Track Page Views on Craigslist

If you knew how many times your post was viewed on Craigslist, would you find it useful?

I post on occasion in search of ride pools, stuff I’m selling, etc. You may or may not recall the age-old methods of spammers, where opening an email sent a ping back to them saying, “Yes I opened your email, here I am.” Well it’s all in the image.

So whether an image is relevant or not for your post, it’s key for metrics, not to mention the fact that your post will stand out from all the rest without. Don’t worry. This isn’t unethical like SPAM. It’s easy for those who operate a server. (Windows friends–don’t feel neglected; this is geared toward Apache running on linux.)

I’m not too sure about javascript or anything like that, but when you write your post, HTML is allowed. Throw up an image to the HTML dir on your server and add this to your post:

[code]<img src="http://www.your-server-or-IP.whatever/image_name.jpg" mce_src="http://www.your-server-or-IP.whatever/image_name.jpg">[/code]

Thus, every time someone views your post, they load the image from your server. You can track metrics with any GUI such as Webalizer, or use the following shell script:

[code]#!/bin/bash

file="filename.jpg"
log_path="/var/log/httpd/access_log"
cat $log_path | grep $file | wc -l[/code]

The pipe to wc will give the number of times Apache has served the image, also indicating the number of page views.

In addition, Craigslist is receptive to CSS, but in a limited fashion, so you can get creative to a point. I’ve been able to change fonts and other little things here and there.

In your post, for example:

[code]<p style="font-family:georgia; font-weight:bold;">Post text, etc., etc.</p>[/code]

If you don’t know anything about linux, Apache, or would ever care to, I’d be happy to host your image for you (until your post expires) and give you access to a private web page (which runs this script on my server in the background) and displays your specific stats in an easy-to-read manner.

Edit: Stat Counter works fine too, for those without a server (personally untested).

 

About Benjamin Perove

Benjamin has been associated with computer technology starting from a very early age, and has contributed to the success of many businesses and enterprises since 2001. He loves to crush pow at Keystone, play acoustic guitar, climb rocks, and ascend mountains on his road bike. Benjamin is an Avalanche fan and currently resides in Boulder, Colorado.

36 Comments so far

  1. [...] for free? Please share in the comments. Here are a few more ways to get the most out of Craigslist. Track Page Views on Craigslist [Benjamin D. [...]

  2. razornl @ August 13th, 2007

    I don’t know if it will work, but statcounter.com allows you to place an invisible and free tracker. This way you can actually view extensive stats from your craigslist.

  3. sardines @ August 13th, 2007

    I tried statcounter.com, and it’s working!

  4. AskTheAdmin @ August 13th, 2007

    Yes StatCounter is the way to go! But both methods will work. Great work from the boyz over @ http://www.askTheAdmin.com do you mind if we repost this??

  5. Bob @ August 13th, 2007
  6. [...] for free? Please share in the comments. Here are a few more ways to get the most out of Craigslist. Track Page Views on Craigslist [Benjamin D. [...]

  7. varis @ August 13th, 2007

    doesn’t work
    craigslist will cut

    to

  8. varis @ August 13th, 2007

    exactly as your blog did

  9. Matt @ August 13th, 2007

    Cool tip…

    Someone could also use a service like Google Analytics or as razornl mentioned statcounter. This saves people the trouble from running their own server.

  10. Jleagle @ August 14th, 2007

    I dout it will allow google analytics cos its javascript.

  11. Ben @ August 14th, 2007

    I’ve tried Google Analytics some time ago and will confirm it does not work.

  12. web statistics @ September 2nd, 2007

    i’m using idlogger (http://www.idlogger.com) for web statistics, it’s very powerfull and affordable.

  13. Frank @ November 22nd, 2007

    I’m using KeywordRadar.com

    There’s some really good tools to track stuff like this and determine which keywords led people to your ads.

  14. Greg @ November 26th, 2007

    I’d like to know how statcounter is working for you guys. I tried to edit an ad using statcounter invisible, html and got a “The ad is being blocked” notice.

    Ben, I’m interested in your web page and script for a couple of my ads. I have my own server with webalizer, but I am too stupid to understand how to implement your html example and aquire the stats from webalizer.

  15. Arron Smith @ January 17th, 2008

    FREE Craigslist-Hits is what it is called

    What more can you want? It’s FREE. Simply and Easy…

    Download your stats in Excel or CSV format and View your stats chart and graph. It is very specific to Craigslist.

    Some Stats Features:
    1.Your Most Recently Viewed Craigslist Ads
    2.Your Most Viewed Craigslist Ads
    3.Your Most Recently Added/Created Craigslist Ads
    4.Download Full Stats in Excel Sheet or CSV file

    Some Chart/Graph Features:
    1. Your Craigslist Cities Percentage Breakdown Pie Chart
    2. Your Craigslist Categories Percentage Breakdown Pie Chart
    3. Your 10 Most Popular Craigslist Ads.

    http://www.craigslistcompanion.com/clstats/

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    Наши квалифицированные менеджеры подберут вам наиболее подходящий вариант.
    http://www.krasnaya-polyana-hotels.ru

  17. Kerry Soileau @ October 22nd, 2008

    Hi!
    Thanks for the great article on Track Pages Views on Craigslist!

    One question: How do I do this

    #!/bin/bash

    file=”filename.jpg”
    log_path=”/var/log/httpd/access_log”
    cat $log_path | grep $file | wc -l

    on a Windows server?

    Thanks,
    Kerry

  18. Jake @ November 5th, 2008

    StatCounter worked for me in early Oct 2008 but was blocked a couple of weeks later when I submitted a new ad. their forum indicates some people getting blocked in 2007.

    craigslistcompanion.clhits.com currently works, but doesn't log user ip, etc. Being less intrusive might make it more Craig friendly.

  19. Craigslist @ November 6th, 2008

    key for metrics, not to mention the fact that your
    post will stand out from all the rest without.

  20. Craigslist Proxy @ November 29th, 2008

    Great share. If you aren't tracking your ads, you really dont know where the traffic is coming from. Can save a lot of time and make more sales.

  21. Craigslist Proxy @ November 29th, 2008

    Great share. If you aren't tracking your ads, you really dont know where the traffic is coming from. Can save a lot of time and make more sales.

  22. Craigslist Proxy @ January 26th, 2009

    Very interesting. Never ceases to amaze me what you find online or happening on the net these days.

  23. Craigslist Phone Verified Accounts @ February 1st, 2009

    Being able to track clicks etc is a big help in finding out what works and what doesn’t. Sadly, this is something many people over look.

  24. Thanks for telling us about this method. I will definitely use it now, very useful to track conversions.

  25. ماك @ May 11th, 2009

    nice tips, thnx

  26. adam @ July 25th, 2009

    I created this site a while back and would like to share with everyone. craigslistadtracker.com. Simple and free to use.

  27. @perpetualicon @ September 23rd, 2009

    The easiest way ever is at http://img.0sp.in/

  28. Craigslistpages @ March 11th, 2010

    A good and useful post! It provides valuable information on this topic.

  29. Scott @ June 11th, 2010

    Props to @perpetualicon …that is indeed the easiest way I’ve seen. No account signup, no IP tracking, which means it’s craigslist friendly, etc, etc. Very simple hit counter. Good stuff.

  30. Austen @ August 8th, 2010

    If you have a website using Google Analytics you can post your Craigslist posts to GoAn. Its a free providers:http://email-tracking-with-google-analytics.com/
    Each time the tracking pixel is viewed, a page view is registered in your GoAn account.

  31. Sergio Stephano @ February 1st, 2011

    Hi,

    I’m the founder of http://www.craigslistdesign.com I’m actually interested to speak with the owner of this article or someone that knows how to set this type of system up perhaps even with imageshack hosted images on a weekly basis. Contact me thanks

  32. Olaf @ March 6th, 2011

    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.

  33. Terina Lanna @ June 26th, 2011

    Some genuinely superb information, Glad I detected this.I don’t have an iPhone, so I can’t comment on the specifics of those, but for my Blackberries and now Windows Phone 7, I buy them with the two year contract to get the discounted price. After two weeks (or the return period for the phone) I call AT&T and ask them for the unlock code for the phone. As I have a contractual commitment to them for the phone in the US, they will provide me the code so that I can use it with any carrier overseas. I buy a SIM card locally to avoid paying high international roaming charges.

  34. mark @ August 17th, 2011
  35. Brody @ December 3rd, 2011

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

  36. juser @ April 7th, 2012

    Use MonitorHits.com It’s free and a lot like Google anlytics with heat maps

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