Aggregator websites meaning and benefits
Last update: June 3, 2021
In some niches, aggregator sites are today’s reality. We are talking about platforms, marketplaces and other types of intermediary websites that replace company sites in search results.
It is possible to say that in some niches, there will soon be no company sites or business card sites – just aggregators. Let’s discuss why this happens, and can it be used for your business.
What is aggregator website?
Actually all of us use aggregators almost daily. Examples are Google – websites aggregator, Amazon – goods aggregator, Spotify – music aggregator, Uber- taxi aggregator etc. Actually before search engines there were aggregators – catalog sites. And they did not disappear, they simply transformed to the needs of their audience. Although most of them practically did not change the design over the past 15–20 years. For example, one of the largest western aggregator sites is Craigslist. Even though the site looks old-fashioned, it has more than 800 million visits per month.
So what is aggregator website? – In general it is a website that collects information from multiple sources in a single place.
Today there are some types of the aggregators:
Goods aggregators with shipment from their site
The most famous of these aggregators is amazon.com, with more than 2 billion visits per month. Partners are offered the opportunity to deliver goods to Amazon’s warehouses and sell them on the site, using various preferences like delivery to the client in a few days, free delivery, etc.
For businesses, placement in specific, thematic aggregators, message boards, catalogs is much more interesting actually. For example, real estate forums or message board, building materials websites etc.
Intermediaries and partners
There are also niches where the sales model is based on an interaction with partners and intermediaries. Today there is no airline company that doesn’t work with tickets aggregator, a hotel that doesn’t work with Booking, taxi driver who doesn’t work with Uber or Gett.
Such platforms also provide users with guarantees: uber fixes the cost of travel, Booking makes sure the hotel gets money even the client declines his booking.
As soon as a steady demand for any services is formed, a relevant platform appears. It brings together customers and sellers. Freelance marketplace is the most popular example. But there are also aggregators in dozens of other niches.
How to find out that in your niche a separate company website will not collect acceptable search traffic? You just need to open the Google search and enter the basic users’ requests for the given niche. If aggregators are on the first and the second page of the search results – it is already too late, you have either to adapt, or try to compete.
Aggregators in search results example
For instance, if we have a look at search results for “software development company” request, we will see many aggregators:The 1st and 2nd places are occupied by aggregators. The continuation of the search results is the following:
As we can see, Google offers some local software development companies, and keeps showing aggregators. Indeed, multiple aggregators appeared long ago in such a competitive niche as software development companies.
No aggregator for some search request?
In fact, if in some niche you do not see any aggregator, this means:
- The niche is empty and there are few companies in it.
- It is impossible to generate a constructive business model for monetizing the aggregation project.
- A product or service is specific – all the data can be placed on a single website.
- No one has yet thought about this niche.
- A combination of the four factors above.
Reasons why aggregators occupy the entire top of search results in many niches
They will be higher on catalogs. It is known that search engines show exactly those pages that better respond to a user’s request in the results. Search engines are not so smart to understand which site has helped better, so they evaluate it indirectly. What is the path of the average user?
A user entered the search request, saw in the result “a solution to the problem from the company “NeverHeardAbout” and “a solution to the problem from the best companies of the city “User’s City” at the lowest price”. Surely, the user wants to choose from the best, and to make it cheaper. The user opens both sites (or an aggregator only).
The user spends a minute on the company’s website – and understands, either the solution to the problem is a little expensive, or they solve the problem, but not the one the user has. Or calls the company because needs to solve the problem urgently, and they will only solve it the day after tomorrow. Closed the site.
The catalog-aggregator website contains , for instance, 13 companies solving the problem. A user reads that each company is good, so let’s call only them. The site is still open, the user will open one company, then another. Finally, it seems like the user has found the company he was looking for.
What does a search engine “see”:
- A user entered search request “solve the problem X“.
- The user spent a minute on a service company’s site, then closed it after browsing a couple of pages. Returned to search results.
- Opened an aggregator.
- Spent a lot of time on the aggregator, opened 15 pages.
- Did not open other sites from the search result and didn’t get back to the search results.
As a result, search engine makes a conclusion that aggregator is more useful because the user had found a solution for the problem using aggregator website.
The amount of information and the number of pages on the aggregator website
If the catalog has 50,000 pages (and an aggregator can get them simply by displaying information about organizations at the addresses of one city in the form of “organizations at address X in city Z” with the content “sorry, we didn’t find anything”). As a result, most probably that at the user’s request the aggregator will have a page, but the company’s site will not have one.
So, aggregators take this low-frequency requests traffic. And each user who found what he was looking for is a small plus to the ranking of the site. After a while the aggregator received 10,000 clicks per month, and the company’s website – 1 000. So the thing is that aggregator begins to accumulate statistics faster.
Aggregators often provide users with a more detailed information than the company on its own website.
In what cases can a single website advance aggregators in search results?
- Specific niche. For example, tanker construction, equipment for nuclear power stations, software for state digital transformation. This happens because such specific projects better understand the needs of customers, and elaborate the structure of the site in a more competent way. They have landing pages for various specialized interest groups.
- Strong brand. If the company is recognizable, search traffic may not exceed 20-30% of the total traffic to the websitesite, while half of this traffic will be branded, such as “Buy product X in store name Y“.
In addition, more than 90% of the content on aggregators is a so called UGC content – created by users. Usually, the quality of such content is not always satisfying: Spelling mistakes, low-quality photos, bad description, not enough expertness.
Lead generation for business
As a summary we would like to mention a possibility to create your own aggregator as a source of lead generation for your business. If there is strong competition in a city or region and there are many companies that provide the same service, customers will compare them. And the rating or catalog of such companies will collect a “warm” audience. In case there is no such rating in a given niche, its high time to create it.
And surely place your company, product or services in it.
Do you think there is a chance to increase the flow of leads for business if you are the owner of a rating of companies in your region? In case you have an idea of creation an aggregator, marketplace or any other software, address o Code Inspiration and we’ll discuss how we can contribute.
How to create aggregator
What should be done to create an aggregator? – This section explains. Let’s pretend that the goal is to create a small city aggregator that will contain information about service companies. To do this, no programming skills are required.
Check the aggregator’s niche and competitors
To start with, we should carry out some research, at this stage we need to understand the following:
- How many companies are there, and how many of them would agree to pay for leads.
- Are there any aggregators-competitors and if so, what is their status: how outdated information is, overall design, mobile version quality, navigation etc.
Set up an aggregator development plan
In case the previous step is successful, i.e. the research shows there are dozens of companies providing similar services and no catalog for them, it’s time to create an aggregator development plan. It will most likely include the following:
- Set up a goal for aggregator development. For instance: “in 1 year the aggregator of companies offering services X in the city Z will have 1000 unique visitors per month. 20-30 of them will offer services on the aggregator”.
- Elaborate a website structure. Most likely the core of it will be “Main page – list of companies – company profile”.
- Carry out SEO research, collect keywords, elaborate titles and SEO descriptions.
- Create a website. It should be mobile-responsive, user-friendly, easy-to-understand navigation bar.
- Collect information about companies and publish on the website, according to the structure.
- Perform promotion activities, manage listings, update information.
- Track results.
Actually, this is it. Surely, this plan is not an ultimate one, however, it is valid for a small aggregator development that will contain information about several dozens of companies offering some similar services in the given area. Saying “small aggregator” we mean a comparatively short list of companies that a user is capable of browsing completely and select some for his/her needs. In case the list contains information about 100 and more companies, advanced features development is required. In the first turn, there is the possibility to sort companies, apply search filters, find the nearest companies and so on.
No doubt any individual may spend some days and perform everything using no-code or low-code solutions. Actually, there is no need to order aggregator development services for a simple catalog of companies.
However, for large aggregators with 100+ entities some significant software development is must.
Complex aggregator development
When there is a task to create some complex portal, individual efforts are not enough. A custom aggregator application development is required.
For example, there is a task to create a country-wide aggregator of service providers. This will require many development activities, for example, representatives of entities would like to have profiles and dashboards where they can edit information and check statistics for their listing performance. This means the necessity to develop user profiles and division of roles functionality. Multiple search filters according to parameters should also be developed: a user expects to search by location, by working schedule (open/closed now), by cost of services, by availability of services, by top-rated and so on. Additionally, like we mentioned in the beginning of the article, a user wants to see some “premade” or generated automatically lists like
- “companies offering services X in the city Z operating around the clock”,
- “companies offering services X in the city of Y open now”
- “nearest companies offering services D in the district B top-rated” and many other variations of a user’s search request.
Thus, any large aggregator requires some advanced features’ development. For better understanding, have a look at a recent Code Inspiration’s complex E-Commerce aggregator development project. It has many advanced features and can provide you with a good understanding of efforts required to develop it.
Why create your own aggregator?
Summing up with the article, here are 2 main reasons why you should launch your aggregator development, why this niche has a great potential:
- Aggregators itself is a great and still uncovered niche of online services. If you try to find startup ideas, pay your attention to aggregator websites.
- If you already run a business, an aggregator might serve as a trigger for growth and scaling. Creating an aggregator in your niche will help you attract more online traffic and, as a result, promote your service to a broader audience. This also opens some monetization options, for instance, if your aggregator attracts enough customers, you can sell leads to other companies listed on your aggregator.
The situation is that aggregators and catalog websites are conquering the niche of online presence. However, this niche is still not completely covered, for instance, there is a lot of space for local aggregators.
Like we have already mentioned, aggregator creation might be a great solution in case your business needs more clients. However, any individual also can become a founder of an aggregator startup.
Think of a possible niche where an aggregator could be launched and check it. If there is no catalog, create a simple website and start generating additional traffic or even leads for your business. Or sell these leads to other companies mentioned on your aggregator.
We sincerely hope this article was useful for you and information from if it benefits your business. Code Inspiration team wishes you to be successful in your aggregator development projects. Let your aggregators always be at the top of search results!
- 20+ FREE aggregators and business listing services to claim a profile of your business to boost online presence, reach new audience, get more trust from search engines and users.
- An article explaining that in a couple of years there will be no need in business websites, because the majority of traffic will be generated by aggregators, marketplaces, online catalogs and so on. Most likely, having and keeping up-to-date a profile of your business on some aggregators will be enough for successful online presence.