Classified ads are a lot older than you might think they are. The first ones started popping up in the 1760s in local newspapers and grew to be one of the most well-known sections throughout the printed press for decades. It wasn’t until the 21st century that classified ads started to wane in popularity as the internet made most print media obsolete, but classified ads still appear on the world wide web.
In fact, there are more classified ads now than ever as you no longer have to pay a small fee in the hopes of having your advertisement seen in the local newspaper. Now, there are websites like Craigslist that help you get your classified ad in front of more eyeballs than ever. If you’re looking to create a classified ad and need help to have them be more appealing, here are five tips on how to do just that.
You could have the best grammar in the world and have a lot of great things to say with your text in a classified ad, but if you don’t have images, there might be a chance that nobody sees your advertisement. On the flip side, your spelling and grammar could be all over the place, but if you have an image that shows exactly what you’re selling or looking for, then you’re almost guaranteed to get a response.
It’s a scientific fact that people are more drawn to images than they are to text. In fact, researchers with 3M have shown that people process images in their brains a whopping 60,000 times faster than they do with text. So make sure to add an image so that those who are scrolling through quickly stop on your advertisement.
2. The Right Headline
People are becoming more aware of when headlines are generated from a bot, and when they are from an authentic human. Because of this, you want to make sure that your headlines come through as sincere and something that isn’t simply trying to attract unnecessary attention. Avoid strange words that you wouldn’t use in everyday speech like “Huzzah!” or any other exclamations that shouldn’t be there.
Instead, focus on optimizing your headline so that it’s something that comes up in a Google search. For instance, if you’re selling a 2015 Ford F150, you wouldn’t want to put “Wow! Low price on a new truck! Click here now for info!” Instead, you would want to put something along the lines of “2015 Ford F150 for sale. $15,000 or best offer, 50,000 miles and features brand new tires and brakes.” Use the headline, to sum up exactly what the rest of your ad is about.
3. Don’t Personalize It Too Much
A lot of people try to get too cute with their headlines and body of text without focusing on the actual product that’s being sold. Instead of focusing on your life story when it comes to the product, focus simply on the product itself. The more details you have about that product, the better, as people will want to know exactly what they’re getting.
While we mentioned that people aren’t too fond of reading a ton of text, there are still plenty of people that are willing to read details that are formatted in an easy-to-read way. Use bullet points whenever possible to sum up information and keep your contact information available at the beginning or end. That info is the only time that you should really be talking about yourself.
4. SEO Work
We already brought up using search engine optimization for your headline, but it should be something that you practice throughout your entire advertisement. Try to make your ad so that it’s filled with words and phrases that people will be searching for.
Let’s say that you’re selling a home in Kansas City, Missouri. You want to avoid “KCMO House for Sale – Great Price!” Instead, try to use something along the lines of “Home available for sale in Kansas City, Missouri. Located in the ___ suburb, $200,000 or best offer.” Prices and location are very important for SEO purposes.
There have been plenty of people who have gotten zero responses on their classified advertisements and wondered why. One of the problems is that they simply posted their ad into the wrong category.
Online sites have plenty of categories available for classified ads, so you want to make sure that you’re getting your ad into a category that’s as specific as possible. Don’t simply list something that you have in the “For Sale” category, but instead something more detailed.