Guest Post: Stretching the Reach of eBay Motors

You don’t necessarily have to sell cars, vans or bikes to do well on the Motors, Parts & Accessories category of the eBay Partner Network. On the contrary, the Parts & Accessories area of the site could see you driving considerable traffic to eBay - and being rewarded as a result!

In what follows, we are going to look at how you can make Motors, Parts & Accessories work for you. For illustrative purposes, we’ll use a fictitious, niche website, so you can appreciate the myriad of opportunities that are open to even a very specific publisher. Let’s take ILoveMyBeetle.com - a site for owners, drivers and enthusiasts of the iconic Volkswagen Beetle - as the subject of this brief working example. The site contains a blog, a forum, a “through the years” section and a collection of reviews.

Breaking it Down

  • A blog is arguably the most flexible form of web content, with which you can tap into numerous streams of qualified traffic. In the case of ILoveMyBeetle.com, you could be writing about a vehicle, a security device, seat covers, replacement trim and parts, or even a particularly controversial bumper sticker. Obviously, the less niche the subject of your blog (e.g. a post comparing the extra value added to the “2012” Beetle, in terms of refinements and dashboard upgrades) the more traffic you are likely to drive to eBay. However, with incremental value in mind, you are more likely to drive converting traffic from a blog whose topic is more specific (e.g. a look at an aftermarket sound system, which integrates neatly with the Beetle’s interior).

  • The Forum is where you are most likely to do the majority of your advertising for parts and accessories. A dominant topic in forum posts is car repair, with an increasing emphasis on diagnosis and even repair at home. Profit on the credit-crunching inclination to retain and maintain a vehicle for longer, by offering insightful “how to” content, before linking to the component parts necessary to remedy a problem. As such, you could be linking to product listings for tires, brake pads, lock barrels, engine parts… the list is very nearly endless.

  • In this particular example, the “through the years” section would focus on the evolution of the Beetle, from the original to the forthcoming mark III of the renaissance model. This would be a prime place to casually link to supplies of or novelty accessories to customise your user’s pride and joy—which would certainly resonate on a website with an enthusiast following. The most noteworthy “add on” during a recent browse of eBay’s parts and accessories would have to be a pair of eyelashes for your headlights. Yes, that’s right, eyelashes. And they are modeled on a Beetle, which pulls them off beautifully.
  • Should your website attract the potential big spenders - i.e. those in the market for a new or used vehicle, a review section could be used to evaluate the Beetle, before directing your customer to a relevant make and model listing page on eBay.

Effective Linking

There are numerous ways in which you can direct your users to eBay and it’s up to you whether you use a single technique, several, or conduct a round of MV testing to gauge which type of link proves to be effective. The following are three really good ways that ILoveMyBeetle.com, and, indeed, any eBay focussed website, could capitalize on its readership:

Text Links: If you’re already talking about eBay without linking to them, then you are missing out on an effortless opportunity to earn yourself some money. Not sure how to turn your references and existing links into affiliate links? There are services and plug-ins out there that can do this for you, without any direct cost to you. All of those references to vehicles, parts and accessories could then be deeplinked to the relevant product page on eBay. In this way, ILoveMyBeetle.com would provide an onward user experience that is as good as that offered by its own website. This, in turn, will encourage conversion. Alternatively, the affiliate linking process can be done yourself, if you prefer.

Product Listings: Depending on the volume of your traffic, there are a number of ways in which you can reflect listings on eBay. These can be targeted to the content on your site, and can be updated regularly in line with the constant change in eBay stock. The advantage of this type of integration is the branding that accompanies it. To that end, you have the brand familiarity of eBay to substantiate your listings. You can list products in the following ways:

  • Custom Banner: displays real-time eBay listings. This is ideal for a search facility within your own website. You can design your own or choose from templates.
  • API (Application Programming Interface): allows you to access eBay’s database, if a user wishes to search for one or several products at a time and view those products in detail.
  • RSS Feed: if you don’t have the programming knowledge or the need for a medium-scale API operation, a simple RSS feed can provide a certain level of detail about eBay listings, without having to communicate with the eBay site in question.
  • Product Feed: this is ideal if, conversely, your requirements exceed the daily allowance for API calls i.e. if you have a large number of users making a large number of requests. Using this function, you will be able to download and cache a large amount of eBay data.

Banner: This most basic way of linking to eBay should not be overlooked, as it provides excellent branding and can complement text links effectively. The product listing integrations currently offered are forms of banners in themselves. Banners can be pre-made, through the creative generator. This will provide you with a code for the creative of your choice, which can then be pasted into your site. Furthermore, you can geo-target your creative, in order that your users are directed to their local eBay site.

The Final Word

In order to be successful in partnership with eBay Motors, Parts & Accessories, you can very effectively focus your attention on driving your customers to purchase the parts and accessories that they need in order to maintain and enhance their current vehicle. The beauty of this partnership is that you can achieve successful ad and link integrations no matter what your level of technical expertise.

This guest post was a contribution by Giovanni di Cosmo from our partner agency R.O.EYE.