Free Ads + Backlinks = Profits

You don’t have to be a math major to understand that free ads can be a profitable way to grow one’s business. I have written in the past about Craigslist, but will today focus on a similar site called BackPage.

It’s fair to say that Backpage may not be as widely known as Craigslist, but it may well begin to catch up, in part because of Craigslist’s own success.

If your business has posted on Craigslist, you may have experienced a common problem. You will get calls the day you post and maybe the next day. But within a couple of days, if not a couple of hours you end up getting pushed so far down on any given list category you may as well be invisible.

The sheer volume of people advertising on Craigslist means you must go back over and over again to relist your business’ ads, running a risk of violating their terms of service.

Now being less popular isn’t usually a strong selling point, unless you’re Avis Car Rental that made it a point of distinction. Backpage may prove to be a winner in the second best sweepstakes as well.

One thing going for it is that it has a revenue model that is built on Craigslist’s Achilles’ heel. For a very nominal fee, it will allow you to automatically repost your ad, saving you the trouble and keeping your business on or near the top of pile over time.

Backpage serves major cities throughout the US and Canada and is also in Baja California, Mexico. You can place free ads in any given city in most categories, but they charge to post in multiple cities.

I think any local based business should experiment with Backpage to see if it brings them customers. But while that is of paramount interest, Backpage like Craigslist has one additional hidden value that many SEO experts keep secret.

Google loves both. Both offer fresh new content and have high authority rankings. Thus an ad that not only advertises your business goods or services, but also includes your web site or blog url will result in a high quality, relevant backlink that will get your site noticed by the Google bots.

This double duty will thus not only bring in customers from your free ads, but also raise the standing of your web page or blog resulting in additional free traffic.