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Optimising eBay SEO

Updated: Jan 7

SEO stand for Search Engine Optimisation

The reason why any search engine exists is to serve it’s searchers the correct information that they need. To do this, they use different algorithms to match up the most relevant answer to the “question”/”search”, with the best matching answer ranking the highest.

EBay’s search engine, called Cassini, analyses for keywords as well as scanning text and images, to serve the user the most relevant products. (It is worth noting that Cassini does not only take into account the listing, but also seller performance metrics such as return policy).

Top 5 ways to get more SEO traffic on eBay

Use Keywords Correctly

By definition, a keyword is: a word that describes the content on your page or post the best.

The best way to optimise keywords is to imagine yourself in the buyer’s shoes. If you were the buyer, what information would you want to know to help you cipher between the tens of thousands of eBay listings? That is the question that should be asked.

Once you know this information, it’s now time to figure out what order you need to put it in. As an example, if you were selling Nike shoes, the information you will likely want at the start, in no particular order, are: Nike, size (if single size listing), colour, shoe model. Don’t just take my word for it, here are the top ranking searches:

images of nike shoes

You can also use the SEO online tools available to you. Popular ones are: Google trends , MOZ, Word stream, Word tracker and Keyword tool.

As well as these keyword searching tools, you can also use eBay’s own Terapeak. Terapeak’s analytics tool can be used to identify the best performing keywords. Although beware, if you use irrelevant keywords, it can have a detrimental effect on your listings views. Make sure to include these keywords both in the title and description, as search engine’s use both of these to serve the user the most relevant answer/product.

Now, a curve ball. Using too many keywords can actually have a negative effect on your listing, and it is known as “keyword stuffing”. This is where a listing will contain every keyword possible, this used to be a good strategy. However, as search engines get smarter, listing’s like this are now actually ranked lower. To stop this from happening to you, make sure to use your keywords, but also write clear, meaningful sentences that make your listing easy to read.

TIP: Although this is unrelated to SEO. If a potential customer is on your listing and has any questions about the products whatsoever, 9/10 times they will just simply not buy.

Impeccable seller performance

For eBay’s search engine, your seller performance can have a huge impact on your listing’s ranking. Make sure you keep on top of all seller performance metrics, and aim for top rated seller status!

Professional Images

Search engines, including eBay’s own Cassini, place listing’s with higher quality images further up the search rankings. So make sure to use them! If you haven’t got the money for a full setup, just use a phone camera and light box.

TIP: Get as many photos as you possibly can, of every angle. This has the most likelihood of leaving the buyer with no questions.

Correct unique identifiers

As well as indexing the description and title, search engine’s will also look at the unique identifiers of your listing. These are things such as: ISBN, UPC, MPN and GTIN

ISBN -international standard book number

UPC -universal product codes

MPN - manufacturers part number

GTIN - global trade item number

Correct categorisation

Although this point may sound like you are being told to suck eggs, you would be surprised at how many people overlook it. When you search for your specific category, eBay will suggest categories for you. DO NOT JUST CLICK THE FIRST! Unless it’s the correct one.

If you list your product under the wrong category, even slightly wrong, your listing will be shown to the wrong audience. The search engine will then perceive your listing as not relevant, and slowly show it to less and less people over time.

Imagine buying stock from Pink Liquidation, tying up your money. Only to put it in the wrong category and it not sell….


In Summary to rank highly on search engine’s your listings need to:

  • Use keywords correctly

  • Impeccable Seller performance

  • Professional Images

  • Correct unique Identifiers

  • Correct categorisation

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