As a consumer, we think of home services directories like HomeAdvisor, Angie's List (now Angi), Houzz, and Porch as places to find service providers for home projects.
But as a home services provider, these sites are a great place to get started with your online marketing.
These lead-generating and review-based directories give you a non-traditional marketing channel to engage with potential clients. By creating a listing on one of these platforms, you allow potential customers another way to find you. These listing sites often appear in a Google search when looking for home services providers.
Today, let's review two of the top directories: HomeAdvisor and Angie's List. We'll discuss the differences, how they work, and which is better for your business.
Note: Before we get started it's important to note that these companies are not competitors themselves. They are owned by the same parent company.
What is HomeAdvisor?
HomeAdvisor is an online directory where homeowners can connect with pre-screened home services providers to take on projects for their houses. These projects can include cleaning services, handyman services, moving services, plumbing, remodels, contractors, and more.
With more than 156,000 professionals and 5 million unique visitors a month, this is one of the top directory platforms for businesses today.
What is Angie's List?
Angie's List (now just called Angi) is another online directory for homeowners where they can connect with vetted professionals, view verified reviews, and look for fair pricing for any home project or service.
Now that we have a little more background on these two directory sites, you might be wondering, "How does this work? And how can I use this for my home services business?" Let's dive in below.
How Do They Work?
For both of these directories, it's easy for a business to get started by signing up online, completing an online profile, claiming a listing, and publishing a listing. On Angie's List, they work on a freemium model, meaning it's free to use, but if consumers want more perks, they pay for it. HomeAdvisor is free for homeowners completely. Both sites will conduct background checks because vetted professionals are a big part of the appeal. Additionally, the best way to rank on these directories when consumers look up a business in your area is to have a good amount of reviews on your listing.
So, which one should you use to attract potential customers?
HomeAdvisor vs. Angie's List
If you work in a home services business, you know that finding viable leads is a challenge. Additionally, gaining new reviews and managing them is of the utmost importance for your business. That's probably why you're considering using a directory like HomeAdvisor or Angie's List. But, which listing should you use? How do they compare? Let's look at some of the most important factors to consider for each listing:
Set up/membership fees for contractors
- HomeAdvisor: $350/year
- Angie's List: Free
- HomeAdvisor: $10-50/lead.
- Angie's List: Variable.
Number of Members
- HomeAdvisor: 5 million unique visitors a month. Free for the user.
- Angie's List: 5 million members. Paid subscription for the user.
Types of projects
- HomeAdvisor: Great for large-scale projects like home remodels.
- Angie's List: Smaller cost projects and one-off jobs.
- HomeAdvisor: Basic rating system of 1-5 stars.
- Angie's List: "A through F" letter grades. (Higher ratings get rewarded on this site.)
Moral of the Story: HomeAdvisor
HomeAdvisor can reach a large number of users and leads because it has a larger marketplace for your business. Additionally, it's simple to use and consumers don't have to pay to lookup services. On the other hand, there is an annual price on the business side, meaning it could be costly with no job guarantee. It's also important to keep in mind that HomeAdvisor is free for the user, meaning there are more window shoppers just looking for an estimate on the site. This site is best used for larger-scale projects so if you're a general contractor, landscaper, arborist, or roofer, for example, this might be a good directory for you.
Moral of the Story: Angie's List
Angie's List's directory is free for the contractor but is paid on the consumer end, meaning the reviews might be more reliable. However, this site does have a pay-to-play structure, where purchasing ad space is basically required for the business. It takes time and is harder to get traction on this site, but the leads are usually higher quality. Additionally, if your business has a lot of reviews, you'll be rewarded with a higher site ranking. This site is better for small-scale projects, so if you're a plumber, pest control specialist, HVAC repair specialist, lawn care service provider, residential cleaner, painter, or handyman, for example, this will be better for you.
Before deciding which site you'll use, it's also important to mention that you might want to look up which site is more popular in your state. You can do this with sites like Google Trends to see what people in your state are searching for.
Online Reputation Management with Home Services Directories
The main benefit of using directory sites like HomeAdvisor and Angie's List is that you can maintain and cultivate your online reputation management. It also gives consumers one more way to find you when searching for services on Google.
54% of consumers read at least four reviews online before making a purchase. Additionally, half of all internet users say they post online reviews once a month at least. This means that obtaining reviews is extremely important to increasing and generating leads through directory sites. Potential customers will look at reviews from several sources such as Google, social media sites, and listing sites like HomeAdvisor and Angie's List.
The most important element of reputation management: Reviews.
That being said, reviews are the most important element of reputation management. Positive reviews can:
- Drive purchases
- Increase brand awareness
- Give you credibility
- Generate more reviews
But you might be thinking, "Once I get listings on a directory, how can I get reviews?" Let's discuss a few strategies below.
- Ask happy customers
- Send an email to your customers
- Run an advertising campaign
- Post on social media
- Reward those who leave a review (for everyone...not just people leaving positive reviews)
- Make it easy
While these online platforms aren't going to be the end-all, be-all resource for home services professionals, they're a great place to begin building your online reputation and reach a large audience. Depending on the types of services you offer, you might even consider using both platforms to cover your bases and build your business.
Scorpion partners with home services businesses to help them grow with marketing services and technology. You can build a strong and stable future for your home services company with a partner who has the marketing experience, technology, and team to make a difference.