Home Advisor, Ugh


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So we've put it off long enough and now it appears we will be adding one of my clients to Home Advisor (old Servicemagic). It kills me to do this and I HATE THAT GOOGLE GIVES SO MUCH AUTHORITY TO A PAID LISTING SERVICE, but these profiles keep showing up more and more in search and I think it's now time to go with it.

Just thought I'd check with the forum to see what your experience has been. Does anyone have a client paying for Home Advisor? What are your thoughts on their visibility in search?

Love that they make you go through the gauntlet just to get pricing information. Anyone know their prices?

Regards,
Dino
 
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I wouldn't do it. Do a search on Service Magic or Home Advisor or check out the BBB. They are not in a good light no matter where you look.

Doug
 
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Thanks, Doug. It's just that Home Advisor pages are ranking well and any listing that shows gold stars in search is an attention grabber for consumers. If that leads to higher conversions, then it may be worthwhile.

That being said, I still have no idea what their prices or terms are. I hate that we have to consider these guys. I called them and they took a bunch of information from me over the phone and still haven't gotten back to me with a price. I don't know why Google is giving a screwed platform so much trust.
 

heckler

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I'm not clear on if they've changed their business practices recently, but they use to gain leads from their SEO tactics and then would charge numerous SMBs (sometimes as many as 5-7) for that same lead.

I have a history of working with contractor-type businesses and they despise ServiceMagic/HomeAdvisor (slightly less than EveryContractor).

Many times I've heard annoyances of my clients going to give a 'free estimate' and showing up with 2-3 other guys already there for the same estimate.

.02
 
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They use to also hijack your business by setting up adverts with an 800 number and customers would call that and never call you locally. Not a trustworthy company by any means. Additionally they would sell you leads that were not even for the type of work you perform. Then they would refuse to credit or refund your account. Changed their name from Service Magic because of the bad reputation that they created under that name. Home advisor is the same company, same poor reputation, same bad business practices. Check out bbb, and ripoff report.com.
 

Greg Schueler

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I had a recent HVAc client that gets a LOT of business from Home Advisor.

I too heard the old horror stories, but their current amount of leads is amazing for this company.

I have no other feedback from any other clients.
 

Tim Colling

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I think that one thing to remember is that this company's business goal is to sell you leads, regardless of whether or not those leads convert. In some industries, that may work. For instance, in the HVAC industry that might be fine. When someone NEEDS to have HVAC service work done, they usually aren't really deciding WHETHER to have it done, they're only deciding WHO to choose to do the work.

In other industries, the situation may be different. I specialize in working with clients who own companies the elder care industry. I also have an elder care (in-home caregiving) agency of my own, in San Diego County.

Many families who are just starting to look for elder care services for their aging loved ones have no idea that (1) it is very expensive, and (2) it's going to be an out of pocket expense. Medicare and traditional health insurance do NOT pay for it.

We tried Service Magic a couple of years ago. We found that they did not pre-qualify the leads at all and none of the leads converted. None of those leads had any idea that they would be paying, rather than Medicare.

For us, it was a complete waste of money. In a different industry, "your mileage may vary".
 

Pinkape404

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Dino - most directories now use the schema markup insofar as ratings and stars go. Take yellowpages as an example. Your reviews from YP will show up when you do a search of your clients business. I do not think having a home advisor listing will provide you conversions outside of those clients using home advisor in which case your client is essentially paying home advisor per lead for services he contracted out to you. There are plenty of cheaper if not free alternatives to get web presence then home advisor. If your client is on home advisor he needs to actively seek business from those looking for his/her services on this platform. If your client is trying to be a big dog in his locality then why not try a local newspaper or two .. A good human interest piece goes a long way.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

billbean

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Just had a client ask me about HomeAdvisor. I'm still skeptical. Anyone got new insights or stories?
 
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Yes, I'm not a big fan because I think they're just a sales organization, but we've been using them with some success, regardless. Right now we have the leads portion turned off, but have managed to get a lot of visibility for him in search results just by ranking his Home Advisor profile page. That's been the real benefit and it's a lot cheaper. It works kind of like his Yelp page. It's another listing that shows 5 gold stars with Google search. That's what is driving the business.

Hope that helps.
 

billbean

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We'll try the no-leads approach. I can see that working as long as HA is prominent in the relevant SERPs. Thanks, Dino.
 
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The problem I have with Home Advisor is that many of my clients that have it, I guess they're paying for leads and HA implements a call tracking number.

I'm not one that believes NAP consistency is a huge deal if there are only a couple spots here and there but given Home Advisor's prominence, I really dislike the use of a call tracking number. I have the same problem with some of the yellowpages and yellowbook tracking numbers.

There are also a few other directories that input information on their own directory using the data from Home Advisor which creates a bit of a clean up problem.

As for results, it depends on the area of service and the industry. I've found thumbtack to be a better solution for leads than Home Advisor in quite a few different cases.
 

billbean

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Nathan,

Good point about potential problems with HomeAdvisor tracking number showing up on other sites. Got any examples of that?
 

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