The description is one of the essential parts that Google considers when ranking you for eligible ad auctions in Google Shopping. Improving the quality of your product descriptions will result in better performance, thus receiving more clicks and sales.
As of September 1st, 2020, all products should have a description to ensure higher performance. Reference: https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/9729512
Google ranks your listings for eligible auctions using your description, among other attributes such as title, product identifiers, variant data, etc. Be it for paid shopping ads or Free Shopping listings.
Most merchants tend to copy-paste the same description from the product landing page. Because Google already crawls the landing page, it is best to have more search improved descriptions, using secondary keywords.
By accurately describing your product and adding valuable keywords that include the search intent and search behavior of a user, you can place yourself higher in the results than your competitors.
However, avoid at all costs writing keyword-stuffed descriptions. These will not help you and, instead, will most likely damage your performance.
One key aspect of a successful description is readability. You are making sure that the text is informative and increases the interest to click on your ad to read more on your website.
The maximum description length is 5000 characters. While yes, you can fill up your descriptions to the maximum. Nobody would spend so much time reading this in Google Shopping.
Therefore it is recommended to have around 500 to 1000 characters.
You are having your most important information between 145 and 180 characters. You should have your essential information within the character limit after clicking on the ad and expanding its information. Only between 145 and 180 characters are visible.
Only after you click on view more will you be able to see the full description.
As with the title attribute, the placement of the words is essential. IE Hierarchy, and in other words, from left to right. Words at the back of your description will not rank as high as words at the front.
Include What Within 145 Characters?
The recommended keywords to add are the following:
- Product Title
- MPN (If used by searchers)
- Variant Attributes (color, size, size system, age group, gender, shape, material, pattern and texture)
- Technical Specifications (The useful ones)
Make sure to follow Google’s editorial guidelines: https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/6150244?hl=en
The most common policy violations are due to including promotions and full cap words.
However there are many more reasons for disapproval:
- Grammar that matches the target countries selected language.
- Full caps, symbols, and promotional text.
- Foreign words that are not commonly understood.
- Comparing to other products or providing details to other products.
- Including breadcrumbs or product categories
- Including other websites or businesses
You can include basic HTML rich descriptions, this HTML elements are
While rich descriptions are not used in most cases, it is best to prepare for when Google does start including better formatting.
For example, if we take the below description:
Nike Workout Gear. Nike Air Monarch IV sets you up for working out with durable leather on top for support. Lightweight foam teams up with Nike Air cushioning for comfort in every stride. Style: 415445; Color: White/Black; Size: 9; Gender: Men's; Age Group: adult [back to school shoes, shoes for back to school, sneakers for school, shoes for school]
And make it better as followed:
<strong>Nike Workout Gear.</strong> Nike Air Monarch IV sets you up for working out with durable leather on top for support. Lightweight foam teams up with Nike Air cushioning for comfort in every stride.
<li>Age Group: Adult</li>
<span>Back to school shoes, shoes for back to school, sneakers for school, shoes for school<span>
It will then look like the below:
Nike Workout Gear. Nike Air Monarch IV sets you up for working out with durable leather on top for support. Lightweight foam teams up with Nike Air cushioning for comfort in every stride.
- Style: 41544
- Color: White/Black
- Size: 9
- Gender: Men’s
- Age Group: Adult
Back to school shoes, shoes for back to school, sneakers for school, shoes for school.
Be careful not to be lazy. A lot of merchants import data from the website without any cleanup. For example, in the image below, nearly every word is connected. This happens when they include bullet points, but have not paid attention to detail.
Researching What Descriptions Work Best
The most helpful way to find out what works best is to use your existing data in Google Analytics. If you have Google Search Console connected, you can go to Acquisition > Search Console > Queries
You could also use tools such as Semrush or SpyFu to check what your competitors rank well for. Then, use this information to build up your descriptions.
Another great way is to place yourself in the shoes of the consumer. Think about the logical steps a consumer would take before making a purchase.
- They Research
- Finding potential brands
- Comparing brand pricing
- Comparing merchant pricing within the same brand
- Evaluating trust
- Buying the product
While doing all the above, the consumer will take several days, weeks, or even months before deciding to make a purchase. Let alone jump from device to device. Research is mostly done at the first interaction, which is a smartphone or tablet.
While purchases are generally made via a desktop or laptop device, consumer actions depend on which niche and country you are located in.
The customer journey also plays a big part in your attribution.
Below are some great examples for each part.
In most cases, if you sell branded products, it goes without saying that the brand name is the first part of your description.
Suppose your selling products heavily focused on apparel or a product that can differ from within the same top-level categories. Including the product type in the first part of the description can help the user quickly decide. For example, the type of t-shirt (crew neck, o-neck, v-neck, etc.)
Including size, values is another important aspect for getting a customer to click on your listing. Be sure also to submit every variant to increase your equity.
What kind of pattern does your product have? Great for tiles, clothing, drapes, etc.
Are your products heavily focused on material such as scarves, handbags, tiles, etc? Specifying the material helps improve your CTR and eligible auctions.
If your products are focused on age categories, then make sure to define this in your descriptions to avoid confusion if your product is for children or adults.
Do your products have unique features that no other product has? Increase the interest by adding your special product features.
Great for technology, including key features of your technical specifications will win over any consumer.
Selling products that have lots of different shapes, such as plates. Including round, square, heart-shaped plates will improve your search match and CTR.
Having a texture-heavy product, such as paint, clothing, handbags, tiles. Including this in your description will help increase your clicks.
Including your product design helps users with very specific visual search terms find your products. Such as retractable ballpoint pens.
Include what can be personalized to help the consumer better understand if the product you offer is what they want.
Describe all items included in the package. You can also mention the number of multipacks if included.
How To Implement
The cheapest way to implement descriptions is by using a supplement feed where you include the ID in one column and the description in another. You can overwrite the primary data feed when adding this sheet as a supplement feed.
You can also use feed rules, which are more complicated and do not always work due to being rule-based.
I go the manual route to ensure every description is fully optimized. Yes, it does take more work, which adds return on investment in the long term.