Is Classified Advertising worth the trouble?
Classified marketing has always been a cost effective method of promoting goods and services. This article covers the pros and cons of using classified marketing to promote online business. It also looks at the type of classified sites available and how they can be of benefit to those using them.
Online Classified Advertising is prolific throughout the internet. It isn't very hard to set up a classified site but are they worth using?
Like standard paper advertising it is about finding the right classified site to advertise with. All site proclaim to have the most comprehensive readership but there are few questions you should ask before you waste any of your precious time.
1. Is the site free? If it is free are there options to promote your classified for a fee?
2. How many classifieds are currently listed in your desired category?
3. Where are the classified targeting?
4. Do the classifieds have individual counters?
5. Do you have to put banners on your site or other reciprocal links to have your classified listed?
6. Will my classified be listed in the search engines or other reciprocal classified sites?
Lets look at each question one at a time.
1. Free sites can be very good but it does depend on the readership and the promotion of the sites. Consider how you came across the site and what the ads are that are listed therein. If you think that the site may be worthwhile put your classified in and see how it goes. Some of the free sites allow for you to pay to have your listing promoted at the top of the category. Depending on your finances and how many others are listed in your category it can be worthwhile. Also check how long a paid listing lasts compared to a free listing. Even so, it would be recommended you wait until you monitor the site further with your free classified.
2. You really need to look at how many listings there are under the category you wish to put your classified in. The reason being your competition may be really hefty. If you can put your classified in a less obvious category if you find the obvious one has a huge amount of listings. For example if you have a classified on business opportunities, try placing your ad in advertising or marketing. It may seem a bit broad but you may also find a better response.
3. Some classified sites are very specific and others are very broad. Consider the site you are looking at and what the type of classified listings are. Obviously you would not list a business opportunity in a car classified site. Also consider where geographically the classified site is targeting. If you have a product or service that is only applicable in the USA don't place a classified in Australia. Whilst this seems obvious you would be surprised at how many would not consider this.
4. Individual counters on classifieds are very useful. What these count is how many times your ad has actually been opened on the classified site. If your classified is not being opened very often you should consider your headline. It is the headline that will encourage people to look at your classified in the 1st instance. If you are getting lookers but no sales 1st look at your classified content then at the statistics of your website if you can. Your website statistics will tell you who has actually gone into your site from the classified. Very useful.
5. If you find to get your classified displayed you need to add reciprocal code or banners you are not really in a classified site but a traffic or banner exchange. That is ok if you don't mind using this type of service but if it is a pure classified site you are after skip this type of site. A discussion on traffic and banner exchanges is beyond the scope of this document.
6. Classified sites that either work on a reciprocal classified site, have the classifieds indexed into the search engines or both are well worth listing with. If they are free as many are this is all the better. There is great value in this type of listing as you enhance the opportunity for sales. If the site does list with search engines and reciprocal classified sites make sure you understand any fees that are involved. Whilst we have found very few require a fee many may do.
Summing up we recommend you consider classified advertising for your online marketing. It is a smart and inexpensive way to build your business. We do not however advocate that this be your only way of advertising should you really want to increase your online business income. There are numerous options out there that will cost very little in time and money to implement and maintain.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Katherine Quirke is an Australian based business entreprenuer. She has worked in the IT industry for over 11 years and owned a number of businesses over the last 20 years. Sharing her knowledge has become a passion and she now spends much time mentoring and assisting businesses worldwide. Further information may be referenced at: http://www.yourbusinessresource.info