Feb 1, 2012

Craigslist Ad Content and Formatting

Make sure you spend the time needed to write a great ad on Craigslist.  The ad title and body content need to generate search results for your ad.  The ad should be well written with no spelling or grammar errors.  It will pay you dividends every time you repost the ad and drive even more new customers to your business if your Craigslist ad is done right.

Write your Craigslist Ad in a word processor
Unless you’re an English major, I suggest you write your ad content in a word process that’s capable of checking both spelling and grammar.  The Craigslist ad edit tool will check spelling, but it won’t check grammar.  I use Microsoft Word for writing most of my web content. Once written and after all the mistakes are corrected, I can cut and paste the content from Word into Craigslist and adjust the formatting there.

Keywords in the Title

Craigslist allows users the option for searches to only search the title of postings.  For that reason, make sure that your Craigslist title includes your main keywords that will generate the most traffic.  Many times I’ll see ads posted with flowery words that a customer will never search for.  For example, if you’re a real estate agent advertising a house for sale:

Bad: “Beautiful House on a Tree Lined Street in a Quiet Neighborhood”
No one will ever search for a house listing using those words.
Better: “3 Bedroom Ranch House, Livonia, Basement, Garage, Motivated”

Great Content in the Body

Include your phone number at the top of the add with a call to action; “Call Me Now at 555-get-some”
Most Craigslist searches are done using full body text, so make sure your content includes a list of your services and/or products.  Describe what you do or what your selling. If pictures are appropriate, than make sure you include a couple, and make sure there good pictures, remember it’s and ad for your business.   Check for a future post where I’ll show you how to place a link to a picture stored online so you won’t have to upload it every time you place the ad.
Include your phone number again at the bottom.

Link to your Website on your Craigslist Ad

If you have a website, link to it. This will set you apart from the rest of the small advertisers on Craigslist. Before you create the link, make sure your website looks good and sells your product or service read more about great website design here.

Craigslist Formatting and Pictures

Format your Craigslist ad with simple HTML TAGS.  Using
, and tags you can significantly improve the look of your website.   The
and tags give you the flexibility of sprinkling pictures and text throughout your ad.

Create a list of keywords

Remember, the whole body of your Craigslist ad is searchable. One of the tricks I use for my customers’ ads is to create keyword list at the bottom of the ads for any keywords I didn’t list in the description above. Create a listing separated by commas of anything related to your business.  This will help generate additional search result hits that others won’t get.
Send me an email, or call the number at my consulting company website gAdviser for Craigslist Ad Help, we would be happy to write your ad for you and get our Craigslist advertising campaign started.