Simple tips for improving your ebay listing ranking

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After weeks or research,this is what I found.

I have been researching how to get to the top of ebay search results for some time. Something we all want. I sell in the phone accessory market, which is very competitive in terms of the quantity of sellers, the quality of sellers and the price.

It's a tough deal out there if you are not a powersell, a top rated seller or if you have a new ebay shop.

I have done hundreds of hours researching this - watching youtube videos, reading blogs and reading ebay literature. So here, I can make a very long story short for you with some quick bullet points with what I have found, and hopefully save you some time.

-1) Title
Of course. Everyone bangs on about using keywords in your title, I won't bore you with the usual blah. Basically there are a few things to keep in mind:

People advise cramming in as many keywords in a title as possible - this can be misleading advice. It's much better to use a smaller, much more concise titles than one which makes no sense (when appropriate). Heres an example of a bad title:

"100% GENUINE 8 PIN LIGHTNING USB SYNC DATA Charger Lead Cable for iPhone 6 PlusiOS"

Problems - Ebay search will cut out words like 'for', nobody searches '8-pin' or "100% GENUINE" or "PlusiOS". All caps is pointless.

Here is a decent example:
"Apple lightning USB cable iPhone, iPad, iPod."

This ranks much better, as the ebay cassini search engine can easily digest it. Believe me, I've tried all sorts of titles! Keep it succinct and hit the keywords, don't over saturate the title for the sake of keyword spamming.

2) More notes on using keywords
Since ebays 'best match' algorithm was release in 2013, key word spamming is pointless. Keep this in mind for titles and descriptions. Ebay wants more organic reading text, so don't overthink it or over cook it. Here is a rule of thumb given by ebay - keywords should make up 5-10% of your description, too many keywords and cassini will punish you because it looks like spam.

3) Ebays new analytics tools does not match reality.
Don't be obsessed with the analytics tools. It can offer a decent inside, but don't live by it. There is still no substitute for searching out your ebay item using the ebay search box. Often the analytics ranking can be misleading, and tell you that your item should be at rank 20 (search location 20 on page one) but it just won't - I don't know why this is, but before you make changes to improve the ranking, check where your item actually features in a real ebay search first, make a change, then search again to really know how the changes affected your performance.

4) Your item will appear at a different location for every user, depending on the users purchase history. 
This was news to me, and it's true, bear this in mind, you might be page 2 for one person, page 1 for a different person, so if your number 10 on page 1, do be too precious if it's not there for someone else.

5) There is ALOT of old information online.
Basically any tutorials you find online pre-2012 you might as well forget about. A lot has changed in the way ebay works, but there is still a lot of misleading information which will leave you frustrated. Stay current with your info. BE CAREFUL, there is even old ebay help files which are painfully out of date, which will leave you barking up the wrong tree, especially concerning how to get ebay listing on google.

6) Ebay listing on google.
This was an especially painful learning curve, due to so much old info online. I called google and spoke to ebay twice to finally get a definitive answer to how to get listing to appear on google. Here is what I found:

'Google Base' no longer exists, so ignore any of that info. Google base was replaced by goole merchant services. This is useless to you if you are only selling on ebay.
GMS work by the retailer sending google a data feed (a spreadsheet with stock info), google then use that info to list stuff on google. ONLY EBAY CAN SEND THIS INFO TO GOOGLE if your listing on ebay only. You can't send any yourself. Setting up a website and domain forwarding to your ebay shop for the purposes of sending a data feed doesn't work, google only reject the datafeed.

The only thing you can do is make sure all you item specifics are filled in on your listing and trust that ebay are sending the data over. Which is why I advise a "good 'til cancelled' listing as it can take some time to properly index all the data ebay sends over to google.

7) 30 day listing vs good 'til cancelled - the debate.
Know one really seemed to know which performs better - well I found out. I had 2 listings running side by side, BOTH 30 day listing. They performed ok. When the listings ended, I resisted them both and expected them to perform similar to how they did before they ended the first time (As the new relisted/ sell similar items inherit the metrics from the ended listing, I am told). 

I set one up as another 30 day listing, and the second as a 'good 'til cancelled'. The 30 day listing performed as expected, featuring in search results approx where it had before the listing ended. The GTC however drastically under performed in terms of where it landed in search results - by approx 50 places. My guess is that GTC has longer to run, so can build up more metrics over time than a 30 day listing can, so it's handy-capped by ebay.

8) Pictures
1500 x 1500 and sharp focus. Don't increase the size of your images, take decent pictures. There is no substitute for quality images, bad images affect your search position - fact.

9) HTML and picture naming
HTML templates DO NOT affect your listing position, fact. People have guessed otherwise - ebay handles HTML fine. The only concern is how it will look on a mobile device, so test your template.

Putting keywords as your image titles doesn't hurt, using ALT tags does help, so look into it.

10) How ebay cassini search works.
Know one knows, know one will ever know - it's a closely guarded corporate secret and it changes several times a year as ebay updates it.  The only way yo know what works for you is to try it, tweak it, and basic time consuming trial and error. Watch this FANTASTIC ebay web series to keep you up to date with any major changes to ebay and how it affects you:

I can't recommend this youtube series enough. PS it's not mine.

When you find what works, stick to it, until it stops working. Monitor the performance as often as possible.

9) Something happened! I made no sales today!
Some days are much slower than others. Expect dry patches, even with popular products. But ask your self this - has the market changed? One thing that happened to me which stopped sales over night was a guy came in to ebay selling knock off cables at a price which killed the market. He must have been making .50p a sale and for that he chopped the legs out from every one, and took the shirt off our backs - please be responsible sellers. This is how many of us would like to support our families.

10) Drive traffic to your listings via Facebook, pintrest and by writing an ebay article. See what I did there? If this article was useful, please consider clicking my name at the bottom to check out my items please.

Thanks for reading. Hope this helps and saves you a lot of time! 


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