Product Listing SEO for Amazon, eBay & other marketplaces

Hanna Muhammad
Hanna Muhammad
Based in London, UK, Hanna is a digital acquisition expert for the behavioural planning agency, Total Media
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What is product listing SEO and just why is it so important in keeping ahead of your competitors? Read on to find out, and get all the tips to learn the best practice for your business.

Having the best product on the market doesn’t always equate to it being the most popular. But why is that? The answer lies in how successfully you’re marketing the product. This should be a crucial part of your business strategy, especially when selling on competitive online marketplaces that house millions of products for users to browse through. If you’re not promoting your product in the best way possible, then you’re missing out on valuable sales opportunities.

To create the most effectively optimized product listings, underpinned by trending keywords with a high generic search volume, it’s crucial to understand product SEO and what this means for your brand and products.

What is Product Listing SEO?

You'll probably know that SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, a practice aimed at increasing visibility for a site or webpage within the major search engines such as Google and Bing. Product listing SEO differs slightly in that businesses and sellers have to adhere to the various requirements and algorithms set in place by the major online marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay. For this reason, the key to product listing SEO is adaptation.

Read on to discover how to source in-demand product keywords, understand and find your audience in online marketplaces, and ultimately, stand out from your competitors.

Woman purchasing a watch at laptop with credit card in hand

Understanding Online Marketplaces

To begin marketing online and creating product listings, it is first important to identify which marketplaces are the most relevant for your brand. For example, if you’re selling something niche like used luxury watches, have a look at marketplaces that specifically focus on this product.

To broaden the number of people who see your products, it may be worth listing within marketplace giants, such as Amazon and eBay. Find your way in by truly understanding the platforms you’re using. This means:

o   Understanding the audiences on each of them

o   Knowing the peak times in engagement across these marketplaces

o   Adapting your copy’s tone of voice depending on the platform, whilst still being true to your brand

To achieve these goals, looking at competitors’ listings is a good place to start. Find out who your biggest competitors are and what marketplaces they sell on. Investigate their product listings, the copy they use and the times they upload their listings – these insights will give you a good overview of the marketplaces you’re entering into and what it takes to succeed there.

Collection of Yeezy shoes surrounding a doormat

The importance of the correct content within your copy

Once you’ve figured the ins and outs of your marketplace and completed your competitor research, it’s time to move on to your own product listings. Simply put, they need to be unique, informative and interesting. Fitting all the information you want to include into the character limit can pose a few difficulties, which is why it’s worth following these four points:

1. Look at the qualitative data

Create the best copy you can for your listing by writing multiple drafts (within the word limit) and asking others to proofread. Your copy should include a description of your product, along with adjectives that best promote its unique selling points. Be sure to add all relevant keywords into this copy as they will help your listing rank highly. For example, if you’re selling mugs, add in keywords that relate, such as ‘strong mugs’, ‘strong handles’ and ‘beautifully crafted mugs’ –  words that you know will capture the attention of users! There are free tools online to help you identify keywords that will match your listing and optimize it for you, such as Wordtracker1, who offer a free trial.

The title is also a crucial aspect of your listing – not only will it be the first thing that potential customers see, but it also defines your product. Be sure to play around with this as results can be interesting. For example, in one case, ‘Adidas Yeezy 360 Trainers’ did not perform as well as ‘Yeezy 360 Trainers’. The reason behind this is the latter listing is distinguishing the product and making it simple and clear to the readers what brand it is. It may take a few attempts to get this right, but that’s no problem! Be aware, Amazon’s title length is just 200 characters, so add in only the most relevant keywords. A shopper should be able to understand your product based on the title and image alone.

2. Legitimate listings with legitimate copy

It’s easy to fall into the trap of writing a flowery description of your product that doesn’t exactly match up to what you’re selling. To gain the trust of the marketplace and its users, there has to be validity in your listings, so be thorough and check that everything mentioned is factual. A quick tip on this: to draw the audience’s attention to the key features and benefits of your product straight away, opt for a bullet point display. Buyers will tend to read the bullet points on any listing first to gauge whether the product is of interest, before reading the full description.

3. Keep your product listings relevant

Always highlight any new product updates or features in your listings. To appeal to a wide audience, write these updates in layman’s terms. Consumer-centric terms are able to entice users that may not necessarily be interested. This is, however, dependent on what your listings consist of – if you’re selling highly technical items, your language should be targeted towards shoppers who are familiar with more technical terms.

To optimize descriptions as much as possible, ask ‘trial shoppers’ to read your listings and give their opinions – friends and family or colleagues you know who have an interest in the products you’re selling. This feedback will help you refine the copy for the target audience.

4. Unique SEO product copy is the most enticing copy

Be interesting, be unique, be exciting! Use your product copy to show off your brand and what makes it and your products special. There are plenty of listings that use the same nondescript language that fails to excite users on the marketplace. Give your products some personality by showing off the benefits with different copy.

Accesories lines up on a table

Creative Asset Optimization

Now that your copy is optimized to the fullest, packed with important keywords and detailed descriptions, it’s time to optimize the images within your listing too. Users will often jump on the images and study them in detail so it’s important to ensure they’re perfect.

Legitimize your listing with high-quality images that capture the users’ attention. Manipulate the images so that they’re a suitable size, and make the product the main feature – aim for around 85% of the picture. It’s worth having a white background to really put the product in focus. You should also consider including images of the product in a real-world setting so the audience have a better understanding of how the product would work in their everyday life – for example, showing a lamp on a bedside table.

Person browsing eBay on a smartphone

Correct categorization for your products

Marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay have millions of listings, in thousands of different sectors. Your product listings may be packed with the most engaging copy and detailed descriptions, but if they’re categorized into the wrong section of the site then it will all be for nothing! Be sure to study the categories of the site and pick the section that works best with your product and brand.

The pandemic has caused a boom in the e-commerce economy, creating lucrative opportunities for your business – but only if you can cut through the competition. Understanding your marketplace is really the main key to getting ahead. Follow the product listing SEO tips shown above, and you’ll have everything you need to optimize your online position, stand out from your competitors, and sell, sell, sell!