Optimizing your listings part 2 – How to optimize your listings

Your title and description play a very import role in people finding your items on Offeritem, Bing search, Bing shopping, Google search, Google shopping, Shopwiki, TheFind, Yahoo search etc because they are used to determine the relevancy of search results.

Item’s title

Let’s first focus on your item’s title which is something that is often overlooked by many sellers. It’s always important that you add as much information to your title as possible. Avoid short titles and avoid leaving out major details about your item.

If we were to list a pair of jeans, we would want to focus on things like condition, brand, size, style and color.

I know I mentioned including the condition even though there is an area on the listing page where the condition is specified. This is a personal preference of mine because things like this are often overlooked by buyers. Therefore, I always try to make things perfectly clear for the buyer.

Let’s say we were to list a pair of men’s 123 (123 being the style number) original fit Xyz (I will use Xyz as the brand name) jeans size 30 x 30 in black, the title “New men’s black Xyz 123 original fit size 30 x 30 jeans” would make a better title than “Xyz jeans”.

Why? Say you listed your item with the title “Xyz jeans” and say your competitor listed the exact same pair of jeans with the title “New men’s black Xyz 123 original fit size 30 x 30 jeans” and someone comes along and searches for “men’s jeans”, your competitor’s item would be more relevant to the search engine because their title includes the word “men’s”.

Same goes on a search for “123 Xyz jeans” or “black Xyz jeans”, the item with the title “Xyz jeans” would again seem less relevant because it’s missing the style number “123″ and the color “black”.

A search engine has no way of knowing whether your jeans are for men or women, whether they’re black or blue, 123 or 456. The search engine only knows what you tell it.

Provide a detailed title so that the search engine can match your item accurately against search queries.

Think of the search engine as a lost and found. Going to a lost and found and asking the person working there to look for your lost sweater won’t help much if you don’t tell the person a little more about the sweater.

Also avoid bunching up your words, using commas “,” or similar characters other than spaces to separate words.

Item’s description

If you are listing a pair of “Xyz jeans”, focus on describing this pair of jeans in the description area. Specify the brand, measurements, material, color etc.

I have seen many descriptions that include store policies, information about other items, promotional text or descriptions that are too general. I have also seen descriptions with just the title copied in them. Please use the description area to describe the item in detail.

I know that sellers get tired of listing items and some may create a general description that is reused on multiple listings to save time, but in my opinion this is a waste of time. I honestly believe in quality and not quantity. 1 listing that focuses on describing an item in detail can outsell 1000 listings that lack detail. Always remember that people can’t inspect, feel or try items that are being sold online.

Pictures

I think everyone is well aware of how important pictures are. I don’t think I ever purchased an item online that didn’t have a picture. Pictures are worth a thousand words and this is why sellers can upload up to 7 pictures per listing on our site for free.

When taking a picture of your item, try to capture all of the details. Avoid blurry, choppy or dark pictures. I know this may be difficult for some due to the type of item, type of camera, time of day (lighting), area etc but practice makes perfect.

I always got to know my camera first. When I sold small items or trinkets as I like to call them, they were usually the hardest items to take pictures of due to the fine details. I eventually figured out that my camera works best with the flash turned off and macro enabled. I also figured out that it was necessary to keep the camera very still to avoid blurry pictures. Bright white bulbs seemed to provide good lighting indoors. Outdoors, I was able to take better pictures during the day at around 2 or 3PM.

Avoid images that our too small because they will look horrible when they’re enlarged. Product listing gallery pictures on Offeritem.com are sized at 300 x 300 pixels and the enlarged size is 600 x 600 pixels. For best results, upload pictures that are at least 600 x 600 pixels in size.

Price

Always get to know the market value of your item. Online shoppers are very good at finding good deals and many know if the item is overpriced. Always avoid pricing your item above market value. If you don’t know what your item is worth, try to compare it with similar items.

Shipping

Shipping plays a huge role online. Avoid overcharging or charging shipping fees that seem expensive.

If you’ve noticed, many large online retailers offer free shipping or deeply discounted shipping rates. I have often seen big screen tvs ship for $4.95.

It would be impossible for me to ship a big screen tv for $4.95 but I can always add the difference to my price. By doing this, I can avoid losing a sale due to high shipping fees.

Payment

I always offer an online payment method because money orders take too long to arrive.

I don’t remember the last time that I purchased something online with a money order. I have very little time on my hands and always look for a way to quickly finish my online shopping and money orders always seemed like a hassle to me.

On Offeritem you can accept Amazon payments, Google checkout, Moneybookers, money orders and Paypal.

It’s not a bad idea accepting more than one or all of these payment methods because people need choices. Just because you’re happy with a particular payment method doesn’t mean that everyone is.

Some payment processors also offer better rates than others. Keep an open mind when choosing your payment method(s).

Checkout instructions

Try to explain how your various payment methods work, when you expect to receive payment for your item. If accepting money orders, how money order payments are handled etc. If selling an item that comes in different sizes, colors, personalizations etc., you may want to instruct the buyer on how they can go about choosing.

Returns

Accepting returns is always a good idea because it’s difficult shopping online due to not being able to feel, try or inspect items.

Explain your return policy in detail and avoid return policies that make it nearly impossible for buyers to return items.

Now keep in mind that there are many other factors that play a role in determining the relevancy of search results and these factors vary based on the search engine. SEO (search engine optimization) is something that we the developers of Offeritem.com need to focus on as well and by following this guide you are helping us.

Please read Google shopping optimization tips to improve your ranking (position) in Google shopping.

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3 Responses to Optimizing your listings part 2 – How to optimize your listings

  1. Pingback: Optimizing your listings part 1 – Why it’s important to optimize your listings | Offeritem Blog

  2. Pingback: Optimizing your listings part 3 – Google shopping optimization | Offeritem Blog

  3. xyzcom says:

    i want Optimizing my istings.

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