5 eBay Keywords Title Mistakes You Must Avoid at All Costs

While conducting research for a recent blog post, I stumbled upon many outdated / wrong, yet highly ranked guides for writing “the perfect” eBay keywords for eBay titles.
eBay is evolving and moving forward, and so should the sellers. In this post, I’m going to cover the worst mistakes you can make when writing an eBay title.

5. Adding non highly relevant eBay keywords

More does not always mean better. In fact, adding more keywords is very likely to actually drive both your exposure and sales – down!

Here’s why –
eBay’s search algorithm “Cassini” uses several key metrics to determine a listing’s position in the search results.
One of the key metrics is – “Click through rate”

Click through rate
 – the number of clicks (on an eBay search result) divided by the number of impressions (the number of times a listing appeared in search results). A higher click through rate (CTR) is better, meaning members were more likely to click on your item when they saw it in a search.

I’ve already written a detailed guide about this, you’re welcome to read it for more insights –

eBay Title Builder: The Definitive Guide To Writing High-Converting Listing Titles

Adding non highly relevant keywords to your title will increase the IMPRESSIONS of your listings (as they will be seen by more people).
However, doing that will also lower your “click through” rate – as your listing will not be relevant to these search queries.

An example – Say you’re selling a pair of unbranded jeans and you want to increase your exposure by adding “Levi’s style Jeans” – Many people will see your listing in their search results, but those people are actually searching for “Levi’s jeans” – not an unbranded pair. That’s why they are highly unlikely to click on your listing.

4. Writing titles for search engines not for humans

eBay’s (outdated!) advice:

  • Don’t worry about creating a grammatically correct sentence.


Dan Fain, Vice President of Search Technology at eBay suggests:

“write titles and design eBay listings for users, not for search engines.”
Starting from minute 7:30  – click here for the interview

Note that he mentions 2 aspects:

  1. Write titles for humans, ones that are easy and convenient to read and understand.
  2. Design eBay listings for humans!

There are false rumors that Cassini is struggling to read HTML descriptions. This might have been the case with the old search algorithms more than 10 years ago, but every modern search engine can easily cope with any amount of HTML in your listings. Make sure your listings are professionally designed and are able to push customers to buy! You can use CrazyLister for that.

3. Using (long dead) abbreviations and acronyms

Some guides suggest using common eBay abbreviations in titles such as NIB,
Pop quiz – Do you know what NIB stand for?

bad eBay keywords

bad eBay keywords – what’s NIB?

If you’re an eBay dinosaur, you might remember that it stands for “New in box”.
However, eBay is far from being the only, or even main, eCommerce platform. There are tons of platforms and sites and the site-specific acronyms are not relevant anymore as nobody uses them!

Take a look –

understanding eBay keywords

understanding eBay keywords

This eBay user thinks it stands for “Not in box”!

2. Misspelling

ebay keywords misspelled

title keywords misspelled

There are entire websites dedicated to taking advantage of spelling errors – http://www.auctionmisspellings.co.uk/

A misspelled eBay title will likely kill the traffic to your listing, as well as make you a target for the “misspelling” hunters – especially if you’re running auctions!

1. Don’t shout at your customers with ALL CAPS!

all caps ebay title keywords

all caps eBay title keywords

The new generation is creating new rules for text and language – texting is developing. Take LOL for example.



I guess you get the point 🙂
Don’t use all caps in your eBay titles – it does draw attention, but it also drives the clicks away as it screams – I’M DESPERATE / I’M A SCAMMER / I’M HAVING A BREAKDOWN!

If you’re currently making any of the above mistakes – correct your eBay title and measure the effect it has on your sales.
To find out how to write the best eBay titles check out our definitive guide to the best eBay title builder.

Over time, eBay’s Cassini will favor your listings and you’ll get more exposure, more clicks and more sales!
Remember that your eBay keywords strategy is just one element to increase sales, it’s part of an entire optimization approach which includes creating beautiful listing designs (beautiful may not be the right word as you want them to be high-converting), and working on your listings rankings by optimizing eBay SEO best practices.

Here’s a quick tip for creating the perfect eBay titles from our own eBay Doctor educational series:

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