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Welcome! My name is Doug and I'll be your guide throughout this site. I've been selling and bidding on eBay & online auctions for a number of years now. When I started, there were no sites like this to help either beginners or experienced auction users. So I decided to create one. Since 1999, it has been my goal to provide sane, free eBay secrets and unique tools for eBay and other online auction sites. I sincerely hope you find it useful.
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Are you familiar with the phrase “Search Engine Optimization” (SEO)?
While it sounds highly technical and arcane, SEO is simply the action anybody with a web presence can take to ensure that Google (1) is aware of a particular web page, (2) correctly recognizes what the main theme or topic of that particular web page is, and (3) ranks that particular page highly for searches related to that particular topic.
Search Engine Optimization centers around three main areas of emphasis including keyword identification, on-page factors such as text and titles, and off-page factors such as inbound links from quality websites.
Although SEO is not normally associated with promoting specific eBay listings, the techniques and examples I describe here can be incredibly effective if implemented with both patience and persistence.
The first step to getting found in Google is deciding what search terms your want to get found for. This involves a little research and, more than likely, some trial and error.
Your objective here is threefold. The first is to discern the specific keywords that are popular among computer users who use Google to search for information related to your product.
Next, you must decide which of those keywords or keyword phrases are most associated with searches made by consumers who are interested in buying your product.
Finally, it involves selecting the relevant keywords that strike the best balance between search popularity and manageable competition from other web pages contending for high rankings in the Google search results.
This keyword research is necessarily the first step in the process because it provides the basis for both your on-page and off-page optimization efforts.
One of my eBay listings on the 1st page of the Yahoo! search results
On-Page Search Engine Optimization Factors
As the name implies, on-page factors are concerned with getting things right on the page receiving the search engine traffic. When Google and the other major search engines attempt to decide what’s important about a particular web address, their algorithms take cues from several specific elements associated with that page.
These factors include the page title, description, headings, text, and the URL itself. Therefore, it is important to consider and carefully include the keywords you researched earlier in all of these on-page elements. I say carefully because, if over done, the page might trip Google’s SPAM filters and will be buried deep in the search result pages accordingly.
Off page factors are the most significant aspect of any search engine optimization campaign. Specifically, inbound links from numerous different reputable and popular websites.
If you think about it for a minute, inbound links are a terrific measure of reputation. If numerous sites that Google considers credible link to your listing, the search engine will assume that your page is an authoritative resource for your keyword phrase.
The links’ anchor text – the click-able words – are important to help the search engine discern what all the fuss is about. So it’s important to include your keyword phrase in your anchor text when you are carrying out your link building efforts.
Ready to Learn More?
Does this sound like a lot of complicated and difficult work? If so, don’t panic. With the techniques and examples in my new eBook Beyond Best Match, it won’t be long until Google displays a link to your listing on the first page of the search results.
View Part One of my Series on How to Get Your eBay Listing to Appear in Google
Since its introduction as the default method of displaying the search results in January of 2008, Best Match has had a profound impact on eBay sellers. For the lucky few who either by blind luck, finesse or brute force have been able to achieve a position at the top of the search results, Best Match has been a tremendous boon to their business.
However, the vast majority of sellers have not had such a favorable experience with Best Match. While eBay is still an excellent platform for these sellers to conduct the actual sales transaction, they can no longer count on eBay to send them the volume of traffic that made up the bulk of sales they had previously. Consequently, many sellers are without alternatives and struggling to be successful.
That’s why I developed the techniques I share in Beyond Best Match that empower eBay sellers to bypass the hassle of Best Match and get their listing to appear in the Google search results. Getting your eBay listing included and ranked highly in Google has some significant benefits. Specifically improved buyer trust, increased traffic from customers, and (ironically) an advantage in eBay’s Best Match.
One of my eBay Listings on Page 1 of the Bing Search Results
The Benefits of Natural Search Results
*Trust* – The customers that find your listing in Google are more apt to trust you. There are several reasons for this. The first is the simple fact that they actively searched for what you are selling and found your listing – you didn’t find them. They didn’t click on an ad – which involves a healthy level of suspicion and skepticism – nor were they lured away from doing something else online by a random link to your listing. They went to Google with an itch that needed scratching and clicked through to your eBay listing because they thought you might be able to help. Additionally, warranted or not, many people assign you instant credibility because you were ranked highly in Google. After all, Google does have a reputation for providing relevant search results.
*Traffic* – If you carefully research and choose a relevant keyword phrase and are successful in your Search Engine Optimization efforts, the traffic from Google will be significant. After I adapted and successfully implemented Search Engine Optimization techniques for eBay, the number of customers visiting my listings increased over seven-fold compared to the traffic eBay was sending. Incredible considering the fact that I’m paying eBay for traffic while Google’s is free. It may seem obvious, but it bears mentioning that an increase in traffic directly correlates to an increase in sales.
*Best Match Advantage* – With the exception of the collectibles categories, eBay calculates something called a “listing performance score” for fixed-priced (Buy It Now or BIN) listings. The listing performance score is a ratio determined by the number of sales generated (for multiple quantity listings) divided by the number of times the listing has appeared in eBay’s search results (impressions). Scoring well for this particular metric positively influences that listing’s ranking in the search results under Best Match.
Recall the formula for the listing performance score: sales divided by impressions. To increase this score, a seller needs to either:
- Decrease the number of impressions while holding sales constant;
- Increase the number of sales while holding impressions constant;
- Or a combination of the above.
Appearing in Google’s search results doesn’t count as an impression. Therefore, any sales you make from customers that didn’t come from eBay’s search results improves your listing performance score significantly. Ironically, efforts you take to compensate for the lack of traffic from eBay’s Best Match can actually increase the amount of traffic you get from Best Match!
The Way Forward – Get Found in Google
Getting your eBay listing indexed and ranking highly in Google and the other search engines requires a basic understanding of the fundamentals of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and some labor on your part to implement them. These fundamentals include identifying and using the appropriate keywords. Additionally these SEO fundamentals require addressing the on-page factors such as the listing title, the headlines, and an appropriate description. Finally, the techniques require addressing off-page factors such as links from several credible external web sites.
Sound hard? I won’t deny that this technique requires an investment in effort and some commitment to be successful. However, if you are looking for a way to increase the traffic to your eBay listings and corresponding bump in your sales, I know of no better way.
In my next post, we’ll start by covering the fundamentals of Search Engine Optimization.
Ready now to get your eBay listings in the Google search results?
Visit http://www.BeyondBestMatch.com to download your copy immediately and get started today!
Have you ever conducted a Google search and noticed a link to an eBay listing in the search results?
I have, and immediately imagined the massive amount of customers those lucky sellers are getting to their eBay listings directly from Google — without the hassle of dealing with eBay’s Best Match search algorithm.
So after writing “Best Match Made Simple,” I set my sights on developing a system that would allow me to get my eBay listings in the Google search results.
Boy am I ever glad that I did! The bump in sales I received after getting my listings to appear on the first pages of the search engine results pages made me forget about ever worrying about Best Match again.
Over the next few days, I’m going to share some of the techniques I detail fully in my new eBook “Beyond Best Match.” http://www.BeyondBestMatch.com
Don’t Depend on eBay For Traffic Anymore
Going “Beyond Best Match” is about developing alternate sources of traffic to your eBay listings — specifically traffic from search engines like Google, Yahoo! or Bing. Our goal here is to get a link to our eBay listings on the first page of the Google search results for a popular search term associated with the product and get a share of that search engine traffic. I’m not talking about paid placement on the search result pages (a program Google calls “AdSense”). I’m referring to your listing appearing in the “natural” search results.
For example, I sell Ubuntu Linux installation CDs on eBay (a popular alternative computer operating system). According to Google, the search term “Ubuntu Installation Disk” receives an average of 14,800 searches per month. Of these, over 4,400 come from the United States — my target market for eBay.com. Even a small portion of this search engine traffic clicking through to my eBay listing would be like striking gold in my backyard.
One of my eBay Listings on Page 1 of the Google Search Results
Who Will Benefit From This Technique?
Sellers who employ multiple quantity fixed-price listings will benefit the most from the techniques I reveal in “Beyond Best Match”. Good ‘Til Canceled (GTC) listings are better than 30-day listings because once you get your listing’s URL (Uniform Resource Locater — or more simply it’s web address) indexed in Google’s search results, you want it to stick there. Relisting a closed item means a new URL and starting the process of getting indexed and ranked by the search engines over again.
While you might successfully get the product you are selling on eBay indexed and included in Google’s search results before your auction-style or single quantity fixed-price listing ends, it probably won’t be worth the effort required. So if you’ve got a bunch of widgets to sell on eBay, it would certainly benefit your bottom line to get your listing included in the first couple results pages of the major search engines.
In my next post, I’ll share the benefits of getting your eBay listing in the search results (hint: the benefits extend beyond increased visitors to your listing).
Ready now to get your eBay listings in the Google search results? Visit http://www.BeyondBestMatch.com to download your copy immediately and get started today!
A reader from Australia recently posed several questions regarding Best Match. I thought it would be of benefit to all my readers if I posted them here:
As the Best Match algorithm has evolved, much of what was effective in the past is carrying less and less weight in the ranking calculations (specifically keywords). eBay has placed increasingly more emphasis on what they consider measures of customer satisfaction – DSRs, shipping & handling methods and charges, Top Rated Seller status, etc. Accordingly, my latest version of Best Match Made Simple has placed less emphasis on keywords and titles.1. How exactly do I interpret the ‘Popularity’ & ‘Availability’ & BayEstimate information??The popularity and availability data are provided to help you conduct your own estimation of supply and demand. If supply (availability) of a particular product is low on eBay while demand is high (popularity), you can have a reasonable expectation of success in the marketplace. This tool attempts to measure supply and demand for specific keywords. Supply (availability) for a given keyword is measured by the number of listings that include that keyword in the title. Demand (popularity) for a given keyword is measured by the number of searches conducted employing that particular term.2. Does the ‘Popularity’ number mean how many buyers have actually used this search term, in a given period? What is the period?According to the BayEstimator FAQ:How does one interpret the Popularity column for search queries?The popularity number can be used to determine relative popularity of search queries done within a specific time frame, i.e how many times buyers searched for each query within that same time frame. The time frame and duration of aggregation itself will vary every time the data is refreshed. Hence the numbers are good for relative comparisons only.As a seller, it is your job to know what search queries buyers might do to find the kind of item you are selling. Some queries are very popular, but they might match thousands of items on site, including yours. Some queries are less popular, but they might match very few items, where yours may or may not be included.3. How to interpret the ‘availability’ number?According to the BayEstimator FAQ:How does one interpret the Availability column for search queries?The Availability number is simply a typical average item count that may be returned upon doing that search on eBay. The number shown here is highly averaged across different scenarios, such as category constraints having been applied etc.4. What exactly is the bay estimate circle telling us? Is it the % improvement of the impact on our ranking of this search term – compared to our original search term…?Yes. However, beware of placing too much emphasis on the weight of keywords in your Best Match ranking these days.5. Should the aim in choosing the best ‘search term’, be to find the ‘closest’ match to what you are selling – rather than the search term with the most people searching for it. I assume this is true as our ranking score is improved on the basis of sales to clicks, right?Correct on both accounts. It’s pointless (and possibly detrimental) to rank well for something that you are not actually selling.6. Is it possible to calculate an actual ranking score for our heading, based on a given search term? How?Not that I’ve been able to determine. The BayEstimator will help you determine a RELATIVE ranking compared to other search terms.7. Is our ranking score negatively affected if the big green dot words are well used in our heading, but the heading is not grammatically correct or if it contains some unusual terms. Eg. I noticed in a heading for self adhesive inkjet paper heading, that the word ‘adhesive’ was red negative. But since it was an important word< to use in the context of the meaning, I used the word Adhes1ve (using a number ’1′ instead of an ‘i’, which had a grey dot. Is this worth doing?Personally I’d use the term that potential customers would use in the search query – even if it carries a negative score in the BayEstimator. I can’t think of any occasion that someone would conduct a search using “Adhes1ve.” Have you tried synonyms like “self-stick” or “self-sticking” that more be more commonly used by a customer than the more formal (but less common) term “adhesive?”Remember, the keywords are less important in the Best Match algorithm than they used to be. So not only do the green dots carry less impact on the positive side, but the red dots carry less negative impact as well.8. I’ve been using the google keyword estimator to try & determine some common search terms in our local (Australia) market. But sometimes when I put this search term in Bay Estimator, it tells me that I need to choose one the search terms listed below in the ‘Buyer search queries matching your item’ table. Can I do a search for any search term if I want to? Do I need to change the listing heading to some degree, until it gives me the search term I think is popular, in the Buyer Search queries table?The BayEstimator is fed with data from eBay.com. For the most part, that means U.S. buyers using terms, slang, vernacular, etc that is popular here in the states. You need to concentrate on the terms your customer base is using in your part of the world to search for your products. The Google tool might be a better indicator of what your potential customers are using to search in Australia.
Move beyond Best Match and get your eBay listings on the first page of the Google search results: