How to track craigslist ads

Tracking craigslist ads can be a little tricky because javascript, flash and other useful scripting languagaes are not allowed. It is possible however to track ads using a simple image tracking program. This is limited compared to full-featured javascript tracking script, but it will at least give some idea of the amount of views that your ad is getting.

This should also work on myspace, and other networks that allow html, but do not allow javascript or flash.

HTML-only tracking systems:

There’s going to be a lot more tracking programs than these, but a lot of them are unprofessional or require you to link back to them. Your current analytics program may already allow image only tracking, so I would check there first to be sure.

Configuring your tracking:
When you put html into a craigslist ad, you need to format the entire ad in html, not just the tracking image. If you don’t there is a good chance that something is going to get messed up.

The best way to do this is to use an html or text editor to make your ad. On craigslist in general, I have had the best results with a writing very clean copy that reads straight through. The ad needs to be clearly written, and should be very concise. Once you are done making your ad, paste the tracking image code at the bottom of it. Then copy and paste the entire html into the craigslist ad (Don’t copy the <body> or <head> tags). You should also place one or more good images at the bottom of the ad, assuming it is for a product. Pictures make a huge difference for any classified ad.

Example of complete ad code:

Craigslist Tracking System for Sale

Purchase this great tracking system so you can keep track of how many visits your craigslist ad gets.

Some more words here….

site hit counter

Now when you log into your analytics account, you should see reporting from this specific ad. This type of tracking lacks a lot of the data that full-featured analytics will have. But if you can’t use any scripting, it’s basically the only way to track.

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  1. J.L. Reid 27 Jul, 2007

    True, the method you described would provide some simple tracking…

    But, you *can* track craigslist ads with greater detail by providing the ad viewers a url to your website. Then, for each ad, assign a unique tracking id to that url…

    Now, in whatever analytics package you use–and you *should* be measuring and analyzing your website traffic using some software–you can see what ads are referring more visitors to your site. You can also tie the ads to specific conversion points to really create a full picture of what’s going on.

    While your method is good if you don’t have a website, if you do… you shouldn’t rely on an image counter alone.

  2. Rick Rochon 28 Oct, 2007

    If you really want to track all calls, clicks and emails generated by a Craigslist ad, give our application a try at http://www.adsymetrix.com

  3. John Paul 17 Jan, 2008

    This is a simple yet powerful free solution to all your craigslist web analytic needs.

    Give craigslist-hits a try. It is a free web tool developed by craigslist companion.


  4. Sign Twirlers 29 Apr, 2008

    Hi J.L.

    I just wanted to reply to your comment. redirecting CL visitors to your site is also a part of what needs to be tracked. Simply knowing how many visitors arrived at your site from CL is not adequate unless it is also known how many people actually looked at the listing, this is known as CTR or “click-thru rating” and is an important number. It lets you know if your subject heading is attracting enough attention and how well written your ad content is (or else viewers will rarely click-thru to your site). BTW StatCounter no longer works on CL. I’m not sure about HitsLog.

  5. Thitherintinton 20 May, 2008

    Just started using StatCounter yesterday and it seems to be working fine on Craigslist now.

  6. Nicolle 26 May, 2008

    Hey guys i need some help. Ok so my boss is a real estate agent. He has ads on kijij and craigslist. Now when people click these ads it sends them to his website danmillar.com . and from his website he tracks how many hits he gets but what he wants to know is how many hits are coming from craigslist and how many are coming from kijiji so he knows where to invest more money. Now how can i find out or track whats coming from where? email me back at nicollechase_327@hotmail.com

    Thanks guys šŸ™‚

  7. CLHits 28 Oct, 2008

    Hi Nicolle,

    You can try this free craigslist hit counter http://craigslistcompanion.clhits.com/clstats/

    It does exactly what you want. It will tell you how many hits are from Kijiji and how many is from craigslist.

  8. CraigF 11 Nov, 2008

    Unfortunately, http://craigslistcompanion.clhits.com/clstats/ was shut down effective today. The nasty folks at Craigslist sent them a Cease and Desist letter.

  9. Hil 21 Nov, 2008

    Do no try a suggestion that needs you to have a tracking device in the body of the AD.

    Here is why:
    whatever tracking device, be it a url, a keyword, image file etc etc , it will be common across all your ADs. Now you know taht anything common between ads will be interpreted by Craigslist seevrs as comming from the same source and will get your ADs ghosted and your precious Craigslist accounts to be placed on hold.

    There is another way to do it:
    1) Maintain a log of all the posting you do
    2) Enable only the anonymous email notification as the only source of contact.
    3) evaluate the incomming email for the 9 digit number which is usually a part of the email address or the body

    Now you can figure out exactly which part of the US or even the world were your visitors are coming from. If you post in mutiple categories you could even find out which categories generate the most hits. Will need some programming skills. Hope this helps

  10. joe 29 Nov, 2008

    I have a customized html visitor tracking system that I build for someone wants to track visitor stats for his ads on places he can post his ads. If you want to give it a try email me and I can send you the zip file. I think it works on Crg-list and other major ad posting sites from what he told me. Click hereto email me.

  11. White Rock Real Estate 11 Jun, 2009

    Wow, I didn’t even know you could track the hits on Craigslist. Getting so many listings on there now it seems you have to post every 2 mins to be at the top.

  12. Adam 23 Jul, 2009

    I created a little hack a while back and just want to share with everyone. craigslistadtracker.com

  13. Velcro 13 Aug, 2009

    I fount http://trackcraigslist.com and it does everyting I want to do. It works on my Craigslist ads and my Oodle ads.

    They say is works in HTML too.

  14. @iq4sale 24 Sep, 2009

    You can also use http://img.0sp.in
    It is pretty basic but does what I need it to do.

  15. David Hudson 7 Nov, 2009

    The most effective tracker I’ve found is http://craigscounter.com/

  16. David 13 Nov, 2009

    The best I’ve found so far is http://craigscounter.com/
    Doesn’t require registration or anything. Also includes live visitor tracking as they visit your ad. Pretty cool.

  17. Jason 17 Jan, 2010

    A pretty neat system I have found is http://www.slipdex.com. The system is a free ad template maker that allows image uploads, and they also have a section where you can opt in to track your ad’s views. The control panel for the option shows you which url the ad was tracked from. So if you have 5 ads, it will tell you the url of which ad was viewed. It works really really well.


  18. Adam 17 Jun, 2010

    What about http://www.craigslistcounter.com/ who’s tried that? It seems like it was made specifically for tracking listings.

  19. Mike 12 Jul, 2010

    I have an even easier Method,
    Host an image on your website pertaining to your ad, shorten the img url using bitly or some other shortening service, then set up an img tag similar to the statcounter method pointing to the bitly url. at that point you can use the bitly dashboard to track hits real time

  20. john soto 15 Jul, 2011

    how do you track craigslist job emails? Such as job-bxgxx-2434584734@craigslist.org. My outlook express doesn’t reply to craigslist emails so i made copie of each job ad,hoping that my outlook express would work later,but it hasn’t. My problem now is, that the jobs i copied have been removed,but i still want to reply anyway hoping i can still get a job.

  21. Brad 12 Aug, 2011

    There’s a new classified hit tracker available at http://www.KrystalsPixels.com

    It even includes an integrated url shortener to correlate click-thru’s to specific trackers. It seems to work really well.

  22. Mark 17 Aug, 2011

    My previous tool of choice was CraigslistAdTracker.com, but their 10 item limit was a pain in the arse.

    Here’s another way to do Craigslist Analytics.


  23. Abby 18 Aug, 2011

    I tried carigslistAdTracker.com, It works very well. yayyyy! Thank you for your post, this is exactly what I’m looking for. btw I highly recommend majon.net, their services over the years including: link building, targeted emailings, Mall link, targeted traffic, article marketing, press releases and others.Iā€™m not sure how it all works but it has sure worked for me.

  24. J. Ramirez 2 Oct, 2011

    CraigslistAdTracker is a very helpful tool! I am looking more into internet services to build up my website and how to keep track of my growing traffic. I actually took the advice of the previous comment and looked into the services of Majon International and I have never been happier with my results! I learned so much about SEO, and along with CraigslistAdTracker, I was able to optimize my traffic and promote my company through strategic internet marketing.

  25. Mandi 27 Nov, 2011

    Try http://www.piwik.org. It’s a self hosted stats tracking script written in PHP. Open source too…

  26. Brody 3 Dec, 2011

    I use http://MonitHits.com . It’s the only free site I found devoted to craigslist tracking.

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