If you’re an eCommerce seller, you’ve likely considered selling on eBay—if you don’t already. According to Statista, eBay ended 2016 with upwards of 167 million active buyers, and the gross merchandise volume in “Home & Garden” alone was $11.8 million. That’s a huge potential audience for HomeRev sellers.
But with such a huge audience comes significant competition—approximately 40-60 million sellers. How do you build a legitimate site on eBay and stand out from the crowd?
THE BASICS OF OPTIMIZING ON EBAY
In our article “The Ultimate Guide to Amazon Listing Optimization,” we discussed the difference between Google SEO and Amazon SAO. In the same way, eBay listing is dissimilar from Amazon stores based on how eBay deems its Stores worthy.
However, the differences are, for the most part, in the details. Much of what was discussed in regards to Amazon optimization holds true for eBay and any other platform. For example, you always need:
- A descriptive listing title
- Competitive price
- Professional images
- Appealing description
- Accurate, researched information
- Quality reviews
But there are some eBay optimization tips that will help you boost your Store within the competitive market…
1. SEO KEYWORDS
While the basics are the same, Amazon has its own searching system. In contrast, eBay’s search works similar to and in tandem with traditional search engine optimization. This means—the traditional rules of SEO apply.
Your listing title, for example, should include 1-3 relevant keywords within its 80-character limit. The purpose of the title is twofold: to appear in search results and to draw attention. In this way, your title does not need to be as descriptive on eBay as it is on Amazon. You just need to show up to the party through rich keywords and relevant descriptors.
Keywords should also be included in your Store description, custom Store categories (which are like the “shelves” where you display your items), and even your Store name. Anywhere there is content, put in keywords.
What makes for a good keyword on eBay? Oftentimes, these keywords describe what you are selling. This includes brand names, product types, and colors. You can use keyword managers, like Keyword Pro and eBay Pulse, to find lists of frequently searched terms.
Remember: don’t overdo it! 1-2% density of keywords is more than enough, especially for short listings. If you add in too many keywords, you’ll actually get a deduction from search engines.
2. ITEM DESCRIPTIONS
Similarly, your listing item’s description should frequently use relevant keywords. Bold and italicize these keywords and phrases to make them stand out in search engines even further.
Unlike Amazon, though, eBay doesn’t promote in-depth descriptions. Shorter listings tend to do much better on eBay than longer ones. 90% of people won’t scroll to the bottom of a web page, so succinct is significantly better.
Amazon requires 5 bullet points for highest optimization, but eBay focuses on concise descriptions that give critical, accurate information in few words.
3. MINIMAL LOAD TIME
Shorter listing lengths also equal a faster loading time, and a fast load time is better for your conversion rate. If your eBay listing takes more than 3 seconds to load, you will lose 57% of your potential customers, according to VoucherCloud’s report of checkout psychology. Similarly, Wired’s Innovation Insights found that even a 1-second delay might decrease customer satisfaction by 16%.
There are three ways to best minimize your eBay’s storefront load time.
- Keep image sizes below 100kb.
- Don’t overcrowd with images and graphics. Use only product-related visuals.
- Don’t overuse eBay widgets, and put them at the bottom of the listing so they have more time to load.
4. ABOUT US PAGE
Another way to cut down on load time is to spread out your content between tabs and other custom pages within your Store. For example, the main page of the searched item should be only the product. Then, you can have a more in-depth description, a policy and shipping page, and an About Us page.
Google actually scans the “About Us” content before the product pages! Thus, you want to ensure that this company-related page is keyword-rich, formatted correctly, and highly descriptive.
Furthermore, you want your “About Us” page to give your customer more information about you and your product. Answer the customer’s question: “Why should I buy from them?” Chances are, they can get a similar product in hundreds of other eBay stores. What will you offer them that goes above and beyond? The “About Us” is your chance to really shine.
On this page, you should include “trust indicators.” These are items that make customers and search engines deem you a legitimate business. Include a phone number and, if applicable, a physical business address.
5. VISUAL CONTENT
As with Amazon, visuals are crucial on eBay. VoucherCloud’s report found that 92.6% of people declare visuals to be the top influencer affecting a buying decision. Those eBay sellers who offer several product views from many angles have, on average, 58% more sales than those who don’t.
If relevant, a video can also boost the product significantly. 1 in 2 customers have more confidence in a product after watching a video, and 31% bought a product solely due to the video’s influence.
Ultimately, people want security and confidence in what they are buying online. Accurate and comprehensive visuals give them this confidence to make the purchase. It also leads to happier customers, which is great for reviews.
6. PRODUCT REVIEWS
It’s no news that good product reviews are proof of a great store, which looks better to customers and search engines alike. Showing quality feedback and reviews is a proven method to increase sales. 85% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase, and 79% of those trust the reviews as much as a personal recommendation. Research also shows that reviews keep buyers on your site, leading to a higher conversion and resulting in an 18% uplift in sales on average.
Go for quality over quantity (although quality plus quantity helps, too).
7. SUPPLEMENTAL CONTENT
While Amazon optimization focuses on the product itself, eBay optimization is highly about the Store and its content. On eBay, one way to gain traction at your Store is through additional community content outside of your product listings. This means posting in eBay forums, blogging, sharing posts on social media, writing guides, and reviewing others on eBay.
High-quality content (that is keyword-rich) gives you a wider presence and makes your Store more likely to be found by search engines and consumers. Always link your additional content back to your eBay Storefront, which is good for SEO and for consumer-content mapping.
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE CONCLUSION
eBay optimization boils down to two major contributors: traditional SEO guidelines and comprehensive, quality content. Using 1-2% keyword density in your content, minimizing your load time, and incorporating high quality visuals are crucial to boosting your Store’s results in search engines. Furthermore, eBay rewards custom Store pages, excellent product reviews, and valuable supplemental content that demonstrate the legitimacy and expertise of a given Store.
HomeRev is here to help our clients optimize their listings throughout their web presence, including eBay, Amazon, search engines, and beyond. We believe that the wider your reach, the wider your success. And your success is our success.