Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Track Craigslist Page Views

I saw this article a while back (thanks to lifehacker) which explained how to track page views on Craigslist. I loved the idea but did not love the implementation: it required hosting your own image and using either a third party web application (but did not describe the process) or using a shell script to list the number of times the server loaded the image. Today I am going to explain a much easier way to track your Craigslist page views which does not involve hosting your image or using complicated scripts (my mom could use this method).
  1. Create a regular Craigslist ad making sure you include at least one image
  2. Publish your Craigslist ad and go to the link Craigslist provides to "View your ad"
  3. Right click on your image and select "Copy Image Location"
  4. We are done on Craiglist for now. Open a separate browser window and navigate to www.bit.ly
  5. Create a new account. After you successfully create your account you will be automatically logged in.
  6. Paste your link that we copied from Craigslist into the "Enter Web Address (URL) Here" box
  7. Click the "Shorten" button
  8. You will be provided with a new, shortened URL. Click the "Copy" button.
  9. Now navigate back to your Craigslist page, and choose the edit my ad option.
  10. Go to the images section and remove the image that we turned into a Bit.ly link (whatever image you right clicked on earlier and selected "Copy Image Location").
  11. Click "Make Changes" (This is an important step, you MUST save it without the image for this to work)
  12. A preview of your ad should pop up and your picture should be gone. If your picture is gone, click the "Edit" button again
  13. Go to the bottom of your ad and insert this code:
  14. Click "Make Changes" to save the image
  15. Finally, navigate back to your bit.ly account and look for you image link (it will be at the top of the "Recent" list). Click the "Info" button to see your link stats.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Loving it!!

got80s said...

You could probably do the same with another website called Cli.gs
http://cli.gs/ (mentioned on lifehacker)

Anonymous said...

Awesome! even easier if you host your own images as I do, the bit.ly URL tracking is the key to this hack.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand - will a viewer be able to see the picture without clicking on the link? Is this just to track clicks on picture or will it tell me how many people have seen my post (even if they have not clicked the bit.ly link)?

Jessica said...

hi

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If you need any free help to make your blog google friendly. ( free of cost ) then please feel free to contact me.

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sI4m said...

when a person looks at the craigslist ad, the server will load the page including the bit.ly linked picture. therefore, bit.ly is able to track the number of views.

bit.ly is basically acting as the middle person between the actual link to the picture and the user.

Anonymous said...

sl4m:

Got it, thanks!

Anonymous said...

i found another service that works like this, but is meant for it. It isn't completed, but it is free and easy.

adtools.infinicastonline.com

Anonymous said...

I like the counters from TinyCount.com even better.

bryan said...

im having some trouble with this working that hopefully you can help with.
when i right click my image it shows copy but not copy image location. not sure if that is the same thing. I went to properties and copied the location from there. also, #13 you say go to the bottom of the ad, do you mean in the written area of the ad or where an image would be uploaded? thanks for your help.

Anonymous said...

If you are using firefox, when you right click the image you need to choose Copy Image Location instead.

Kallen Web Design

Angie said...

I have an option to "Save picture" or "Copy" but "Copy shortcut" and almost all the other options are disabled. Help?

NM said...

Nice work, loving it - http://seattle.craigslist.org/tac/bfs/915675474.html

NM said...

Thanks.

CraigslistAdMakeovers.com said...

Thank you for posting such a great step-by-step. I just went through the steps and look forward to publishing and tracking Craigslist Ad Campaigns for myself and my clients!

Anonymous said...

@Brian

Right-click on the image and select properties. You should see the url link in there

Daniel said...

Thank you so much for writing this. We are looking for a new roommate and it has been very helpful to see what subject lines get the best view rates and what contents get the best response rate (instead of wondering if we were getting no responses because no one was looking just then or because they were all getting scared away).

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I've used statcounter.com for years for this kind of thing. The free accounts work great for low-volume web traffic like craigslist ads. On the page where you choose the install code style, I usually use "Invisible Counter" and choose the "HTML only counter". Like this hack, it doesn't require javascript. Hope this gives people another option.

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Seth said...

Just tried this out today and craigslist is blocking the posting of ads containing URL's with bit.ly in them

Anonymous said...

CraigslistAdTracker.com is the solution.

Anonymous said...

Tried this today...doesn't work.

CL is blocking the ad when it sees "bit.ly"

Anonymous said...

Ditto here. Get the following error:

The following term(s) cannot be used: "bit.ly"

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Olaf said...

You can also try http://craigslist-tracking-with-google-analytics.com/. It is free and provides you a pixel that you insert in the listing. Reports are available through Google Analytics or own report features.

Anonymous said...

Craigslistadtracker.com doesn't work either.