HomeAdvisor vs. Angie’s List: Which is Right For You?
You probably know a home service business owner who swears by the lead generation value of HomeAdvisor or Angie’s List… and you may also know someone who swears loudly when you mention either site, claiming they’re a scam.
Who do you believe when you’re deciding to sign up for HomeAdvisor or Angie’s List? Can either work for your business? If so, which one––and which contractor lead generation website is best for you?
HomeAdvisor vs. Angie's List: the basics
Both of these sites offer consumers a way to find the best and most trustworthy home service businesses in their area. Anyone who searches Google for a home service provider in their city has high odds of finding links to either Angie’s List or HomeAdvisor (or both).
If your business is highly-ranked on either site, you can piggyback on their massive search engine clout. This potential is what makes these sites so competitive and valuable. For small business owners, having a strong listing on either site presents a great lead generation opportunity.
These sites are both owned by the same company, but they are separate entities. Each targets a slightly different crowd.
So which one should you choose? Let’s dig into the details.
How does Angie’s List work?
All businesses create listings on Angie’s List based on their service offerings. Rank and visibility depend largely on the number of positive reviews you get from customers. Your ranking and position is compared to similar business. It’s based on Angie’s proprietary ratio of good reviews to total reviews.
To increase your visibility you can buy ads to “boost” your standing above better reviewed businesses. The cost of this boost will vary based on your local market.
How does HomeAdvisor work?
Consumers can find professionals by getting matched with a service provider, or by finding them through a quick Google search. Pricing is based on leads you get from the website.
For example, consumers who Google ”drywall professional Orange County” will see a HomeAdvisor link to the “Top 15 Drywallers in Orange County,” and find a professional that way. Or, they can go directly to the site and click ‘Start a Project,’ fill in some details, and get matched with a pro.
How does HomeAdvisor match service providers to consumers? Their ProFinder technology looks at the pros’ availability, service type, and location. HomeFinder then sends the consumers’ info to the matched pro(s) and the contractor reaches out to try to win the job.
Pros are charged for each lead (whether they book it or not) and pay about $300.00 per year to use the service.
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How much does Angie’s List cost?
The monthly bill you get from Angie’s List will depend on whether or not you’re running ads and how many leads you get. You can expect to pay anywhere from roughly $25-$100 a month.
Angie’s List offer three types of memberships:
- Green Membership: Free
- Silver Membership: $24.99 per year
- Gold Membership: $99.99 per year
How much does HomeAdvisor cost?
Your membership starts at about $300.00 per year and the price of leads are an added expense. Leads can cost anywhere from $15.00- $100.00 each.
HomeAdvisor is a bit more expensive than Angie’s List; however, they usually refer you bigger-ticket and more expensive jobs.
This can pay off if you rely on large projects, such as bathroom remodels. It might not pay off for businesses that rely on small projects, like tune-ups and installations.
Which option is right for my business?
All types of home service business owners have made each platform work for them. But which is best for you?
A good rule of thumb is to consider the following:
Angie’s List: This platform is mainly aimed at service providers who rely on smaller cost projects and one-off jobs. We suggest trying Angie’s List if you’re a plumber, pest control specialist, HVAC repair specialist, lawn care service provider, residential cleaner, painter, or handyman, for example.
There are several verticals that can maintain a presence on both sites and they can do fairly well. It all depends on your market and how much you’re willing to invest.
Both sites rank very well on Google search results. Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor individual business listings and top ten service providers by locations show up on the first page of search results. Sometimes these search results outrank home service business websites!
This means that consumers who are looking for contractors and home service providers like you can easily find your business using a simple Google search.
So, if you’re struggling to get your own business’s website on the front page of Google, it may be easier to piggyback on their web presence. You can try to get yourself near the top of Angie’s List or Home Advisor to make the most of this perk.
Consumers know these brands and trust them. They specifically visit them to find a home service professional. Bear in mind that your competition might already have a presence on these sites, so you will most likely be competing against them for leads.
However, you can use these websites to showcase your reputation and portfolio, which can help you position yourself much better against your competitors if you don’t have much time to work on marketing and branding.
Plus, having representation on these websites might help improve your leads won ratio. Both sites can be a great source for qualified, serious leads. However, it’s up to you to follow up and close the deal. You can’t just set it and forget it!
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You can’t set and forget your listings
Like most digital marketing or lead gen activities, you can’t throw money at your listings and hope for qualified leads to roll in. You need to manage your listings and stay on top of them.
It’s the same as purchasing Google Adwords or Facebook Ads. They get people in your funnel, but you still have to nurture these leads.
If you’re going to do it right, you need to devote a few hours a week to get client reviews on your listings, and maintaining them. For example, whenever you finish a project, you should post photos of it, and make sure you have a review that corresponds to it. If you don’t, your profile can appear outdated.
It can also be difficult to move upwards in the ranking if you don’t regularly collect positive reviews, and if your competition has a strong presence on these sites and regularly receives positive reviews. Outranking them can become a difficult and expensive task.
Competition dictates price
The more competitive your local market is, the more expensive it will be to have a solid standing on these websites. For example, if you live in a big city, you’ll have more businesses to compete against, and the more you might have to pay for advertising within the website, receiving a higher volume of leads, or a premium membership to get more visibility.
If you don’t have the time and money to invest heavily in these platforms, they may not be worth your while.
Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor competitors
These two companies are typically the go-to for most small business owners because they’re trusted by consumers and respected by search engines. However, there are other options available, such as Porch, Thumbtack, and Houzz.
- Porch: Consumers can search by project (i.e. install a toilet) or by professional (i.e. plumber)
- Thumbtack: Consumers can search over 1,100 types of services, from drywallers to DJs
- Bark: A business search engine. Used by 5 million consumers in six different countries
- Houzz: Focused on home related services and larger design projects. Consumers can find architects, builders, interior designers, or landscaping professionals
- Google Home Services: Paid Google ads for service professionals that aim to help you get calls instead of clicks
HomeAdvisor vs. Angie's List: in summary
Neither of these sites is a set-it-and-forget-it machine that sends you leads while you’re on autopilot.
Your best bet is to have someone on staff to own your listing, manage reviews, and monitor your ad performance.
Plus, you’ll them to ensure these leads get into your CRM as quickly as possible. That way, can follow up with prospects easily, and track their history over time.
The best option for you depends on your circumstance. Take a look at your marketplace and determine how much time and money you’re willing to invest in your listing before you decide.
The payoffs can certainly be worthwhile. However, you should definitely be prepared to invest a good amount of money into them before they start making money for you.