Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Driving eBay Traffic with Link Tagging and Urchin Tracker Scripts in Google Analytics

This is an advanced tip that concerns Google Analytics and link tracking. If you don't know what those are, I'd suggest taking some time exploring Mark McLaren's site, McBuzz.com (you can ask him questions, too, of course). McBuzz has a good mix of resources concerning SEO, SEM and Google Analytics. He offers video tutorials, articles and so on.

Ok - so link tracking.. or more specifically, Urchin Tracker scripts for Google Analytics. First the why: As an eBay seller, you want to figure out exactly where your traffic is coming from and which links on your pages are getting clicked. You can do these kinds of things with regular Web pages and Google Analytics. This is especially useful in situations where you educate customers and prospects about your particular products and industry on a "normal"/outside-eBay Web site and then drive them to your listings in eBay.

There are several ways analyze traffic. This post covers just a couple (and links to an article that shows you exactly how). Google Analytics is very robust and does more than what's covered here. With GA, you can set up goal pages, track conversion success, and figure out exactly what's working on your sites.

Let's say you want to figure out who's clicking on what links in your site. Google Analytics works if you set up pages within your site as conversion goals/targets. However, if the links are external, you can't place the Urchin Tracker code into someone else's page. If that's something you'd like to track (which is often the case with eBay listings), then take a look at the following link for the solution. This is from Sulli's Google Analytics Tips and Tricks by SkiSulli. He shows you the right script to place into your pages and recommends some ways to set it up. As you'll see, he also shows you how to make this work for email or "mailto:" links. If you want to figure out how many people are clicking on your email address link (and when, how fast, etc), then this is a great solution.

You can then track all of this activity automatically from within Google Analytics. As you get a better sense for what's driving traffic to your listings, you can then tweak your pages to get better conversion rates and more business to your eBay listings and stores.

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Good eBay Marketing Starts with One Little Thing

This may seem like a strange thing to say - coming from a guy who wrote a book on eBay marketing, advertising and sales. Yet, I'm going to say it anyway.

1) Put down the eBay books and articles.

2) Open up TurboLister (or whatever other listing interface you use).

3) Start listing.

Do it.

All the preparation in the world can't make up for the things you learn and the skills you develop by doing.

If you can't think of anything specific to do right now, start with something small. Go through some of the previous posts here and pick *one* thing to do. Tweak a listing, write an AdWords ad, take a better photo... get that first thing off your list and then move on to the next. Do, do (dah, dah, dah).

I should add another entreaty: try it. Trying new things helps you grow, and you often stumble on better ways of "doing it." Discovery is serendipitous. Meander, test, think, re-jigger, and evaluate. This is the way to innovation and improvement.

Happy selling - and happy holidays to you, too!

Good things,



Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Simple, Timeless eBay Marketing Techniques

Whether you're writing for eBay listings or writing SEO copy for your Web site or writing SEM copy for a Google AdWords landing page, there are always some very simple, timeless things you need to do. Here they are in stripped down, bare bones bullets:

* Write strong headlines

* Describe benefits before features

* Use specific subheads

* Write about the reader (not about yourself or your company)

This is simple marketing copywriting 101, but sometimes we need to remind ourselves what the basic techniques are.

Strong headlines contain delicious offers, benefits and intrigue. Benefits sell the dream before the hardware that produces the dream (and the relationship between the two). Specific subheads are key because many readers scan the page and follow subhead stories before diving into specific sections of your body text. Finally, when you use the word "you" and talk directly to and about the reader, you make better connections and sell more effectively. Nobody wants to hear about the genius behind the product. They want to know how it's going to help them specifically.

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Monday, December 03, 2007

eBay Address and Billing Glitches

I recently received a question about eBay shipping charge and address glitches:

The ebay system seems to have a glitch in it. I had a buyer insist that the invoice did not show my mailing address. I checked all my settings and it should show up on every invoice. I figured she just made a mistake, but then I sent her an invoice and copy to myself and the address did not show. Also, I have sent invoices where the shipping charges changed on discounted shipping. Once again, I thought there was some error on the other person part, until I purchased multiple items from two different ebayers and found that once I clicked on Pay Now, the shipping charged either defaulted to the charge for one item or added all shipping charges w/o the discount. I ended in all cases having to pay thru Paypal directly instead of thru ebay.

Have you heard of this happening to other sellers?

The following link addresses the issue: http://www.auctionbytes.com/cab/abn/y07/m09/i11/s02

Apparently eBay and PayPal have fixed the issue. See: http://www.ebaychatter.com/the_chatter/2007/09/paypal-ship-to-.html

Does anyone else have experience with the shipping charge issue in the 2nd part of the question?