Optimising eBay listings Title, Description, Item specifics, Images, Identifiers & Business Policies

For eBay sellers, having your listing appear number one in search results is crucial. Buyers tend to click on and buy from the listings which appear first.

eBay is, in effect, a product-focused search engine.  Each time a user performs a search on eBay, eBay generates a list of results that it thinks is most relevant to its search.  The default order is this listing is determined by eBay ‘Best Match’ algorithm, though the user can select to order the results by price and listing age.

For an explanation of how eBay’s Best Match algorithm works, please see the relevant lecture.

Keyword research

To appear for relevant searches, the listing must include the keywords which users are searching. The keywords used in your listing should include:

  • Product name
  • Brand
  • Product type
  • Synonyms for product type e.g. nappy (uk name), diaper (US name)

When creating listings, take time to research keywords around your product and you product category.  Sources of keyword inspiration include:

  • Keyword tool. This is a free tool that gives search volume across several platforms
  • eBay autocomplete.  Type the name of your product into the eBay search bar and look at the search suggestion generated by eBay.  These will be high volume searches releated to the text you have entered.
  • Google trends. This gives keyword search volume on Google search
  • Your own experience as a seller and a buyer

Choose three to five keywords.  Sellers should identify a few keywords that potential buyers might search for and then use those keywords in the description and title.

Example:

Your product is a Cosatto lightweight Woosh stroller which comes with a footmuff

Keywords: Cosatto Woosh Baby, Stroller, footmuff

Synomyns:  Buggy, pushchair, travel system

Optimising product listing

Title

The eBay title is a maximum of 80 characters long, and you should use as many characters as possible with descriptive information and keywords.  The title has two purposes:

  • Include keywords to ensure that the product appears for relevant searches
  • Give buyers a clear picture of what is included in the product listing

A good title should read well. It should only include relevant keywords.  Do not be tempted to include high volume, but irrelevant keywords.  An example of this would be to include the brand names of competing products.  This is misleading and may get your listing removed under the Vero scheme. Furthermore, if a customer is attracted to a listing by the content of title and that title is misleading they are not going to buy.

An example of this would be including ‘iPad style tablet’ in your title for a non-apple product.  This will annoy people looking for an iPad and may get your in trouble for trademark violation.

Best practise when creating a title:

  • Aim for a title between 65 and 80 characters
  • Include the product type (shoe, bed, laptop) near the front of the title.
  • Use synonyms but keep them relevant to the product. Use words that buyers use and avoid jargon or acronyms that they will not know.
  • Include as many useful details, features and USPs as you can. These help the buyer decide if your listing is what they want before they click on it, helping to keep conversions high.
  • Use Proper Case (capitalise the first letter of each word), not all caps. Using all caps doesn’t help your listing stand out.  It is ANNOYING and hard to read.
  • Check that the title is in a natural order and easy to read.

A good formula for building a title is:

Brand + Gender + Item + Additional Keywords/USPs + Synonyms

e.g.

Cosatto Woosh Pushchair inc. Footmuff Pram/Stroller/Buggy

Photos

Images are one of the most critical factors for the eCommerce conversion rate.  eBay allows sellers to publish 12 free photos with every item listing. Take advantage of these with good quality photos shot from every possible angle.

Best practise:

  • The main (hero) image should be close-cropped on a white background
  • Use high-resolution images
  • Aim to submit images as near maximum size as possible (1600 on longest size)
  • Include photos from different angles, brand labels and detailed close-ups
  • Include lifestyle images
  • Avoid watermarks

It is best to take your own imagery, but use high-quality images from your supplier if this is not possible. All photos should be of professional quality.

Description

Description content

Descriptions have become less critical on eBay over time, as photos have gained importance, and eBay has made the description harder to find when using a mobile device or coming to the site from Google. Consequently, some sellers add barely any information to the description, believing that it will never be seen.

The importance of the description does depend on the specific product and category, but in many cases, buyers still look at the description to make an informed decision about their purchase. They will look for answers to their questions, often to make sure that they are not about to buy the wrong item.

The description clear and easy to read, including information about materials, sizing and technical specifications. It should include:

  • Product features
  • Benefits
  • Unique selling points
  • What’s in the box
  • Dimensions
  • Weight
  • Care instructions

Both eBay’s search engine and Google will index eBay descriptions and so be sure to include your primary keywords.  Aim for a description that is 100-200 works long whilst keeping the text readable and concise.

Listing design

eBay allows HTML to be used in its description field to create a detailed description.  This allows the description to be branded and structured liked a webpage.  The design of a listing is referred to as an eBay listing template. A template provides a professional design for your listings rather than a plain text description.