Advertisers are now able to optimize their product titles even further in Google Merchant Center.
Google recently added a new optional attribute to Merchant Center called “short title”. This update allows you to be more concise and to the point with your products.
Where Will The Short Title Attribute Be Shown?
In comparison to the “title” attribute, which is required, the short title attribute is optional.
The main difference between the title and short title attribute are as follows:
- Title attribute: More accurately matches the product landing page, as well as a customer’s search.
- Short title attribute: A brief and concise identification of your product
Because the short title attribute is an optional feature, it won’t always be shown on all networks.
Currently, the short title attribute will be shown in places where users typically do a lot of browsing, including Discovery campaigns and Shopping Ads in Gmail.
What Are The Minimum Requirements For Short Title?
The current character limits for this attribute are 1-150 characters. However, Google recommends keeping the character count between 5-65 characters.
Google warns that if you do not follow the minimum requirements, they will disapprove your product. Some of the main requirements include:
- Use professional and grammatically correct language.
- Do not use foreign language words, unless they are well understood.
- More specifically, do not use foreign characters for attractive purposes.
- Do not include promotions in your short title.
- Avoid excessive capitalization.
Another requirement for using short titles is to describe the product on your landing page. While it doesn’t need to exactly match the title on the landing page, it should at minimum refer to the same product.
Regarding using capitalization in your short titles, it is still appropriate for abbreviations, phone numbers, countries, and currency.
Best Practices For Short Title Attribute Usage
There are multiple ways to optimize your short titles in your product feed. The main recommendations for short title optimization include:
- Staying under 65 characters
- List the most important details first
- Add the brand name (if it’s a differentiating factor)
The character limit is extremely important in more browsy contexts contexts. Because users are more likely to scroll in these contexts (such as Discovery and Gmail ads), keeping your short title to a minimum is better. After 65 characters, your title may be truncated, making the user experience less appealing.
In more scroll-heavy networks such as the Discovery tab or Gmail, less is more when it comes to showcasing your ads.
By providing a more concise title, you have the opportunity to capture a user quicker.
It would be worthwhile to test out using the short title in your product feed and compare the lift in traffic from those metrics. Be sure to follow the minimum guidelines and best practices from Google so your ads don’t get disapproved in the process.
Source: Google Merchant Center Help
Featured Image: Screenshot from google.com/merchants, February 2022.
Beginner’s Guide to Optimizing Websites for Better Rankings
You want to rank on the #1 spot in Google. I get it. Everyone wants that spot but how come you’ve never been able to get your keywords there consistently?
I wrote this guide for you to get some of your keywords there in 30 days or less.
Just like a car needs regular tune-ups to keep it running smoothly, your website needs periodic SEO maintenance to help it maintain a high ranking.
Here are some routine tasks that me and my team in SEO Hacker do for our client’s website upkeep.
Publish fresh or update old content regularly
One crucial element to maintaining your website rankings is your content. Without content, search engines can’t take into account that your website is authoritative and trustworthy.
With that said, do you consistently create original and satisfying content? Have you also backtracked some of your old content and looked to see if there are articles that needs updating?
Below are some guide questions to help you re-evaluate previously published content and how you create new content:
- Does your content demonstrate your expertise and depth of knowledge from using a product or service?
- Does your content primarily summarize what others have to say without adding much value of your own?
- What impression will your content leave on a reader? Will they learn something new or experience something satisfying?
- Do you create valuable content while keeping Google’s guidelines and core algorithm updates in mind?
- Does your content promise to answer a question without a clear, confirmed answer yet, or one that hasn’t been confirmed?
- Does your visual content follow Google’s image SEO best practices?
- Is your content and web design and interface mobile-friendly?
- Is your content likely to receive backlinks because of its resourcefulness and value?
These questions will help you plan and create substantial content for your website that’s aligned with your audience and Google’s recommendations.
When other websites cite your website or web page via links, it shows Google that you’re authoritative and trustworthy.
To maintain your website’s rankings, you will need to check your internal and external links periodically. Internal links or interlinks are hyperlinks that point from a page in your site to another page on your site.
Internal links help users navigate your site and find the content they are searching for.
On the other hand, external links or outbound links are hyperlinks that point from your website to an article on a third-party website. Every time you link to another website altogether, it is an external link.
Some SEO specialists agree it matters in SEO, while some don’t. In any case, how I decide is if it helps the reader know more about the topic or the content that I wrote, I will link out for sure. Every external link included in our content is meant to cite relevant and authoritative sources.
Consequently, these links let my readers learn more about the topic deeply. In addition, it also gives me the opportunity to build some expertise and authority to the content I wrote as well.
An experiment done by Reboot Online showed how external links can help improve your website’s ranking. Their study concludes that “outgoing relevant links to authoritative sites are considered in the algorithms and do have a positive impact on rankings.” To learn more about their updated study in-depth, you can read about it here.
What this study and my personal experience concludes is that linking to sites with good contextual authority has a positive impact on your content’s rankings when done correctly. It helps send trust signals to Google.
But why do you need to occasionally check your hyperlinks?
Remember, we create content for people. If someone clicks on a link and receives an error message, they are more likely to leave the site. Links that no longer work or are inaccessible are called broken links. While broken links do not directly affect your website’s rankings, inaccessible links directly affect user experience – which I could argue is a ranking factor.
Optimize your titles, meta descriptions, and alt text for images
You shouldn’t neglect the small details like titles and meta descriptions that contribute to your website’s organic traffic and ranking. Titles and meta descriptions play a major role in making your website visible in the search results.
These elements aren’t considered on-page ranking factors per se, but what they do is they help searchers see and understand what your website or your webpage is about straight from the search results page.
A lot of people click on titles and meta descriptions on search engine results pages (SERP) that contain relevant summaries. When searchers click on your website’s title and meta description related to their query, your click-through rate (CTR) increases.
On the other hand, adding alternative text (alt-text) to your images plays a role in making your websites rank because of its importance on Google Image Search. If an image doesn’t load or is inaccessible to a web browser, an alternative text provides a helpful description of the image to users.
In essence, adding alternative text to images is like hitting two birds with one stone: it helps searchers who may have images or scripts turned off in their web browser understand what your image is about. Similarly, it helps Google bots crawl and index your website better.
So, if you haven’t optimized your website’s titles, meta descriptions, or your images’ alt-texts yet, now’s the time to do so. If you don’t know how to optimize your meta description, here’s a helpful post where we share some useful tips on how to do it.
In SEO, nothing is sacred. This is why SEO is never a one-time fix. Rankings in search results aren’t permanent. Search engines like Google constantly update their algorithms. Plus the fact that your competitors can catch up and get ahead if they employ better SEO strategies. Whatever tactic or strategy you have in place now for your website to rank may not work tomorrow.
This is why SEO maintenance is important. By regularly performing these and other web maintenance tasks, you can help your website earn high rankings in search results and keep it there.
Did you find this article helpful? Let me know in the comments below.
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