Craigslist Phone Authentication and Internet Marketing

It’s March 31st, 2010 and my stats indicate that nearly 40% of all my inbound traffic this month is related to craigslist phone authentication not working. It’s amazing how many Internet marketers or Craigslist users are trying to figure out to work around the phone authentication issue.

I’d like to propose one thought on why this is such a big issue  right now; Too many online marketers put all their eggs in one basket. Lots of folks discovered that Craigslist was a good marketing alternative to understanding how to use Google or some of the other major search engines, directories, blogs, classified ads, or other marketing tools.

Now, Craigslist has implemented phone authentication which for many does not appear to be working at all and I have not seen one valid work-around or a post that would indicate someone has figured out how to get around Craigslist phone authentication.

So where does that leave the folks that have staked their entire online business model with Craigslist? Time to try something different. I’m guessing that some creative folks out there will develop a Craiglist alternative or develop a list of really good classified ad sites.

It’s never good to put all your eggs in one basket, just as many marketers discovered when Google turned off their Adwords account for no understandable reason.

Marketers used numerous classified ad sites before Craigslist so why would they have stopped? Craigslist was too easy. If online marketing was easy, everyone would be doing it. Online marketing takes time, effort, and some good old fashioned hard work from time to time.

Here’s my advice if your business is crashing because you can’t authenticate your Craigslist account. Try something different. Don’t stand by and watch your business tank, and what ever you do in the future plan on being more diversified in your traffic sources.

See my original article and thread here: Craigslist Phone Authentication

Shameless plug for two classified ad sites:

The Importance of Domain Name Selection

I was on a call a couple of weeks ago with Perry Marshall and Jonathan Mizel. Jonathan brought up an interesting point that I’ve been talking about for a long time.

Today, everything you do online can be copied. Your content, your Google Adwords campaigns, etc. There’s not much you can hide or that cannot be reverse engineered. The one thing a competitor cannot take from you is A Good Domain Name. A well thought out or unique domain name can make a big difference in the amount of traffic you receive to your website.

Here are a few examples: (no hyphens – geo-targeted)

While the above domains may not include the exact name of your business they are still valuable as they can insulate your primary domain or can be used as your primary domain. These are also considered keyword domains as they contain actual search terms that an internet searcher might query. If you can match a keyword domain with good content, you are literally guaranteed top ten placement with the major search engines.

Another form of the same type of keyword that many overlook are hyphenated keywords. Hyphenated keywords can do just as well as a non hyphenated keyword, but they are also really good for use in Adwords or PPC marketing campaigns. They are great for testing / split testing ad copy and also act as an extra line in your advertising as the display URL. (e.g. Personal-Car-Shopper.com, We-Approve-Any-Credit.com, etc.) your display URL can expand or enhance your ad message.

Here are a few examples: (hyphenated domains geo-targeted and ad focused)

  • Texas-Real-Estate.com
  • Personal-Car-Shopper.com
  • Dallas-Website-Hosting.com
  • We-Approve-Bad-Credit.com
  • Certified-Diving-Trainers.com

As you can see a hyphenated domain name provides a readable additional line in your Adwords or other PPC campaigns.

In addition to being unique to your business and your website, domains are like virtual real estate. They can increase your marketing and provide additional value to your business. Just like real estate there is a limited supply. No matter how much a competitor might try to copy your website or your Pay Per Click ads, they can’t take a good domain name that you’ve registered for your business.

keyword-domainsNotice how the add below with the keyword rich domain name is a bold green. It actually makes the ad stand out from all the other ads. You can get as creative as you want with display URLs.

If you haven’t registered any keyword rich ad focused domains for your business you might want to consider it… You might uncover a gem that will increase traffic and branding for your website.

Don’t want to do your own keyword research? We’ll be happy to do the work for you. Just use our contact form and let us know.

Video Search Engine Marketing

Recently I received an email and video offering a new service and software product allowing the average person to add video quickly and easily to any website. The video pitch goes on to state that utilizing YouTube, Revver, and other similar video services shows visitors to your website that you don’t know how to add video, it’s cheap looking,  and you give visitors the opportunity to click off your website.

I must respectfully disagree. There are numerous reasons why someone looking to utilize video marketing would want to utilize YouTube and similar services:

  • YouTube and Revver type video services get indexed by the major search engines much better than self served video from your own website.
  • YouTube and similar type video services put your video, product, or service in front of a wide and growing audience.
  • If you are using video and not showing up on YouTube or other similar video services you are missing an important marketing avenue.

While one can argue that third party hosted videos give visitors the opportunity to click off your site or check out another video, that’s true of any form of Internet marketing. Whether you’re talking about SERPs, PPC, directories, etc. there is almost always an opportunity for a visitor to go somewhere else.

Video marketing is subject to some of the same principles as other forms of Internet marketing. How well is your video message? Does your video communicate your product or service effectively? Is your website and internal processes set up adequately to take orders, inquiries, or help a potentially new customer?

Hosting and adding video to your personal website is nothing new. Bandwidth pricing is so favorable that you can purchase additional bandwidth to support your videos for pennies. A quick Google search will reveal a number of free and inexpensive tools that will help the average person put video on their website quickly and cost effectively.

What are your thoughts on adding video to your website? Are you using video? Why or why not? Share your thoughts with our visitors.