eBay is one of the world’s biggest online markets. But that doesn’t mean any business on eBay will naturally flourish. There are a lot of eBay store owners who struggle to get meaningful results.
Many eBay listings fail to get traffic because of one problem: They aren’t getting a lot of organic traffic. To fix that, you need to start looking into search engine optimization.
49% of marketers said that SEO had the best return on investment among marketing strategies.
So, what is eBay search engine optimization, and how does SEO for eBay work? How does it help you sell more products on eBay?
I’ll teach you all you have to know about the SEO factors that help increase organic sales on eBay and how to make them work to your advantage.
Table of Contents
What is eBay SEO and Why Does It Matter?
SEO involves optimizing a store, website, or page to rank better on search engine results. Search engines run on algorithms that determine what pages and sites should rank higher for specific query results.
Think of it this way: If you type the search term “sneakers” into the search bar, you get thousands of results. eBay will rank those results based on a few factors.
The goal is to rank as high as possible. That’s SEO.
Your products’ rankings on search results directly correlate to how much traffic you get. The top results on the first page often get the most clicks. An SEO strategy helps you get your listing higher on that page.
Performing SEO on an eBay listing is a great way to attract high-intent and organic traffic to your products and get more sales.
Why You Should Appear on eBay Search Results
So why does eBay SEO matter, and why should eBay sellers pay attention to it? Here are a few benefits of having a great eBay SEO strategy and ranking higher on search results.
Build Your Brand
Up to 53% of shoppers research a product before buying. When they type your product into search, what do they see? If you have very few quality results on a search, there’s a chance people won’t trust your brand.
eBay SEO has a direct effect on your business brand. An eBay seller should try to rank on eBay’s search to get visitors and build credibility.
A brand that’s visible on search engines appears more reliable and reputable.
Get More Organic Traffic
Prioritizing SEO for an eBay store will also result in more organic traffic to your listings. eBay’s search engine is a rich source of high-intent traffic.
You need to rank your products higher on search results to get more people to your product listings.
Many eBay customers opt to search for products through the search bar. Think of relevant keywords they’d search for and optimize your listings accordingly, and your organic traffic will increase.
With more traffic, you’ll have more chances of selling to people, which leads to the last benefit.
Increase Your Sales
Every seller on eBay should try their best to increase sales on their eBay store. eBay SEO is remarkable in that it helps make it a reality for your business.
Many businesses have two types of online sales problems— traffic and conversation. SEO helps you solve both of those problems.
You get more traffic to your store when you rank for several keywords and phrases. You could also solve your conversion problem. It would be best if you targeted real queries with significant search volume and high buying intent to do that.
You can try promoted listings every so often, sure. But promoted listings cost money, so you don’t want to be too reliant on them. Organic traffic is a more sustainable way to go.
By investing time, effort, and resources into eBay SEO, you set your store and products up for sales growth over the long term.
How Does eBay’s Search Engine Work?
eBay’s algorithm, often called the Cassini algorithm, works slightly differently from other search engines. It optimizes the search behaviors of people within their environment.
So how does the Cassini search engine work? Here are the factors that affect it and some eBay SEO tips to help you maximize it.
With eBay’s search engine, Cassini, user convenience beats keyword density. Users need to know what they’re looking at, why they should buy, and what happens after a purchase almost immediately.
Making relevant information available immediately will be great for your eBay SEO results.
Bang for Their Buck
Prices play a crucial role in your search ranking. The Cassini search algorithm loves it when you offer free shipping and reasonable prices.
eBay tends to focus on buyers more than sellers. So, the algorithm will look at your seller ratings, good reviews, and positive interactions with buyers on the platform.
Positive experiences with your eBay brand will greatly increase your search engine ranking and visibility.
Search Engine Optimization Factors That Matter on eBay
So, what does it take to improve your eBay SEO and get picked up by Cassini and other search engines? You’ll need to know the factors that dictate the search ranking of your eBay website.
Here are the factors that matter in eBay SEO.
It would be best if you targeted the right keywords to get on more search results. Keyword stuffing your listings shouldn’t be your go-to strategy here. You’ll need to perform deliberate eBay keyword research and adjust your plan accordingly.
Great eBay keywords will have two characteristics: High buying intent and low keyword competition.
On Buying Intent
Appearing on search results is step one of good SEO. You also want people to click on your product and add it to their cart. This process involves making your headlines sticky and your text readable.
Keywords must have high buying intent, driving people to click on your product listing.
On Keyword Competition
Here’s the reality — multiple sellers always target the same keywords.
The higher your competition, the harder it will be to get on the first page of search suggestions, let alone the top spots, of search suggestions.
Oftentimes, you’re selling the same product as many others. So the goal should be to stand out and be different by going for more unique and low-competition keywords.
To lower competition, you should target longtail keywords. So instead of gunning for search terms like “sneakers,” you should try to rank for keyword phrases like “sneakers for women runners” or “discounted pre-loved sneakers,” for example.
Some places where your keywords should appear include the following:
- Your eBay store introduction
- Product titles
- Alt tags
We’ll discuss how you can insert keywords in these places later in the article.
2. Your eBay Listing Title
eBay’s search algorithm takes your eBay product titles into high consideration. Accordingly, you make it a crucial part of your eBay search engine optimization strategy.
Great listing titles will have the following characteristics:
- Keyword-driven. Your listing title will require proper keyword research, like all other written content on your eBay product listings.
- Concise. eBay titles only allow 80 characters. So you have to get people’s attention and build their interest in your offer with as few words as possible.
- Engaging. eBay listing optimization involves stringing words people search for, with words that engage them and catch their attention. Make sure your product title “pops” by using powerful words like “sale” or “great deal.” I don’t recommend overdoing it, though, as that could also appear too aggressive to some buyers.
3. Product Images
You’ll also want to use high-quality images for your products. That’s because the search engine on eBay puts a premium on good user experience.
Photos significantly increase user experience by helping people enjoy and appreciate the visual strengths of your product, especially if you’re selling something with a dash of creativity, like apparel or jewelry.
If you can, consider hiring a professional photographer to take your photos. But if you ever intend to do the photography yourself, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
- Use neutral backgrounds. I like it when product images use pure white backgrounds.
- Pay attention to lighting. When you can, use natural lighting.
- Don’t hide any defects if you’re selling something used. Buyers will find out sooner or later.
- Keep your photos simple. Don’t overdecorate with borders, unnecessary graphics, and so on.
eBay will allow you to add up to 12 pictures on an item’s page.
4. eBay Listing Descriptions
Your keyword research doesn’t just end with the title. Instead, you’ll have to focus your keywords in your listing descriptions to gain more leverage on search rankings. While you want to add as many keyword ideas, be as concise as possible.
SEO for eBay listings descriptions isn’t about bombarding your copies with the best keywords available. Too many keywords could end up hurting your ranking.
Apart from adding keywords to your product descriptions, here are other SEO tips when optimizing your listing descriptions.
- Tell potential buyers about the benefits of using or buying your products.
- Stay authentic.
- Keep your written descriptions short and sweet. Readability trumps lengthy content anytime.
- Include other pertinent information, such as your policies, shipping terms, product warranty, and additional important product information.
5. Product Category
You also want to choose the correct category when performing eBay SEO on your store or listings. eBay makes it a point to suggest which category you’ll fit best. For instance, if you’re selling “sneakers,” eBay will suggest you list your product under “athletic shoes.”
You’ll confuse buyers and the algorithm when you don’t follow suggested eBay categories.
Other eBay sellers opt to pay for two categories. You can do the same for your products. eBay charges sellers $0.35 for a second category. You could justify that cost if it drives more eBay traffic to your listing.
6. Details and Unique Identifiers
To appear on eBay’s search results, you also need to provide item details that will help eBay determine what product you’re selling. There are what eBay users call unique identifiers that do that.
Provide as many of eBay’s unique identifiers as possible to tell search engines what user searches you want to appear for on eBay. Unique identifiers apply primarily to new or manufacturer-refurbished products. Some identifiers include:
- The product brand
- Universal product codes (UPC)
- International Standard Book Numbers (ISBN)
- Manufacturer part numbers (MPB)
- Global trade item numbers (GTIN)
Adding unique identifiers might seem unnecessary, but it can help your eCommerce business get a much-needed SEO boost.
If your product is in the eBay catalog, your product identifiers will appear in your listing automatically.
7. Seller Performance
Your performance as an eBay seller directly influences your eBay SEO. So you must provide excellent customer service to get in front of more people.
Store ratings and customer complaints can directly impact how high or low you appear on real search queries. So, you want to gather as many positive reviews as possible and avoid customer complaints.
When you receive negative feedback ,(you definitely will at some point!), be as proactive as possible. Find ways to amend any shipping or order errors.
Avoid soliciting people for customer reviews in exchange for freebies or rewards, as that approach could backfire. Although, it isn’t wrong to ask nicely after a successful delivery.
You also improve your seller service by frontloading as much information as possible, including shipping, return policies, product condition, etc.
8. Listing Accessibility
Accessibility involves making stores easy to navigate for shoppers with visual impairment or struggling with reading too much text.
Here are some ways that you can improve your eBay store’s accessibility:
- Use image alt tags to describe your visuals so readers know what they’re looking at. You can also include strategic keywords in your alt text.
- Write short sentences to improve readability. Use a tool like Grammarly to improve readability scores.
- Don’t use colored text, as this can be hard to read. Stick with black font types and white backgrounds.
- Watch out for spelling and grammar errors. Grammarly can also help you with this.
9. Visibility on Various Search Engines
eBay search isn’t the only place your product or store could appear. You can also opt to have your products or brand appear on other searches.
One search engine your eBay business should appear on is Google, which currently has an 86.86% share of the search engine market.
Different sellers might create external websites with blogs to rank on Google and point people to their product listings to drive more organic traffic.
eBay SEO Tools to Use
SEO isn’t a walk in the park. A lot of effort goes into searching for keywords to rank for and finding out which to use. Thankfully, there are a lot of tools to help with that process.
Here are some great SEO tools to help you rank higher on eBay.
Ahrefs is one of the most popular SEO tools. They have all kinds of features and capabilities to help with keyword research, competitor analysis, etc.
Ahrefs also has excellent metrics to determine traffic value, keyword difficulty, domain rating, etc.
I like Ahrefs because it’s robust and complete. It has keyword reports, competitor analysis, site rankings, and many other capabilities.
Though, for some, Ahrefs might be on the more expensive side of SEO tool lists. The cheapest plan starts at $99 a month.
However, Ahrefs does have some great free tools if you don’t need anything too advanced. You can check out those free tools here.
Ubersuggest is a free keyword suggestion tool from content marketing expert Neil Patel. It allows you to enter a domain or keyword and get dozens to hundreds of keyword suggestions to rank for on eBay.
This tool is excellent for looking for long-tail keywords for high-competition queries. You also get information like trends, cost per click, search volume, and others.
The best part is that this tool offers a lifetime plan, so you don’t have to pay monthly subscriptions. While it’s limited, it can get the job done for the most part.
3. Surfer SEO
Surfer SEO is another great tool, and one that I use personally. It provides full audits on keywords and competitor websites.
You can then use Surfer SEO’s content planner and editor to develop content that could rank better based on its content scoring.
Surfer SEO also has an extension that makes editing your product descriptions, titles, and other content easier on other apps like Google Docs for ease of use.
Dashword does keyword reports and editors just like Surfer SEO does. It also allows you to generate content outlines using an AI tool that studies competitor links and tells you to create content with specific subheadings.
There are also great tools on Dashword. I love the content optimization checker. It’s an excellent resource for sellers planning and executing their SEO strategies.
Semrush is another robust SEO and content marketing tool that helps with keyword research, rank tracking, link building, competitor analysis, and more.
What’s great about Semrush is its social media management tools to help you plan and schedule social media content.
So if you’re planning to market your eBay products on social media instead of scoring higher on rankings, this could be a helpful tool.
There are many other tools you could use. But these options are the best starting points.
If you have any other tool suggestions, I’d love to hear about them in the comments below, and we could probably add them to our list.
SEO is a great long-term marketing strategy for online businesses. While there might be seasons where you get fewer sales and orders, it’s sustainable—meaning you get results over long periods.
That said, search engine optimization for eBay should be a part of every eBay seller’s strategy. By following these considerations and tips I’ve shared, you should have a good jump start to SEO.
Remember that SEO is a long-game strategy. You might not get results for a few weeks or months.
You can pair up SEO strategies with other promotional tactics like using promoted listings or promoting on social media platforms.
But when you do start ranking for high-intent keywords, be ready because the traffic will start coming in. That traffic could quickly turn into sales.
Wishing you all the best on your journey to becoming an eBay selling all-star!