Words for the online seller are like apples for the hungry buyer. You want to hang the best apples on your tree to attract those looking for your products.
It's crucial, therefore, for online sellers to choose words that aptly describe their products and to display them in such a way that will help buyers find exactly what they're looking for. It helps you, as a seller, to grasp the concept that you're doing your buyer a huge service by setting up the keywords they are using to locate your products.
In other words, buyers out there want your product, but the only way they know how to find it is to use words. Matching your words to their search terms makes their hunt quicker, and that, my friend, makes a grateful customer.
You must know your target audience and think like them to choose appropriate keywords for your content and listings
Know your market
Figuring out which specific words to use in your listings doesn't have to be difficult, but it does require a little work to know which apples may be worth hanging up.
First, you must know your target audience and think like them to choose appropriate keywords for your content and listings. When thinking like your buyers, consider the words they will use to search for the products they want.
For example, if you're at least 40 years old and you sell flip-flops, you should know your 20-something market probably doesn't call them "thongs." Today, a thong is underwear. Your target audience will likely use the keyword "flip flops" if they want to find the flip-flops you're selling. The same thing goes for cultural nuances. In the USA, we know what a fanny pack is, but our English counterparts would never dare use the word "fanny" to describe a "bumbag."
And some words are just useless.
It used to be common for sellers to use words like "L@@K" in their titles. For kicks, I did an eBay search for this word and got 139,700 results. If you were to analyze how many people searched for a product under the keyword "L@@K," I doubt you'd find many.
The word "cute" on eBay returned 1,421,720 results. While it's quite possible many buyers will search for a "cute top," they will have to be much more specific if they want to find exactly which top is cute enough for them.
The best keywords are descriptive ones that buyers are specifically looking for. These include:
The best keywords are descriptive ones that buyers are specifically looking for
- Size: small, XL, men's size 8, miniature, 12", tall, etc.
- Shape: round, hexagon, oblong, etc.
- Color: blue, polka dot, dark wood, etc.
- Brand: Nike, General Electric, Apple, etc.
- Model: (specific to the brand)
- Condition: new, used, refurbished, etc.
- Other descriptors: flowers, vintage, vacation, smooth, winter, etc.
- And maybe even some synonyms you think could be useful, like "platter" for "plate."
Tools that help
There are also some amazing online tools that can help you zero-in on which keywords to use.
With a free Google AdWords account, you can access the Keyword Planner tool that allows you to see how well certain keywords and phrases are performing.
Terapeak is another tool popular with eBay and Amazon sellers. Among its many tricks, the data analyzer spits out keywords that recent listings have used. For "thongs" I can see that "sandals" is most widely used with this type of listing, but "sexy" and "underwear" have higher sell-through rates.
By the way, the average price for "L@@K" is $43.87, but it only has a 19 percent sell-through rate.
Putting it all together
It's one thing to have a list of keywords, but now you need to understand how to use them to their full potential. First rule of thumb: Use correct spelling. Terapeak shows me it can be possible to sell something for "wemon," but the sell-through rate is better for "women."
Until recently, keywords on eBay were best placed in the title, but they can now also be used in the item description section, thanks to Cassini.
When designing your item description, don't overdo it with the keywords. Too many synonyms and repetition of words will label you as a 'keyword stuffer'
Use the first sentence in the item description section to succinctly explain what you're selling, for instance, "New Women's Chanel Sandal Flip Flops, size 7.5."
Use the next few sentences to go into further detail about your item: "Black thongs with white camellia flower design. Genuine Chanel. Euro size 38. In new condition with original tags."
If you want to be more conversational, save it for last, like this: "I bought these at a store closeout sale last January. They are so cute and will be great for your next summer vacation. L@@K!"
But when designing your item description, don't overdo it with the keywords. Too many synonyms and repetition of words will label you as a "keyword stuffer," and search engines will send you to the end of the line for that kind of behavior.
Your eBay Store has its own keywords
If you subscribe to an eBay Store, you can see which words are considered your store's keywords. In short, it's your store categories and listing titles. To find this, go to your eBay Store summary dashboard and click the "Manage My Store" link found on the page. Then select the "Search Engine Keywords" link under the "Store Management" section on the left.
Further down on this same page, you will also find a link for "Traffic Reports," which can show you which keywords are leading users to your store.
Finding the best keywords might take some trial and error, but by keeping your customer in mind and using a few simple online tools, you can increase traffic and boost sales.