Join a free boot camp for sellers! Sign up before Feb 28.    Learn More

What is search engine optimization?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the key to getting greater visibility— for free.

By including the right words, phrases, and information in your product listing, more buyers will find your items when they're looking for it.

SEO means using the best techniques to optimize how your listings appear in search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, and even eBay's search.

Tips for search engine optimization

Optimize your listings for the top Internet search engines.

Use keywords: Ask yourself what words people are likely to use in a search engine when looking for what you're selling. Once you have three to five of these keywords, use them naturally in your listing title and item description.

Include unique identifiers: One of the most important things you can do to make sure your listings are found by search engines to include unique identifiers like Universal Product Codes (UPCs), European Article Numbers (EANs), International Standard Book Numbers (ISBNs), and Manufacturer's Part Number in your listings.

Unique identifiers because that information is used by eBay and search engines to connect buyers to the products they're looking for and to give them the information they need to make their purchase.

Take care with titles: Your listing title is a key factor in natural search. Include the most important keywords or keyword phrases in your listing title. Use all of your available characters wisely. Keep in mind that users don't search for words such as "wow" or "look."

Write impactful content: In about 200 words, describe your item the best you can, in as much detail as possible. Your most important keywords should make up 5% to 7% of the description. For example, in a 200-word description, you'll want to use those keywords 10 to 14 times. Search engines only read a certain amount of text per page, so including more and irrelevant description isn't worth your time.

Avoid keyword spamming: Use keywords as naturally as possible; don't overdo it! Note that keyword spamming is both irritating to shoppers and a violation of eBay policy.

Don't use hidden text: Don't add invisible copy; search engines will not read it.

Include links: Add links in your description to other products, your eBay Store, and product videos. The link words should be relevant to their destination. For example, link phrases like "Visit my Store" and "See other items" are more effective than "Click here."

Use image alt tags: If you write your own HTML for listings, be sure to include alt tags, which are keywords that accompany and describe images online. This is another opportunity to optimize keywords or keyword phrases when they're relevant to the image.

Have a question?

Find answers in our FAQ center.

Go to FAQs