The #1 asset for any online business is traffic. Without having visitors on your website no sales you can make. However, establishing a sustainable flow of web traffic takes time.
A lot of times we create great content then we must wait for Google many months before seeing any significant amount of traffic.
People are in nature are impatient creatures. We want things to happen today and now! Hence, we are looking for alternative sources that can bring traffic to our sites.
Traffic from posting classified ads websites online appears to be a faster alternative than organic traffic from SEO.
What Are Classified Ads?
Classified ads are generally short advertisements in newspapers, magazines and online ad sites. Similar ads are grouped under the same category. That is why they are called classifieds. They are most widely used to advertise vacancies, garage sales, rental apartments, etc.
What we are focusing today are the websites people can post their ads rather than a physical newspaper or magazine.
Does posting classified ads websites work to bring traffic to your website?
The short answer to this question is yes. But this shouldn’t be the question one is asking.
Is posting on classified ads sites worth your time?
Absolutely not. I will explain why you shouldn’t waste your time and potentially your money to post ads on these websites.
Let’s reverse engineer it to see why it doesn’t work. I want you to answer a simple question.
When was the last time you have Googled a product or service, and Google showed you a classified ad website as a result?
It really doesn’t happen. If you search for a product you are shown either a review site or an online store like Amazon.
Again, if you are searching for a service, Google prefers sending you to a website of an actual business rather than an advertising website.
Google emphasizes the importance of E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) more often than not. It doesn’t want to serve search results that are offering services by a group of unknown people.
Let’s assume you are Googling a web designer for a new website you want to build. Google wants to show you a reliable source with expertise in the area.
What results Google prefers listing for you?
A legitimate webdesign company in your area with an actual phone number, physical address and possibly with good online reputation.
Google doesn’t want to show you a website that lists freelance web designers, very likely located overseas with unproven experience and untested reliability.
Also, classified ads websites mostly have thin content which is no more than 150 words on their pages makes them anyway not a good candidate to get organic traffic from the search engines.
What do we know so far?
Classified ads tend to receive a negligible amount of organic traffic from search engines.
Classified Ad Sites Remove Old Ads
Let’s say you have posted your ad on classified websites. How long your ad will be on their site? Generally, most classified ad sites remove old ads from their index in 3 months or less.
It means for you, even you may have the chance your ad ranks on Google after a certain time, the website will delete your ad since it became old.
Referral Traffic From Classified Ads Websites
Classified Ad sites can bring referral traffic to your site. It is important to post ads on the reputable ones that have traffic on them.
Probably the most popular ads website is Craigslist.
According to Alexa, It is ranked as the #131st most popular website globally, and #31st the most visited website in the US today.
However, if something is good naturally many people will try to take advantage of it. Craigslist has made fundamental changes with its rules to post ads on them. It is harder than ever if you plan to post ads on a regular basis.
If you are outside of the US, you will need US proxies, US phone numbers, etc. Even then posting ads especially by including links is hard to do consistently.
Many times ads are flagged by the others or Craigslist’s algorithm even your ad is totally in accordance with their terms of services.
If you have a budget and you can find a reputable company post ads for you on Craigslist, then go ahead and do it. Keep in mind most of the ads posted will anyway get flagged and removed.
If you agreed with a company to post ads for you on Craigslist, ask for an at least east 24-hours guarantee that your ads will stay live. What it means, if your ads are flagged and removed, they post the same ad once again without charging you anything.
Fiverr Gigs To Post Ads On Classified Ads Websites
Stay away from the Fiverr gigs that promise you posting your ads to classified ads websites for $5 only.
They use software to post your ads to the sites that have no traffic on them. I have tested these gigs multiple times from different sellers and generated zero traffic, let alone conversions or sales.
If it was making money, they wouldn’t sell you for $5, but instead, they could make money for themselves with their push-button solution. They could make a landing page with affiliate links and blast 100,000 ads on these websites to make millions of dollars.
The fact is they still need your $5.
What you are paying for buying these gigs?
They usually have certain software running to post ads on the websites. Ads posted usually on orphan pages that not linked from any other section of the ads website. These pages generally not indexed and cannot be found by search engines.
What are the better alternatives to Classified Ads?
If you have time and/or money always invest in creating fresh content. Although it brings slower returns than other alternatives, it is the most sustainable way of growth for any business.
Create great content that is authentic, and useful for the readers. If you outsource your content make sure your writers do a good job.
Try posting on forums and Q&A websites like Quora. If you don’t have time to do it, you can outsource it to someone else. Your links on these sites will generate traffic for you almost forever. Also backlinks you get from these sites will help to improve the authority of your website.
However, if you still want to generate instant traffic try advertising. Use only proven to work traffic sources such as Google and Facebook ads. By doing so, you can be sure each cent you paid is spent on advertising but not for something else.
If you advertise a new campaign, you will very likely lose money or break even if you are lucky. Because you don’t know your numbers yet. Don’t scale your ad campaigns too early.
I have visited Quora today and checked what are other people’s experience with posting ads on classified websites. The results are terrifying.
Almost everyone is endorsing it as a reliable way of generating traffic. However, if you read people’s responses they almost every time pitch you a link in the end, either trying to sell their ads posting services or ads posting software.
Is there any chance of driving traffic from classified ads sites?
Yes, you may get lucky and drive traffic to your website. However, I am planning to invest neither my time nor money to post ads on classified ads sites. Because I believe there are better options mentioned above worth my energy.
If you are still not convinced you can experience yourself by spending your time or money on it.
Here are some of my tips I believe would help you posting your ads.
🍏 Tips To Post Classified Ads
Filter your results for the amount of US traffic they receive. US traffic is by far the best-converting traffic. If you want to know how to receive US traffic on your website I would recommend checking out my post about how to get US traffic on your website.
Write compelling ad copies since you want people to click your link and visit your website. If you are serious about posting ads on these sites regularly, you should definitely use A/B testing to understand which ad copy performs the best.
Include your keyword in the title and body of ad text. People make searches with your keywords should be able to find you easily.
Provide a genuine description of the product or service rather than writing a clickbait ad.
Use enticing directives for people to take the action you want. Don’t just drop your link but rather make an irresistible invitation that difficult to refuse for them.
Use images if allowed in the platform to enrich the visual quality of your ads.
Choose the most appropriate category and subcategory related to your niche.
Post your ads on big cities like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, and Phoneix that may expose your ad to a larger audience.
Revise or resubmit your ads frequently prevent them from aging in the platform. This will also help your ad move to a higher position since you republished your old ads.
Consider paid ads sections if there are better chances for you to get targeted traffic. Most people will prefer to post free sections only on these websites. That is totally fine if it works for you.
However, there is a reason certain sections require you to make a payment to post in there. Because it generally works better. For instance, the juiciest categories on Craigslist are paid sections.
Requiring payment to be done will filter many people trying to spam in these categories, which in return increases the effectiveness of your ads.
Never set an expiry date for your ads if it is given as an option. There is no merit deleting your ads if it can work for you as much as possible.