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1. Introduction
i. News
ii. How can I...
2. Articles
i. My Ad is not effective; it is not getting any views at all.
ii. My Ad is getting alot of views; but no one actually contacts me.
iii. How to write a good Ad title.
iv. How to write a good Ad description.
v. Do(s) of an Ad.
vi. Don't(s) of an Ad.

Online Classifieds' Popularity Is On The Rise Again! - Online Advertising King, June 07 - read more news

Online classifieds is one of the most powerful advertising tool available on the web today. Due to the simplicity of Ad posting and the worldwide reach of classified sites, average advertisers can now sell their houses, cars, pets and even business ideas on a daily basis, and possibly for free, to thousands of potential customers.

There are many huge classified sites out there for us to choose from. Sites such as Craigslist, Oodle, Kijiji, Ablewise and Olx already have large worldwide user bases which the average user, like me and you, can tap into. Posting an Ad with them (sometimes for a small fee) is as good as posting one in 100 other smaller sites. Your Ad has good a chance of making a sale for you here.

These sites are not only popular and will generate lots of traffic to your Ad, but they are also rich in features. Posting a photo along with your Ad is no longer a hassle. Attaching files, posting comments, tracking statistics and adding enhancements are among the standard features these sites provide.

Online classifieds are gaining grounds on traditional newspaper advertising, slowly but steadily. The opportunity out there is huge and borderless (if you know what I mean). Look at the number of new players joining this playing field each month (like facebook and friendster) and you will realise that online classifieds are here to stay.

How can I...
How can I write a better classified Ad?
How come other Ads are attracting more visitors than my Ad?
Why is my sales conversion not as high as my competitors'?
Is there a way to improve the sales and click-through rate of my Ad?

If you are asking any of the above questions, then this page is for you.

To begin, you will need to understand that there is no such thing as a perfect Ad, only a perfectly "ugly" Ad. In other words, one may not spot a well-written Ad at once, but you can quite easily see if an Ad is badly-written. So for a start, you should try NOT to get yourself onto the "badly-written" path. After you succeed in doing that, you will need to get started (quickly) on the harder but more effective "well-written" path.

To avoid being labelled as a badly-written Ad, you will need to take note of 2 things:

1. Ad Title

2. Ad Description

My Ad is not effective; it is not getting any views at all.
If your Ad is not getting alot of views or no views at all, there are a couple of scenarios:

You've placed your Ad in a category that is of no relevance.

Titles of an Ad are like the faces of people; they give users a physical first impression of your Ad. If your Ad is placed in a category that is of no relevance, you are reaching out to the wrong users as those users that are browsing in that category will not be interested in your Ad at all.

Your Ad title is not interesting enough.

If your Ad title is not interesting, users who are just skimming through wouldn't bother clicking on your Ad.

My Ad is getting alot of views; but no one actually contacts me.
How well people respond to your Ad is dictated almost entirely on how well your Ad is written. There are other factors, but paramount would be your Ad title and Ad description.

If your Ad is getting a lot of views but not many replies, it probably means that you've created an Ad with a good title; it is attracting people to view your Ad. But your Ad content is not enticing nor interesting enough for people to actually contact you after they've finished reading it.

How to write a good Ad title.
A good Ad title usually consists of an "action" and a "statement". For example, you would like to place an advertisement for your house, which is for sale. You write - "House for sale". WRONG. This title is boring and is probably the same as one million other ads out there. Instead, try something like - "FOR SALE: House with an ocean view", or "FOR SALE: House with a beautiful garden". As you can see by now, "FOR SALE" is an action and "House with an ocean view" is a statement. With an attractive "action" and a well-written "statement", your hit rate for this Ad is going to skyrocket.

How to write a good Ad description.
After having brought in interested buyers through your Ad title, it is now the job of your Ad description to complete the sale. "House with 3 bedrooms, 2 toilets, 1 kitchen. Fully tiled floor. Built-in area 1200 sq ft. 5 years old. New coat of snow white paint. Selling for $150,000 neg. Please call XXX-XXXX-XXX today!" What is wrong with this Ad description? NOTHING. This is exactly the type of Ad you should be writing. Most buyers have no patience to look through hundred of words just to know how many bedrooms your house got. Keep your Ad short and straight to the point (but do not leave out important details like "new coat of snow white paint", as this might be the key to closing the deal).

After you have learnt the basics of Ad posting, you can proceed to "attack" your buyers more specifically. Try this now - "Magnificent ocean view. Watch the sunset right from the bedroom! Selling this beautiful house with 3 bedrooms, 2 toilets and a well-equipped kitchen. Fully tiled floor with marbled living room. Built-in area at a cosy 1200 sq ft. Only 5 years old with a brand new coat of snow white paint. Selling for only $160,000! Please call Michael @ XXX-XXXX-XXX to view today!" Notice the difference? Do you feel more interested to view this house now than before? Just to let you know if you have not yet realized, you can now sell your house for $10,000 more. YEAH!

All in all, do take note of the basics of writing a good Ad description; there are four core elements, namely "Attention", "Interest", "Desire" and "Action" ("AIDA").

Attention: This is extremely important. You will need to get your audience's attention. The best way to do this will be to write a good ad headline. With the correct words, a headline can be made attractive, and generate users' attention. A point to note: do not use all uppercase alphabets (or other ASCII characters other than normal alphabets or numbers e.g. lots of exclamation marks or asterisks). Your audience will know it's just a gimmick to catch their first-glance.

Interest: You will need to generate interest via your ad description; else your targeted audience would not bother reading through your ad. State what your product or company offers that your competitors do not, or what makes your product stand out from the rest.

Desire: You must stir up the desire to buy your product and/or service. Extol the virtues and benefits that can be gained from buying your product.

Action: Finally, after going through your ad, get your audience to take action. Provide details like a contact number, postal address, an e-mail address. The more details that are provided, the more trustworthy you will seem.

Do(s) of an Ad
Include a photo whenever possible

We provide all users with the ability to upload photos for free. Use it. As the saying goes, a picture tells a thousand words. Enough said.

Spelling and punctuation

Correct spelling and punctuation is critical. A badly, punctuated; Ad, with wlrong speeling can reealy be a nuisance. You think so too?

Include full pricing such as shipping costs, recurring costs and other hidden costs

For example, if you are selling an e-book for $50, the buyer would not like it if he or she has to pay $55 at checkout all because he or she is not a citizen of the United States. Always include a full breakdown of cost whenever possible. Let the buyer know exactly what he or she has to pay.

Modes of contact

Provide as many modes of contact as is conveniently possible to you. Modes such as email addresses, mobile phone numbers, physical addresses even, will facilitate your sales. Do ensure that the proper security and safety precautions are taken, of course.

Additional features

Add as many features as is relevant. Features like hyperlinks in the Ad description will provide active links back to your site. Also, bold or italicized text in your Ad description will serve to emphasize the main points and draw attention to it.

Don't(s) of an Ad
No negative comparison

In no circumstances should you condemn a competitor in your Ad description. It is not up to you to decide if your products or services are better than competitor A's, or not. Today's buyers are unlike yesteryears'. They are smart, and they will know it if you are trying too much to hard-sell your stuff.

Avoid irrelevant content

Back to the above "House for sale" example, avoid putting details like - "My dog likes to run around the garden in the evening, hence our house is perfect for people with dogs." What if the buyer does not have a dog? Or worse still, the buyer hates dogs? "My kids love the house so much and I really hate to let it go." That is your problem. The buyer is not interested in what your kids like.

Be Concise

Do not attempt to compose a composition or write a book with your ad. Keep your ads short, sweet, and interesting. Most people wouldn't bother reading through an entire ad if, at first glance, they see a mass of words.

Brought to you by Ablewise.com Classifieds in-house advertising guru, William V.L.