(408) 647-2327

Stop playing cat & mouse with your customers!

*Subscribe for conversion & SEO tips

Thumbtack – Local Service Directory

0 Flares 0 Flares ×

Watch out Yelp! Here comes Thumbtack! YEOW!

Getting listed in local directories is a must for all local businesses if you want a good place in Google Places, but here’s one that gives you more than just a listing. Thumbtack actually vets and verifies your listing which adds credibility to your business. AND it personally connects you with customers requesting your services through their site.

I’m impressed!

Here’s how it works.

First, you, the business owner, creates an account.

Thumbtack gives you more than enough space to describe your service, as well as plenty of space for your pictures and video if you have one. Here’s a link to Kat & Mouse’s Thumbtack listing: San Jose Search Engine Optimization. I’m still working on my listing, but I had to stop midway the application process to provide a link to their service on my website which is why I decided to write this blog. I’ll get back there and finish the listing when I’m done here.

A sample picture of one of their listings is below.

Note the “Trusted and verified” box.

And this is what the customer will see when he clicks on one of the links.

This feature alone might be enough for Thumbtack to become the favorite local directory over others such as Yelp.

But there’s more. You have the ability to import your email contacts and get access to other marketing tools like flyers. But the best part is at the end of my application process I was given the option to request testimonials from my customers! They get sent the following email.

If they follow through, you then get sent an email asking to approve it before it goes live. Very nice!

Thumbtack goes beyond a simple search. Customers can actually request a service.

Unlike Yelp, YP, MerchantCircle and others, customers looking for you can sit back and let Thumbtack’s fingers do the walking for them. All they need to do is fill out a service request. I’m waiting for them to reply to my request for a piano mover. After I sent my request I searched through their listings and didn’t find one, so I suspect they’ll get back to me with bad news, but we’ll see.

Here’s the email I got from them after I made my request.

And now the very next morning, here’s what I found in my inbox.

Customers can compare results side by side to find the highest rated

I discovered Thumbtack from a client of mine. He asked me to post an award on his site that Thumbtack gave him for being highly rated (another plus for listing with Thumbtack). When I clicked on that award, it landed me here:

Note the various options for sorting at the top. This is a really great feature for consumers; I just wish Thumbtack made it easier to find that display. The only way to get to this listing is to click the little tiny city link under “Similar services in your area” under the email subscription box. This is a usability problem I hope they correct.

Note the sharing

Like everything else these days, your Thumbtack listing has sharing with social media sites built in, but it takes it a step further. Interested consumers can also sign up to receive email updates. When you create your account you can import contacts, so I can only assume you also get to send newsletters and updates through an email service they provide. That part is not real clear, but when I finish my listing perhaps I’ll find out more.

Manage appointment online

Finally, Thumbtack says you can manage your appointments online through a simple click-and-drag interface. Since I’m new at this I’ve not been able to see this in action and they don’t provide any more information on their site than that. I’ll report back later when I get more info.

Get a badge

As if that isn’t enough, Thumbtack gives you even more. Check out the widgets you can add to your site.

My favorite is the testimonial widget and have placed it on my own site to the right so I can display verified reviews and ratings right where I need them at the place I make conversions.

Something missing though

I’d say Thumbtack is amazing, brilliant in fact. They only missed one thing. We all know how hard it is to get our customers to take the time and trouble to leave a review. If Thumbtack would include a link to LEAVE a review in the Testimonials widget, then I’d say Thumbtack is pretty close to perfect.

So I say…

Thumbs up for Thumbtack!

All in all, this directory looks very impressive. As a search engine optimization specialist I also have to say I’m VERY impressed with the way they make their listings crawl-able by the search engine robots via their breadcrumbs. I suspect we’ll start seeing these listings show up in SERPs (search engine result pages) very soon if they aren’t already. And since validity is high on Google’s list when it comes to giving preference to local business listings, I suspect that if you have a verified and vetted listing in Thumbtack, Google’s going to love you that much more. Thumbtack may just give your site a boost in the Places.

So what’s not to love about Thumbtack. I give it a big thumbs up.

So what are you waiting for? CLICK HERE to sign up at Thumbtack NOW!

Kat

Kat

Top Kat at Kat & Mouse Co.
Kathy (aka Kat) is one of the internet's original Digital Divas and freely shares her expertise in the fields of web design, SEO, Local SEO, social media marketing, content development, PPC, and conversion optimization to help businesses succeed online. Sadly, she's allergic to cats.
Kat

Like what you read? Then get the Scoop!

Tags: ,

Kat

Kathy (aka Kat) is one of the internet's original Digital Divas and freely shares her expertise in the fields of web design, SEO, Local SEO, social media marketing, content development, PPC, and conversion optimization to help businesses succeed online. Sadly, she's allergic to cats.

Comments (15)

  • Jonathan

    |

    Thanks for the great review!

    We agree that it’s too difficult to find the pages you referenced (“Top Rated Piano…”). We’re actually working right now to improve the browsing functionality for consumers. It will be much, much better.

    Please let us know if there’s ever anything we can do to make Thumbtack better.

    Reply

    • Kat

      |

      You’re very welcome, Jonathan! I LOVE Thumbtack. It’s brilliant! In fact, I love it so much I’d love to talk to you personally about an opportunity for you. Please call me 408-694-3706. Thanks for such a great product and service for local businesses.

      Reply

  • E Sharp

    |

    This sounds really nice. Thanks for doing all this research. I’m wondering how it works for mobile professionals who don’t have a brick-and-mortar office. I’ll go check it out. I hadn’t even heard of this service. Thanks for the write-up.

    Reply

    • Kat

      |

      Absolutely no problem Evelyn!

      I hadn’t heard of it either. Came to me quite accidentally. I’ll see if I can find out how they’re marketing it because it they’re not it’s not going to have as much value for local businesses like yours.

      I’m hoping this is going to help boost your local search results and that Google will pick up the listings and/or reviews and put them in SERPs like they are for another review site I found and will be blogging on this weekend. Stay tuned. All great stuff happening for local businesses and more coming, I’m sure. Be sure to follow this blog to stay abreast of all things in the Local Search field.

      Reply

  • Jonathan

    |

    Evelyn, thanks for your interest. We fully support mobile professionals. In fact, the majority of our professionals don’t have a brick and mortar office.

    As for marketing, we spent a tremendous amount of time and energy getting our service professionals’ pages to show up high in Google. Google has said that 20% of all searches are local related — that means there are about 1/2 billion (yes, billion!) searches in Google for local content every month.

    You can see the success of this strategy at the bottom of this page: http://www.thumbtack.com/jobs

    We won’t stop until our progessionals are the #1 result everywhere. :)

    Kat, I’ll give you a call in a few minutes.

    Reply

  • Linda Buquet

    |

    Wowser Kat – great find! I may blog this too to help spread the word, but I’ll just link to and send people here since you already did such a great overview.

    One thing I love about Thumbtack for SMB’s and think would be a big selling point for them to add their listing here, is that their competitors aren’t advertised all over their page the way everyone else does.

    But the 1st thing I really researched in-depth is whether thumbtack listings show up on Google Places as citations – and they do! Yea! Next I’ll search to see if reviews or testimonials show up on GP.

    Question for Jonathan – Most of the members that I’ve found that have Google Places citations from Thumbtack and most members I’ve found via just search on Google have different membership levels listed. Example: Thumbtack Elite Service, Gold Gold Member, Bronze Member. But I can’t find anything on the site that talks about features and prices for different membership levels. Everything in the help files just says “Everything related to advertising your service” is free. Can you send me to a page that explains?

    Reply

    • Kat

      |

      Hi Linda, Sorry for the delay in getting your comment approved. I was in the middle of a move and had no internet, but your comment is live now and Jonathan will get a ping. And thanks for link gift. I appreciate that.

      I actually stumbled upon Thumbtack because I saw that Google was blessing a site with an inbound link from there. Let me know if you find Google doing the same with reviews. My guess is that they they will love them, but even if they don’t I do. My clients agonize over getting customer reviews. Thumbtack makes it so easy!

      Reply

  • Jonathan Swanson

    |

    Hi Linda, great question.

    The Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Elite statuses are not paid membership levels but are instead statuses we give to providers (for free) as indications of how thoroughly they have completed their Thumbtack listing. The more consumer reviews, photos, etc a provider adds to their listing, the more points the listing receives, and higher and higher statuses will be earned.

    This encourages service providers to invest in making their listings complete and professional — which our consumers like to see — and in return we reward these service providers with increased prioritization in our search results so they will receive more customer leads.

    We should definitely do a better job explaining these designations on the site. I’ll talk to our team about how we can do that.

    Please let us know if you have any other questions, or suggestions for how we can improve. We work day and night to make the site better. We’ve got a lot of really exciting features and upgrades we’ll be making in the next few months. Stay tuned. :)

    Jonathan

    Reply

  • Winston

    |

    Hi Kat,

    Thanks for the informative piece on Thumtack! Are you still in love with service and has your opinion of them changed in the last few months?

    Thanks,

    Winston

    Reply

    • Kat

      |

      Hi Winston, I do still like them. They actually send me referrals, so apparently, people are looking there for service professionals.

      Reply

  • Jonathan Swanson

    |

    We are now up to ~half million visits/month and growing quickly. Please keep spreading the word! :)

    We plan to bring you many, many more leads in 2012 than in 2011.

    Reply

    • Kat

      |

      Good news, Jonathan. I knew you could do it. You have a great service.

      Reply

  • jrm55

    |

    Yelp is much better… Thumbtack sucks. People put in a request for a job. They get 3 or more contractors who contact the customer vie email within Thumbtack. 99% of the customers do not provide a phone number nor any other way of contacting them except via Thumbtack.

    I was with Thumbtack for a long time. I gave them a fair shot. Out of all the customers I responded to, many times being the first contractor to respond, and despite having a 5 star rating, I would say that less than 10% responded to my contact. Even after 3 or 4 times of contacting people, they still didn’t respond. Out of the ones who did respond, I’d say maybe – MAYBE I got 1 or 2 jobs, small jobs. Not worth the money. Avoid them.

    A lot of contractors complain. Customers don’t respond. People leave fraudulent feedback from outside of Thumbtack and from within Thumbtack – people who were never hired by a contractor that is. There’s a lot of problems with them. You’d be a lot better off advertising locally or finding some other way. There’s dozens of lead chaser companies that are better and more dependable with legitimate leads. With Thumbtack, you have no way of knowing if the leads are legitimate. Thumbtack could be posting jobs to get your money, which might explain why most prospects you reply to – even if you’re the first contractor to reply and even if you have a 5 star rating, they don’t ever reply. Another BIG PROBLEM is that you’re at the mercy of the customer. There is NO WAY to contact the customer by phone 99% of the time because they don’t provide their phone numbers. That’s another reason to believe Thumbtack is providing leads that they post themselves. The bottom line: I think Thumbtack is shady, and I suspect them of being full of crap. They’re not worthy of your money. That’s my opinion from my own experiences with them for over a year.

    http://www.maxpowermarketing.com/thumbtack-new-way-to-get-leads/?doing_wp_cron=1394381298.8484110832214355468750

    http://www.visualpeople.com/blog/does-thumbtack-work-for-getting-new-leads

    http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/open-dv-discussion/507294-might-worth-being-careful-thumbtack-com.html

    Reply

    • biz@katandmouse.com

      |

      When I first wrote the article about them, they were just a directory and a good one at that. It was all very open. Anyone could contact you and didn’t have to go through a lead capture form. But that was Thumbtack’s way of populating their directory for free,and of course we all would sign up. Now consumers can’t see any of the listings unless you scroll to the bottom of the page and in small print, you can get a link to the Services directory through which after a few clicks you might land on a listing. So it’s not a directory anymore. It’s a lead generator and Thumbtack got us all in under false pretenses. But, hey, they were trying to build a business, so I can’t fault them for that. And if they give back in terms of leads, then ok. I do know some who do get business from Thumbtack, so it does work.

      Reply

  • Jeff Walton

    |

    Thumbtack has fooled a lot of service professionals. The problem is that they don’t do a good job filtering quality service professionals from non professionals. They don’t promote your ratings and each quote displays to potential clients simply as numbers. They don’t make clients aware that the service pros are paying to submit quotes. When you link to your Thumbtack profile a giant blue box is displayed saying “let us do the work for you, submit a request for a quote”. This quote goes to you AND everyone else advertising that service. While the client started at YOUR profile, you are now in the mix with everyone else who was not working when the quote came through. So you, as a quality service pro, got beat to submitting quotes by 5 people who (for some odd reason) were available to reply to the quote immediately. I put effort in to making my profile look as professional as possible, I got some great reviews, and spent a lot of money. The only thing in return has been a few jobs here and there, and people clicking “hired” and never following through. Thumbtack has not been generous enough to refund any of my credits/fees for any of the hardships.

    Reply

Leave a comment

Contact Us

Kat & Mouse Co.
(408) 647-2327
1777 Hamilton Ave., Ste. 2310
San Jose, CA 95125
(Just a hop and skip away from Los Gatos,
Campbell and Cupertino)

In Santa Cruz? Call…

(831) 419-9854
We'll meet you at our Santa Cruz office, aka
"The Abbey" coffee shop on High St.

The worst day of my life is the day I told my competitor about Kat & Mouse.

D. Fulton

0 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 0 Google+ 0 LinkedIn 0 Buffer 0 StumbleUpon 0 Email -- Pin It Share 0 0 Flares ×