Today’s post is based on a study of nearly 1 million eBay titles conducted by Title builder.
The study aims to uncover the correlation between titles structure, content and the number of sales it generated.
It helps answer questions like:
- What is the optimal length for an eBay title?
- How does adding the word “NEW” to a title influence sales?
- What’s the connection between item specifics, item titles and sales?
- And more…
We Analyzed 961,668 eBay Item Titles. Here’s What We Learned About eBay SEO
1. Longer eBay titles increase sales
In eBay’s Fall Seller Update 2011 it announced the increase of the maximum numbers of characters allowed in titles from 55 to 80.
Such changes are usually backed by hardcore data that suggests that the change will have a positive effect on sales.
As you can see below, the study by Title builder backs this up. A higher number of characters in the title, increases the average number of items sold:
With that said, don’t rush to randomly add keywords to your titles! eBay is all about RELEVANCE; If you sell a DELL laptop, adding the keywords “HP ALTERNATIVE” may increase your character count but it’s not relevant to your product, and will actually decrease your search result ranking.
2. More keywords in eBay titles increase sales
Similar to the findings above, showing that MORE characters in titles generally generate MORE sales, a positive correlation can be observed between the number of keywords and sales.
The more relevant keywords you add to the title, the higher the chance for a sale:
Again, only add highly RELEVANT keywords!
Another piece of advise here is to keep your titles SYMMETRIC to the most popular search queries, i.e if the most popular query is “Sony Playstation 4”, and your title is “Playstation 4 by Sony”, even though you have all the relevant keywords, shoppers are less likely to click on your listings versus listings that exactly match their search query.
A study by Optimizely showed 39.1% increase in conversions in headlines with symmetric messaging.
3. Adding popular keywords to eBay titles increase sales
Here are two titles for the same item offered on eBay:
A: Etekcity Digital Body Weight Bathroom Scale 400lb/180kg Black
B: Digital LCD Glass Bathroom Body Scale Weight Watchers Fitness Scales 400lb/180kg
Take a guess, which title generated more sales?
Below is the answer:
Title A generated 12 sales with a price of $18.37
Title B generated 369 sales with a price of $20.99
So why did Title B generated more sales despite having a higher price?
There are 2 main advantages to Title B:
- It doesn’t include the unknown brand “Etekcity” which only confuses shoppers and doesn’t add any value.
- It includes popular descriptive keywords for the item which increases the exposure and traffic to the listing. More traffic generates more sales.
This is also backed by the study’s findings; more popular keywords in titles, led to more sales.
4. Adding the word “New” to eBay titles decreases sales
More than 80% of items listed on eBay are in new condition.
It’s very common for sellers to add the word “New” to the eBay title, on top of indicating “New” as the condition of the item in the listing form.
Surprisingly enough, the study shows that adding the word “New” to an eBay title, actually decreases sales:
eBay’s search algorithm pulls the item condition automatically, it doesn’t need to be include it in the title.
So next time you compose a title, consider replacing the word “New” with an additional popular keyword for your item.
5. Adding eBay acronyms to titles decrease sales
eBay originally only allowed 55 characters for titles. Which led to a creation of widely used, eBay specific acronyms such as –
NEW – New with tags or NIB – New in box.
The thing is that those days are long gone, titles today can contain up to 80 characters and both shoppers and sellers are not using these acronyms anymore.
The study shows that NOT using acronyms increases your chances of sale:
6. Adding Item Specifics to eBay titles increase sales
This is the kingdom of the “Structured data,” upon creating a listing, you should input as many item specifics as possible, your items part number, width, color, size, manufacturer etc.
This is a huge focus for eBay, as by using this structured data eBay is able to better understand what is it exactly that you offer for sale, and match this with shoppers’ search queries.
The study shows that adding these item specifics to your title, increases the probability for you to generate sales.
Another interesting finding is that this is an area where you can get a big advantage over the competition, as the vast majority of studied listings didn’t include item specifics in their titles.
7. Adding a subtitle to eBay title increase sales
eBay offers sellers to add a subtitle to listings as a paid feature.
Is it worth the extra investment?
According to the study it is. Listings with subtitles generate more sales.
It’s important to note that eBay’s search algorithm DOESN’T search through your subtitles, only through your titles!
This means that you CAN’T use keywords in your subtitles to get discovered, rather subtitles are only used for marketing purposes, i.e give the shopper that additional bit of info to make them click on your listing.
8. Most sellers don’t get eBay titles right and lose sales
On average, an eBay title contains – 64.4 characters and 11-12 keywords.
The study shows that more (relevant) characters in eBay titles, with an average of 16 keywords increase sales.
This means that most eBay sellers have much room for improving their titles to generate more sales.