Recently I got a phone call from a contractor from Pennsylvania. I could hear the frustration in his voice as he told me..
"I'm paying $125- $135 per lead from HomeAdvisor and less than 10% of them are converting!"
I don't know how many times I have heard contractors and roofers say they would like to have an alternative to HomeAdvisor leads. They love the fact that they don't have to generate their own leads, but they want a less expensive solution than HomeAdvisor leads.
How HomeAdvisor Works
HomeAdvisor which was formerly ServiceMagic, is a Golden, CO based company that connects homeowners with professionals that need home related services done such as roofing, cabinetry, remodeling and repair services and more.
HomeAdvisor makes their money by charging "finders fees" to participating contractors for each qualified lead they receive through HomeAdvisor.
In other words they are doing their online marketing so well that they are generating the leads before they ever get to the contractor's own website.
Then they sell those leads to contractors.
Why that makes HomeAdvisor Your Competitor!
First understand that HomeAdvisor is a multi-million dollar business.
They can spend millions of dollars to make sure that they are always showing up on the front page of the "Googles", therefore they are getting a lot of the leads that could or should be yours.
They are then selling that lead to not only one contractor but to multiple contractors therefore making it very competitive!
Can You Beat HomeAdvisor?
With some time and effort YES! That's what I'm about to show you!
There is absolutely no way HomeAdvisor can capture all the leads out there! Let me show you how to get your share of them.
Keep in mind there is room for 10+ links (websites) on the 1st page of Google.
Will it be easy?
No not super easy! But it's very doable.
But if you follow what I'm about to show you, you should have your own alternative to HomeAdvisor leads and start seeing results within as little as 3 to 6 months.
Maybe even sooner!
How to bypass HomeAdvisor
What you need to do to bypass HomeAdvisor and start generating your own leads on your own website is to get on the front page of Google and preferably in one of the first 5 spots for as many good keyword search terms as possible.
First of all, do some keyword research and find the best keywords and long-tailed search phrases possible that your ideal customer might be looking for.
One of the best free tools we use to do this is Ubersuggest.
Here is an example of what shows up when I search "roofing contractors in cleveland ohio" in Ubersuggest.
And here are the current rankings on Google for that exact search term:
Notice how there are 3 Ads at the top and then you have the local 3-pack or Map-Pack (Google My Business) results before you have the first organic listings.
And of course HomeAdvisor is the first organic result below the Map-Pack.
Google ADs, Map-Pack, or Organic?
Why not do all 3?
Put yourself in your clients shoes and try to think how they would think.
If they saw you there with an Ad, or in the map-pack, and/or in the organic results... which one do you think they are most likely to click on?
Now what if you are there in all 3?
If you have an Ad, you show up in the Map-pack, and you're in one of the first 5 organic results, you have at least 3X the changes of someone contacting you and going directly with you instead of HomeAdvisor.
Getting Started with Google Ads
This isn't as simple as setting up an account and running some Ads. You might want to consider getting a professional to do this for you.
But if you want to do it yourself, go to the Google Ads page and sign in with your Google account (gmail).
Unless you are experienced with Google Ads, I would recommend setting up a simple Ad following the "setup wizard" that walks you thru it.
Your cost for Google Ads will be determined by which keywords you choose and how much competition there is for those keywords in your area.
Getting onto the Google Map-pack
Your best advantage is, it is only for local businesses.
Unless you live in the same area as one of the HomeAdvisor corporate offices, you shouldn't need to worry about them in the map-pack.
In order to show up in the map-pack you need a Google My Business (GMB) profile setup.
Here are 6 tips I can give you to get started properly to show up in your local area map-pack.
Google My Business is included in every website package with Troyer Websites.
Ranking Organiclly to Bypass HomeAdvisor
This will take some time.
Generally speaking, whatever work you do to rank your website organically is 3 to 6 months behind.
It's a little slow...
Once you have it there, you'll usually see results for years to come! Trust me, it's worth it!
Here is a list of everything you'll want to do to rank your website organically on the "Googles".
- 1Choose your keywords wisely
- 2Make sure your website is mobile responsive
- 3Have an SSL Certicate Installed
- 4Build a large business directory profile portfolio
- 5Do your Meta Titles & Meta Descriptions
- 6Do your website's picture's ALT texts
- 7Make sure you have high speed website hosting
- 8Build backlinks on high-quality high-ranking websites
- 9Create Content. The more Google 'knows' about your business the better they can rank you.
HOT SEO Tip:
Make sure you have your Business Name/Address/Phone Number/Hours/Location exactly the same all across the internet.
For example: If you live on Township Road 607, always spell it that way. Don't use Twp. Rd 607 and the next time Township Rd 607.
If you're not sure which way is proper, use Google Maps to see how they show your address.
Usually the longer and the more SEO work you do, the more keywords you'll rank for, and the more authority your website will have.
If I were you, I'd create a "Projects" page on your website where you showcase some of your past work you have done with before and after pictures, testimonials, and some general information about that project.
This accomplishes 3 things:
SEO Tip 2:
Another reason you want to set up a lot of business directory profiles, is so that when someone wants to research you and "Googles" your business name, every single link on the 1st page of Google is yours.
DOMINATE THAT PAGE!!
With some time and effort you'll be able to get on the front page of Google and start generating your own leads.
I don't have research or data to prove this, but common sense tells me that when someone opts-in on your own website versus something like HomeAdvisor the conversion rate for you should be much higher!
They already know who you are, they saw your past work, they read your reviews, and now you call them...
Versus HomeAdvisor selling the lead to numerous contractors and then they getting contacted by numerous companies they never heard of.
See How Well Your Website Ranks
We actually have a simple tool on our website that you can plug in your information and less than 10 minutes (usually in 1-2 minutes) it will spit out a Free Report that shows how well your website is ranking.
Simply go to https://troyerwebsites.com/seo
Fill out the info and wait on the report.
About the Author
Jonas is the owner and CEO of Troyer Websites, a full service web design and marketing firm in Orrville, OH.