How to optimise your product descriptions on eBay and Amazon

When a customer is looking for a specific product on Amazon or eBay, the first thing they typically do is to search for it.

Both marketplaces have powerful search engines to interpret what a user has typed into the search box and provide the most relevant products possible. They both use algorithms to determine which products should be displayed, and in which order, just like Google.

So how do you ensure that the items your charity is selling on eBay and Amazon rank as well as possible?

You need to optimise your product title and your product descriptions. Here’s how:

1. Focus on keywords – but don’t stuff or repeat

Any form of search engine optimisation relies on keywords. These are the main words which describe the item you’re selling, the main indicators of what that product actually is.

So if you were selling a designer jacket, the main keywords would be something like: Stella McCartney Woman’s Jacket.

If you were selling a teddy bear, the keywords would be: Stuffed Teddy Bear

To ensure your product is well optimised and ranks highly in marketplace search engines, you’ll need to make sure you include all relevant keywords. You should:

Prioritise your main keywords

Decide which are the most relevant, most obvious and most popular keywords, and include these first in your main product title. On eBay you have 80 characters whilst on Amazon you get 250 characters.

Use synonyms 

For other areas of your product description, think about alternative ways to describe your product. So a Stella McCartney Women’s Jacket could also be a Ladies Designer Coat. Try and think what someone who wants to buy that item might be typing into the search box. 

Avoid repetition

If you’ve included the keyword once in the title or product description field you don’t need to repeat it. Neither Amazon, eBay nor potential customers look kindly on the same word that’s constantly repeated. It could negatively affect your optimisation as users won’t want to click on your product.

Don’t stuff or trick

Keep the product title concise with just one or two of your primary keywords. You don’t want to stuff as many as you can into the title or the product description, because it looks like you are only trying to provide content for the search engine algorithm – rather than content that is relevant to your potential customer.

Include back-end keywords carefully

Amazon listings have a specific area for sellers to include back-end keywords which are not visible to the customer. It’s a place for you to add relevant synonyms. So if you were selling headphones, and focused on that keyword in your title, here you might add earbuds and earphones.

You don’t need to include variations like ear phones, Earphones and Ear Phones. Amazon knows these are all the same thing. And you shouldn’t include any brand references here, or any duplicates like large headphones, big headphones, etc.

Make sense

Most importantly, any keywords you include in the title or product description need to make sense. They should read in a logical order – e.g. Royal Wedding Tea Set rather than Tea Set Wedding Royal. And they should make customers want to click through to your product and find out more about it.

Ultimately, Amazon and eBay rank products based on the likelihood that a user will click through and buy the product – so this should be your ultimate goal with keywords. 

2. Include descriptors in your title 

As well as keywords, you should also think about the key identifying features of the product you are selling and try to include those in your title.

Many customers on Amazon and eBay get specific with their searches; they want to find the item they’re looking for as quickly as possible.

So they won’t just search for a children’s t-shirt. They’ll look for a boy’s medium black t-shirt with matching shorts.

When writing a product title, and the subtitle (eBay) or key features (Amazon), add as much useful information as you can. Key descriptors like size, colour, special features and materials will help your item sell faster.

Watch out for character limits and be sure to write for real humans who will be reading it! 

3. Fill in as much information as you can 

Both Amazon and eBay listing processes require you to fill in lots of different fields. You should always try and include as much information in each of these areas as you can.

The more detail you include, the more likely a customer will decide to buy that item.

BUT – that information must be relevant to the item. Don’t exaggerate, don’t lie and don’t try and describe something that the product isn’t.

In the key features section of an Amazon listing, it’s a good idea to include the key benefits of the item. Why would somebody want to buy it? Why is it good? How will it help them?

In the product description section, you should focus on useful information. Content that describes exactly what the product is. This might include technical specifications or an explanation how it can be used.

Amazon doesn’t currently use the product description as part of its SEO ranking algorithm, so you don’t need to worry about keywords here. But customers do say that poor descriptions turn them away from buying an item, so it’s worth spending the time to get this section right and help potential buyers overcome any objections they might have. 

4. Describe the condition of the item 

As your charity shop is likely to be selling used goods on Amazon and eBay, it’s going to be really important that you describe the condition of the item as best as possible.

Shoppers will be looking for used items, but they’ll still want to know exactly what they’re buying. The more you can explain an item’s condition, the better your product description will be optimised.

Although both eBay and Amazon have fields for an item condition, you should try and include more detail in the product description area.

Describe how the item looks, what kind of marks or scratches there might be, whether any part of it is worn or if anything is missing.

Not only will this help you sell the item, it will also help prevent any returns because the customer got something that wasn’t as expected.  

5. Try out different descriptions and test them

Each item is different, and you might find that different types of customers are looking for different kinds of descriptions.

Some customers might simply be looking for small, quick and easy items to buy. They just want simple information that doesn’t confuse or overcomplicate their shopping process.

Others might be making a more considerate buy. They want to look around and learn as much information as possible, so they need lots of detail to be convinced to buy.

Often the only way to fully optimise your product descriptions is just to try a few different ideas out and see which works best. Test different descriptions on similar products, and track which one gets the most (or the fastest) sales.

6. Use Shopiago to optimise listings for you

When you’ve got lots of different products to list for your charity shop on both Amazon and eBay, optimising them all fully and correctly can be a difficult and time-consuming task.

There’s lots of keywords and descriptors to think about, and lots of fields to fill in.

But thankfully, Shopiago can help here. You can let other people do the hard work identifying the best keywords and optimising descriptions, and then edit that information for your own listing.

Shopiago’s powerful search software scans current, sold and unsold listings across Amazon and eBay to find matches for the product you want to sell. All you need to do is scan a barcode, take a picture of the item or enter a quick description, and the automated image recognition and search software does the rest.

Then you can simply replicate the listings it finds, before quickly and easily amending it to your own specifications.

See how simple listing and product optimisation is with Shopiago. Try it free for 14 days.