eBay Ads Basics - Optimizing your keyword strategy

The most common way buyers find and purchase items on eBay is through search using specific keywords. From words that describe an item to important events like Mother’s Day, keywords are a critical bridge connecting buyers and sellers. That’s why sellers need to constantly evaluate the keywords within their listings and Promoted Listings AdvancedBETA strategy to ensure they’re effective for reaching the right buyer. Using the wrong keywords can result in missing out on key sales opportunities. 

We want to make sure every seller is prepped and ready to take advantage of all the key seasonal selling moments that are on the horizon, including Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Father’s Day, Graduation, Fourth of July, etc. In this post, we unveil what every good seller needs to create an optimized keyword strategy while using Promoted Listings campaigns to get listings seen by more buyers.

Keyword Basics

It’s a fierce competition to capture the attention of buyers on eBay. Choosing the right keywords for your listings and Promoted Listings AdvancedBETA campaigns increases the visibility of most listings on our online marketplace. Every seller should start by reviewing our listings best practices. These include:

  • Creating quality listing titles. Sellers have 80 characters to use when creating a listing title. The most important keywords used here will tell a buyer what the product is. For example, a listing title for a shoe includes the brand, style, color, gender and size
Image of an eBay listing for a Adidas Yeezy Booset 350 V2 CLAY Mens Size 9 Style EG7490 shoe. The title of the listing is outlines with a red box. Words under the image say "Creating a quality listing title"
  • Writing impactful descriptions. In about 200 words, sellers should describe the listing in as much detail as possible. The most important keywords should make up five to seven percent of the listing description
  • Using unique identifiers. Including Universal Product Codes (UPCs), European Article Numbers (EANs), International Standard Book Numbers (ISBNs) and Manufacturer’s Part Number in the listing descriptions can help buyers locate specific items of interest, like watch parts, limited-run shoes and similar unique products

Following these guidelines and other optimization tips from our Seller Center can set listings up for a higher chance of success. However, there’s a specific advertising option available that gives sellers even more control while using keywords on eBay.

Using Keywords with Promoted Listings AdvancedBETA

Promoted Listings AdvancedBETA is a new campaign type centered around leveraging keywords to unlock access to the coveted top slots of search on eBay. Advanced campaigns give sellers more control over their advertising budget and uses a cost-per-click model.

There are four different bidding strategies based on matched type used to target keywords with Promoted Listings AdvancedBETA. Each of them help sellers connect with buyers in a different way:

  • Exact Match. Allows listings to appear for search terms that match exact keywords character-for-character with slight variations like singulars or plurals, upper or lower case, common misspellings, capitalization and some abbreviations
  • Phrase Match. Allows listings to appear for searches that include other words before and/or after an exact keyword. The listing will only appear for search phrases where the keyword retains its original meaning and will not appear for searches with variations (like how exact match works)
  • Negative Exact. Terms which are excluded from an ad group. Meaning, when a buyer searches for a term that’s added as a negative keyword, the Promoted Listings AdvancedBETA ads will not be eligible for display. Negative keywords are Exact Match without variants. That means for a keyword to be excluded, it needs to match the buyer’s search term character-for-character
  • Negative Phrase. Excludes listings from appearing in searches that include other words before and/or after an exact keyword, but not between. The listing will not appear for search phrases where the keyword retains its original meaning and will not appear for searches with variations (like how negative exact works)

It’s up to the seller to test and learn which keyword strategy works best for them/their business because what works now, might not be true tomorrow. Buying trends on eBay constantly evolve over time based on product demand, category popularity and more. Sellers need to be ready to adapt their keyword strategy to match these changing trends.

Optimizing new learnings

In order to stay competitive, Sellers need to continuously review and optimize their Promoted Listings AdvancedBETA campaign keywords. This is especially true during seasonal selling moments. Let’s take a look at how a seller might optimize a Promoted Listings AdvancedBETA campaign to sell more sneakers.

Table that depicts campaign specifics. It reads:
Campaign Name: Sneakers
Daily Budget: $250
Ad Group: Best selling men's sneakers
Listing: 1. High top sneakers. 2. Running shoes
Keywords: 1. High tops. 2. Best running shoes. 3. Popular sneakers

The above campaign example is for a seller who sells sneakers for adults, but not for children. The campaign uses exact match and phrase match keywords like high tops, best running shoes and popular sneakers to target their listings, but doesn’t currently include any negative keywords. However, a review of the search query report (located at the bottom of the advertising dashboard in the “Campaigns” section) shows their listings getting impressions for children’s high tops and best running shoes for children. Both of these queries are ideal negative phrase keywords because they are getting impressions despite this being a campaign targeting adults. 

Continuously optimizing a keyword strategy is the best way to achieve the most ROI. By leveraging popular keywords, categories and using Promoted Listings AdvancedBETA, sellers will have a better chance at driving sales. Start a Promoted Listings AdvancedBETA campaign today to unlock the full potential of keywords on eBay.