Classified Ad Website Software

First 3 Steps to SEO Success

The three points below will give you a clear understanding of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is very important. You should make sure you use best practices. Don’t try to trick the search engines.


  1. Page Title (Title Tag) - Each page on your website has its own page title. Each page is determined by having its own URL (the wording in the address bar). The page title should be short and less than 55 characters. It should quickly to the point tell search engines and potential visitors what the page contains. Page titles also are important for social sharing. You should have your brand or company listed first if you believe your brand will lead to clicks in search engine returns. For lesser known brands and for the majority of websites, your company name should be at the end of the page title. Here are two versions; allySites | Website Design or Website Design | allySites. Search engines give higher value to words listed first than words listed later in the title. Page title is part of your website’s metadata. Moz using an example of Primary Keyword | Secondary Keyword | Brand Name.
  2. Page Description - The page description shows below the page title in search engine results page. This description is a key element to entice people to click your link. You should use between 150-160 characters in your description. Page descriptions do not affect your search engine ranking. You should think of writing a page description the same way you write ad copy. The page description should focus on the specific benefits of the widget, not the general feature.
  3. Unique Content Creation - Content is not created equally. The best content is unique content created solely for your website. There are no shortcuts to create great content that helps your website rank higher and attract more visitors by way of search engines. Placing press releases on your website for your trade industry can hurt your website's search returns. Google and Bing want to see original content. Five areas you can focus content are:  Cost of Products; Problems Users Encounter That Your Product Cures; Comparisons of Products; the Best Products in Your Industry; and Product Reviews. We  had a customer appearing 16th in Google search results which was the bottom of page 2. Within two weeks of creating original content for their website, we saw their search ranking move to number 6th in their market.

Please contact us to discuss these steps more in-depth. allySites - 800-247-7318

Automotive Dealer's Print Advertising Generated More Contacts Online

Automotive dealers primarily advertise to sell cars and build brand awareness. Print publications have always met both desired marketing objectives but measuring the impact print has on selling cars has become complicated. This is due to the internet drastically changing the purchase funnel for shoppers.

The challenge for a publisher is showing a print ad was a catalyst for a purchase. The buyer has a variety of routes and sources of information. We have listed below normal routes.

  • directly call the dealership
  • go to the dealership’s physical location
  • go to the dealership's website
  • go to the print publication’s website
  • search Google for the car they saw in the print ad

The option that precedes the actual contact of the dealer is never clear. According to C+R Research, Digital Influence in Automotive 2014, today’s shopper is influenced by 6-7 sources with 3 normally being online sources.

We have given a considerable amount of time trying to track and evaluate results auto dealers receive from our print and website products. Earlier this year, we had a auto dealer increase his spending over 2x the amount he had previously been spending in print. He also reverted back after this increase period to his previous spending level. This large increase in spending and then decrease gave us the perfect data to analyze. We analyzed four different time periods to chart the correlation between the increase in spending and contacts made to the dealer through our website. Our website’s url was not in the dealer’s print ads. This means our website arguably could have been the lowest source of contacts and definitely not the main source. The dealer’s print ads were predominantly full pages. The line charts below show this correlation. The number of contacts increased as spending increased and as the spending decreased the contacts decreased.







Our allySites software can give your company the ability to automatically import auto dealer inventories onto your website. We can build you a vertical automotive website or a horizontal marketplace with a variety of categories.

written by Will Thomas    will@exchange-inc.com    931-433-9737


ABOUT C+R RESEARCH C+R Research is a consumer and market insights firm. For more than 50 years, the company has provided its clients with insights on the thinking behind consumer behavior in a variety of industries, including consumer packaged goods, financial services and retail.

How to create a local Craigslist classified ads website and markeplace?

We started developing software in 2010 for our first classified ad website. We knew the look and features we wanted, but didn’t know anyone that could develop the website for us. So we turned to Elance.com and that lead to our first lesson in programming and development of a marketplace website. Elance is a great platform to help you outsource work, but our project turned into a $12,000 mistake. We worked for nine months developing our website only to end with a website that didn’t function properly and never reached the desired functions we had set out to build. Because of this mistake, we decided to build our own team we could fully trust. We turned to developers who had worked on other projects for us and our current journey began.


You can take two different paths to build your own classified ads website that can act like a Craigslist and AutoTrader for your local area. The first path is developing your own software. The second path is to use software like ours to accomplish your goal of building a marketplace for your town. The latter is the best option for numerous reasons for the overwhelming majority of people and media companies. The first path of developing your own software requires an annual six figure expense commitment and in-depth knowledge of website development. It will take several years before you even start to feel like you are making progress. We might not have taken the first path if we could have seen the future. However, today we have no regrets because our software powers two of our own classified ad websites and websites for other publishers.


We developed our allySites classified ad software to power both vertical and horizontal websites. Vertical websites focus on one type of category such as our used and new equipment website www.FarmersExchange.com. A horizontal website offers a variety of categories like Craigslist. Another example of a vertical vs horizontal website would be Amazon, which is a horizontal marketplace, compared to vertical marketplace focused on animals like Pets.com.


The first step toward success for your marketplace is building content. The majority of marketplace websites fail because they never reach liquidity. The term liquidity in this arena means when a marketplace reaches the minimum amount of buyers and sellers to create a reasonable chance of a transaction taking place. Keep in mind that liquidity is not about user growth but content growth.


A great way to build liquidity is using the auto category on your website. You might have wondered before how AutoTrader or Cars.com are able to obtain all those listings. They do this through software like ours that can accept inventory feeds from vendors who provide automotive dealers inventory management tools. The market of vendors providing inventory management software to dealers is fragmented across the country, which can cause problems developing your website. Our software solves this problem because we have already established relationships with data vendors. Our established relationships simplifies the process for you to start receiving dealer inventory feeds from your local auto dealers. This also enables you to build content quickly on your classified ads website. As of this morning, we had over 3,900 automotive listings on our horizontal marketplace, Exchange931.com. This horizontal website serves a 50-mile market radius.


Monitoring and curation of content is the second critical step to building a successful marketplace. This step is not hard to accomplish, on a local market level, and is critical to distinguish your website from national competition. We monitor every ad placed through email receipts and an account verification process. It takes a few seconds to glance at placement receipts when an ad is placed. This task can be split between different people on your team or you can assign one champion to this step. We have tools to ban users and remove content quickly if you do encounter a fraudulent ad or inappropriate wording or images.


We have learned a tremendous amount the last five years about software development and marketplace creation. Your focus on marketplace creation will drive the most value for your company and use our software to start building a classified ad website from day one.


Below are active websites powered by our allySites software.


written by Will Thomas  will@exchange-inc.com  931-433-9737

Facebook See First Feature Adds to the List of Why You Need Your Own Website

Facebook launched a new tool this week called “See First”. This feature allows users to select friends and pages they want to always see. The people you select will have a blue star by their name and will appear at the top of your news feed. Prior to this update, users could miss posts from their closest friends and brands they truly liked. This change is great for Facebook users, but not for local business pages. This new feature is natural business progression for a social network website whose average user has access to about 1,500 posts per day, but only sees 300.


The new feature reminds small businesses yet again why they can’t depend on Facebook to drive the majority of their sales. Advertisers with deep pockets will buy their way into this select See First group. Earlier this year, Facebook changed their algorithm to limit the number of people that a business page post would reach. We saw a significant drop of post views even though we continued to post the same type of content. We now are reconsidering our posting strategy.


Small businesses need to take a key lesson away from this change by Facebook. Facebook will continue to tweak their platform with the user in mind and not business pages. Facebook has paid marketing tools and products they want businesses to use to reach Facebook users. Facebook does not want businesses regardless of their size to reach Facebook users for free. I totally understand their reasoning for this change, but small businesses have been left behind and arguably tricked. Facebook intentionally or not previously gave the perception Likes were good for a business page but I don't see the ROI today for building Likes. Furthermore, small business won’t be able to compete with Coca-Cola or Amazon for attention in users’ news feeds.


Facebook was a love for many small businesses because it was a free way to advertise. Facebook now will need to be measured against other forms of advertising in local markets. The cost per thousand people reached will rise as the competition for the marketing space in the See First area of the news feed heats up.


This change builds on the core reason every business needs their own website with their own domain name. The business then controls their digital destiny and exposure. Small businesses have to understand that social networks must make a profit to operate and will continue to change their strategies to maximize their profit potential. By having a website, a small business can alter their marketing focus and channels over time to make sure they expose their message on the right networks at the right time to their target audience.

Contact Ginger Jones with our digital department, allySites.com, to learn more about small business websites. 800-247-7318

New Feature Allows a Business to Post Equipment and Items Using a CSV File

Our software can accept feeds from automotive dealer management systems, John Deere’s MachineFinder.com and numerous other equipment management systems. While the majority of the feeds are seamless and take little effort on the publisher’s part to maintain, there are exceptions. Because of these exceptions, we have developed this new feature that allows a business to load their items using a CSV file. This solution will be very beneficial not just for equipment dealers, but any type of business that needs to load items to our marketplace.

The initial upload of the CSV file walks the user through a couple of steps. The user first identifies the column that contains the category and then matches each columns’ content to our classified ad website’s fields. The time to upload the initial file is dependent on the number of categories you have to match from the CSV file to your system. The matching normally takes less than 15 minutes for the first upload. The column matching process is unique for each dealer and our software will remember the category and the type of column contents for future uploads for that dealer.

Sometimes dealers’ CSV files will contain new categories that have not been matched in previous uploads. The system recognizes the new categories and prompts the dealer to match the new categories. Moving forward, the system will retain those matches which allows for faster uploading down the road for the dealer.

This feature benefits both dealers and classified ad website owners. It allows any type of business to efficiently upload their items to your website and provides a simple way to grow the content of your website. This tool will become one of our most important and popular features.

Giving Auction Advertisements more Exposure through Classified Ad Listings

Trying to figure out a way to give print centric advertisements more exposure on a website can be difficult. We have faced this problem for years, but now have developed a cool way to give real estate or used equipment auctions better exposure. Our classified ads’ website software allows a media company to post an auction with a text description and list unlimited items with the auction.

The cool part is the items categorization process for an auction advertisement. Each time the user loads a picture, they give it a name and select a classification. Since our software now knows the classification, the items not only show on the auction detail page, but also show in the corresponding category for the classification. This allows buyers searching a particular category on our website to find items that are going to be auctioned. Before this software update, items that were going to be auctioned only displayed on a single auction detail page. The old process limited the exposure of the items.

This new feature gives auctioneers more exposure for their auctions while helping classified ad websites build more content. We have posted below an image of our website’s list view page showing an auction item. When the user clicks the item labeled Auction Item, it  takes them to the Auction Ad Detail page.