I thought it’d be cool to start posting about Verify A Plumber Ltd and most online marketplaces, plumbing directories and recommendation sites. I didn’t really want to start posting specifically on this blog for the online reputation ie; what users see when they type in Verify A Plumber however as a digital marketer a lot of my skill base goes into that website. I am asked why out of all the trades out there I choose plumbing so I thought I’d start with that.
If you started an online marketplace / a trade recommendation site for all trades I don’t personally think you’ll have much chance. Currently RatedPeople.com, MyBuilder.com are essentially the “big boys” out there. ServiceMagic were a big name and I believe still are over in America, but it seems / been told that RatedPeople.com have purchased ServiceMagic in the UK. Not only this MyBuilder.com and RatedPeople.com are no doubt spending millions a month which effectively drowns out anyone else.
Checkatrade.com are also a big name but they’re more of a web directory and are positioning themselves with trading standards and I see them becoming an accreditation business where unless you sign-up you’re not seen as a trustworthy tradesman.
Therefore if you’re starting out you literally have no chance unless you enter a niche. I actually chose the plumbing niche as I had experience placing websites on page 1 of Google and found it really easy and therefore rather than ranking third party websites I thought it’d be easy to start my own and rank that (it was!). I was also lucky in that I also had two shareholders to finance the initial launch who were also plumbers.
Unless you’re going down the route of operating as a niche very specialised you’ll find it hard to position yourself. I’ve actually seen at least six websites start and go nowhere in the last 12 months since I launched my own.