Craigslist Removes HTML Links – Bad 4 Small Business

image-craigslist-changes-hurt-small-businessCraigslist Change Hurts Small Business & Marketers

For years, Craigslist advertising has served as a fantastically free site for Internet Marketers who post advertisements on behalf of small business clients that we represent. Too good to be true, right? Good things rarely last.

Recently, Craigslist implemented universal changes which completely remove the ability to post professional-looking html-generated image ads that live link to a website. So, gone is a way to post beautifully designed flyer templates, rich in graphic content with hyperlinks. They no longer work on Craigslist!

image-error-craigslist-removes-htmlSurprise. Gotcha! Empty Craigslist Ad

Those of us who frequently post on Craigslist were NEVER notified of the policy change via an email or mass media campaign. Nope. Nada. Not.

Instead, we found out by surprise. The roll out appeared gradual nationwide. But here in Omaha, Marketers logging into their accounts to renew previously posted image ads uploaded last year were met with empty content in 2014, or an error “0” when trying to re-publish the HTML-coded ad. Yes, the headers were there, but the image content was gone. What the heck!?

“I was confused at first. Some of my client’s professionally designed graphic ads were empty. I thought it was an error. Was it frustrating? Yes! A lot of work down the drain. It was not until I Googled “Craigslist HTML Changes” that I became aware of Craigslist’s new policy which bars HTML code ads.

Interestingly, the only articles about Craigslist’s new policy focused on the impact to realtors. The bigger news story uncovered by us is how the Craigslist’s changes hurt small business on limited budgets, including the advertisers and internet marketers who represent them:

“Cheap ads HAD generated great leads and the hyperlinks WERE great for SEO. Now, the newly mandated plain text ads look boring and amateurish and there’s zero SEO advantage to small business who must compete with the big budget corporations for a piece of the pie,” notes Susan Stern, an internet marketing Omaha consultant.

Why Did Craigslist Change Ad Policy?

It can be assumed that Craigslist wants to even the playing field. Many people don’t have the economic resources or knowledge to create custom HTML code to post professionally looking Craigslist ads. Internet marketers who write custom code have an advantage over small sellers. So what, we say!

By removing the image tags from posts, Craigslist appears to be standardizing ads so no company has an upper hand over another. “This is a ridiculous policy change especially for small business on a limited budget. Plus, all the ads now look the same. There is little way to stand out from the rest. In actuality, Craigslist is hurting small business from Maine to California,” notes Stern. Do you like the change? Take Poll NOW!

What Can You Post On Craigslist NOW?

Instead of being able to create eye-popping HTML-generated ads, internet marketers are now FORCED to write plain text advertising just like the layman would. Sure, you can still upload photos and images, but you can NOT link them to any live website. You have to type in plain text, period. If you want to display a URL, it does NOT work. Craig’s list removed outbound links, completely.

Officially, Craigslist’s new policy:

Please note IMG, FONT, TABLE, DIV, and SPAN tags are no longer supported… Please use CL image upload for images.

Craigslist HTML Policy Bad for SEO

The no-custom-HTML-code-policy means you may no longer use clickable Image Ads to drive traffic to your website, reducing the options for external link building and SEO (Search Engine Optimization: the process of building and maintaining a website’s Google rank).

Recover From Craigslist Ad Removals

“Change is never easy. But after the initial shock, internet marketers must accept the Craigslist changes.  Sure there is a mourning period for those who have successfully used Craigslist to generate new business for years. Someone could start a change.org petition, but let’s be real. Generally, internet signature gathering does NOT trigger change. Still, if enough people complain by blogging online, there is a slight chance Craigslist may listen.”

The best advice now is for internet marketers to stop focusing on what’s lost, and start thinking positive. Chin up. Search for new opportunities to generate new business. We should let the Craigslist policy change serve as a warning. Look at the big picture. Google could change its algorithms at any time. Where would your business be then?

“Marketers should encourage their small and medium-size businesses to think outside the box and use a marketing mix. It’s smart to diversify resources to find different ways to generate new business leads online as well as the old-fashioned way, like fostering relationships in person,” emphasizes Susan Stern, an Internet Marketing Omaha company owner.

Still, we here at Stern PR Marketing™ are not happy with Craigslist killing off the ability to post enhanced ads. It’s bad for small business on a budget. We hope they re-think their policy.

stern pr omaha website design company

For internet marketing Omaha services, visit the official Stern PR website here>>

Inquiries? Call 402-212-7489

Article originally published February 21, 2014.

Susan Stern Public Relations :: USA Campaign Consultant Achieves!

snap shot of stern public relations firm omaha nebraskaOmaha Public Relations Firm
Handles It All

(Omaha, NE)  —  If you have a consumer or industry-specific campaign your group, organization or movement wants to launch, count on Omaha Public Relations Practitioner Susan Stern to take your idea and transform into a newsworthy, full fledged USA campaign – which garners support and attention nationally, regionally or locally – netting quantifiable results!

Stern PR™ Touch
With the Susan Stern copywriting touch, your issue shall garner news media coverage online & off. Yes, the solution to Omaha-based campaign development/implementation IS indeed Susan Stern.

“I love the work I do. I am a passionate person through and through. I care and work very hard to do an outstanding job with the mark of total professionalism,” remarks Susan Stern.

Located in Nebraska, Omaha PR/Marketer Consultant Susan Stern basically operates as a one-woman band for clients, per se.

Intense Copywriting & Research
Former Journalist Susan Stern was called upon by two USA cattle ranchers to develop a National campaign to raise consumer awareness of controversial cattle feed additives called beta agonists that are under industry scrutiny. The process began with Susan Stern conducting ****extensive hours of industry research, followed by copywriting, back-and-forth client proofing and logo development. Susan Stern developed the campaign name: Beef Additive Alert™ and purchased the domain, too. Susan also handled the videography and graphic design, plus:

A Noteworthy Thank you for Beef Additive Alert™ News Coverage
We commend the “Lincoln Journal Star” & Agricultural Reporter Art Hovey who has done a thorough job of covering these controversial beta agonist issues which are important to the USA Beef Industry, Consumers and Youth show ring programs. Hovey quoted Stern PR client Gerald Timmerman, a prominent Springfield, Nebraska cattle rancher. The reporter called Susan Stern based on the news release (s) Stern PR developed & distributed locally, regionally & nationally.   Read PR Web News Release

Other news coverage, thus far:
Beef Magazine
Sioux City Journal
Lincoln Journal Star
Wall Street Journal
KPTM Fox 42
Livestock Market Digest
Nutrition News
Reuters

Notes of Appreciation

Stern PR™ wishes to publicly commend Canyon Texas High School Ag Science & FFA instructor Jeff Klose for presenting a project to his classroom on the controversial beta agonist cattle feed issue. Klose asked us to answer a series of questions, to which we did. We wish more teachers would recognize the importance this matter is to consumers, youth show ring competitors and the cattle industry. Cheers!

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As you can see, Susan Stern, Stern PR™ nets results for her clients! A one woman band, per se, Omaha PR Practitioner Susan Stern offers everything under one roof. All in all, expect personalized service from someone who really cares about her clients. “I have a vested interest in client satisfaction. I understand that If you succeed, I succeed,” notes Susan.

Contact Susan Stern direct (402) 212-7489. Visit Official Website

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Article Originally published on Aug. 22, 2013
Updated on January 23, 2014

Sales Maize Solved

Original Published September 2011
Updated March 2012

(Omaha, NE)  —  One of an Omaha business owner’s least favorite tasks is dealing with – sales people. The myriad of them. Someone wants to hock a pricey print ad, and they pressure you. “If you don’t purchase this Ad, it will kill your business!”.  An exact quote from one outfit in town. Another sales shark wears you down, with email, phone call and unannounced face-to-face visits, coaxing you to buy – this or that. It’s annoying & unsettling. Yeah. Sometimes you fall prey, just to get the sleazy salesperson out-of-the-way. Enough is enough. Run your business. Let Stern PR handle the rest.

“I am a tough cookie as your marketing rep.  Yes, there are many professional sales people in Omaha. Many I call friends. But there are a few bad apples. No worries. I WON’T let them push me around, wear me out, or attempt to sell us unnecessary advertisements. I will do what’s right for your Omaha business. I am suspicious, but respectful. If someone crosses the line, which does happen from time to time, I will not waver my position. I represent YOUR Company’s Best Interest,” strongly emphasizes Omaha Marketing Representative Susan Stern.

With that said, I wish to thank the professional media or print reps that I dealt with in 2011: Chris Aherns at KETV, Paula Wilcher at Val Pak, Sandie Curtis at Omaha Classifieds, Stacey Penrod at Omaha Magazine, Kay Barnett at Lincoln Journal Star – were the most impressive Omaha/Lincoln sales representatives. Your efforts are greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Stern PR handles all tasks marketing on & offline.  A two person Omaha marketing firm. This translates into personalized service & consistency. Affordability. Need a 2012 website Omaha Business Website? A corporate video? We do it all for your business. Website Copywriting. Graphic Design. Omaha SEO services. On & Offline Marketing.  Stern PR.

Visit the Official Stern PR Website Now!

    

Small Biz Ad Tip

(Omaha, NE)  —  If you’re a small or medium-sized business on a limited marketing budget here’s a word to the wise. “Don’t Advertise Like Big Business,” emphasizes Omaha Marketer Susan Stern.  Big businesses advertise to create/maintain name recognition and boost future sales. A small business, however, can’t afford to spend these dollars. Instead, you’ll want to rely on the expertise of Stern PR.

Creative Omaha Marketer Susan Stern will design your advertising campaign aimed at producing sales now! “One way to accomplish a SALES NOW approach is to always include an offer, a.k.a. a coupon for instance, in your advertising, on and offline.”  Of course, you’ll also want to hire an expert graphic designer/marketer like Susan Stern, who can create an attention-getting advertisement with the right words, photography, etc. Once you consult with Stern PR, and experience profitable results, businesses tend to have Susan Stern handle all on and offline marketing: website design, website maintenance, brochure creation, corporate/training video producer, SEO pro and so forth.

For more information on small business  advertising that does not break the bank, contact Stern PR marketing Omaha now!

Marketing Consultant

From time to time, Stern PR™ showcases recent client projects herein on this business blog –  a blog where the content is more dynamic – frequently updated.

Of course, please visit the  official Stern PR Website, too.

But first, watch this video of recently completed Client projects: