A classified website is a platform that connects buyers with sellers and service providers with service consumers within a specific area. Its called classified because it has different sections categorized on the basis of different market sectors, e.g, Mobiles, Electronics, Houses, Autos, etc.
Classified websites History
In Pakistan, it all started with newspaper ads, newspaper has a dedicated classified section where people has to pay to publish their ads, the prices vary from 300 to 4,000 Rs depending on the newspaper and ad location. However with the emerging internet users, the classified market has gone online, OLX (which started in 2006 and is operating in 45 countries) is taking the major market of online classifieds.
Emerging classified websites
When OLX acquired Asani.com.pk then it created a monopoly in Pakistan and limited the free ads posting feature to generate more revenue. Considering this as an opportunity, many startups are jumped into the classified business. The top 10 websites are listed below:
olx.com.pk (classified )
zameen.com (in real estate only)
PakWheels (in autos only)
Asani.com.pk (Acquired by OLX)
bakra-mandi.com (in livestock only)
daraz.pk (e-commerce and classified)
The real challenge to classified startups is to provide data security and to keep a check & balance on ads quality.
Future of classified websites in Pakistan
The classified business is here to say for decades, with the growing internet users the need for free, reliable classified website is increased.
How to create a classified website
You can use any technology to create a classified website, here are the steps:
1. Buy a website theme
2. Hire a developer to create a classified website
3. Plan your marketing budget and marketing strategy
4. Plan how to do websites SEO as without SEO you’re not gonna take the market
A successful classified website must have these features
- Dynamic classified categories — you must have a strong admin panel from where you can add or remove categories
- Dynamic fields within a category — lets say you want to add “fuel type” in cars category, you must be able to do this from the admin panel, if you would hire a developer to do these changes then it will increase maintenance charges
- Dynamic SEO — with the changing SEO trends you should be able to add SEO friendly content against different categories from the admin panel
- Dynamic Sitemap — when you add a new category then your sitemap should automatically include it so that it can be indexed on time
- Spam ads detector — when your userbase will increase you should be accepting a bulk of spam ads, so in the admin panel, you should be able to set up spam keywords and if an ad has spam keywords then it should have a status like “Pending Admin Approval”. This will cut off your cost to hire persons who will manually check all ads.
- Save user search data — Save all the data that users are searching on your website, it will help you to figure out what people are looking for on your site and then you can focus on that category, I prefer using https://search.google.com/search-console/about as well as queries saved in your database
- Chat feature — users should be able to communicate within the website, it will increase session time with inturn increase site ranking and will be a plus on privacy (for those users who don’t want to share their phone numbers)
- Multiple admin roles — let's say you want to hire SEO experts, then they should be able to modify content against categories and should don’t be allowed to play with categories, so setup multiple roles.