Best practices for search optimization

Optimize listings for Internet search engines

Create View Item Pages that will be found in Internet search engines with this list of tips and tools that can help search engine users find you. Although search engines don't disclose exactly how their technology works or how they rank their results, this guide will help you with the little things that can make a big difference.

Use Keywords

Pick three to five keywords that relate closely to your item. Ask yourself what words people are likely to use in a search engine when looking for what you're selling. Once you have these keywords, use them appropriately in your listing title and item description.

Include Unique Identifiers

One of the most important things you can do to make sure your listing is found by search engines including eBay, Google and Yahoo, is to include unique identifiers like Universal Product Codes (UPCs), European Article Numbers (EANs), or International Standard Book Numbers (ISBNs) in your listings. It's also a good idea to include the item brand name and Manufacturer's Part Number (MPN) in Item Specifics whenever they're available.

Take Care with Titles

Your listing title is a key factor in natural search. Include the most important keywords or keyword phrases in your listing title. Use all of your available characters wisely. Remember, users don't search for words such as "wow" or "look."

Get the Most Out of Your Item Description

Your item's description is the most valuable tool for creating search engine-friendly listings. While your primary goal is to describe the item you are selling to your eBay audience, here are several ways to use your description to its fullest:

  • Create Good Content: Describe your item the best you can and in as much detail as possible You should include approximately 200 words of visible text in your description, with the most important keyword phrases comprising 5 to 7% of the total. (In 200 words of text, you'll want to use your keywords 10 to 14 times.) Note that search engines only read a certain amount of information per page, so overdoing your description with non-relevant information isn't a good strategy.
  • Avoid Keyword Spamming: Do not overuse keywords in an item description as it can reduce the effectiveness of content. Moreover, keyword spamming is a violation of eBay policy as well as an irritation to prospective buyers.
  • Avoid Hidden Text: Do not add invisible copy; search engines will not read it.
  • Vary Font Strength: Use bold headers and use a font size of 12 or 14 maximum.
  • Include Links: Add links to other products, to your eBay Store, and so on. The words that are linked should be relevant to the destination. For example, "Visit my Store" or "See other items" are more effective than "Click here."
  • Use Image Alt Tags: These are keywords associated with the images you use in your listing. If you do your own HTML, be sure to include alt tags. This provides yet another opportunity to optimize keywords or keyword phrases that both describe the image and are consistent with your content.


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