How To Generate Craigslist Traffic In 2024

Updated: January 31, 2024 by Bill Burniece

craigslist traffic

Craigslist is an enormously popular site in which you can post simple classified ads that can drive free traffic to your websites.

If you’re not using Craigslist traffic right now, it’s probably because you’ve used it in the past and gave up after they tightened their posting rules.

It’s still a great place to generate free targeted traffic to your site but only if you know how to play the game within their new set of rules.

A decade ago Craigslist was the wild-wild west of classified ads for marketers where almost everything was allowed and most things worked.

There was no moderation (can you imagine?) so it quickly became inhabited by every spammer on the planet who almost destroyed the site for everyone.

Craigslist has cleaned up the site and now has a user flagging system to quickly identify illegal inappropriate, and spammy postings.

Unfortunately its common for us hard working marketers to have our ads flagged and deleted even if we thinks were within the Craigslist guidelines.

But if you follow some tips, listed below, Craigslist traffic generation still works. 

How To Drive Traffic From Craigslist

  1. Once you sign up for an account at make sure to learn the Terms of Service to stay on Craig’s good side:
  2. Log in and find a category that fits your product, service, or promotion. Once you find the right place for your ad use these tips to get the best response and traffic back to your site:
  3. Always use an image. Ads with images always get a higher click-through rate than ones that don’t.
  4. Unless your offer is localized post your ad in the 7 cities that get the most Craigslist traffic:
    • San Francisco
    • New York
    • Seattle
    • San Diego
    • Los Angeles
    • Boston
    • Chicago
  5. Craigslist only allows a few post per day so make several accounts with different email addresses. These days you’re usually asked for a phone verification for each account so you may be limited to the number of phone numbers you have access to.
  6. Hyper-link your ad to your website where possible. Unfortunately Craigslist has disabled this ability in most some categories but not all of them.  Where you can use hyper-links use this simple HTML tag in the post body section:  <a href=””>Click Here Now</a>
  7. Where you cannot hyper-link your site make sure you at least put in your website address anyway “” and instruct your audience to cut and paste it into their browser.
  8. Make a compelling offer to get people to go to your site. Create or offer an ethical bribe such as an ebook, video tutorial, or special report with the information they’re looking for.
  9. Check out the Craigslist forums as well as the classified section. Find your topic and join in on the conversation.  Build trust, demonstrate your expertise, help others, and be cool about it. Don’t blatantly sell, SPAM, or irritate.

Craigslist is still a good place to generate free traffic but it does take some effort and persistence.

That, and paying attention to the constantly changing rules.

There will be times you’ll be frustrated when your ads are flagged, deleted, or ‘ghosted’ by Craigslist but with some trial and error you’ll quickly learn what works and what doesn’t.

10 Craigslist Traffic Tips

Craigslist traffic generation from their platform to your own websites and offers is most effective using the following ten strategies.

But please understand that Craigslist has strict rules against spam and commercial postings, so it’s important to follow to their guidelines.

Here are some effective ways to do just that:

  1. Create Interesting Listings: Your listings should be relevant and more importantly provide value to the reader. Include clear, high-quality images or pictures and detailed descriptions. Make sure that your listing stands out from others.
  2. Include A Clear Call-To-Action: Give readers a good reason to visit your website for more information, but make sure it’s relevant to your listing. For example, if you’re selling a product, you could invite users to visit your site for a sample, more details, or related products.
  3. Provide Valuable Content: If your website offers something valuable related to your Craigslist listing (such as a detailed guide, additional services, or related products), mention this in your listing.
  4. Optimize For Search: Use relevant keywords in your Craigslist post to get it found by your target audience. 
  5. Update Your Listings: Regular updates can help keep your listings remain visible and relevant. But make sure you read Craigslist’s rules about reposting and updating ads to avoid being flagged or ghosted.
  6. Return Messages Quickly: If a reader reaches out with a question, make sure to respond ASAP.
  7. Use Multiple Categories: If applicable, post your listing in multiple relevant categories to maximize your listing’s exposure.
  8. Use A Local Approach: If you are looking for a specific local audience make sure you target the specific Craigslist community you are posting in.
  9. Include A Link In Your Bio: While direct advertising is frowned upon by Craigslist, including a link to your website in your user bio is still OK at the time of this writing.
  10. Follow Craigslist Rules: Make sure that all of your postings follow with Craigslist’s terms of service. Violating these rules can lead to your posts being removed (or ghosted) and your account being banned.