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Using Keywords in your Ticket Ads

It’s been a while since our last post (before the holidays) and we thought it would be time to focus today’s lesson on a simple and often overlooked technique to get your ticket ads more traffic – use good meta keywords!   Although meta keywords alone are no longer a major factor search engines consider when ranking search results, they should not be left off the page as they help direct the search engines as to what terms in your post are important. In fact, we feel they are so important they are mandatory when submitting your ticket ad.

Often overlooked, well crafted keywords can bring even more highly targeted traffic to your ticket ad!

Often overlooked, well crafted keywords can bring even more highly targeted traffic to your ticket ad!

When posting an ad it’s always a good idea to put together a mental list of the most important search terms.  When you make your list, start by looking over the ad copy on the submit ad form and ask yourself, “what terms are users likely to use when search for tickets to your event?”.  Pick  the terms that most accurately describe the event and tickets for sale and are likely to be used in internet searches.  Because of the uber-competitiveness of the current search engine placement landscape in the ticket industry, pages need to be very focused on one or two specific keyword phrases in order to have a chance to get a top ten placement.  For example, an ad about 2010 Winter Games snowboarding  and hockey tickets doesn’t have much of a chance to get high placement for either “2010 Winter Games Hockey Tickets” or “2010 Winter Games Snowboarding Tickets”.  Essentially, your keywords would have to be all over the place and this dilutes the value of each keyword.  This is why we do not allow (nor recommend) generic ads.  Each ad posted should represent a group of tickets to a specific event and your should be able to describe that with 4 keyword terms or phrases.

So now that we have covered the basics of keywords, let’s try some examples.  Let’s say you are looking to sell tickets to 2010 Winer Games Snowboarding Events- what are the key terms that best describe the event and the ticket that are for sale?  Let’s make a list and answer the 4 basic questions that are critical to ticket ads:

  • What is the event? 2010 Winter Games Snowboarding
  • When is the event? 2/15/2010
  • Where is the event? Cypress Mountain, Victoria, British Columbia
  • Where are the tickets? Category A Reserved

Now after having answered those basic questions, you have your finely tuned keyword list:  “2010 Winter Games Snowboarding, 2/15/2010, Cypress Mountain, Victoria, British Columbia, Category A Reserved”.  Now you’ve just told the search engines what are the important terms in your ad!  It’s that simple.

Converting Traffic into Ticket Sales

If you have been listing your tickets on Free Ticket Classifieds you will probably notice each ad gets quite a bit of traffic (especially if you upgraded your account to a premium membership!) thanks to our search engine optimization efforts. However, traffic does not necessarily equate to click-throughs or sales. Since roughly 85% of our traffic comes directly through search engines many ticket buyers are shopping around looking for the best deal. Since pretty much all the ticket infomation is included in the ad most buyers have no incentive to click-thourgh unless they are VERY interested in purchasing the tickets. Don’t think of this as a bad thing – essentially you are getting highly targeted traffic from visitors that are interested in purchasing tickets. Below are some tips to help you maximize click-throughs and sales:

1). List tickets at competitive prices.

Some of the tickets that get the most traffic are also the same tickets that are the most expensive. You may get a lot of traffic by posting an ad for a Taylor Swift concert but you may be much more successful selling tickets to a Weezer concert. Ultimately sales are most important so focus on actually selling tickets.

2). Put some thought and effort into each ad.

Users can usually tell which ads are posted hastily with a copy and paste template that provide little in terms of details. This is your chance to be a salesperson and tell the user why they should buy from you. Not many people have a favorable view of ticket brokers and human element can go a long way towards gaining the trust of ticket buyers.

3). Make it clear how to purchase the tickets.

People have a short attention span and will move on to other ads if you do not make it clear how to purchase the tickets. If you plan to coordinate the sale through email, encourage users to click the reply button. If you want them to follow a link, make sure the link stands out from other text in the ad description. For links, the most successful method seems to be placing a hyperlinked “Buy Now” button in the ad description. To place a button in the ad description just use the following HTML snippet:

<p><a href=”http://YOUR LINK HERE.com”><img src=”http://YOUR IMAGE LINK HERE.jpg” title=”Your title”></a></p>

If you want us to host your button image let us know and we can upload it for you.

While these suggestions have been proven to be successful it’s most important to do what works for you. Feel free to expirament with different ad copy to see what gets the best results. Ultimately, the best way to be successful is to sell a quality product and offer good service at a good price.

Search Engine Friendly Titles

One of the most important and often over-looked details when posting an ad to sell you sports, concert, or theater tickets is the title.  Not only is the title you chose important in order to provoke a potential ticket buyer to click your ad but it is also an important part of optimization for search engines.  A good title should both entice the reader and be something someone might type into a search engine to find the tickets you are trying to sell.  Sounds simple enough, right?

It certainly can be simple but anticipating search terms can be quite difficult.  Probably the easiest titles to write are for sports events.  A good title for sports tickets really only needs to include 2 pieces of information: 1) the teams involved and 2) the date.  For example take a look at the title for the most popular ticket ad at Free Tickets Classifieds, Ole Miss vs. LSU Tickets 11/21/2009.  This short and to-the-point title is exactly what hundreds of people have typed into a search engine and through the power of FTC this ad is currently in the top 3 of the google search results.  While this simple title technique is exteremly effective you can always spice it up with other similar variations: Cheap Ole Miss vs. LSU Tickets 11/21, Buy Ole Miss vs. LSU Tickets, Ole Miss – LSU football Tickets, Discount Ole Miss LSU tickets, etc.  By now I hope you are getting the point- short is best.

With concert and theater tickets things get a little more tricky.  When searching for something like Taylor Swift tickets there are many more variations of the same title to consider.  Most potential customers are not going to search for something generic like, “Taylor Swift Tickets”.  Instead they are going to search for these tickets with additional date, geolocation, and/or venue parameters included- the key is hitting the right ones.  Further compounding the situation is that these parameters often vary by location, performer, and venue.  For example someone in Austin Texas looking for Taylor Swift tickets might seach for tickets by entering terms like, “Taylor Swift Tickets Austin” or “Taylor Swift Tickets 3/10/2010″.   However, someone in Uncasville Connecticut may take a different approach with a much more well known venue (i.e. “Mohegan Sun Taylor Swift Tickets” or “Taylor Swift at Mohegan Sun Tickets”).  Sometimes with concert tickets it takes a little trial and error to figure out what terms produce the best results without overloading your title with too many terms (too many words in a title dilutes to keyword importance).

Although there is no magic formula to construct good ad titles, its important to keep in mind what both the costumer and search engines are looking for:  a brief description of what you are selling.  If you make your titles along those lines you ads will quickly appear at the top of Google and will be bringing in ticket customers by the boatload.

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!