List Rank Sell’s exhaustive five-phase SEO process for the professional eBay business.


We offer four expert hands-on eBay SEO services — direct-to-listing and store optimization for serious small to large-sized business sellers — organized according to budget.

Our proprietary, five-phase process consistently yields unparalleled client results.

We highly recommend ecommerce retailers read this entire document prior to investing in hands-on services.

Once they have done so, we encourage potential clients to contact us with specific questions.


Optimization benefits

We take the subject of eBay SEO most seriously and seek to serve our clients with utmost professionalism.

All List Rank Sell hands-on optimization clients obtain multiple advantages over their competitors, including:

  • Maximum listing visibility.  We emphasize all aspects of SEO as it pertains to eBay stores and listings, including on-page keyword optimization and complete structured data compliance.
  • Reduced listing displacement.  Although it is impossible to avoid all instances of a listing’s tendency to disappear from eBay search, our approach greatly reduces the effects of this sitewide issue.
  • Algorithmically-selected keywords.  One of the most popular benefits our hands-on clients enjoy is fully optimized listing titles using the List Rank Sell algorithmSM — our proprietary method that literally determines, all else being equal, which keyword phrase will most likely result in a higher-ranked listing on eBay.
  • Paid ads that actually work.  Our expertise in the area of paid marketing is specific to eBay’s pay-per-sale and per-per-click ad platform known as Promoted Listings. We have found eBay’s suggested keywords and related strategies to be both expensive and ineffective, and our process addresses each of these problems directly.


Optimization process

As we enter the period of optimization, our goal is to keep the approach simple and straightforward.

In that spirit, we encourage our clients to anticipate the following stages during the five-phase optimization process:


Phase 1:  First 20 hours of dedicated time

Regardless of service level (Premium, Plus, Standard, or Basic), the first 15 to 20 hours of dedicated time will be spent on the following tasks:

  • Review of client’s Condition Sales Rate (CSR), which determines how likely a product will sell based on its condition.
  • Review of client’s Demand Sales Rate (DSR), which determines how likely a product will sell based on its demand.
  • Review of client’s product line, including entity recognition and structured data evaluation.
  • Research and analysis of initial keyword data specific to client’s best-selling product category.
  • Analysis of additional product ideas for client based on eBay search data.
  • Review of client’s eBay policy and best practice compliance (critical to the effectiveness of eBay SEO).
  • Review of client’s year-over-year sales trends (essential for measuring performance correctly).
  • Exploration of whether client should utilize Promoted Listings Standard and/or Advanced ads.
  • Working out of optimization issues with third-party software, when applicable.
  • Provision of link to our time-tracking work diary, enabling complete transparency into work completed.
  • Substantial communication time, including written and/or oral dialogue specific to the steps of Phase 1.


Phase 2:  Next 20 hours of dedicated time

  • Receipt of completed Clarification Questionnaire from client (obtains and clarifies final product and listing details).
  • Submission of eBay Store Overview private YouTube video (provides analysis and gameplan for moving forward).
  • Provision of eBay Action Items document, detailing specific steps to be taken by both List Rank Sell and client.
  • Creation or updating of initial Promoted Listings ads, including pay-per-sale and — in some cases — pay-per-click.
  • Completion of first set of optimized listings.
  • The first Weekly Optimization Report (Excel format) of fully optimized listings and associated recommendations.


Phase 3:  Additional 80 hours of dedicated time

  • The first measurable results (on average, eBay SEO takes 100 dedicated hours of actual optimization time to start producing results).
  • The first Quarterly Performance Report (PDF format), detailing total sales and engagement metrics for the period.
  • An eventual slowdown in the need for daily communication, usually starting by 60 hours into the project.


Phase 4:  Ongoing dedicated optimization

  • Weekly Optimization Reports, provided at the end of each week.
  • Quarterly Performance Reports, provided at the end of every 90-day period.
  • Friendly, written responses to all inquiries within one business day.


Phase 5:  Post-optimization period

  • All post-optimization steps are performed at no cost to client.
  • Concluding review of performance metrics at 90 days from end of project.
  • Final Quarterly Performance Report provided at time of performance review.
  • Slack private message room maintained for client use until 180 days from end of project.


Optimization features

SEO on eBay targets the organic traffic needs of the individual listing, with an eye to maximum return on investment.

Correspondingly, we want to ensure our clients understand what is involved (and what is not involved) in the practice.


Included in hands-on eBay SEO

  • Analysis of client’s eBay product market, policy compliance, and past performance trends.
  • Fully researched eBay search terms for main and lesser product categories.
  • Updated back-end category for each eBay listing, when applicable.
  • Updates to resultant item specifics fields for each eBay listing.
  • Multiple statistically ranked keyword lists, based on the List Rank Sell algorithmSM.
  • Rewritten titles for each eBay listing, based on algorithmically derived keywords.
  • SEO updates to eBay “About Us” statement and profile page description.
  • Setup and initial maintenance of Promoted Listings Standard ad campaign.


Not included in hands-on eBay SEO

  • Storefront design, custom pages, or HTML templates for listing item descriptions.
  • Rewritten or amended item descriptions.
  • Promotion of listings other than through Promoted Listings ad campaigns.
  • Changes to listing photos, pricing, duration, format, or policies.
  • Account management or customer service.
  • Anything else not specifically described under, “Included in hands-on eBay SEO.”


Optimization hours

Each month’s dedicated hours are focused squarely on the specific needs of the individual client and may vary week to week, depending on the requirements of the current work.

Hours include eBay market and keyword research, data analysis, direct-to-listing adjustments, and communication time.

However, regardless of their nature, the total number of dedicated hours for each monthly period is always guaranteed.

  • Hands-on Premium (40 monthly hours)
  • Hands-on Plus (28 monthly hours)
  • Hands-on Standard (20 monthly hours)
  • Hands-on Basic (12 monthly hours)

To maintain the integrity of the process, all optimization hours are verified by the use of specialized software.

Clients may review at their convenience the total time spent and when, see the specific nature of the work completed, and even view random screenshots taken by the tracking software.


Optimization costs

Important Note:  Depending on margins, hands-on optimization pays for itself on a per-listing basis in as little as one sale.

When determining the effective cost of hands-on optimization, the most important statistic is the Cost Per Listing (CPL).

The CPL measures the relationship between (1) the total cost associated with the current agreement (all months to date) and (2) the total number of listings fully optimized during the same period.

Our current average CPL is USD 27.85.

Besides the complexity of the product listings themselves, the CPL will vary depending on multiple other factors.

These include any “black hat” techniques previously employed that must be corrected, the depth of keyword research and analysis required, and potential conflicts associated with the use of third-party listing software.

Finally, the length of the client relationship also impacts CPL — generally lowering it over time.

Our total monthly fees for hands-on optimization are based on the number of dedicated hours specified by the service level and are broken down as follows:

  • Hands-on Premium (USD 3,219 per month)
  • Hands-on Plus (USD 2,262 per month)
  • Hands-on Standard (USD 1,653 per month)
  • Hands-on Basic (USD 1,044 per month)

The above fees (except Basic level) include a built-in discount of up to three free dedicated hours each month.

Important:  It is not recommended for sellers with low profit margins and/or poor sales velocity to invest in hands-on optimization.  It is the responsibility of each client to determine these factors and decide if the cost of hands-on services falls within their budget.


Optimization results

Our successful hands-on campaigns reflect increases relative to the following performance metrics:

  • Impressions: The number of times eBay presents the client’s product listing in search results.
  • Listing Views: The number of times a human actually sees the client’s listing in eBay search results.
  • Sales Conversion Rate (SCR): The number of times, out of 100 clicks, a buyer makes a purchase from the client’s listing.
  • Transactions: The total number of times the client’s listing produces a buyer purchase event.
  • Total Sales: The total amount of gross revenue generated by the client’s listing.

Note:  Unlike the other performance metrics, the Click-Through Rate (CTR) — which measures the number of times, out of 100 views, a buyer clicks on the client’s listing — tends to remain static or may even decrease.

The actual numbers associated with these metrics vary client to client and are dependent on many factors.

For example, the client’s year-over-year sales trends, product market conditions specific to eBay, and overall best practice observance each have a material impact on the success of any eBay SEO campaign.

Nevertheless, most hands-on clients experience incremental sales increases over time.  Sometimes they are significant.

But it must be stressed that search engine optimization does not always produce the desired result.  There are no guarantees associated with SEO, let alone SEO on eBay.

For this reason, we require clients meet certain conditions in order to minimize risk.


Prerequisites to qualify

There are multiple requirements clients must meet in order to obtain hands-on optimization services from List Rank Sell.

They are the following:

  • Minimum of 200 existing eBay store listings.
  • All store listings must be multi-quantity and in new condition (with specific exceptions).
  • All store listings must either represent a single brand or be of a similar product category.
  • A written commitment to become fully eBay policy compliant by the end of the first month.
  • Condition Sales Rate must favor products in new condition.
  • Demand Sales Rate must indicate product market on eBay is MODERATE or greater.


Client recommendations

The effectiveness of eBay SEO is directly affected by seller best practice.

Accordingly, we highly recommend the following list to all hands-on clients:

  • Responsive HTML5 template.
  • Description with bullet points and professional copywriting.
  • Professional photos.
  • Competitive, relevant pricing.
  • Free shipping (for markets in which buyers expect it).
  • Multiple shipping methods.
  • 60-day return policy (free to buyers when applicable).
  • Top Rated Seller status.