Ebay does not share the significance and contribution of various factors of their ranking algorithm, but at least it does share what factors that should be considered when performing listing optimization for Best Match.
Coming up with high quality titles and putting in the effort with Item Specifics is very important, but it is still only part of the whole picture. In order to have listings ranked at or near the top of the result page, sellers need to familiarize themselves with the factors Ebay examines when ranking listings.
Thankfully, Ebay lets sellers know which factors should be taken into consideration when performing listing optimization for Best Match, their ranking algorithm, however, it does not share how significant each one is. The most common factors considered are:
Prices and Shipping Fees
Ebay’s algorithm looks into the overall price of the product and shipping, and uses it to determine the ranking of the listing. Since price is still one of the main things that promote sales, it is no surprise that it serves as a factor for Ebay’s algorithm.
On that note, free shipping certainly helps boost the spot of a listing in the rankings, so sellers are advised to offer it, when possible.
We already discussed the importance of Item Specifics in a previous article. In order to fill in the correct Item Specifics for each listing, it must first be put into a relevant category. Only once a listing is categorized, will the seller be able to add Item Specifics.
There are other reasons why sellers should make sure they put their listings into the correct categories. For example, putting a product in the wrong category will prevent it from appearing in certain searches and in navigational searches.
In a previous article, we discussed title optimization for Ebay listings, and how to use it to attract potential customers. However, Ebay’s algorithm also considers how accurate and relevant the title is, compared to what shoppers were searching for.
Therefore, it is essential that the listing titles provide as much relevant information as possible, using all available title space. A study conducted by Web Retailer discovered that there is a direct link between the number of keywords used in the title to the performance of the listing - the more keywords used - the better the performance.
Another interesting insight from the study is that acronyms that used to be very popular on Ebay, such as NIB or OEM, no longer mean anything, since people have stopped searching for them long ago. So using them in the title will only take up space that could have been used for additional keywords.
Which keywords to use in the title is mostly dependent on the product on sale, but a good rule of thumb is to begin with the brand name and type of product, and additional Item Specifics (such as size of material, when relevant). Adding acronyms, emojis and other puff words like WOW, is a waste of valuable characters in the title, and should be avoided.
The product description inside the listing is where sellers can and should provide as much detailed and relevant information about the product as they can. Although Ebay does not limit the number of words in the description, it is recommended to remain around 200-250 words. Any irrelevant information in the description will be picked by Ebay’s algorithm and affect t ranking, so make sure the information is accurate.
It is also recommended to include links inviting customers to view your other Ebay listings, and remember not to overstuff it with keywords as to make it impossible to understand.
Ebay is all for the shoppers. That is why offering a fair returns policy can help a seller have her listings jump up the rankings. A minimum 30 days return goes a long way in satisfying both customers and Ebay, and if a seller is able to cover the return fees as well, that is a huge advantage.
Images of the product are essential to any listing, and without them, the chances of a conversion drop steeply. But in order to move up in the rankings, sellers should use only high quality images that present the product accurately, from several angles, if possible.
Aside from an engaging title, good description and other listing optimizations, another factor in determining rankings is the seller. Sellers are judged internally according to various factors, among them are their user feedback, communication with buyers, compliance to the rules, etc. The better sellers are in these factors - the higher their listings will be ranked, with an additional advantage given to Top Rated Sellers.
For sellers who sell the same products in different sizes and colors, it is recommended to inter-link these listings, so that all different sales of the same product will be counted together, producing better performances for the sellers.
Putting in the time and effort in optimizing Ebay listings according to the factors we discussed here will definitely help sellers improve the ranking of their listings in the result page. But it is also important to remember that these requirements may change from time to time, so it is essential for sellers to keep up with any new requirements announced by Ebay, and adjust their listings accordingly.