Why eBay listing titles are so importantYour listing title consists of an allowed maximum of 80 characters and is the part that you fill in on the ‘Sell Your Item’ form that is shown in the initial best match search results when browsers have searched for a particular item. Those 80 characters are extremely important and you must get them right!

What you need to remember is that eBay’s ‘Best Match’ search results will always send potential buyers to the listings with the most relevant title keywords and this is based on previous keyword popularity for a particular product.

So, for example, if hundreds of people have searched for ‘Fossil Gents Watch’ and added the listing with those exact keywords to their ‘Watch List’ (no pun intended – a ‘watch list’ is a section in ‘My eBay’ where buyers can add the potential products that they are interested in to, so that they can access and revisit those listings quickly and easily without having to search again) and then all those people have gone on to purchase the item from the listing, eBay sees those keywords as being popular and relevant. This is because lots of people have taken action on those keywords.

This in turn has a positive effect on those keywords, so the search ranking of listings that include these words in their titles will rise. On the other hand, if your keywords are not relevant – i.e. no-one is searching for or clicking on your keywords, then eBay sees this negatively. The knock on effect of this is that if your keywords are deemed irrelevant then your search placement will unfortunately go down.

The upshot of all this is that there is absolutely no point in including irrelevant keywords in your listing title even if you are under the impression that words such as ‘Wow’, ‘L@@k’, ‘Gorgeous’ and ‘Brilliant’ will attract more buyers. Quite simply, they won’t!

For example, how many people do you know that specifically search using the keywords ‘Wow Beautiful Watch’? Very, very few I would imagine!

But how many sellers still use words like this in their listing titles? Many – here’s an example – not surprisingly with no bids:

So what’s wrong with the title? Well firstly there is no need for 5 exclamation marks after the word ‘Bargain’. What a waste of characters. Funnily enough there is actually no need for the word ‘Bargain’ either. Very few people will actually type the word ‘Bargain’ in to a search. And there on the end is that horrible little culprit – ‘L@@K’. Absolutely pointless.

So in actual fact, the only two words in this title that are of any use are ‘Gents Watch’ which, granted, may be a search term that people will use, however all we know from this is that it’s a Gents Watch. It doesn’t tell us anything except that.

What about the make or brand? What about the size? Is the strap leather? Is it new or used? These are all things that people input in to a search and so this seller is missing out on page views simply because of the lack of information in the title, meaning no results in the best match search.

If you use irrelevant keywords like these, your products will not show in the search results because quite simply your keywords will not match the search criteria.  If your listings are not showing, no-one will view and if no-one views you won’t make any sales. If you don’t make any sales you will slide further and further down the search. That’s the bottom line.

This is why you must think carefully about the keywords your potential buyers will search for so that you can tailor your listing titles to reflect exactly what the buyers want.

As I have said previously, you only have 80 characters to work with in your listing title so don’t waste them.

  • Think about the words that you would type in to the search box if you were looking for your own product.
  • Look for products that are similar to yours that appear on search page one and take note of the keywords in use then incorporate them in to your own title but don’t copy them exactly as this is just not good practice!
  • Look at everything through the buyer’s eyes and this will give you a good idea of the kind of words you should be targeting to ensure your listings are found.

Let me just show you an example of this. Imagine I am an eBay buyer and I have decided that I want a Lacoste watch with a brown leather strap. So off I go to the search and I type in ‘Lacoste Ladies Watch Brown Leather’ because this is what I want to buy. You can see my search below.

At the top are the keywords I typed in and as you can see, the search returned just one result.

But that one result is exactly what I want!

The seller has used all the keywords that I typed in to the search box to advertise the watch she is selling and her title keywords are spot on!

Odds are that I’ll probably bid on this watch because it is exactly what I am looking for. So by selecting the correct detailed keywords, this seller has put her item directly in front of me at a time when I am looking for this exact item.

How can I not bid! She has probably got a sale.

Now, if this seller had been sloppy and had just used the keywords ‘Lacoste Watch’ then I would have had to scroll through pages and pages to find the same listing, passing several other brown ladies Lacoste watches on the way which may have caught my eye! Look, I’ll show you:

The first one has no mention of the colour and the word ‘Genuine’ is used twice!

Here’s another – no mention of the colour again and missing the word ‘leather’ so it didn’t show in my original search.

These two sellers did not get their products put in front of me when I did my search. Now, if I happen to be an eBay buyer who can be bothered to do a second search with some different keywords then I might find these two, but actually I’m quite a lazy eBay buyer so I’ll just stick with what was presented to me in my first search because as I’ve said – it’s exactly what I was searching for.

I do hope that this real example shows you just how important your title keywords are.


  • Think like your buyer – what will they search for?
  • Don’t use irrelevant words that mean nothing (that includes ‘and’, ‘the’ and ‘with’ by the way).
  • Research other top seller’s keywords and use them in your titles but don’t copy them exactly.
  • Use all 80 title characters to your best advantage.
  • Include important details – colour / size / brand / new etc

Do this correctly and your listings will actually appear in the search results which is your first battle accomplished.