Hello & Welcome to the Easy Auction Business newsletter!
This is our 10th, anniversary newsletter and today we’ll talk about one little known way to boost your eBay sales by using some clever SEO strategies! By implementing today’s ideas you’ll be ahead of your competitors as very few sellers on eBay are doing this.
You have probably heard of this term – SEO – many times before but usually it’s associated with websites – NOT eBay listings or eBay Stores. And this is a massive mistake made by almost every single eBay seller – they do not realise that with a little work they can get hundreds if not thousands of FREE visitors to their listings via search engines, mostly Google.
For the purposes of this newsletter, I’ll use Google as the synonym of all search engines. Because it has the biggest market share and if you optimise pages for Google, most likely they will be optimised for other search engines as well.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. To put it simply – the better you’ve done the job on the SEO side, the higher your website, eBay listings, About Me page, eBay Blog pages, eBay review pages or eBay store pages will rank in Google search results. The higher you appear in search results, the more visitors you’ll get.
The more visitors you get, the more money you’ll make! As simple as that!
By knowing all this, a question should arise – how exactly Google decides on which pages should be listed higher in the search results? Well, there isn’t a definite formula for this. HOWEVER, Google releases a lot of official guidelines on a regular basis for webmasters, hence these days we know pretty much about how Google’s algorithm works.
Basically, search engines use 2 main factors to determine ranking of any given page:
You have full control over these. WARNING!!! Google can BAN you if you’re trying to cheat the system. Trust me – it’s not something you would like to experience.
Mainly controlled by other site owners, bloggers and other content creators on the web. In recent
years, the off-page factors have become your most important armory in a fight of dominating the
search engine results.
It doesn’t matter whether we talk about On-page or Off-page factors – Keywords will be one of the keys to your success fighting for that first position in Google. It’s essential to understand importance of keywords and the keyword list you’ll create for your particular market.
So what’s a “keyword”? To put it simply it’s a word or couple of words people type into Google to find what they’re looking for. So for instance, if you plan a holiday to Florida you may type into Google “Florida vacations” or “Cheap Florida vacations”. There can be hundreds and even thousands of different combinations people use to find the same thing.
That’s why you need to gather a list of most popular keywords people use to search for products you sell!!!
How to know which keywords people use to find stuff that you sell?
There are dozens of software products that can do this task for you – paid and free. But the easiest and best keyword research tool in my opinion is Google’s own Keyword Planner Tool. It’s fairly accurate, it has geo targeting, it’s easy to use and it’s totally FREE to use!
If you don’t have an account yet, OPEN ONE! It’s FREE!
Here’s how to do a proper keyword research:
1. If you’re selling only to the UK market, from the geo targeting list select United Kingdom only. By keeping the “Ctrl” button pressed, you can select more than one country (for example select UK & Ireland).
2. In “How would you like to generate keyword ideas” field select “descriptive words and phrases”.
3. Enter the main keyword for product you sell – it can be the product name, for example. I’ll use “DIY tools” to illustrate it for you.
4. Select “Use synonyms”
5. Click on “Get keyword ideas”
In a couple of seconds a list of keywords will appear – all of them in some way will be related for the phrase you entered. In the lower part of the page, Google will give you a list of related keywords as well.
IMPORTANT!!! This list usually has very good keywords you can use for SEO purposes of your products, even though they won’t contain exact word you gave.
To be more precise – in many cases, related keywords will be more targeted than your main keyword. As in this example, my main keyword I entered in Google’s keyword tool was “DIY Tools”. You have to agree – it’s quite a broad term. But when we look @ suggested keywords, we get:
Bosh power tools;
It’s obvious that a person who is looking to buy a power tool will most likely enter “power tools” in Google’s search box than “DIY tools”. So pay close attention to synonyms section.
Another way to get a lot of keyword ideas is to search for keywords by specifying a URL. Here’s how to do this:
Simply enter a search term in Google and pick the website which is in first position. In our example, I entered “DIY Tools” into search and Diytools.co.uk come up first in Google’s results. So I’ll just copy the URL and Paste into Google’s keyword tool.
You could also use any other website you know that sells similar or the same products as you. Or you can simply enter a URL of a particular eBay listing.
Either way, you’ll get lots of additional keywords to consider. Not all of them will be suitable for your business but it’s important to get as many ideas & keywords combinations as possible.
Other ideas to consider:
Enter brand names – as in our example “Bosch Power Tools” came up. Just enter “Bosch Power Tools” and instantly get additional list of keywords with Bosch name in them.
Enter competitor’s brand names – if you sell Bosch power tools, enter “Hitachi Power Tools” or any other brand’s name. Again, our purpose to do so is to get more ideas & more keywords to use later on with on-page & off-page optimisation.
Add “add-ons” to your main keywords – for example, if you’re selling “DIY Tools” try to add words like: “cheap, discount, good, reliable, used, new, cordless, energy saving, best, affordable, professional” and similar ones. Obviously these will vary from product to product but hopefully you got the idea.
The next step is to gather a list of keywords that are relevant to product you’re selling on eBay. This step is crucial so PLEASE – don’t skip it! I know that many people just take a look @ Google’s Keyword Planner Tool results and start working on optimisation.
This is WRONG!!!
You have to have a list in hands so that you can effectively plan your SEO strategies. If you skip this step all your SEO job will be chaotic and results will not be as good as you’d expect.
So – how many and which keywords you should include in your list? There are several approaches to this process:
Go after high volume keywords – basically it means “All or nothing Strategy” by putting huge emphasis on the top of few most popular keywords in their market. In our example – “Power Tools”.
Long Tail – look for long tail keywords and get as huge list as possible with keywords with a very small competition. For example in our DIY Niche, a long tail keyword would be – “Skil 18V battery”.
The truth is probably somewhere between these two concepts.
In reality, you have to be really good @ what you’re doing if you want to go after high volume keywords, like “Power Tools”. There are probably companies in that niche who spend thousands of pounds per month on SEO – for a newbie it’s really not the best way to go.
I suggest you to start with a long term, less competitive keywords and once you manage to rank well for them, move a step higher and pick higher volume keywords. In any case, you’ll want to create a list for all major and secondary keywords as this will be a part of your SEO action plan.
So make a list of say 20-30 keywords related to your business that:
Have searches of 1000+ per month
Have competition of less than 1000 results in Google
How to measure keyword competition?
Go to Google.co.uk and enter search term in quotation marks.
This is a very simple way to check competitiveness for a keyword in the UK market. Sure, these numbers are not set in stone! Some long tail keywords will be so valuable that even with 100 searches per month they should be considered.
Also – with some products you won’t be able to get a list of 20 keywords that matches our criteria – don’t worry about that, each and every situation is different. Just try to get as many of keywords as possible by using all previously mentioned research methods.
Don’t forget about competitor’s websites or auction listings and use common sense! Spend some time on brainstorming to come up with the best keywords describing what you sell.
That’s it for today! Next week we’ll continue with on-page & off-page factors, link building and results’ checking. Your task now is to create a list of at least 20 keywords for at least one product you sell. Get the list done by the next week so that you can instantly start working on optimisation once the next newsletter is released.