Home page is main page of your website and you want to show content that will interest your visitors and guide them in the right direction. Classifieds website is populated by user generated content. Generally most classifieds websites’ homepage contains list of latest ads, categories and popular locations.
Let’s concentrate on a list of latest ads on classifieds website. Usually there are 20-50 latest ads shown on homepage. We prefer showing 10 featured, and 50 latest ads and 10 popular ads of the week on our websites. There are some drawbacks when displaying latest ads. Let’s go through those drawbacks and solution that will overcome them.
Disadvantages of showing not filtered latest ads on homepage
When your classifieds website starts to appear on search engines you will draw attention of businesses. Then businesses and agencies will actively post on your website. Property, job and vehicle sellers will start to dominate on homepage periodically posting new listings ranging from 100-200 posts per day. In any random time on homepage of your website will be shown 95% their content. This is not ideal situation for classifieds website.
Why it is bad when your homepage is dominated by one category?
- If it is general classifieds website and homepage is populated 95% with property ads it is not attractive for users looking for other ads, for example to users looking to buy a car.
- Listings by regular users are not promoted and will be lost within listings posted by agencies.
- Content that is not visible on homepage and hidden deep inside your website under couple category levels will not be considered as important. That content will not be displayed on search results. You will start losing search engine traffic to those not popular categories.
- Losing interest in not popular categories will lead to fewer ad postings to them. Because it is not visible to most of your visitors, listing in those categories will get fewer phone calls and your website will not be efficient place to post ads for those categories. Your visitors will slowly move to other websites that are more efficient on displaying their listings.
- General Classifieds website with more than 200 categories will be shadowed by couple active categories. Other categories will not attract many visitors to buy items or list their own items there.
How overcome homepage domination by single category?
In ideal situation it will be great to show interesting content tailored for each visitor individually. But it is very difficult because nobody can read their mind. So possible solution, for interesting and fresh content can be displaying latest ads from different categories.
To avoid single user or category domination on homepage you can differentiate ads displayed on homepage by user, category and/or location.
With classibase version 1.9.2 we added feature to ads widget to prioritize content by unique user, category, and location. You can use any one or combination of them. Why “prioritize” instead of just displaying only by unique? Because if we configured ad widget to show 50 ads and there are only 5 unique categories then ad widget will display first 5 results from unique category and then 45 latest ads regardless of category value. This is done in order to deliver number of ads defined in widget settings.
With ad widget showing 50 latest ads from different categories your homepage will be attractive to wider range of users, search engines will value much more content hidden in sub categories, ads in different categories will be noticed leading to more calls to those ads and more ads will be posted in many different categories. In long term this will differentiate user generated content on your website and drive more targeted traffic to those ads.
Ads from different categories attract more visitors and stimulate ad posting to different categories.
Where else ads with unique category or user can be used?
List of popular ads
We use popular ads of the week widget on home page as we mentioned before. When using this widget before, ads in this widget were dominated by requites posting job listings in vacancy category. 7 of 10 ads were from that category. With unique category option for ads widget we can show most viewed ads from 10 different categories. This will attract more visitors to those listings.
List of related ads
We use list of related ads on ad page. Before related ads in popular categories were showing related ads from active users from agencies because they have too many ads and 50-100 new ads added daily. Related ads calculated by similar values in custom fields will pick latest ads with most common custom fields and with image. This is in most cases were ads from agencies. To differentiate it we used new option in ads widget to show ads from unique user. Now related ads will prefer showing 5 related ads from 5 different users. This will help to promote other user’s listings.
There might be other useful areas to have ads listed by unique user, content or location. To find those areas you have to analyze content displayed in your widgets and if you see content dominated by user, category or location in them then it might be better to differentiate ads in those widgets.
Please share areas that you find where it is better to display differentiated content in ads widget.