Recently, I’ve been having more conversations with clients about local search, and the topic of Yext has been coming up more and more, so I thought I would designate some blog space to write about it and help you decide whether Yext is a good fit for you and your business.
What Is Yext.com?
Yext is a one stop shop (website) that will correctly list your business information across 55 local search directories (LSD’s). Examples of these local search directories include Yahoo, Yelp, MapQuest, City Search, FourSquare and a laundry list of others. Having your business listed on these local directories is important in order to optimize your DZs search results for customers who are ‘local’ to you. Customers are easily able to see how far a business is from them when making a search. This is a very important aspect of SEO for businesses with brick and mortar operations.
Is Being Listed, Important?
Being correctly listed is important. Chances are, your DZ is already listed on many of these local search directories, but often, the information isn’t consistent across directories which can hurt your SEO. It’s important to ensure that your name, address and phone number (NAP) are listed the same way everywhere. Yext offers a one stop shop to solve this problem.
Based on what you’ve just read, you’re probably prepared to sign up for this service that makes being listed on 55 different directories happen instantly and easily. What’s the catch?
Yext will publish your information where you’re not listed and correct your current listings for between $500 and $1000…. annually. The price of convenience is very high. Here’s the killer: If you decide to discontinue using Yext, then all of your listings will revert back to what they were before (insert collective groan). So this means you’re essentially renting your listings.
This is an awesome model for Yext, but not so good for business owners on a budget (every DZO, I know). What makes this an especially tough pill is that the majority of these listings cost you nothing if you just do it yourself. (Some listings, may cost a one time fee of $5-$10 for the listing).
Why Not Do It Yourself?
Here’s the pain point with DIY. It takes about 35-45 minutes (half the time if you’re experienced at it) to get yourself listed on each of these local directories. Most business owners don’t have the time for it… so that’s where Yext comes in. They make it easy and quick.
Pros for Yext
There are two pros that makes Yext particularly great. The first is that the listings are updated instantly on all 55 sites. Going the DIY route may take several weeks or months before your local listing actually updates.
The second major pro is you’ve got a one stop hub to keep all of these listings organized. It’s pretty sweet, but frankly I think the cost negates this convenience.
What I Recommend
My recommendation is do it yourself or hire someone to do it for you. This is a service we regularly manage for our SEO clients. The upfront cost is a little more to get listed, but it’s much less expensive in the long run because you will actually own your listings.
In closing, I endorse the DIY route. Even if Yext charged half the price for their service, I still don’t think their service is worth it. In this case, the expense of allowing Yext to manage your listings is far greater than the time investment required to set things up yourself.