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Use eBay Keyword Research to attract more buyers to your listing4 min read

eBay is one of the best market places to use when you sell from home. Keywords are the not-so-secret sauce which bring buyers to your eBay listings. eBay keyword research is important to bring buyers to your listing.

eBay is like a matchmaking service

eBay is a like a matchmaking service. It’s looking to match what people search for with the most relevant listings.   It’s your job to make your listing as relevant as possible.

If the words in your listing match what people are searching for, you’ll get more views.  More views will usually mean more bids and a higher sale price – well worth the extra effort!

eBay is a matchmaker, returning relevant listings to people's searches. Make your listing as relevant as possible. Click To Tweet

Understanding eBay buyers

If you write content for websites with SEO in mind, you’ll know the importance of keywords.  These are the words that you think people search for, and so you put in your content to help them find you.

eBay works in a similar way. By anticipating what people search for, you can add them to your eBay listing.

People searching on eBay are different to those searching on Google, though.  Googlers are more likely to be researching products, whereas eBayers are ready to buy.  That means that the things eBay buyers search for differ.

For example, someone looking to buy a tablet device is more likely to research on Google.  They’ll read reviews, look at technical specifications and compare different tablets. Only once they’ve narrowed down the choice will they start looking on eBay with the intent to buy.

People search Google for research and eBay to buy. Adapt your keyword research for each. Click To Tweet

At this stage they’ll have decided upon an iPad or Android, and will know their preferred screen size.  They might know the make and model they’d like – it’s this sort of search that they’ll make on eBay.

Remember this when writing your listing.  Buyers need reassuring that what you’re selling is what they are looking for.  Try to include as much detail as you can to do this, including any:

  • product names
  • brand names
  • make and model numbers
  • variations on product names (e.g. pram vs pushchair)
  • product dimensions
  • technical variations

eBay Keyword Research

It can be difficult to predict what people will search for.  There are lots of tools out there which can help you with keyword research for SEO – but fewer for eBay.

One invaluable tool is the eBay search box itself.  Like Google, it has an ‘auto suggest’ feature.  This suggests searches based on what you’ve already entered.  The suggestions are partly based on how often other people have made similar searches.  This is a great source of keyword ideas.

Take an eBay search for ‘thomas the tank engine’, for example:

eBay Keyword Research using eBay's autosuggest search tool

If you were selling a “Thomas the Tank Engine train set”, it would make sense to use that as the product name.  It appears that people value wooden train sets, so work that into the description.  If you don’t do this then you might not catch people searching for a wooden set.

Do avoid ‘keyword stuffing’, though.  That’s when you stuff as many keywords as you can into a listing just so that it appears in the search results.  Not only can it make a listing look ugly to buyers, but it’s also against eBay’s policies.

Other ways to research keywords

There are lots of keyword research tools for SEO, which might help you with eBay keyword research.

Remember that people research on Google, so some keywords won’t be suitable for eBay.  You could use these tools to find keyword ideas, and then run them through the eBay search to see what comes up.

UberSuggest will give you ideas based upon searches people make on Google.  You can even choose to look at Google in other countries to do eBay keyword research – ideal if you want to sell abroad.

Amazon could give you ideas for product names.  See what does well in Amazon search results, and try that on eBay.

Google Trends could help you decide between different phrases.  Enter both phrases and you’ll see the volume of searches made on Google for each.  As it shows search volume over time, you’ll be able to predict which is going to do better for your listing.  Don’t forget to narrow down the comparison to searches in your market.

Try different phrases

No matter what method you use for eBay keyword research, try to test different ones.  This is especially important if you’re selling lots of the same item.

Try pitching two listings against each other.  See how many views each gets, and compare this to the number of bids and final sale price.

Pitch different eBay listings against each other, and see which makes you more money Click To Tweet

Over time you’ll get a better sense for what works well, but keyword research will still be important.  Buyers’ needs change, and your competition will change their listings, so don’t be complacent.

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