When you think of small businesses that provide services the internet and technology can’t fulfill. Moving, storage and other contractor-based services are all services being overcome by lead aggregators. These aggregators are monopolizing on their search engine optimization and pay-per-click skills. The question is, “What if a business can’t afford to play in this pay-to-play world of purchasing leads?”
We probably couldn’t answer the above question with anything but a speculative answer. The fact its, many companies choose not to evolve with the times. Business owners are at the mercy of the lead aggregator, because they’re faced with no other choice. The business owners biggest concern is his leads being sold somewhere else. So, we’re going to give you the ups and downs of this new entrepreneurial venture called lead aggregation.
Long-distance moving brokers, lead aggregators and how it works…
Imagine this:. A customer is looking for your moving company, but when they search your company name another site pops up and they call them. Well, when you go to Google and search for a mover that can facilitate your needs, you run into several options, but the chances are slim you’ll talk to an actual moving company. 9 times out of 10, you’ll be speaking with a moving broker. A moving broker isn’t going to be your mover and if you don’t do your research, you’ll most likely have 2 guys in a rental truck coming to load up your stuff.
“We’re in the days of entrepreneurial spirit where everyone wants to work for themselves but fails to do the research on how to properly start a business” says Peter Dimaira Head of Marketing for Safe & Secure Self Storage in Bergen County, New Jersey.
The truth is, if consumers aren’t careful and do their research prior to filling out any forms or making any phone calls, they will inevitably have their information sold to the highest bidder. This is called, “lead aggregation.” Unfortunately, these aggregators make it very hard to compete in the online world.
Here we have a list of recommended movers on the right-hand side and believe it or not, this page has 3-4 movers that are not even movers, they’re brokers. Not to mention the fact that 3 listings on this page that consumers trust so much are the same company with 3 different business names.
So, it appears the lead aggregation through a consumer affair system is a bit of a FAIL!
Look, the truth is that many small companies started by men and woman are at a loss when it comes to online competition. There’s no way around it.
Lead aggregators offer your information to companies that will pay top dollar to have their sales people be the first to sell you. If you don’t go with them, they will sell your information or continue remarketing to you until you opt out. Of course, this is what one should hope.
There’s a BIG different between Entrepreneurialism and Capitalism
The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well within the US and this is a great thing for the savvy business man who has all of the steps covered in opening a business and keeping it running, but many fail to understand how to market themselves and don’t bother with it until they realize sales are declining and their cost of operation far exceeds what their profit margins.
Lead Aggregators & The Self-Storage Industry…
If you’ve ever used a self storage unit before you may have stumbled across a few websites offering discounts on storage. However, the site is listing the name of your storage company or someone else’s. However, what about the business itself? It’s funny to see this and quite a novel idea. An entrepreneur decides to open his own self storage company but fails to understand the demographics of online competition.
The owner of “ABC Company” will pay a fee to a lead aggregator to be listed on their site and/or an up-charge for customers. However, part of their strategy is to use pay-per-click services to be advertising above your companies Brand Name “ABC Company.” It will also rank organically below their name. So basically, you’re paying them to convert clients that were looking for your specific business name in the first place. Now, I am sure this isn’t always the case, but in many cases, it is.
Some lead aggregators for the storage industry will sell leads they’ve gotten from your brand name featured on their website. However, they sell them to other companies. “GUESS WHAT?” you lose that customer lead entirely to someone who was willing to pay more.
So, here you have all of this tireless effort of an entrepreneurial business man doing everything he can to get the word out about his business “ABC Company” and next thing you know your being extorted through advertising to comply with a lead aggregator to pay them for your leads.
What a racket ay?
This happens to a lot of companies and I am not sure if they even are aware it’s going on. The problem is, it’s not up to Google to stop this. There’s no way to really stop it. The only way to really combat the online resistance is to hire someone that knows what they’re doing. At least you can capture the customers that are looking for you. In many cases the cost per click for your own business name is between 50-100$ per click. If you were to pay that, you could be paying for someone who is already is your customer.
Lastly, when engaging in a start-up venture do the research on the web-based competition. Make sure you have a budget to accommodate that competition as well. If you don’t do this your business is going to flop very quickly. Always have a marketing strategy in place prior to opening the doors. Save yourself the heartache of having a failed venture. It’s up to you to be the smart one and knowledgeable regarding your businesses online appearance.
More To Come…