In much the same way as optimising a web page to appear highly in search engine rankings, making sure your eBay listings are optimised to appear highest in eBay’s own search results is not an exact science – but there are certain key tactics to give yourself the best chance of appearing at the top.

These best practices won’t guarantee you top of every result page but it’s only by following these points that you’ll stand a chance of being there, so it makes sense to get into the habit of ticking everything on this list off every time you list a new product.

eBay’s search defaults to ‘Best Match’ which is the order you’re trying to optimise for – you don’t necessarily want to be at the top of price-driven searches if you’re offering a premium product. However make sure you are competitively priced or eBay will demote your listing. Being a top seller on eBay will also give you a boost but until you reach those heights there are other things you can do.

Tick the Right Boxes
It’s important that your listing is in the right category. eBay uses its category system as part of its search algorithm, with selected keywords linked to certain categories. The system is pretty detailed too with quite the breadcrumb trail, so take the time to check all the suggested options (and if you aren’t sure they’re right, browse the site to look for others too).

Paint a Picture with Words and…Pictures
A large part of optimising your listing is the content you choose, which can be broken down to listing title, product description, and images.

A good title is so important to your listing. You’ve only got so much space to get your product noticed, and you need it to be attention-grabbing but also contain the keywords that people are using to find your listing in the first place.

Then you need to have a strong product description, which clearly details every aspect of your product. Don’t write for writing’s sake – say what you need to say so that the buyer knows what they’re getting, and make sure it’s easy to understand.

As for images, less certainly isn’t more. The more photos you can add of your product the better, as eBay recognises this will only make it more clear to the buyer what to expect. Make sure photos are high quality too – nothing blurry or taken against an amateur background like a messy table or a carpet. Don’t stretch yourself either in trying to edit your pictures – if you don’t know what you’re doing with Photoshop, leave it alone, you’ll only make your photos look less professional.

Use the Tools Available
There is software available to make this whole process a lot simpler. Use ‘Title Builder’ to optimise your title, or ‘Terapeak’ for recommendations on the complete optimisation of your listing. You’ll find these on our list of the 10 best software applications for eBay sellers.

If you don’t optimise your eBay listings by following these steps, you may as well not list your products at all. It’s a highly competitive market and complacency will only lead to poor sales, but sticking to these guidelines will help your eBay business flourish.

Ebay Headquarters by Coolcaesar is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

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