I remember when I first started my garage door company back in 2015. I signed up for everything I could find because I wanted to learn what would work, and I wanted as much exposure as possible. I signed up for HomeAdvisor, Yelp, and Groupon. Well, today, while shopping for my son’s birthday party in January, I googled, “Rockin Jump in Buford GA”. Guess what? Groupon took the money from Rockin Jump and bought the #1 spot in Adwords and even used their name. What does this mean? They’re hijacking the traffic from searchers looking for the business in hopes to offer specials they can’t get anywhere else. Groupon then takes a portion of the sale.
Are you following? Why would you pay someone to advertise on your behalf only to funnel your customers back through them and pay them a commission? Groupon was doing this for searches with my company name. I requested they stop, but I signed an agreement to allow it. (Note: Always read the fine print.) I cancelled my subscription. This said, when we subscribe to the likes of HomeAdvisor and Yelp, we’re essentially doing the exact same thing. We’re building their brand and helping them pay for ads and SEO. Their goals are to rank number one for primary searches like “Garage Door Repair,” and that means they become a competitor of yours, making it more difficult for your marketing agency.
So what do you do? Use them, like they use you. When Google promotes them in search results, go all in, especially for services that you don’t rank well for yet.
What this boils down to is managing your budget and paying attention to your market.