Along for the Ride
eBay is a powerful online marketplace, providing you with exposure to 222 million potential buyers of your product. But how would you like to expand that exposure to include everyone in the world who has access to a computer? What you do on eBay will make all the difference in how many potential buyers view your product.
Diana Miller, owner of CollectorsLine, a high-end collectibles store in Yorba Linda, California, knows how much work (and money) it takes to get high rankings on search engines. "The process of where your sites are placed on the search engines has to do with SEO [search engine optimization]," explains Miller, 44, an eBay PowerSeller. "The great part about eBay is they do all the hard work behind the scenes to capitalize on the power of SEO--you just have to make sure your business is set up correctly."
Miller's business, which brings in sales of more than $100,000 a year, capitalizes on some of the strongest SEO areas that are offered by eBay, including:
Blogs: Blogs are simply online journals. If you can write an e-mail, you can blog. Not only are blogs a great place to introduce new products and ask your buyers for feedback, but search engines also love blogs because they're rich in content.
Reviews & Guides: Do you sell the latest electronic gadget? Write an eBay Guide on the tips and tricks of using it. This helps generate traffic from within eBay to your auctions because you get to include a link to your listings in the Guide. Reviews & Guides are also content-rich and have great keyword links--a vital part of any SEO campaign.
My World: When you register on eBay, you receive a free website called My World, where you can promote not just your business, but also everything about you. This site is heavy with linked keywords and content.
Stores: This is the most powerful e-commerce solution currently in the marketplace, and it costs less than $16 a month. Once set up correctly for SEO, your Store can be ranked on the first page of major search engines--Google, MSN and Yahoo!--and even achieve the first placement on that page. "I used Oasis Connect to get the Store set up correctly, and the results were amazing," Miller says. "Suddenly, we had spikes in traffic coming from the major search engines. An eBay Store [is the] best SEO tool we took advantage of on eBay."
Custom Pages: An eBay Store includes additional pages (referred to as Custom Pages) that you can use for more content on your site. These pages can educate buyers on your products, e.g., "picking the right size frame for your art" or "top 10 tips on decorating with candles." These pages are, once again, content-rich, and you can capitalize on additional keyword linking to get even higher rankings on the search engines.
Janelle Elms, eBay University instructor and dean of Online Business for LA College International, is creator of the eBay Stores Video Series (www.storesuccessvideo.com). Contact her at www.onlinesuccessinstitute.com.