One crucial lesson learned in 10 years selling online
I’ve been selling on eBay for almost a decade, starting from a small dropshipping operation to building a multi-million dollar eCommerce company.
During this time I made tons of mistakes, some of which nearly killed my business. I managed to overcome the numerous pitfalls and even win a couple of eBay awards to excellence in sales.
I learned quite a lot during my journey, but one lesson stands out and I wish I knew it early on:
You can’t do it all by yourself.
You simply can’t, not if you aspire to scale the company.
Running an eCommerce business involves so many tasks. Each requires its own expertise to the point you simply cannot master all the disciplines by yourself.
The option of performing those tasks mediocrely is not a viable one. Today’s eCommerce platforms are so competitive that you won’t be able to keep up.
Freelancers to the rescue
So, what can you do?
You start by understanding which tasks must be performed at a much higher level than you’re capable of. Then you find professionals who are able to perform those tasks for you, resulting in many more sales.
As an eBay seller, one of the most important tasks to perform is listing optimization.
This is exactly how I lifted my eBay sales by more than 220%.
Once I realized how important is was to optimize eBay listings and how my business would grow if I implemented it correctly, I started spending most of my time on studying the art and science behind listing optimization.
I did it by myself because back then there weren’t many freelancer sites with trustworthy people. Luckily for you, today you can hire pre-vetted freelancers through FreeeUp to professionally optimize eBay listings. Plus, you get personal attention and support from CEO Nathan Hirsch and the FreeeUp assistants.
So how would you choose the best freelancer to optimize eBay listings?
There are 3 disciplines a freelancer must master to optimize eBay listings to achieve the ultimate goal: increase eBay sales.
Skill #3: eBay SEO
We all use Google’s search engine and business owners understand how important it is to appear in Google’s top search results. Less people know that eBay also uses an algorithm to decide which products will appear in the top search results on its platform. eBay’s search engine is called Cassini.
Although the information about how Cassini decides which products will appear in each rank is not public to avoid manipulation of the search results, an experienced freelancer must be familiar with Cassini. Moreover, he must have insights from his previous work on what helps you rank higher in eBay’s search results.
I’ll give you one relatively advanced insight which can help you understand how well a freelancer knows his stuff when it comes to Cassini:
One of the most important parameters to appear higher in eBay’s search results is your recent sales history, meaning the number of items you sold over the last 7 days.
Cassini tends to rank products with more recent sales higher and it’s been proven by numerous eBay sellers over the years.
Skille #2: Title Keywords
The idea behind keyword titles is simple: the better your product title, the greater the chance a potential customer will click on your listing and buy the product. When this happens repeatedly, your conversion rate goes up and eBay ranks you higher in search results as a reward.
A professional freelancer must understand that the important thing to optimize eBay listings titles is relevance. You can write bombastic titles that will generate clicks, but if your product is different from what the title says, people simply won’t buy. And this will actually push you down the eBay rankings.
I will explain this notion in detail when we get to skill #1.
Titles with relevant information that convey what you’re selling will have higher conversion rate, which translates to higher rankings on eBay and more exposure to new buyers.
One freelancer to stay away from is someone who creates titles with the ‘keyword stuffing’ technique.
Google explains the term ‘keyword stuffing’ as:
…the practice of loading a webpage with keywords or numbers in an attempt to manipulate a site’s ranking in Google search results.
Examples of keyword stuffing include repeating the same words or phrases so often that it sounds unnatural, for example:
“We sell custom cigar humidors. Our custom cigar humidors are handmade. If you’re thinking of buying a custom cigar humidor, please contact our custom cigar humidor specialists at firstname.lastname@example.org”
A freelancer who does keyword stuffing in titles is a big red flag.
Skill #1: Listing description
I explained why you should write relevant titles when you optimize eBay listings, and part of relevancy is being consistent with the listing description. Your title has to convey what you will write in the description. Otherwise, buyers will click on the product, read the description, and bounce without purchasing. This action reduces your conversion rate.
The conversion rate is the number of sales divided by the number of visitors to your listing description.
Let’s say you have 1 sale from 100 visits – that’s a 1% conversion rate (1/100).
If two people buy, your conversion rate is 2%, which means that more people find your listing relevant to what they were looking for.
When eBay sees a low conversion rate, it understands that something is wrong with your product description and decides to rank your product lower in search results.
A professional freelancer understands that writing a well worded, well formatted description is very important and will help you :
- Appear higher in search results when you use relevant keywords in your description
- Increase your conversion rate – meaning more browsers will become customers when you provide useful information for shoppers
- Keep shoppers on your page longer, which also translates into higher placement in search results
Bonus Skill: Listing management
One skill I find many business owners overlook when searching for freelancers to optimize eBay listings is what I call “work rate” or “efficiency”. Basically, it’s the ability to perform a high quality task in a timely manner.
Now this may sound obvious, but a professional is not always efficient with his time. Some designers, for example, are very creative people who tend to spend too much time to achieve the perfect result. But they could have spent 50% less time and still reached a satisfactory outcome.
Professional freelancers know which tools to use to be more efficient and get more work done. Freelancers make money by the number of hours they work, so if they can use a solution to get work done faster, they can even take on more projects and make more money.
This is why professional freelancers in the eBay space use software to optimize eBay listings. Some freelancers will pay for the software themselves and some will ask you if you use such software so they can work using your license. Either way, software experience is another indication of the level of professionalism that a freelancer has with listing optimization for your eBay store.
Thank you for reading this post. Any additional tips would be much appreciated in the comments below.
Maxim Godin is the co-founder and CMO of CrazyLister – the world’s leading eBay listing software and 2-time eBay award recipient for excellence in sales. Max started his journey in eCommerce back in 2008, grew an online business from zero to $4.5M in sales, and never looked back.