One of the biggest problems facing small businesses and start-ups has always been the cost of advertising. You have to advertise in order to get the business afloat, yet you simply do not have the budget to pay for it. This is why sites providing free classified ads are such a bonus for businesses of this type.
Classified advertising has always been a popular method of marketing. Potential customers look only at the category in which they are interested, meaning the ads are fully targeted at people who actually want that product or service. This is in contrast to TV commercials or billboards, which are seen by everyone, whether interested or not. However, for this very reason, newspapers and magazines charge high fees for insertion of classifieds.
This is why sites offering free classified ads can be such a godsend to small businesses. The ads can be categorized not only according to product or service, but according to geographical location, so they can greatly increase the profile of an enterprise in its local area. However, even more significant than this can be the online exposure – for which, of course, the company does need to have a web site. Not only can the ad be found by anyone in the world searching the web for that particular product, but a link to the web site can mean serious improvements in its ranking. Many of the classifieds sites such as Salespider or Craigslist are seen as authority sites by the search engines, so can provide some big backlink benefits.
However, in order to gain the full advantage from free classified ads sites, there are some principles you need to follow. Because the sites are so widely used, there is a lot of competition, so it is no good just placing any ad and expecting a huge response. You have to construct your ad so it will be seen, and so people will respond to it.
In the first place, because the ad will be found principally through search engines, pay attention to your headline. Do not include your company name as people will not search for this. Research the most competitive keywords that are used when searching for your product or service, and use these in your headline, combining it with a benefit. Examples include How To…, Secrets Of…, Discover…, Introducing… The other important principle is to concentrate on lead generation rather than on direct sales. Give people a reason to make contact immediately, by offering something free, such as a free report, e-book, or consultation. Users are very unlikely to buy straight off the page, but once they have responded to your offer, you have a customer.
Free classified ads are a winning situation for everyone. The sites themselves gain from the huge amount of traffic they attract, customers benefit from finding what they want, and above all the businesses gain from the powerful free exposure. If you are not using this method, you are missing a massive opportunity.
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