About 2 weeks ago Matt McGee at SmallBusinessSEM posted, The No. 1 Local Search Query is He found that in 11 cities, where he did some local search keyword analysis, Craigslist kept popping up. For example:

New York
new york hotels (34,349)
craigslist new york (28,927)
new york car insurance (20,493)
new york city tours (5,216)
cheap flights to new york (4,942)

Matt concluded, “If your business is able to advertise on Craigslist, and you’re not doing it, you’re missing a huge opportunity.” Well, this got me thinking.

Many months back I had found an article written last year by Jason Brown at Marketing Opus, How To: Use Craigslist To Increase Your Local Search Advertising. Not being a “big” Craigslist person,  I was intrigued by the article.  If you have not seen Craigslist, there is not alot of fluff to it-but it has a ton of localized information.

Jason wrote, “The goal is…optimize your listings and list them in a way to draw traffic back to your site.” Jason said that he creates his Craigslist listings to help get traffic to his site from Google, not really from Craigslist readers. He goes into very good detail on what and how to write your listing – basically telling you how to local search optimize your listing.

I have had Craigslist listings before, so after re-reading the article, I re-did mine. I know it is not perfect but you can see it here: Affordable Local Internet Marketing for Small Business. It has only been up a few days so we will have to see how did does.  (Maybe Jason can give me some pointers 🙂 )

Since the article was over a year ago, I decided to contact Jason and get his perspective on how things have changed and where things are going.

“The changes in local search is that the number of providers have grown since that post. Not only have places like Local.com snapped up some acquisitions, but the number of players in that industry have grown bigger and better.  Now with Universal Search sitting on the front page of Google results (and soon to be Yahoo and MSN and ASK),  getting in local programs that the search engines provide is even more important.

Craigslist has been a big factor for me in local advertising, but there seems to be a crop of local news services as well that are providing good results. These include sites like Topix.net .

Also, social platforms like Facebook and Myspace seem to be growing with their involvement in local advertising as well, like with the addition of facebook classifieds that can be used to the local marketers advantage.

I look to the future and see more sites like Kijiji (ebay’s classifieds service) that compete with Craigslist and more local news services where local bloggers or a small local community report on the news and not just reporters.”

So to sum it up: Craigslist and others sites/services like it, can provide your business will qualilty traffic and local advertising;  thus another component for your marketing plan.