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Phil Forbes

5 years ago 5 min read

Marketplace SEO – eBay, Amazon, & Etsy


Phil Forbes

SEO is arguably the most powerful tool in the world of blogging. We all know little tricks here and there to get our article on the front page of a Google search for a relevant keyword.

But what about when it comes to selling on a marketplace like eBay or Amazon?

What happens when your search engine isn’t Google and your webpage is actually a product listing?

Marketplaces are a great place to sell, but they’re super competitive. Today we’re going to show how you can use SEO to get the edge over your competition on Etsy, eBay and Amazon.

By the end of this article, you will know

  • The difference between Google and the 3 marketplace search engines
  • How to optimise your Etsy, Amazon and eBay listings
  • The ways marketplace SEO is much more than using just keywords.

Here’s the best ways to get your product on the first page of a search on your favourite marketplace.

Etsy SEO

Etsy’s search algorithm tries to figure out how relevant a product is for a searched term.

There are 6 areas that you can tweak to make your product as relevant as possible.

Product Listing Title

  • Use your your main keyword first, then as many others as you can
  • Think like a buyer, use words they would use in a search
  • Don’t repeat the same words
  • List similar products as variations so you don’t compete against yourself.

product listing title marketplace seo

Etsy product description done correctly!

Keywords & Tags

  • Apart from the title, they help identify what your product is
  • Use all 13 slots
  • Use words that are also in your title
  • Again, use words your customer would put into a search


  • Use the most specific and relevant category for your product. Pretty simple.


  • Quality pictures are eye catching and build trust.
  • Use all possible image slots
  • Include close ups, photos of intricate details and curated lifestyle shots


Renewed listings

  • Etsy places newer listings higher in the search results.
  • Customers can order search results based on newly listed
  • Be warned: constantly renewing your listings incurs fees.

Success on Etsy is attributed to more than just good SEO practices – but it certainly helps.

eBay SEO

Most searches by eBay’s search engine (called Cassini by those in the biz) will result in multiple results of the same products, just from different sellers.

1 product, 2 brands, 8 sellers. Competition is fierce.

This tells us 2 things.

Firstly, there’s a lot of competition on eBay.

Secondly, getting listed as high as possible in the marketplace search results means you’re more likely to get the click – and ultimately the sale.

More than keywords

When the eBay search engine looks at your listing, it also takes into account a wide variety of other factors:

  • Your prices, delivery times and return and shipping policies
  • The speed you respond to enquiries
  • At what price your bidding starts (eBay likes $0.99 starting bids)
  • The ‘Buy It Now’ to Auction ratio of your listings

Clearly, there’s a lot more to eBay SEO than just keywords. So to be ranked high, we must first be a trustworthy seller.

Of course, using relevant keywords with buyer intent is still integral. Listing titles should have the relevant keywords as should product descriptions.

eBay product descriptions

eBay actually gives the seller a lot of control with their product description.

Therefore, not unlike Google and a blog, it’s a good idea to try and use your most relevant keywords as early as possible in your eBay product description, as well as in H2 headings.

Stay away from tacky phrases like “L@@K”. Acronyms like “BNIB” and “BNWOB” can be confusing and lead to an unhappy buyer. (brand new without box or brand new with original box?)

ebay production descriptions for marketplace seo

Jammed keywords and very little useful information. I won’t be buying this…

Auctions & free shipping

eBay is the home of the online auction.. Bidders are notified when they’re outbid or when the auction is ending. Therefore, they return and interact.

eBay auctions promote activity and buyer/seller interaction, and Cassini loves this. To the point where eBay will give SERP preference to an auction of the same product, compared to a buy it now listing.

Bonus tip: Increase your sale price to cover shipping and then offer free shipping. It sounds simple, but the ‘free shipping’ tag will make both eBay, Cassini and the buyer love you.

Amazon SEO

Amazon is a very, very unique creature.

When we use Google, we use it to find the answer to a question. But when we use Amazon, we know what we want.

We’re not looking for a way to cut a tomato, we’re looking for kitchen knives.

Therefore, Amazon’s search engine, A9 (yes, it also has it’s own name) is custom made for buyers with purchase intent.

Because of this, Amazon SEO is a little different. You’re not just wanting to rank higher in marketplace search results, but you’re also trying to win the ‘Buy Box’.

Since Amazon does not have duplicate listings (not many, anyway), vendors selling the same product compete to get front spot for the next sale.

amazon marketplace seo example

Winning the buy box comes down to a lot of external influences.

  • Product title – Get the brand, product range, material and/or main feature, colour, size and packaging/quantity into the description first.
  • ISBN/EAN numbers are needed for every product. Fill out as much specific information as you can about your product. The more information, the more Amazon knows about it.
  • High-quality product photography, buyer reviews and number of sales play a huge part.
  • Amazon will give preference to vendors selling via Fulfilment By Amazon (FBA)
  • The number one influence on the health of your Amazon store is how you handle returns and refunds.

Amazon in unabashedly out to make buyers happy – not so much the sellers. Help Amazon sell things, and Amazon will preference you in it’s search results.

Summing up…

Marketplace SEO is a little more tricky than that of Google. You’re subject to a whole new set of algorithms and sellers must constantly be vigilant to maintain the selling edge.

Luckily, what you need to succeed is well documented and easily attainable – with a little hard work, of course.

SEO is an often overlooked part of selling on a marketplace. With a little homework, you can easily use it to leverage over your competition.

Best of luck!

Written by

Phil Forbes

Bearded Australian living in Warsaw, Poland. Content writer and marketer for Shoplo, who enjoys helping and watching small ventures start, learn, grow and thrive. I love my dog, Star Wars, heavy metal and my girlfriend – in no particular order.

Comments (1)
9 Ways to Market Your Used Cell Phone Business (1 month ago) Reply

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Dwight Harrison, Entrepreneur (4 years ago) Reply

Some good ideas here about how to get traffic to your website here.

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