The Short Title attribute was launched as a backup option to the Product Title attribute. As Google continues to expand where Performance Max shows and we see more ad placements across YouTube, Discover and other non-SERP placements. Google needed a way to show shorter titles of products. Enter the Short Title attribute. 

Is Short Title Mandatory?

No it is not. It is just an optional attribute. Since the attribute compliments your product title, it makes sense to add it for your top selling SKUs. That way when your SKUS show up on YouTube, Discover and other non-SERP placements, your ad will have the best chance of success.

This attribute is meant as a way to say what your product is in a concise way. Lets see you are selling a pair of Adidas Show. You might tweak your Product Title into the following Short Title:

ProductAdidas Gazelle shoes
Product TitleAdidas Gazelle Shoes, Mens, size 8, Red and White
Short Title – Option 1Adidas Gazelle shoes
Short Title – Option 2Red Adidas Gazelle shoes

Short Title Formatting

We talk a lot about writing the perfect Product Title as your SKUs title has been a huge part of your rank factor when it comes to shopping ads since 2013. Outside of just having text in this attribute field. The only other limit is character count and the recommended character count:

Limits 1–150 characters (Recommended: 5–65 characters)

Since we should be writing something smaller than Product Title, I would stay under the 65 characters and even go as low as 50 characters for your Short Title. Remember these are going to be shown in places like YouTube and Discover. This means a lot more placements on mobile over your desktop.

Short Title Minimum Requirements

Below are some of the key minimum requirements you need to meet for a short title to be eligible to be shown to users. If you don’t follow these requirements, Google will more than likely disapprove of your products. You don’t want to go through the trouble of having to fix all your mistakes a second time.

  • Use a relevant short title that clearly describes your product. Don’t go overboard with what you write.
  • Be as concise as possible. Less is more.  While the Product Title attribute is used to match a consumer’s search to your products, the short title is intended to show your product more concisely in browser experiences.
  • Describe the product shown on your landing page and the product you’re linking to. While the short titles you provide for products in your shopping feed don’t always need to be identical to the content on your landing pages, they should refer to the same product.
  • Use professional and grammatically correct language. Always avoid gimmicky ways of drawing attention such as including all caps, symbols, HTML tags, and promotional text. 
  • Don’t use words from foreign languages unless they’re well understood, such as a product with a foreign name.
    • For example, “sushi” is a word well-understood outside of Japan.
    • Write foreign words using the alphabet of your target language. For example, avoid Japanese characters when targeting the United States. Letters with accents (for example, “Les Clés”) are allowed.
    • Don’t use foreign characters for gimmicky purposes. This technique is common in spam and untrustworthy ads. For example: (ಠ_ಠ).
  • Don’t use capital letters for emphasis. Capitalized text is common in spam and untrustworthy ads. You should still use capitalization when it’s appropriate, including for abbreviations, phone numbers, countries, and currency. For example, “ADHD”, “UK”, and “CAD” or “USD”.
  • Don’t include promotional text or the price, sale price, sale dates, shipping, delivery date, other time-related information, or your company’s name.

A lot of the above is not new as it’s very similar to the advice we would give when creating our Product Titles but it doesn’t hurt to cover it a second time.

Short Title Best Practices

These best practices can help you go beyond the basic requirements to optimize your product data for performance.

  • Limit your short titles to 65 or fewer characters. Depending on their screen size, some users might only see the first 65 characters. Keep it short.
  • Keep in mind the experience someone will have when viewing your ad on YouTube and Discover
  • Put the most important details first. Very similar to your Product Title. Titles can be truncated
  • Add the brand name if it’s a differentiating factor. If you sell products from many different brands and the product’s brand is a differentiating characteristic of the product, add the brand name to the product title so that users can understand who makes the product you are selling.

How To Add Short Title to Your Shopping Feed

There are a couple ways to add this to your shopping feed.You can use the trusty supplemental feed. If your feed app or 3rd-party provider has the feature built in, you can talk with them to add it to your shopping feed. You can also set up rules in your Google Merchant Center.

Like any attribute, there are lots of ways to enhance and update your products inside your shopping feed. Make sure you check out our blog posts on Product RatingsGTINsCustom LabelsProduct Titles, and Product Images so that you can have the best feed possible.

Conclusion

The Short Title attribute might be hard for some brands to use as they have very long Product Titles but I encourage you to give it a try. Your longer titles will get truncated outside of SERP. Plus this attribute is less about your ranking factor and more about helping users have a better experience with your ads. This should lead to more and or better clicks and hopefully more conversions.