In Part 1 of this article, we explored three main areas that SEO spiders pay attention to when determining how to rank your Web site on Google: the name of your store, the description of your store and store categories. These are vital and powerful sections of your eBay Store that can have a huge effect on your search engine ranking. But they're only half of the story.
In this chapter, we'll look at three additional areas that, with proper handling, can give your search engine standing a big boost. They are:
- Custom pages
- About the Seller page
- Search engine keywords (the ones you have control over in your store)
With a Basic eBay Store subscription, you are given up to five pages to customize (10 pages if you have a Premium Store). Remember, these are just like having additional Web pages attached to your Store. This is a complete spider food buffet if you use this powerful part of your business correctly. Here are some SEO best practices for utilizing custom pages:
- Give each page a unique focus. Using Anne's antique store as an example, she could have one of her custom pages be about "Earthquake-proofing your antiques."
- You have 35 characters to create the title of your custom page. Just as with the title of your store, the title of your custom page is valuable spider food and creates the URL where the page sits. Using our example above, the page URL would be stores.shop.ebay.com/antique-anne-collectibles-and-gifts/earthquake-proofing-your-antiques.html.
- Make sure you have done your Profitable Keyword Sheet homework. Now utilize these keywords on that page. Don't forget how important it is to follow the correct linking strategy. Avoid links that invite buyers to click here. Instead, link your major keywords, as in this sentence: "Use the Museum Putty to stabilize your antiques on the shelf." The link can take visitors to the actual product or a category in your store. Just make sure you don't make all of your links go to your homepage. Buyers want to give you money, not hunt for items.
- Don't forget to utilize the "alt attribute" on your pictures. Instead of keeping the basic names of your images, e.g., 1001vase.jpg, change them to words that will make sense to your reader (and the spiders). Something like Victorian_Antique_Vase.jpg is far more intuitive.
- Most people don't utilize all of their custom pages. Eek! Why not? You are depriving the spiders of some good SEO food if you don't take advantage of these powerful ranking tools.
Success Tip: Always write for your customers first and you will make the spiders happy. Using a sentence structure like "Victorian antiques are a great way to increase an antique collection for an antique collector" doesn't read quite right for your customers. And carrying this practice throughout your store could actually lower your Google search ranking due to keyword spamming. Instead, use the direct approach"Victorian antiques are a great way to increase your collection"to satisfy both customers and spiders.
About the Seller (AKA About Me) page
Utilizing the About the Seller page for focused information on your business will increase your chances of being ranked No. 1 on Google
A few years ago, I got a call from a woman who identified herself as being from McGraw Hill Publishing. She was looking for a "Janelle Elms to write some eBay books for us." After I made her hang up so I could Google her to make sure she was who she said she was, I called her back a bit stunned. I had never sent in a proposal for a book to any publishing house, much less the McGraw Hill. I asked how she had found me, and she said, "I was looking on Google and your eBay About Me page came up."
Because I had set up my About Me page correctlywith the right keywords and linking strategiesthis page in my eBay Store pulled up in the top three on Google for the search she had done.
Utilizing the About Me or About the Seller page for focused information on your business will increase your chances of being ranked No. 1 on Google for the products or niche you are selling. The same SEO best practices for custom pages will also apply to your About Me/About the Seller page.
Search engine keywords
I have only come across a very small handful of eBay Store owners who even know this tool exists in their Store. You control which keywords the spiders see. To do so,
- Go to your Manage My Store page
- Click on Search Engine Keywords
You will see your store pages listed, along with words underneath the headers "Primary Keywords" and "Secondary Keywords." The words that are currently there are pulled from the information eBay "sees" on your page. However, you can click "edit" and change these powerful keywords to the profitable keywords you have already researched.
Here are some best practices to follow for this section:
- You have 60 characters to create your custom keywords. Utilize these fully.
- Don't repeat words (like in the example above, in which the word "antique" repeated multiple times). This can get your rankings docked (or even completely removed) on the search engines. eBay's limit for repeating words on a page is three times.
- Along the same lines, don't include keywords that have nothing to do with your eBay Storelike using the popular keyword "iPod" in your craft store. You will get the same results as above.
- Make sure you click "save" at the bottom when you have completed this section.
Now that you've customized your keywords for your custom pages, you can do this for your categories as well.
We've covered the six areas of your eBay Store that most directly impact how your pages rank on Google. However, there are other areas the SEO spiders also pay attention to in determining your ranking. These include your Reviews, Guides, My World page and many other areas on eBay. Apply the same keyword optimization techniques to these pages to maximize your business' search engine exposure.
Other Entries by this Author
Janelle Elms is a best-selling author, inspiring educator and Visionaire of the OSI Rock Stars. You can hear her on wsRadio every Wednesday on Ask Janelle Radio. Learn the success information you need to grow your business at www.osiRockStars.com. For step-by-step training on how to set up an eBay Store for maximum exposure and profit, visit One Percent Coach.
Opinions expressed here may not be shared by Auctiva Corp. and/or its principals.