Ok, I hate apocalypse titles as much as the next guy but this is going to be pretty big. Telapost is two Latin words meaning the future of the web. And, here I like to concentrate on not only what works now, but, what the future of the web holds.
Currently… Plumbers are getting business off of the first page of Google in a variety of ways. Some pay for ads. On mobile devices, these are the first results. Many users skim past the ads and go to local results, or even down into the organic results. Right now, the 3 pack of local results are businesses who perform well organically and have great reviews. Sometimes, in local results, are home service vendors such as Yelp or Thumbtack. But, this is about to change. As of August 28, 2015, Home Service Ads are now available to all businesses in SF Bay.
The near future… The local results are about to replaced with whoever pays to play. If you have been investing in your online presence like a good business owner to get into the local results you can say goodbye to the thousands of dollars you have spent and goodbye to the thousands you will be spending.
Google calls this an “opportunity”:
Note: I do mention some content solutions in the bottom of this article.
Here’s an image to show you what may be coming to a city near you:
I think the changes could be devastating. Time will tell.
How do I know this is coming?
Yesterday, Google announced the official Beta for Home Service Ads (which was previously only available to select users). To see the future just look at San Francisco Plumber results (the Beta is in San Francisco which probably means it is coming to a town near you soon, yay!).
Yes, I am suggesting that the program moves out of Beta and rolls out nationwide in the near future.
The Silver Lining?
There are new ways that potential customers can send you requests. They are actually pretty neat.
Also, a lot of users, even a majority, DO scroll right past sponsored listings.
How much will this cost?
It will cost you as much or more as your competitors are willing to bid for top placement. This tweet shows that in San Francisco some plumbers are paying $191 per lead for “emergency plumbing”, and, that is probably without 99% of the other plumbers competing.
This tweet is pretty shocking:
Everything you need to know about Google Home Service Ads in one image pic.twitter.com/ZTUua6i793
— Andrew Shotland (@localseoguide) August 28, 2015
Large Plumbing Companies will pay more because they screw customers
I get this. I have a plumbing SEO client. He is a smart, honest guy. He tells me all the time that the big companies in his aea race out to people’s homes to do free estimated. Just the other day he did a rooting job for $275 and a big player had quoted the poor homeowners $5,000.
It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.