If you run AdWords for an online retailer, you’ve likely run shopping campaigns using a large shopping feed. If you’ve been running shopping campaigns for a while, you’ve likely been optimizing your product titles to improve reach and performance.

Optimizing your product titles from brand-specific names and obscure colors (like fuzzy wuzzy – thanks, Crayola!) to accurate reflections of your product in the eyes of searchers can make a significant impact and is vital for strong volume and CTR for Google Shopping campaigns. A good title will go from “Performance T” to “Brand ABC – Performance Crew-Neck T-Shirt – Red.”

While this is great for our shopping titles, what happens when we run dynamic GDN remar….

Oh sorry, that got cut off. Just like your dynamic remarketing ads will! In this blog post, we’ll explain why that happens and what you can do to fix it.

Why truncation happens

While Google gives you quite a few options in designing your dynamic template, and even lets you build out your own custom HTML5 template, you have limited choices in the data that’s pulled into the ads themselves. The most common aspects outside of the product image will be price and title.

So you’re building out your dynamic ads and notice that the title you’ve worked so hard to optimize for your shopping campaigns looks pretty funky in your dynamic ad. While it makes a ton of sense to have your brand name, searcher-friendly descriptors, and the product’s title in a shopping ad, someone who has already been viewing a specific product or put it in their shopping cart doesn’t need nearly as much redundant information. Adding a title is totally optional in dynamic remarketing ads, and while it’d be great if Google allowed you to use a custom label in a dynamic ad to accommodate a shortened product name, you’re stuck only using the title column you use in Shopping Ads. As it stands in Google, you’re stuck choosing between a long, overly descriptive, cut-off title, and not having one at all.

The solution

There is a way around this, though, and it involves creating a second feed. Having a second feed allows you to create shorter product titles specific to your remarketing campaign. Making a second feed can be a headache (and potentially cause issues), but a few instructions can make the process seamless.

  • Create a duplicate of your current feed – eiither in a feed management tool, such as ProductsUp, or in Excel.
  • Append “_GDN_RMKT” or something similar to your product ID in your new feed. Note that having products in your feeds with duplicate IDs will cause issues!
  • Update your product titles to their actual name on your website.
    • Performance Crewneck (as opposed to Brand ABC – Performance Crew-Neck T-Shirt – Red)
  • Sync your new feed in Google Merchant Center.
    • Create a new primary feed with the destination set to Display.
  • Uncheck the box on your original feed to Display.
    • As an added level of safety to ensure your shopping feed titles don’t show on your remarketing ads and vice versa, add “GDN RMKT” or something similar as an AdWords label to your feed.
  • In campaign settings, set up a filter for the feed.

Keep in mind that some product names will still cut off because of their length in certain ad sizes, so you’ll want to keep an eye on top serving sizes and adjust longer product names accordingly.

Conclusion

Changing the titles for GDN Remarketing is not the only use case for a second feed; in fact, a team at 3Q used this strategy to add a snippet of tracking to final URLs so a client could differentiate PLA vs. GDN remarketing on their unique back-end system. There are certainly more scenarios where a second feed can solve problems, and understanding how it’s done can open the door to new ideas. Make sure you’re keeping both of them clean so your efforts are focused on making the most of each, not troubleshooting.

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Tom Leonard
Tom, who joined 3Q Digital in 2016, graduated from USC’s Marshall School of Business with an emphasis in Marketing. He played volleyball for the Trojans while in Southern California but is thrilled to be back in his hometown of Chicago. He loves new technologies and is a smart home DIYer and a VR enthusiast. He doesn’t spend all of his time inside, however, and enjoys hiking and geocaching.