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Old Yesterday, 10:32 AM   #1
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Default homeadvisor alternatives?

Since the phone book has become obsolete (am I even right about that?) I've been with homeadvisor. Tried Anjie's for awhile but that wasn't any good. I don't even know if homeadvisor is legit, I get so many leads which I pay 25-55 for that don't answer, don't call back, or are not serious customers. Also, I live in a rural area, I've always had trouble finding steady customers who want to spend money. I've got some fine customers off HA, but not enough to offset what I spend with them. Anyone know of alternatives to them?
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Old Yesterday, 11:08 AM   #2
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If you add up all the money that you have paid to home advisor, I’m willing to bet it would come to an amount that could have purchased you a very good package with a quality SEO firm. They could’ve set up a website, your Google properties, and your online presence in a way that would continue to bring you customers for many years.

In addition to what I just mentioned, there are other options that people have varying opinions about. Right now I think the best option is google local service ads. But I am not sure if they are available in your rural area.

They work much better than home advisor since you only pay for a lead that you actually get. You pay when the customer calls you. With home advisor, you pay for a lead that they give to many other contractors that you are competing with.
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Old Yesterday, 11:24 AM   #3
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don't really know what SEO means. I've talked to google a while back, seemed very pricy, for a very small area. I live in the boondocks so would need a large coverage aera, might have to rethink that now actually. Thing is, if I might be willing to try something like that I don't know what the results would be. And I think i'd be locked in to the agreement for a specific amount of time. I like the idea of only paying if customer calls me!
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Old Yesterday, 12:02 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by joebeadg View Post
don't really know what SEO means.
SEO is search engine optimization. Even in the most rural area, people use Google to find services. As you said, the phonebook is finished, the internet took over.

SEO is what you do to get your business page/listing in front of people searching for an electrician. It is a way to put your business ahead of all your competition.

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I've talked to google a while back, seemed very pricy, for a very small area.
How much? I can't imagine that it is more than Home Advisor for a rural area. I live in the most major metro area and it's far less than the $55 you mentioned.

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I live in the boondocks so would need a large coverage aera, might have to rethink that now actually.
As far as I know, you can increase your service area without paying more.

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Thing is, if I might be willing to try something like that I don't know what the results would be. And I think i'd be locked in to the agreement for a specific amount of time. I like the idea of only paying if customer calls me!
The nice thing about pay per click or pay per call is that you can turn it on instantly and get calls, then turn it off when you are busy. The bad thing is that you have to continue to pay.

SEO is the opposite. The money (and my own work) that I put into SEO years ago continues to bring me new customers daily, even though I don't spend any money on it (just website hosting and domain name registration, a minimal yearly fee).

If I were you, I would definitely get yourself a web presence. You need your business online, every day that you wait you are hurting your future. Website, directory listings, Google properties setup, and basic local SEO. That is what you need. After that you can switch to Local Service Ads or anything else that you want. But having your basic web presence is very important, IMO.
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Old Yesterday, 12:20 PM   #5
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so, if I hooked up with google, do they do all that? SEO, website , directory, properties setup?
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Old Yesterday, 12:23 PM   #6
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so, if I hooked up with google, do they do all that? SEO, website , directory, properties setup?
Nope, none of it. You need an SEO professional to do that.

Google does offer some services. Adwords is one of them, which is advertisements that you use to get people to click thru to your website or a landing page. And the newer Local Service Ads, which is an advertisement that they put up at the top and you pay when someone calls you. This is a good thing to use, IMO. I turn it on and off as needed.
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Old Yesterday, 12:26 PM   #7
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OK, thank you so much for the info. I'm really old school, so I'm not really up on all this stuff, but I should probably start researching this,
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Old Yesterday, 12:34 PM   #8
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OK, thank you so much for the info. I'm really old school, so I'm not really up on all this stuff, but I should probably start researching this,
Yup. And just remember, 95% of the SEO companies out there are crap. A large portion are straight up scammers, the rest are idiots who don't know what they are doing and will set things up incorrectly.

You need to pay a real firm to do it. And it will cost you money. But if done right you WILL receive a great return on your investment. Since you have been paying up to $55 for leads from HA that you haven't even heard back from, then you already understand that this game can be expensive.
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Old Yesterday, 01:13 PM   #9
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Yea, and theres the problem, most are scams or incompetent. I find that with a lot of things, I'm afraid to deal with anyone anymore. Its all sh-t out there. In any field.
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Old Yesterday, 08:47 PM   #10
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Hack is right. SEO is the answer. Based on your described skillset, it will cost ALOT upfront for a good site and SEO, but as he said, years and years of revenue with basic upkeep coats. Learn basic web site skills to mitigate the recurring costs.

Edited to add:. Google local seo, your town SEO (a few variations/different names/ different areas). If they're worth their salt, you'll see a common link (not a paid one). They may suck, but a good starting point. Selling SEO, be good at your own.

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Old Yesterday, 10:12 PM   #11
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Hack is right. SEO is the answer. Based on your described skillset, it will cost ALOT upfront for a good site and SEO, but as he said, years and years of revenue with basic upkeep coats. Learn basic web site skills to mitigate the recurring costs.

Edited to add:. Google local seo, your town SEO (a few variations/different names/ different areas). If they're worth their salt, you'll see a common link (not a paid one). They may suck, but a good starting point. Selling SEO, be good at your own.
Well I think this type of thing is right in Hacks wheelhouse and has been for a long while.
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Old Yesterday, 11:45 PM   #12
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Home Advisor and Angie's list are owned by the same scammers. Same scammers who changed their name from Service Magic because they ran out of contractors to rip off with that name.
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Old Today, 07:29 AM   #13
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Home Advisor and Angie's list are owned by the same scammers. Same scammers who changed their name from Service Magic because they ran out of contractors to rip off with that name.
They leave you with a bad taste in your mouth?
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Old Today, 09:38 AM   #14
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They leave you with a bad taste in your mouth?
Not personally. I've heard enough bad stories about them that I wouldn't do business with them.

To the OP. There are tons of places online to get your business listed for free. Google my business, Yelp, yellowpages.com, porch etc. Get your info up every place you can. Put links back to your website at all of them if you can and keep the information consistent between websites. That is a basic start to SEO and you can do all that for free. Google my business is good for a few calls a month for me. My Yelp free listing is good for sometimes a few a week, but only if you turn the direct message feature on.
Beyond that, @ Hackwork is right. SEO either done by a paid professional or done by yourself if you have the time to invest will pay you back long after you stop paying for it. Then you don't have to pay a dime again to Scam Adviser only to bid against 5 of your colleagues on a piss ant job.
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Old Today, 10:11 AM   #15
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Not personally. I've heard enough bad stories about them that I wouldn't do business with them.

To the OP. There are tons of places online to get your business listed for free. Google my business, Yelp, yellowpages.com, porch etc. Get your info up every place you can. Put links back to your website at all of them if you can and keep the information consistent between websites. That is a basic start to SEO and you can do all that for free. Google my business is good for a few calls a month for me. My Yelp free listing is good for sometimes a few a week, but only if you turn the direct message feature on.
Beyond that, @ Hackwork is right. SEO either done by a paid professional or done by yourself if you have the time to invest will pay you back long after you stop paying for it. Then you don't have to pay a dime again to Scam Adviser only to bid against 5 of your colleagues on a piss ant job.

Was just curious and I agree with you.
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Old Today, 10:30 AM   #16
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Home Advisor is open about the rebranding from Service Magic. I don't like them at all, but I don't think they are a scam company. Just a typical business looking to make a profit. Google rebranded it's Local Service Ads 3 times now, and they are barely even fully released.

With that said, I wouldn't ever use a service that charged me a lot of money for a lead that they gave to my competitors, and expect me to get the job only by rushing to call first and have the lowest price.

As for SEO, joebeadg can certainly do a lot of the free stuff, but from my understanding of his current knowledge and experience with this, it would take a significant amount of his time. And it needs to be done right. So it might be best to have an SEO pro just take care of it. Chances are that he would have to go back and make changes to what joebeadg did anyway (that's not a dig at you, joebeadg).

As for Google My Business helping, that is true. But usually it only helps if you have a website with some on-page SEO, enough citations, and some reviews. Until then, it's just one in a million.

Also, the links from directories and other online listing sources are just about worthless. They are no-follow so they don't count as links for your website. Believe it or not, when it comes to local SEO, the "citation" of your business name, phone number, and address on those listing and other websites will help your own website more than a link to it.
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Old Today, 11:50 AM   #17
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thank u, those free things u mentioned I will look into. I do think HA is kind of scamish in the way its layed out. People go on ther many times not intending to have contractors contact them, they just meant to be browsing. The way the site is set up you unknowingly do just that. I've gone on there to just browse, but end up stopping because I can't even figure out how too! lol When you get a phony bad review HA won't delete it, I don't mean a legit bad review, but a phony one. They do nothing for the contractor. I'd like to go back to the old days! LOL
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