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For Your Review

Want more eyes on your products? Go online and share your expertise.

How would you like to increase your business's traffic by almost 20 percent, simply by bragging about how great your products are? Platinum PowerSeller Jude Hodge did just that using eBay's Reviews & Guides. Hodge, the owner of GPS Specials, which specializes in auto and marine GPS navigation systems and electronics, knows how powerful the Reviews & Guides section of eBay can be for marketing a business. After she created a few reviews and guides, Hodge saw sales of her $9,000-a-month Brookings, Oregon, business grow. "We have increased our traffic by 16 percent," says Hodge, 46.

Hodge writes reviews of products she carries in her store as well as guides to help people understand the benefits of those products. "eBay [has] so many brands and features, so a guide or review really helps consumers understand the product before they spend their hard-earned money on it," she says. She's right: In the world of e-commerce, customers are increasingly relying on product reviews to conduct research before making purchases.

Hodge's visibility in this section of eBay has also improved her customer service levels. "Because of my reviews and guides, many customers have called me to ask more questions and ended up buying their GPS [devices] from me," she explains.

Adding this powerful marketing feature to your business is easy: Go to http://reviews.ebay.com; choose whether you're going to write a review (e.g., review of a book, movie or electronic item) or a guide (e.g., information on how to use the product, its benefits and where to get it); then simply click "Write a review" or "Write a guide."

Some key points to keep in mind as you're writing:

  • Your title is important--it draws your audience in to read your article. Also, the title should be filled with search-engine-optimized keywords to help you get ranked high on the search engines.
  • Focus on your purpose. If you want people to buy this item from you, then make sure you provide a link to that specific listing. Do you want increased search engine exposure? You'll need to include top keywords in the body of your article. Do you want to brand yourself as an expert in a specific field? Make sure you include statistics as well as testimonials that back up what you say.
  • The first 30 words of your guide are what your buyers will see when they search for a guide.
  • Readers of your guide get to vote on whether or not your guide was helpful.

Writing a review or guide may take a little extra time, but it has its advantages. The most important one? Says Hodge, "The best part has been the exposure."

Janelle Elms, eBay University instructor and dean of online business for LA College International, is creator of the eBay Stores Video Series.

Janelle Elms eBay University instructor and dean of Online Business for LA College International, is creator of the eBay Stores Video Series.

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This article was originally published in the August 2007 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: For Your Review.

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