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Yext Review: Is Yext The Answer For Local Search Listings?

26 Oct

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Yext ReviewYou want people to be able to easily find your business when searching on the internet.  In addition to finding your website when searching for the name of your business, you want them to be able to find you when doing general location based searches like “Brooklyn dentist” or “painters in Boynton Beach FL”.

While many of these searches happen on Google, they also occur on dozens of other sites like Yelp.  Yext enables your business to be listed / included in dozens of the most important search engines and directories, without having to manually enter your business information on each one individually.

Want a free listing that will boost your visibility in local searches? Click here to get your free listing at YP.com today.

When you need to update information, like when you change address or update store hours for a holiday,  Yext enables you to make the changes once, and have it instantly updated across its network.  There are two main benefits of Yext:

  1. Your listing will appear within a few hours throughout the Yext network. If you were to manually submit listings, it might be weeks before your listing went live.
  2. It saves tremendous time. You can accomplish with Yext in minutes, what might take 15 – 20 hours of work to do yourself. More information is available at the Yext website.

Where should your business be listed?

You may have already claimed your Google+ local business page or Facebook business page, which puts you ahead of many local businesses. However, there are dozens of places where potential clients could find you including:

  •  Yahoo! Local Listings
  • Bing
  • Yelp
  • YP / Yellow Pages.com
  • MapQuest
  • MerchantCircle
  • CitySearch
  • Manta

And these are just some of the better known general local search directories! There are many large directories that you might not be familiar with.  For example the local directory site “Local.com” does over 50 million page views per month.

How do you get your business in all the relevant directories?

DIY – For most directories, you can manually submit your business to the directory. If you spend 10 hours, you can lay the groundwork to have your business listed in 30 to 40 different directories. In some directories, your listing will show up instantly while others may take a few days to a month or two. Here is list of 50 local business directories where you can submit.

Pay A Local SEO or Citation Building Professional – Citations building (getting your business name, address, and phone number, and possible more into directories) and link building are not the same. Citation building is not hard, but does require effort and attention. Link building (getting links to your business in articles) requires a higher skillset than citation building. Because of this citation building is not extremely expensive.

Hire a reputable company:

Whitespark  – Very well known provider of online tools for tracking citations. They charge about $200 for citations in 50 large directories. For $500, they will provide 100 mainstream directories and about 20 hyper-local or very targeted directories.

Submit To Directories Via Yext- Yext is the type of service that intuitively make sense. Why should you need to submit to lots of different directories when they all basically require similar information. Why not have a service that just does it once?

Yext enables a business to submit its information (name, business category, address, phone number, description, hours of operation, website address, photos, videos, and coupons) to multiple directories at once.

Please note: Citation building is only one part of doing SEO (search engine optimization). If you want to appear high in the results when people do searches on google or bing,  you are going to need to do citation building, on-page optimization, and link building. For on-page optimization and link building, we recommend using Web CEO! It provides detailed step-by-step guidance  on what actions to take.

Here is the Yext value proposition in a nutshell:

  • You can submit information to 47 different directories all at once. These include Yahoo! Local Listing, Facebook, Bing, and Yelp. It does not include Google+ Local Listing Or YellowPages (YP).
  • Most submissions happen instantaneously and your listing can be updated quickly as well. This is perhaps Yext’s most important feature, as many directories can take weeks to show new information without Yext. Not only is this useful in terms of getting listings live, but also updating them on a more regular basis. For example, a business might want to offer special coupons during certain times of the year or change store hours for the holidays.
  • Yext also provides enhanced listings for sites like Yahoo!. A Yext listing gives the business the same privileges as Yahoo Enhanced Listing. This service costs $119.40 per year if purchased on its own.

The cost of Yext is $500 per year.

Yext Review Versus DIY or Having A Professional

DIY
Professional
Yext
Cost
Free $200 to $500 (one time fee) $500 (annual fee)
Time (Effort)
10 – 20 Hours Less Than 2 Hours Less Than 2 Hours
Number of Listings
30 – 60 50 – 120 47
Google + Local Listing Page Creation
Yes. No. Google requires address confirmation using a calling in a code sent by postcard. No.
Benefits For Google Local Search Rankings
Yes. Having 20 or so structured citations from high quality sites will help. Yes. Having 20 or so structured citations from high quality sites will help. Yes. Having 20 or so structured citations from high quality sites will help.
Yahoo Enhanced Local Listing
No. It costs $9.95 per month. No. No.
Time For Listings To Go Live
Greatly Varies from a few hours to several weeks. Greatly Varies from a few hours to several weeks. The majority go live instantly.
Ability To Update
Manually Manually Yes

A Look At The Issues Raised In Other Yext Reviews

Non-Transparent Pricing & Aggressive Salespeople – There is a comprehensive review (extremely negative) and lively discussion in the comments section of Big Diastemia. The negative comments tackle the following areas:

  1. While they advertise $500 annual services,  Yext appears to offer everybody that doesn’t buy immediately a discounted price of $449 per year.
  2. Many people are concerned that google ranking algos will penalize firm’s for instantly having almost 50 citations. Google is always trying to prevent websites / companies from trying to artificially manipulate their ranking higher.
  3. There is concern about what happens when one cancels, more about this later.
  4. The biggest complaint is that the company super-aggressive sales practices.

The Issue Of Yext Cancellations – There seems to be a general concern in Yext reviews about what happens to your listings after a business cancels the service. Yext is a subscription service. Many believe that the directory listings revert back to what was there previously when a Yext subscription ends. Obviously, if the business moved or changed its phone number this would be very bad. This issue is tackled by the blog Kat & Mouse. The basic answer is that “core information” (which is assumed to be the business’s name, address, and phone number) will not revert back. But photo, videos, coupons, and perhaps other information provided to directories through Yext will disappear.

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The Issue of Duplicate Listings – If there are multiple listings (for one location)  for your business in a directory, you could be penalized by google. This is one area that google likes to see consistency. A citation building professional will help your find and eliminate duplicate listings. Unfortunately, Yext does nothing to solve this problem. The issue is explored in detail in the post “Why Yext Might Not Be The Best Fit For Your Business”

Bottom Line:

Why would I use Yext?

●    If I had a grand opening or was going to be moving my business in the near future.
●    If I had multiple locations which frequently changed hours and/or specials.

Why would I use a citation building professional?

●    This is the best choice for most people, as the services provided are affordable and save lots of time and effort.

Why would I do it myself?

●    If saving $200 is a big deal.

Regardless of what you decide, you’re going to need to create a Google+ local page.

That’s our article for today.  If you have any questions or comments please leave them in the comments section below.

 

About the Author

 

Marc Prosser

Marc Prosser has been involved in many businesses as an executive, advisor, and investor. Prior to starting his own company, Marc Prosser was the first employee and Chief Marketing Officer of FXCM. During his ten years at FXCM, the company grew from a small business to over 700 employees.

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