Craigslist is extremely easy to advertise on and best of all IT IS FREE! (with the exception of select few industries.)
To make a post on craigslist, simply visit www.craigslist.com and select the area (city/state) that you would be interested in advertising in. Once an area is selected you will be brought into the classifieds section. IN THE TOP RIGHT CORNER you will see a link that says "post", click on that to create a post.
You will now have to select what category you would like your post to be in. (keep in mind, some categories may require you to create an account and verify that account via telephone - automated call with a verification code).
you are now ready to begin creating your post: This part is pretty self explanatory, you enter in the title (catch phrase - This is what people see when browsing through the classifieds so make it appealing). You then enter in your location (usually city/state), and write your advertisement/content in the main section below that.
Craigslist does not work like a search engine so there is no way to "optimize" your way to the top however, there are some things you can do to maximize the results you see from using craigslist as a venue for advertisement...
ADVANCED POSTING TIPS:
The main body section of the craigslist post DOES support HTML code. (dont get scared away, its not hard). This means that you can use the standard Bold, Underline and Italic codes as well as more advanced HTML codes. Below I will show an example of how to do this.
BOLD: to make your text bold when entering it into the craigslsit post all you have to do is simply place <b> before your text and </b> after your text selection... that text selection will now be bold.
for example: If you were to enter "The dog is <b>blue</b>." into the main body of the post, it would look like this: The dog is Blue.
UNDERLINE: Underline is the exact same concept as the above mentioned "Bold" tactic, except instead of typing <b>example</b>, you would type <u>example</u>. Are you starting to see the pattern here?
ITALIC: you guessed it! The code for italic would be <i>example</i>
<b>example</b> = example
<u>example</u> = example
<i>example</i> = example
You can use these methods to spice up your post and make it look appealing as well as make certain words stand out!
Headers are one of the most important parts of your craigslist post for a few reasons. (1) Headers are large/bold text that appears at the top of the post and catches peoples eye almost instantly when they view your post and (2) Search Engines can browse your headers for SERPS (more on this below)
how to add headers to your post:
There are a few types of headers, there is the <h1>, <h2>, <h3>, <h4> etc,... we will focus on just the <h1> header for now.
headers should be at the top of the post and used to catch your viewers eyes as soon as they visit your post. Creating headers is similar to making your text bold, underline or italic; except you use the <h1></h1> tags instead.
FOR EXAMPLE: lets say you are advertising a fence company on craigslist. Your header should look something like "<h1>FREE ESTIMATES and SPECIAL WINTER PRICES...CALL NOW 800-888-8888</h1>". Doing this will cause your header text to become bold and fairly large not to mention the search engine benefits that come along with it (more on that below)
ADDING PHOTOS TO YOUR POST:
Try to add a NEAT/CLEAN photo in your post of the product you are offering. This gives the viewer a sense of ownership, they see it and they want it. Do not overdue the photos.
HOW TO OPTIMIZE A CRAIGSLIST POST FOR SEARCH ENGINES:
MAKE A KEYWORD LIST:
When people search for items on craigslist it searches for keywords within peoples posts to verify if that post is viable or not for that viewer/searcher.
To increase the chances of your post being found within craigslist, simply add a list of keywords at the bottom of your post. (keywords should be what you think people would type in if they were to search for your product). Below I will use the fence company for example again.
If I were to add a list of keywords for my fence company post, I would probably type the following at the bottom of my post:
"KEYWORDS: fence company, fence contractor, fence installation, chain link fence, vinyl fence, wood fence, privacy fence, fencing, etc..."
The reason for this is because if anyone were to type one of those words into the craigslist search bar, my post would show up! Try to add as many keywords as possible as it will increase the chances of your post being found; HOWEVER, be respectful and do not add keywords like "work truck" if you are selling coffee cups.
CREATE RICH CONTENT:
Make sure the content in your post is very helpful and full of keywords that are consistent with your product or services. This will give the search engines something to get excited about when a search comes through their engines. for example: not only can you get found from craigslist members entering "coffee cups" but also from people using google and typing in coffee cups.
OPTIMIZE YOUR HEADER:
Remember the header that we created from above? We want to make sure that the header contains one or two of our main keywords that are in the content of our post. The <h1>header</h1> is the first thing that search engines are going to look at when it finds your post relevant to a certain keyword search so make sure it has your 2 best keywords in it.
I hope these tips will allow you to increase your sales by using craigslist. It is a great venue for companies to receive free advertisement that is viewed by millions of people. Keep in mind that you will need to "re-post" your posts every few days because you will move down that latter and want to bring yourself back to the top. (make sure you save your post in notepad or microsoft word so you dont have to type it all again.)
You are now ready to start utilizing Craigslist as an efficient, effective, and FREE marketing tool for your business that will expose you to a fortune of consumers that are local and searching for your services!