + women’s + metallic + Bvgl Bzero1 + Bracelet + 18k + Wg (white gold)
If it sounds too time consuming to manually adapt thousands of product titles, consider a data feed management tool which can make automatic optimizations in seconds.
To conclude, optimizing your ecommerce product titles can give significant, long-term improvements to your conversions.
Enriched titles are not just important for search engine algorithms, but the main focus should be on your shoppers. Showing your customers that you’ve taken the time to tailor your copy to what they want increases the chances of consistently driving revenue, and is more likely to lead to build increasing loyalty to your brand in the future.
Ben is a content marketer at WakeupData, a feed marketing platform driven by its mission to help empower e-commerce businesses. He specializes in creating valuable, actionable content which will save online merchants time and money.
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