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Tickifieds Site Changes and Blog Update

At Tickifieds we strive to provide a safe and friendly place where buyers and sellers of event tickets can connect.  Since we opened our doors (as FreeTicketClassifieds.com) all the way back in 2008, we have tried our best to manually review all ads posted on the site and remove the spam and the scams.  We think we have done a pretty good job over the years but as the site continues to grow, it has become more popular with the spammers. As such, it has become increasingly time consuming keeping up with the spam and has starting restricting our ability to focus on what we all care about…more eyeballs on our ads.

So, in order to cut down on the amount of spam we get, we have decided to charge a nominal fee to post ticket listings at Tickifieds.  Previously, users were allowed to post up to 10 ads at no charge.  Starting on August 21st, we will begin charging $1 for those same 10 listing.  We hope that this small fee will prevent a large proportion of the spammers from impacting the service we provide to both ticket buyers and sellers.  This charge is also considerably less than similar services like Craigslist (now $5 per ad) and Backpage ($1 per ad).  We certainly think a mere 10 cents per ad is a bargain.  For our Premium Members, we will continue to offer unlimited posting packages for as low as $25 per month.

Our last announcement is that we have decided to start another Tickifieds Blog (Tickifieds Daily Ticket Trends) that will focus on the most popular events and on sale updates.  Now that we no longer have to continuously check for spam, we have more time to focus on our marketing efforts and provide additional services for our members.  Since the majority of our paying members are ticket brokers, this information has proven to be very useful for event ticket marketing.  After http://freeonsalelist.com/ stopped posting on sale updates, many ticket brokers were left in the dark.  At our new blog we will featuring daily updates on what tickets went on sale and what tickets are currently hot.  If you haven’t already, please check out our new blog here.  If you have any feature requests or suggestions please let us know in the comments!

Tickifieds Gets a Facelift

TickifiedsThe world’s largest (and we think best) event ticket classifieds website just got a new look.  It’s been nearly two years since we last updated the look and feel of Tickifieds and we went all out his time making it cleaner, easier to navigate, faster and more search engine friendly.

One of the biggest enhancements is the addition of the search bar to the top of the page.  Roughly 60% of our visitors will perform a ticket search while visiting the site.  We’ve made it easier and more convenient by putting the search box front and center. This will help ticket buyers not only find tickets easier but also compare ticket prices and seat location for a particular event.

Perhaps what is most apparent is the cleaned up look of the site.  We’ve eliminated a lot of redundant links and extraneous code making it much easier to navigate the site.  This not only helps reduce the time it takes to load a page but also also will help the site be even more search engine friendly.  If you pay attention to the world of search engine optimization (SEO), page load times are becoming an increasingly important ranking factor.    The new design cut the page load time in half.  Previously, according to Pingdom Tools, Tickifieds was faster than only 20-25% of websites.  Now we are happy to report that the site is faster than 70-75% of all websites!

We’ve also fixed some minor bugs while updating the site.  One of the most noticeable is a fix for the sorting of columns in our custom lists (e.g. Recent Ads, Popular Ads, Search Results, etc.).  Now users have the ability to sort these list by popular fields like event date, price, views, responses, section, row, and many more.

What do you think of the new look?

Top 5 SEO Tips for Ticket Broker Websites

With the advent of massive online ticket exchanges (e.g. Ticket Network Direct) it is becoming increasingly difficult to optimize ticket broker and affiliate websites for search engines.   These ticket exchanges have many advantages in that it makes it possible for even the smallest of ticket brokers to supply their customers with tickets to nearly any of the 80,000+ events throughout the U.S.  However, as a result, nearly all of the ticket broker websites list the exact same tickets for sale often at the exact same price.  Anyone that knows a thing or two about search engine optimization (SEO) knows that duplicate content is a big no-no.  So what is a ticket broker to do to overcome the duplicate content issue?  In this post we discuss 5 easy things you can do to optimize your website for the search engines and build both traffic and sales.

1.  Create Unique and Useful Content

Anyone that pays attention to the best management practices recommended by the many search engines (i.e. Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.) knows that content is king.  With literally 10,000+ ticket broker websites in the U.S. alone it is not enough to simply list ticketed events on your website.  Everyone already does that.  In order to get premium placement in the search results you must provide additional details for the events you have for sale.  Many ticket broker websites make the mistake of only adding some copy and pasted text (usually from Wikipedia) to the performer or team page.  While this does provide the page with additional keywords, it will not help you as it is not unique nor useful content.  Simply put, don’t bother wasting your time.  If you are not going to take the time to write your own original and unique content that will benefit your users (which is highly recommended) , a more efficient method is to utilize RSS feeds to display relevant content on each performer and/or team page.  There are many websites that can provide syndicated content free of charge.  While original content is best, syndicated content can help your website visitors find relevant information and boost the amount of text on each of your pages.

Some good feeds to use can be found at:

CBS Sports RSS Feeds

ESPN RSS Feeds

Ticket RSS Feeds

You can also build a custom news feeds at Google News.  To make you own feed simply put your search terms where it says “MYSEARCHTERM” in the following URL: http://news.google.com/news?q=MYSEARCHTERM&output=rss

2. Build backlinks

While search engines use complicated algorithms that are constantly evolving to rank the pages that are displayed on the search results, the biggest ranking factor seems to be the quality and number of backlinks.  In the eyes of the search engines, each link to a page is considered a vote for that page.  A vote from a highly respected website is weighted over a vote from a not so respectable website.

Backlinks are not easy to get for a commercial ticket website.  The best way to get free backlinks are to list tickets for sale at various classifieds websites.  However, classifieds websites like Craigslist and Backpage will delete your ads after a short period of time, thus, negating any long terms benefits.  Perhaps the best classifieds site to post ticket ads is at Tickifieds as the ads are permanent and never deleted.

Another way to build backlinks to engaging in discussions on various blogs.  Most blogs commenting systems will allow participants to leave a link to your website.  You will want to find blogs related to the content your are looking to promote and leave a thoughtful comment.  There is an art to this as a generic or unrelated comments can come across as spam and will prevent your comment (and link) from being approved.  Probably one of the best blogs to comment on is the very one you are reading as it is directly related to the ticket industry.  So, feel free to comment on this article and get a free and easy backlink to your website.

3. Encourage Sharing on Social Media Websites

Many search engines are looking towards social media as indicators of quality content.  Webpages shared on social media sites are treated much like backlinks- a virtual vote for your webpage.  Encouraging sharing on social media site is pretty easy and straight forward.  Place buttons to various social networking sites to encourage sharing of your content.  Some of the top services include Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.  You can either get a snippet of code from each of those services or you can integrate all of them via a service like AddThis or ShareThis.

To make this even more effective, be sure to created branded pages on each of these services.  For example check out our Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ pages.

4. Start a Blog

Blogs are a great way to accomplish many of the other items on the list.  A blog can be used to create unique content, build backlinks, and encourage visitors to engage with you via social media.  You can either create a blog on a subdomain of your ticket website or simply use a free hosted solution like WordPress or Blogger.  While creating a blog is free and easy to do, remember not to underestimate the time and dedication need to reap the immense benefits of blogging.  If you are going to start a blog you will need to frequently write fresh content (at minimum 2-3 articles a week).

5. List your Tickets at Tickifieds.com

While we have already mentioned the benefits or using Tickifieds.com to enhance the visibility of your ticket website in the search engines, we thought we would expand upon that statement a bit further.  Tickifieds is really a unique service in that it provide as highly visible platform to promote your service and/or tickets.  The volume of ticket listing we receive everyday ensure that the search engine spiders frequently crawl our website.  When they do so they note any links to outside websites.  By making a listing you get a quick, easy, and free “vote” for your webpage from a highly respected website.  Tickifieds is one of the top websites in the world (see our Alexa rank) and consistently appears at the top of the search results for many event ticket terms.  So even if you are failing at SEO for you own website you can easily get search engine visibility through Tickifieds.

You can even further the benefits of using Tickifieds by checking out some of our ticket classifieds tips.  Of particular interest is our article on using your personalized RSS feed.  Your personal RSS feed contains only ads you posted and is a tool to build viral backlinks to your ads and website.  To learn more about this be sure to check out “Promoting Ticket Sales With RSS Feeds“.

We’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback so please leave a comment!

 

 

 

Competing with Craigslist?

This post may be a bit unrelated to “Ticket Classifieds”, but I’ve often been asked by others who are looking to tap into the online classifieds market about what it takes to make it and can Craigslist.org be surpassed as the undisputed “King of Classifieds”. Before I delve into this question further, let’s identify some of the top online classifieds sites out there (Alexa Traffic Rank in parentheses).

  1. Craigslist.org (#38)
  2. Gumtree.com (#936)
  3. Backpage.com (#1021)
  4. Kijiji.com (#2953)
  5. Oodle.com (#3066)
  6. USFreeAds.com (#4,762)
  7. Yakaz.com (#10,083) 1.2 M
  8. Classifiedads.com (#10,263)
  9. AdlandPro.com (#10,433)
  10. Vast (#18,939)
  11. DomesticSale.com (#20,766)
  12. Recycler.com (#28,071)
  13. Sell.com (#29,400)
  14. ePage.com (#31,067)
  15. uPillar.com (#79, 591)
  16. FreeTicketClassifieds.com (#82,145)

What you notice from this list is that you have Craigslist (CL), then a huge gap between the next closest competitor.It would seem that CLs grasp on the market is pretty insurmountable until you consider the fact that Craigslist has 40+ for sale categories, 30+ Jobs categories, personals, and their forums spread across hundreds of cities. So when you consider Craigslist has at least 100 different sections in at least 100 different major cities (10,000 total sections), their 50 million monthly visitors (US) equate to roughly 5000 visitors per month, per category, per city. While that is still a fair amount of traffic and is not evenly distributed, it clearly illustrates that it is feasible to break into the market by simply focusing on a particular niche or geographic location.

Even more promising is the fact that other popular sites like GumTree.com, Backpage.com, and Oodle.com all have significant traffic spread out across the same categories and geographic locations. You take their traffic and spread it out across all their categories and cities and you are talking approximately only 200 vistors per month! While it’s important to remember that these are just averages, it just goes to show you the tremendous opportunity there is for new online classifieds websites if you focus on one niche. Remember, Craigslist started as a local classifieds site just for the San Franciscon Bay Area.

At Free Ticket Classifieds we feel we are well on our way to becoming (if we aren’t already) the “King of Ticket Classifieds” as indicated by our continued increases in traffic and growth. While the ticket categories at Craigslist may still be getting more traffic in major US cities, there is no question that we have surpassed internet giants Backpage.com, Oodle.com, Kijiji.com, and Gumtree.com. Further, our current Alexa rank of 82,145 represents traffic for roughly 1/200 of the US classified market. Factoring that in, our relative Alexa rank would be around 410! A few more months of steady growth and FreeTicketClassifieds.com is poised to take over Craigslist as the largest and most visited online ticket classifieds website.

 

 

 

Why Free Ticket Classifieds is Different..

Welcome to the Free Ticket Classifeids Blog!  Here you will learn all the tips and tricks to help you promote the sale of your sports, theater, and concert tickets using the internets #1 event ticket classifieds.  While we don’t necessarily like to toot our own horn, with our first blog post we will tell you why Free Ticket Classifieds (FTC) is different and why we feel it is the BEST way to sell your event tickets online.

First, unlike other online classifieds, we only deal with event tickets.  Therefore, we attract only vistors interested in buying or selling event tickets- not cars, houses, escorts, or other nefarious goods and services.   By focusing on the event ticket niche we are able to specifically target ticket buyers and sellers ONLY.  Since we are only in the ticket business we able to provide some unique promotion, search engine optimization, and social networking techniques that reliabily get your ad listed on the first page of google.  While some of these techniques are reserved exclusively for our Premium Members, our free member ads also rank very high in the search engines.  Try getting a ad submitted to Craigslist, Oodle, or Backpage to appear on the first page of google in a highly competitive market- it just ain’t going to happen.

FTC is also unique in the way in which tickets are listed for sale.  At most classifieds website, items are listed geographically (i.e. by city, state, country, etc.).  This may make sense when trying to purchase difficult to ship items like furniture, cars, or a house but does it matter if someone is trying to sell their Chicago Cubs tickets from Alaska or Naperville? No.  Tickets are easy to ship and many tickets today are emailable.  At FTC we decided to list tickets by the actual event or team.  So if you are looking for Cubs tickets you just need to browse our Chicago Cubs Ticket Classifieds, not a dozen or so cities near the Chicago area.

Anyone that has tried to sell their tickets online knows it can be a difficult task.  Sites like EBay and Craislist have dominated the market but difficultly in listing tickets (flagging, IP blocking, phone verified accounts, ghosting, etc.) have rendered many sites almost useless for anyone selling multiple items.  At FTC you will never have to worry about your ads getting ghosted flagged, unexplainably deleted, burried, etc. – if your follow our simple Terms of Use - you will always be able to post as many ads as you like, as often as you like and best of all it’s FREE.

While we have worked hard to make FTC the best place to buy and sell event tickets we are constantly looking for way to improve our service.  If you have any comments or suggests please let us know!