Friday, January 13, 2012
Grabbing Buyers From Reviews & Guides
One of the lessons that eBay has learned in recent years is that content is king. To be honest, until recently even eBay themselves admitted that the site lacked content. In other words, the site did not have much in the way of useful information; it was purely a place to buy products or services.
Some of the most recent developments to encourage user-provided content were: eBay Wiki, eBay Reviews and Guides and eBay Blogs. By eBay's own admission the aim of these sections is to build valuable content that will encourage users to come back to the site more frequently, as well as to influence the search engines in a positive way to increase the visibility of the site overall.
These features have been largely ignored by most eBay users, but they present a powerful opportunity for the switched on seller (that's you). How so? In return for providing content to these sections of the site, eBay promises a nice payback. It's a ‘you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours' kind of arrangement.
The opportunity that exists in eBay Reviews and Guides is great because it's a flexible and open format.
According to eBay's own definition, Reviews and Guides (which are actually independent sections of the site in their own right) were provided as a way for users to research suitable products and benefit from the wisdom of eBay members that have experience in a particular product category, either as a seller or as a user. ‘Reviews' contains comments and ratings about all kinds of commonly sold items on eBay.
Note that eBay limits reviews to specific types of products that they list. ‘Guides' are short articles or reports that contain information and opinions about almost any topic you can think of.
There are two key ways to benefit from these sections of eBay:
1.Use the free information as a research resource for creating your own information products.
2.Write informative and useful information about the niche that you sell in, and then promote your own products.
The first point should be self-evident. Reviews and Guides is a rapidly growing information resource that's available for free, so it's a great tool for research when creating information based products.
The second area is a little more complex, but don't be put off, because it represents an outstanding way to generate interest in your eBay listings, for free. Here are some of the ways you can use Reviews and Guides:
1. Have a friend or relative post an objective review of your product. Make sure it's realistic and credible, and be sure to include details of what makes your product superior to the competition.
2. Write a Top 10 products review for your industry (guess which is No.1?)
3.Write a ‘white paper' report about a product that you sell.
4. Write a guide that explains how to use your product.
5. Write a guide that explains unusual uses for your product.
6. Write a guide that explains the pitfalls to look out for in hiring a service you offer.
7. Write a guide that gives tips and advice within some aspect of the niche that you sell in.
8. Write a guide that explains how to replace or repair a product.
Be as creative as you like, and remember that you can include pictures, photos, illustrations, basic formatting, and eBay links to specific products or eBay searches. If you do use any kind of photo or drawing, make sure it closely relates to the content and that it enhances rather than detracts from the text (that's a common mistake).
Also, in preparing your writing, ask yourself what people would be most interested in reading about. After all, you want to attract as many readers as possible. As with any copywriting, the headline (and title) that you select are the most important aspects to consider in drawing readers in.
Obviously, don't stop after producing your first one, aim to produce a steady stream of reviews and guides to increase your presence and influence on eBay (and the search engines that love this type of solid content). Set a goal of producing at least one review and one guide each week. If you can do more, even better.
Both reviews and guides can be voted on by readers, so make sure you keep an eye on that, as you want to maintain a favorable impression.
Please read and re-read the following information so that you fully grasp it. The two most important aspects of writing an eBay Guide are the links and the tags. Links are clickable text that will redirect the user automatically to another page within eBay. There are two types of links available to you – links to specific product pages, and links to eBay searches. I recommend that you use the latter because product pages will change from time to time, whereas searches will always be valid.
When you create a guide, eBay will help you create a search link by prompting you to enter relevant words to search for. This is much easier to do than it sounds.
For example, if you are in a niche selling guitar accessories, you would include words like guitar pedal, guitar stand, guitar amp, guitar strings, and so on. In identifying the most suitable words and phrases (tags), ask yourself, “If I was to search for this type of article, what search words would I enter?”Now, this is the clever part. If you give this some thought, it's possible to create a search term that's so specific that it only brings up your items in the results page!
For example, going back to the example of selling guitar accessories, if your store name was ‘ABC Guitar Accessories' and your listings had the word ‘ABC' in them, your search terms would be ABC guitar pedal, ABC guitar stand, ABC guitar amp and so on. Again, the aim is to create search terms that are so specific that your listings are the only ones that match, so they are the ones that are displayed.
This is a very powerful tool because you are now able to influence readers of your guides to visit your listings, and yours alone. Since you've just provided them with useful information in your guide, it makes sense that you are starting to build a rapport with them, and they are far more likely to buy from you than another seller as a result. It's simple human nature at work.
The other element of an eBay Guide to give attention to are the tags.
The word ‘tags' is simply ‘eBay speak' for keywords. Keywords are words or phrases that eBay prompts you to enter when you create your guide, to help others locate the guide in the future. It's the search terms that will cause your guide to be found, so you can see how important they are.
As an example, if your guide was ‘Tips for Planning the Perfect Hawaii Vacation', your keywords would likely include:
There's a balance to be had in how specific your keywords are because you are only allowed to submit a maximum of four. For example, if you used the keyword expression ‘Hawaii surfing vacation' you would lose out on a lot of other more general searches.
Finally, as you might imagine, it's easy to spend hours in these areas of the site, so be careful not to fall into that trap. Use these features as tools to increase your presence on eBay, but don't get bogged down with them.