In this article you will learn why listing titles matter more than anything on eBay and how to make sure yours DOMINATES!
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I have decided to address what I believe to be the single most common “issue” (By which I mean huge mistake which is costing sales and money) made by the vast majority of eBay sellers. Not only is it the most common mistake I see being made, but your Listing Title is also THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF YOUR ENTIRE LISTING. Yep, that’s right, more important than your pictures, your copy writing, your listing details, your products’ price and probably even more important than your product itself!! So listen up!
But seriously, did I make myself clear about just how important your listing title is? Good, now you can keep reading!
Why is it so important?
There are a vast number of reasons why the title of your listing is vital to the success of your eBay store, your item for sale, your auction etc. I’ll go over a few of the main points, tell you the must do’s and also help you avoid doing silly things.
Reason #1: eBay’s ‘search’ function only recognises the words in your listing title. Read that sentence again. ONLY THE WORDS IN YOUR LISTING’S TITLE*. Not the words in your listing itself, or your subtitle or your store name or anything else you think might help people find your listing. So when someone types into the search box for example: “Brand new iphone 5 32gb” and your listing only has the keywords “New iphone 5” guess what happens..? YOUR LISTING DOESN’T SHOW UP. Unless there are almost no listings with the keywords that the eBay user typed into the search and eBay starts suggesting search options closer to your keywords that potential customer isn’t going to find your item, even if your item was in fact a brand new iphone 5 32gb. How much does that suck!!?
Reason #2: This is sort of a follow up to the first reason but I just want to be clear that if your listing title doesn’t have the words that potential customers are searching, you won’t show up. If people can’t see your listing, they certainly can’t buy it.
Reason #3: eBay’s search parameters are different to other websites like Google, Amazon and even websites which eBay owns like Gumtree in the sense that it will not use the content in the listing or the page etc as links to relevant keywords being searched, it’s all about the title!
Fear not my friend’s! Captain Aaron (I like nautical stuff, deal with it) is now going to give you some solid pointers on how to get the most out of your title! Woo hoo!
How can I make sure my listing title is super awesome?
1- Use up every single character you are given to use for a title. For those less lingo-savvy a ‘character’ is essentially any single letter or number etc. eg: ‘a’ would be one character and ‘awesome’ would be seven characters.
Now back in my day you could only ever use 55 characters total for the listing title on eBay but now you can have as many as 80 characters. Be sure to use up every single character. You heard me every single one. It’s not going to cost you one more cent but you can definitely get some extra views on your listings with more keywords. Even if you end up with 78 or 79 characters don’t think ‘eh, close enough’ go back through and see where it might be effective to add an ! or maybe a . or maybe just a random letter or 2 which people might happen to type into ebay. (CONFESSION: I have often typed in single letters or numbers into ebay search just to see what comes up, how cool would it be if it was your item!)
Which brings me to my next point…
2- Use relevant keywords
So often I see products come up when I type in a few keywords which have absolutely nothing to do with what I’m searching for. Sometimes it’s a coincidence, but sometimes it’s a seller who thinks if the put keywords in the title that they think more people might be looking for then more people will see their listing and therefore buy their product. Not true, I would say 99.9% of the time it just annoys people. eBay can also remove your listings if you spam a bunch of irrelevant keywords too, they have a whole team of people and algorithms in place to detect this sort of thing, not to mention the fact that ebayers can report listings so this = NOT GOOD! So if you’re selling a “red children’s bicycle” don’t add keywords like: “iPad karate miley cyrus” because you will be doing yourself a massive disservice.
I do however want to be clear that some keywords like genuine, authentic and things of that nature are often worth using if you are selling a genuine product in a genre where there are known counterfeits. (Most common examples: Sunglasses, Beats By Dre headphones, sports branded shirts etc)
3- Use the highest traffic keywords
What do I mean by high-traffic? well what I mean is some keywords are more likely to be searched for than others. For example lets say 99% of people searching for a new Apple iPhone type the word ‘iphone’ somewhere in their keywords, but maybe only 80% type the word ‘apple’ and perhaps only 30% type ‘new’ .. do you see where I’m going with this? So essentially you want to use all 80 characters of your listing title on only the highest % searched words to maximise your chances of your listing being seen. (NOTE: I keep using apple products as examples because they are well known enough for everyone to relate to, not because Apple is my favourite brand or is giving me money or anything. But if Apple is reading this and wants to give me money, then please do!)
4- Using random words like ‘LoOk’ and ‘COOL’ don’t help, they hinder.
Technically I covered this already in the last point but I feel the need to be super clear about this because I see it ALL THE F#CKING TIME!!
Just now I typed in ‘look awesome cool’ to ebay.com.au and this is what came up:
I’m not going to name-and-shame this seller because they purely just don’t know any better (I hope), and you know what’s even worse? They literally had OVER 50 listings with all three of these words in the title!! (This seller sells signed photos of sports people etc) I don’t know who Anthony Pettis is but just from looking at this picture I assume he is a famous UFC fighter of some sort. Do you think maybe there are some better keywords we could have used? here’s a few that I am going to rattle off the top of my head without even clicking the listing and knowing very little about the sport: boxing, authentic, genuine, MMA, martial, arts, fighter, fighting, cage, memorabilia, collectors, collectible, print…(literally 30 seconds has past since I started writing those keywords). See how easy it is to make your listing appear in more searches when you just apply with one simple rule?
Is there anything else I can do?
Hmmm I dunno… ok yes there are a few things you can do and since you’ve read this far I will share with you some secrets that I have used with phenomenal success. I’ll try and keep the tips limited just to Listing Titles though as I’ll be writing some more articles with other awesome secret shortcuts and hacks to maximise your success.
How do I know what the best keywords to use are?
Good question, I’m glad you asked! Here’s a few clever/sneaky/effective things I do to make sure my keywords are as effective as they can be:
- Search on ebay for a product your selling and see what all the top sellers are using as keywords. If you click a few of them (assuming they’re all the same or similar price etc) and you start noticing that one guy is selling 100’s but another only has a couple of sales then you know he’s on a winner! If your ebay doesn’t tell you how many they’re sold you can still apply this tactic as there will be A LOT of common keywords for just about every product, and the reason for that is because those keywords work.
- Another way you can do it is using the google adwords tool. Without going into too much detail essentially when you advertise with google they allow you to use tools (totally free) which will tell you how many people search for certain keywords and google adwords will also suggest related keywords for you (pretty sweet, right?!)
- Ask people. Seriously in real life walk up to people/customers/strangers/whoever and ask them “what words would you use to describe this product?” or “if you wanted to buy this product, what words would you type into a search engine to find it?”. You might say to me Duh, Aaron, obviously that’s a way I could do it.. and you would be correct, but are you currently doing it? If not, DO! Plus you may be very surprised with some of the words people use/would use to search/describe your product. This is a far more effective method than you might think, and it’s totally free, in fact you just might make a few sales/friends as I did.
Still with me? Ok then just ONE more secret cool way I like to get more sales with my listing title on eBay..
Once you know what your main keywords are (this process may take some trial and error or research or experience but eventually you will know what they are) you can start to get a bit creative and do one of my favourite eBay-dominating tactics known as duplicate listing. NOTE: Since my early days of selling back in ’07 onwards eBay has massively cracked down on this and will remove listings. Having said that if you have enough different keywords in your titles then you should be fine to put up multiple listings all selling the exact same product but be reaching all those buyers who for whatever reason type in weird keywords. So here’s what you do:
- All your listings have your top 5 (or 6 etc) keywords in it
- With the rest of the title characters you use all of those other weird keywords
- Do this for a few different listings and see which ones are getting more sales/watchers/views etc.
If done well, and tweaked, trialled and adjusted over time this strategy can become very very effective and depending on your country/type of ebay account etc should cost little or no more $ for you to do. Which = extra $ for you which = 🙂 🙂 🙂
Ok so I think that’s about all I’ve got for you as far as just the listing title itself is concerned but if I think of anything else I’ll add it in.
If you have any questions of feedback I would love to hear from you so just message me or comment below.
If you have any questions or would like help with your own eBay store feel free to get in contact
By Aaron Fiora – Captain @ Recal Media