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eBay is a popular eCommerce site, selling new and used goods at competitive prices. When you search for an item, eBay’s search algorithm produces the most relevant results with the given search parameters. For eBay sellers, understanding how to optimize for this algorithm is essential to increasing page and product views and therefore sales. Web scraping, the automatic extraction of data from a webpage, generates insights that make it easier to optimize eBay search results for your products. Scraping helps your organization understand which keywords, prices, and item specifics that will increase the likelihood of your product listings appearing higher up in search results. Once you’ve discovered which aspects of your product are most eBay SEO (Search Engine Optimization) friendly, you’ll increase sales and become more known amongst consumers.
What is eBay SEO?
SEO, or search engine optimization, is when a seller writes a product description or other content to be optimized by a search engine.
eCommerce sites like eBay use search engines to connect buyers and sellers easily so that both parties are satisfied. Because of the seemingly endless options of goods on eBay, buyers must use more specific search terms to eliminate irrelevant results. Therefore sellers must adjust their product descriptions and store information in order to increase the likelihood of their product appearing in search engine results. If your product descriptions are vague, they might show up in generic searches but way down in the search results. Making your descriptions more niche might result in showing up in fewer searches, but higher up and more relevant in those searches and more likely to turn into an actual sale.
How to Improve eBay SEO
In order to increase the likelihood of sales through online searching, sellers must improve SEO through ensuring their product descriptions are complete and detailed. Before you change product descriptions, you first need to discover what kinds of products the search engine prioritizes. Extracting data related to price, product keywords, item specifics, and more is an easy way to understand SEO and how to make your eBay product listings more SEO friendly. However, doing this work manually is time consuming, expensive, and draining.
Web scraping, the automatic extraction of data from a webpage, is the perfect tool for understanding eBay search results. When you scrape product pages for the top search results for a given keyword, the scraping tool will extract the results as data which can then be easily downloaded and shared. As opposed to manual data extraction, web scraping is cost effective, quick, and secure. Instead of spending days extracting data, your team will be able to spend their time analyzing and making data driven decisions based on valuable insights. With the extra time spent on creative and critical thinking, your organization can take actionable steps towards SEO friendly product listings. Scraping Robot’s eBay scraping module is built to parse through eBay data efficiently compared to generic scraping tools.
Benefits of Scraping eBay
When using a web scraping tool to improve eBay SEO, you’ll learn lots about your product including which keywords are best to describe it, relevant item specifics, and the presentation of your store profile. While this level of organizational self-diagnosis can be daunting, you’ll learn more about your organization’s values and priorities throughout the process among other benefits.
Discover product keywords
When prospective buyers begin their eBay searches, the initial search is usually a keyword. For example, I might search for running shoes generally unless I already have a specific brand/shoe in mind. If you sell running shoes, then scraping the search results for running shoes gives you an understanding of which shoes (brand, style, price range, etc) show up first. By scraping the top results, you’ll learn to incorporate useful keywords into your product description to increase the likelihood of your product showing up when those keywords are used in the future.
However, scraping is also useful for developing more niche keywords for your products. Results for ‘running shoes’ may be so numerous that it’s not worth trying to rise your place in the results. Instead, it might be better to use terms like ‘long distance running shoes,’ or ‘short distance sprinting shoes’ in order to be more specific and therefore show up in niche results instead of general ones. At times it is easier to succeed with being the top results in a niche category instead of the 20th results in a general search. Either way, the process of discovering relevant keywords requires you to deeply learn more about your product and how you want it to be perceived.
Understand item specifics
Item specifics on eBay are part of an advanced search. If you’re looking for vintage dresses, seeing every result will not only be time consuming but produce many options that are the wrong size, color, style, etc. Item specifics is an eBay SEO tool that gives buyers the ability to narrow search results by
- Item location
- Country of origin
- Original vs reproduction
These examples of item specifics are just for vintage clothing. These are especially useful because eBay suggests the item specifics. Often, sellers leave the item specifics in the product page blank in order to appeal to more consumers. Taking the time to enter in item specifics actually allows your product to show up in more search results.
If you’re selling vintage clothes, scraping the item specifics for popular product pages or scraping the categories eBay uses for your kind of product generate insights to increase search relevancy.
Enhance store profile
Product pages are important, but store profiles also influence your reputation among consumers and consumer trust of your eBay store. There are many fake profiles or scam profiles on eBay and other eCommerce sites that make consumers nervous about online shopping, especially for used goods. Creating an engaging and transparent ‘about me’ page builds trust with consumers and establishes you as more than a username.
Staying with the vintage clothing example, establishing an aesthetic or taste is better than selling whatever vintage clothes you can find. If all a consumer sees is a bunch of random clothes listings without sparse product descriptions, it is easy to assume it’s a scam or to choose not to take the risk. If your ‘about me’ page is clear and defines what kind of vintage clothing you collect and sell, ie. establish a sense of actual curation and not item dumping, consumers will not only trust you to be a legitimate seller but also respect your taste and see the intention behind your products. The disconnection from the people involved in every aspect of online shopping makes it hard to feel like you’re actually supporting someone. By providing context for your online store and using relevant keywords, consumers will understand what you’re about and be able to find you easier than before.
How to SEO Optimize eBay
In addition to scraping eBay search results, there is other relevant data that can be extracted from other online sources. This data, while not from eBay, is useful for generating keywords that can be used for SEO of your eBay listings.
Many eBay sellers also use other eCommerce sites, notably Amazon, to sell products. It makes sense to increase your consumer base by using multiple eCommerce platforms. Similar to eBay, other eCommerce sites use different search engines. Using an Amazon product scraper generates similar insights (product description, keywords) that can be applicable to eBay SEO or your general understanding of your product and organization’s purpose.
Consumer sentiment data
Understanding the ethos and reputation of your brand is an important step to defining your product effectively with keywords and item specifics. Because eCommerce sites often have comment sections, scraping reviews and ratings provides a peek inside the minds of consumers. Before your product shows up more in search results, it should be in the best shape possible. Using existing user reviews to perfect the product and get a sense of how consumers value can help with SEO as you gain a better sense of what consumers might search for or how they describe products.
Social media mentions can also be scraped for further consumer sentiment analysis. Especially for sellers looking to have more of a personal presence with consumers or be popular with younger people, social media is an important way for consumers to discover your brand and become invested.
The eCommerce site eBay is known for its expansive range of goods and low prices. eBay SEO is a determining factor in the success of individual sellers. By understanding eBay SEO, your organization will be able to create a product description with relevant keywords and item specifics, ensuring that your product is more likely to be seen by others than before. Web scraping, the automatic extraction of online data, is the perfect tool for analyzing eBay search results. Through discovering which keywords are essential to your product, utilizing item specifics, and creating an engaging ‘about me’ page, eBay sellers will experience increased trust among consumers and a clearer vision of their organization.