Optimize Product Titles - Product Type Needs Improvement

Dan Barbata · 7 September 2017

One of our flagship Product Title Evaluation tests is our check for Product Type. We call this our Product Type Not Detected test. Product Type is often the most important piece of information to include in your titles. Testing for whether a title contains product type is a very difficult and valuable thing to do. But at its core, it’s still a binary test. Either a title has a product type or it doesn’t. But of course, even for titles that have product types, there are better and worse product types. This is the focus of our new Title Evaluation Test: Product Type Needs Improvement.

Reason for Test

Manufacturers and retailers often write product titles for the context of their own online store and with their existing customers in mind. If your brand only makes luggage, then calling it a “Black 30” Hardside Spinner” may seem sufficient. But when your product is listed on Google Shopping or Amazon Marketplace in the context of many other kinds of products, you have to make it unambiguously clear what you’re selling. Simply adding the word luggage helps clarify the product type: “Black 30” Hardside Spinner Luggage.” By the same token, an outdoors retailer may just be selling their “Outback Men’s Mid Boots” when they could be clarifying by calling them “Outback Men’s Mid Hiking Boots.”

How We Identify Errors

There are basically two situations where we’ll flag a product title for product type needs improvement:

  1. Where the product type is strongly implied but not specifically stated like Spinner, Pullover or Bodycon (or Rope Bone). Much better to specify Spinner Luggage, Pullover Sweatshirt, Bodycon Dress (or Rope Bone Dog Toy).
  2. Where the product type is something generic like Boots, Shoes, or Bags. Much better to specify Hiking Boots, Ballet Shoes, or Shopping Bags.

By assigning confidence levels to product types, we can evaluate whether a type is sufficient for a product or might need specification or expansion/clarification. Confidence level is derived by a combination of  # of tokens, length, semantic ambiguity, frequency, and the different contexts it’s used in. So something like Pendant, while pretty semantically-specific may trigger this flag because it is often used in two contexts: Pendant Necklaces and also Pendant Light Fixtures.

Here are some before and after examples of product titles where we found product type to need improvement:

Original Product Title

Improved Product Title

Red 30" Hardside Spinner Red 30" Hardside Spinner Luggage

Gray Half-zip Pullover

Gray Half-zip Pullover Sweatshirt

Black Women’s Bodycon – Medium

Black Women’s Bodycon Dress - Medium

2 Knot White Rope Bone

2 Knot White Rope Bone Dog Toy

Outback Men’s Mid Boots

Outback Men’s Mid Hiking Boots

Canvas Pink Shoes – Size 6

Canvas Pink Ballet Shoes – Size 6

Recycled Re-usable Bags

Recycled Re-usable Grocery Bags

9” White Gold Pendant

9” White Gold Pendant Light Fixture

16” White Gold Pendant

16” White Gold Pendant Necklace


What Google Merchant Center and Amazon Seller Central Say:

Google Merchant Center

Amazon Seller Central

  • Use a relevant title that clearly describes your product

  • Be specific. The more specific you are with your title, the easier it is for users to identify the correct product on your landing page.

  • Product titles, product descriptions, and bullets must be clearly written and should assist the customer in understanding the product.




Highlighted Posts

  • Announcing the Product Title Performance Grader

    Today, we’re announcing the release of our new Product Title Performance Grader, a free tool...

    Read More
  • Case Study: Optimizing Product Titles for Google Shopping

    The Problem Our client suspected that their product titles were limiting the effectiveness of...

    Read More

FREE Product Title Grader

Are Your Product Titles Optimized?

  • Increase Impressions
  • Increase Clicks
  • Increase CTR