Hello & Welcome to the Easy Auction Business newsletter!
I sure hope that you’re enjoying the warm weather and that you just can’t wait for the summer holiday season to kick in.
For some of us, this new season means that our sales will be a little slower than usual, for other it means that we will actually get a sales boost. We’ve all become used to the concept of seasonality—the ups and downs in sales that are characteristic of the yearly cycle.
However, regardless of whether the summer forces your sales to go up or down, it is in either case a great time to put in some extra preparation for the madness that is coming up in October, November, and December, as we get closer and closer to Christmas.
There’s no better way to invest your time during the summer than by learning new methods for boosting your sales!
And there are several ways that we can do this:
By offering lower prices in order to increase your conversion rate.
By improving the quality of your listings.
And by using marketing techniques to get more visitors to come to your listings.
Now, the first option—lowering your prices—generally implies lowering your overall margins. So unless this can get you a discount from your supplier by placing a larger whole sale order, this isn’t really an option. So that leaves two options on the table:
improving your listings
bringing in more visitors.
And since we’ve already spend a lot of time talking about how to create better listings with higher conversion rates, I’d like to concentrate today’s newsletter specifically on generating traffic.
Boosting Traffic to Your Listings
A couple years back, this was a fairly easy problem to solve. In these grand old days, eBay would automatically show the listings first which were scheduled to end the soonest. This way, by putting up dozens of different listings all at different times, you could manage to always be on the first page in the search results.
But crafty eBay soon realised that this system is far too easy to manipulate. So they invented a new system called the “Best Match algorithm.”
Rather than being based on a single factor like the old system, the Best Match algorithm is based on a several different parameters including:
Number of recent sales
Price to value ration
Free shipping status
AND, one last thing that most eBay sellers grossly underestimate:
This last factor is immensely important. So much so that a bad title could push you back as much as a full page or two in the listings. For this reason, I want to focus special attention on the role that titles should play in your eBay listings to maximise your search placement.
A good tittle is almost like a haiku. It is the art of conveying as much meaning as possible in a very small space. In fact, 80 Characters is All the Space You’ve Got in Your Title.
So then you’re probably wondering:
How Can I Write eBay Listing Titles for Maximum Profitability?
Here are five tips that you can use to write better titles:
1st: Eliminate All Non-Essential or Distracting Words
Every character in your title must have one purpose, and one purpose only, to draw traffic into your listing. Each character that you waste on an inessential word detracts from your ability to do this.
A lot of people try to make their titles enticing by using clever character combinations such as “L@@K” or “GR8” or by using multiple exclamation marks. But the truth is that this does very little to attract visitors. In reality, it tends to drive them away by making your title look amateurish. Plus, these character combinations are almost never typed by buyers into the search queue.
Compare the following two headlines:
1. L@@K!!!! GR8 DEAL!!!! Climbing Tree 4 Your Kitty!!!!
2. Cat Tree Condo 58” 7 Level Sisal Wood Carpet Furniture! FREE UK Shipping!
The first of these two titles looks cheap. Rather than actually drawing attention to itself, it only looks like it’s drawing attention to itself. Buyers who actually want a decent product are not going to click on this title, not to mention that it doesn’t contain any of the keywords that buyers are likely to search for.
By way of contrast, the second title maximises the effectiveness of its 80 characters by using words that the buyer is likely to search for.
Whether the searcher types in “cat tree,” “cat furniture,” “58 inch cat condo,” or “Sisal Tree 7 Level,” this listing is bound to show up. On the other hand, no one who is looking for a cat tree is going to type in the word L@@K.
2nd: Include Synonyms and Spelling Variations of Your Top Keywords
Many products are known by more than a single name, which presents a problem when potential customers search for you product using a different name than the one you have listed. For example, the terms “lasagne dish,” “lasagne pan,” and “lasagne platter” could all be used to describe the same item. If you have the space, you should include as many of these terms as you possibly can.
This same concept applies to numbers. A customer searching for a ten centimetre lasagne pan might type the number ten as “10,” “X,” or “ten.” While you may not always have the space to include all of these variations, it is a good idea to do so whenever you can.
3rd: Use eBay Shorthand to Free Up More Space in Your Title
There are certain phrases that can just as easily be expressed in shorthand, thus freeing up large amounts of space. For example, the phrase, “Certificate of Authenticity,” has twenty-seven characters in it. But this concept can be communicated just as easily by using the acronym “COA.”
Your potential buyer will still understand what you mean, but you will have more space to insert further information.
4th: Put the Most Important Keywords First
Keywords placed anywhere in your title will be examined closely by the best match algorithm. But your potential buyer is more likely to notice the words at the beginning of your title than those at its end. Place the keywords at the front that you think your customers are the most likely to search for. This way, after typing in their keywords they will see your title because its first words match perfectly with what they are
We can illustrate this in action by going back to our cat tree example:
Cat Tree Condo 58” 7 Level Sisal Wood Carpet Furniture
In this title, “cat tree” has been placed at the front of the listing because this is the most searched for keyword among customers looking for this type of product. However, since “cat condo” and “cat furniture” are also popular keywords, the words “condo” and “furniture” have also been included within the title. The more important the keyword is, the closer to the front it should be placed.
5th: Capitalize the First Letter of Each Word in the Title
This will make your title stand out just a little more. Of course, you don’t want to capitalize insignificant words such as “and,” “the,” or “a.” But in a good title, you will avoid using these words anyway as they generally aren’t worth the character values that they take up.
On the other hand, you definitely don’t want to use ALL CAPS in your title. This is obnoxious and difficult to read. ALL CAPS is akin to shouting, and no one is going to buy from you if you shout at them.
In case you’re still having difficulty, here are four example titles that follow all five of our cardinal rules.
* Cloud Nine West Ladies Women Navy Pump Size 5 Five NIB
(This title includes all of the necessary keywords while also showing the brand, condition, colour, and size of the item.)
* Nikon D50 Digital SLR USA Camera +4 Pro Lens & 2GB New
(This title clearly shows the brand, model, country, and condition of the item, along with some of its features as well.)
* Apple iPod Touch 32GB 5th Generation MP4 Player NIB
(Shows the brand, details, alternative description, and condition)
* The Shield Season 7 DVD Seven 7th Seventh Sheild NIB
(Shows the DVD title and condition, along with spelling variations for the number “7” and even a common misspelling of the word “shield”)
Follow these five rules with every eBay listing title that you write, and more people will visit your auctions, resulting in more sales. This is a statistical certainty!
Okay then. That’s all for today. Thanks for watching and I hope you’ve learned something new today. In two weeks I’m bringing out the final newsletter for this season! So don’t miss out on the next instalment in two weeks.
As always – feel free to send in any comments or suggestions!