Seller Guide:How to Optimize eBay Sell Your Item Titles

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This guide explains top ways to optimize your item titles when selling on eBay to maximize the exposure your item will get in search results without keyword spamming.

Basic Facts about eBay's Search Functionality for Sellers to Remember

  • eBay's Default Search: eBay's search engine matches all keywords entered against the Item Title you enter in the Sell Your Item form for all standard searches.
  • Title and Description Search: Search keywords are not matched against the description field unless the user checks the "Titles and Descriptions" checkbox which is usually just beneath a search box (but is not visible on the eBay homepage or in the search box in the header at the top right of the screen).  Most buyers never check this box unless they cannot find relevant items of interest using this Title Search.
  • Item Subtitle: Search keywords are not matched against the Item Subtitle.  Item Subtitle can be a very effective marketing tool once your item is returned in a search results or category browse, but the search engine does not look at these keywords for title search, but does include these keywords when users search on Title and Descriptions.

eBay Item titles are a maximum of 55 characters in length

  • This means that you should include information that describes key characteristics of the item you are selling, but also includes general descriptors of the item like Sofa, Action Figure, Ticket, DVD, Timeshare, Car, Automobile, Computer. 
  • Buyers search using these terms to filter out items in certain categories and only with some exceptions (see section below), eBay does not add these keywords into your search based on the category you are listing in.  For example: When you are listing an item in the Passenger Vehicles category means that you should remember to include the word car in your title as that is what buyers use to search for vehicles and filter out car parts and accessories. 
  • Always keep the buyers in mind.  What keywords would a buyer use to find these items in general?

Automatic Keyword to Category Mappings

  • This functionality is not active on the eBay Australia site but is helpful to know about if you use the US site (www.eBay.com) or other international eBay sites like the UK site.
  • In some cases (and only on some eBay sites like the US and UK sites), when a user will include specific keywords in their search terms, eBay will automatically search for all items within a specific category regardless of whether those item titles have that specific keyword in the title or not.
  • For example: On the eBay.co.uk site, if a user types in the keywords U2 CD in the search box, eBay will return all items that would normally be found (all items that have all three words in the title) plus any items in the CD category that have the keyword U2 in the title.  Those additional items returned from the CDs Figures category may or may not have the keywords CD in the title.
  • The list of these mappings is not published on the eBay.co.uk site, but is published for the eBay.com site. To see a list of all keyword to category mappings on the eBay.com site, go to the eBay.com keyword to category mapping help page.
  • It is important to note that these mappings are not shared across sites as the category structures are different.

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