Once you know the best terms for your eBay items, it’s time to put that info to work.

Here’s what to do:

Take a close look at your items and store verbiage. Are you taking every opportunity to use the keywords your customers are most likely to be looking for? Keep in mind that your store name and item titles are weighted greater than your description, and make sure the most important terms are in those fields whenever possible. You’ll also want the most important keywords towards the front of your title and header fields in the event the end gets trimmed in some results.

You only have limited space in the title field, so be careful not to waste any of those precious characters. You want to fit as many related keywords into that space as possible, so trim anything unnecessary. A lot of sellers make the mistake of thinking their item title needs to be a complete, grammatically correct sentence, and that’s a big error that can cost you views. You’re also almost never going to waste title space with useless words like “Wow!” or “L@@K!”.

Storeowners should place particular importance on their custom categories. These feature prominently in the meta tags for your store, which is the backstage information search engines pull from. Just as with titles, pack every inch of that space with relevant keywords.

Stay abreast of changes in eBay search itself because they often innovate to help you out. Acronyms can save a lot of room, and knowing which terms eBay automatically equates, such as “VTG” for the word “vintage,” can save you characters for more important keywords. eBay also automatically includes common misspellings and the plural or singular form of many terms, though not all. Do the searches yourself just as your buyers will and experiment to see what works best for what you’re selling.

eBay’s search will help you out with misspellings and abbreviation, but the rest of the web doesn’t work like that. While search tricks like this work on eBay itself, you still need to be mindful of buyers beyond eBay’s platform. Don’t shorten a vital phrase to an acronym or use a less common spelling for your most important terms, or you’ll cost yourself external visitors. A keyword-rich item title will have visibility in search engine results even if the person isn’t specifically searching for items to purchase and extend your reach well beyond the eBay marketplace. In a way, you’re optimizing for two different search engines at the same time, eBay and then the general World Wide Web search engines, so you’ll have to find the way to best serve the needs of both.

Above all, your focus should always be on the best relevant keywords for your items. This doesn’t mean you should just slap random trending terms to your items even if they’re unrelated. eBay has a search and browse manipulation policy and comes down hard on anyone they think is keyword spamming. If your items are tied to something currently popular, you should absolutely take advantage of that bump, but don’t push your luck.

Why are we doing this?

eBay does sellers a big favor by taking care of a lot of those backstage SEO tricks themselves. eBay listings already have a great showing in search results, which gives you a solid foundation to start from. But you can make that advantage work even harder for you by making sure you use the right terms to bring the buyers searching for your items right to them. Doing test searches and looking at the tracking data can also help you identify demographics you may not have even realized you could be serving as well as alternate ways of describing or categorizing your items. It all comes back to increasing discoverability.

Join my mailing list!

Join my mailing list!

Hear about new releases, special offers and upcoming sales before anyone else or opt into monthly blog digests and never miss a post!

You have Successfully Subscribed!