Craigslist can reach a lot of people and help you sell you both products and your services. There are both paid ads, as well as unpaid - like the discussion area. When making posts to promote your business, there are some do's and don'ts that will help you not get booted off by Craig's "Omnipresent" Algorithm.
If you are selling to a local area only, things can be more tricky than when you have the entire U.S. as your area.
When you start your Craigslist post, you want to make sure your title is eye catching, but DON'T CAPITALIZE EVERY LETTER. Instead, Capitalize Only The First Letter Of Each Word In Your Title. Craigslist won't penalize you for this, and Google tends to pick up on this format as a "Title" so the keywords used are of utmost importance.
In the body of your text, make sure you have a robust description, but don't pad your keywords. Use them strategically in a sentence, NO HASHTAGS. Always remember that "Content is King." The more written content you have on your advertising and social media posts, the more opportunities you give for search engines to find your website/product/service more organically.
When it comes to pictures, make sure they are of good quality, and that you own them, or have the rights to use them. DO NOT download images from Google to upload to your post. This is a copyright infringement and could cost you dearly. Also, don't put up more than 4-5 pictures. Most users won't look beyond that, and it could affect load times on mobile devices as well.
When making posts, it is important to not post too often in the same area, or with the same content either. The algorithm can pick it up when you are just copy and pasting your description into another ad with a different title. You need to have the same overall message and level of content, but re-write it-- make sure it is not obviously redundant. Choose different adjectives to describe things. Re-order how you say things, and try to find some creative ways to spice things up. Also, don't use the exact same images over and over... They can pick up on that too.
Once you have made one post in your local area, wait a couple of days before you make the next post. Posting too many ads too quickly will also raise the red flags and cause your ads to get booted. Also, make sure you follow up every few days, and re-list your post for maximum exposure. Some cities expire after 30 days, others let you boost back to the top every 3 days or so.
When you are posting ads nationwide, you can get away with making more than one post in a day. Make sure to follow the guidelines above about changing titles and content, but typically you can make 3 different posts in 3 different cites without drawing too much attention. When you start getting a lot of ads going, it is also important to "relist" posts on different days than you list new posts. Three relists and three new posts on the same day is still seen a 6, and can cause you to get dinged on ALL of them, for "spam."
Regardless if you are advertising a product or service, always make sure to follow Craigslist's Terms and Conditions. They are the ultimate judge in whether or not your post gets seen, so it's best to play within the rules of the game to make sure you always come out a winner.
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