It’s important that your business’ contact information is the same across all of the local business directories if you want to show up on the first page of Google in the local results for keywords in your business’ industry. Consistency is one of the ranking factors for Local SEO. Local Search has become more relevant with the rise of smartphones. With your approval, Google and other search engines can track your location which allows them to give you search results based on where you are currently located. Here is what the local business search results look like from my desktop computer in my office in Atlanta for the keyword “Atlanta web design”:
Yext allows you to update your business information on multiple local business review websites without having to log in to each one manually.
And here is what the business local search results look like on a mobile phone at my Atlanta office:
Setting up multiple directory listings is time consuming and tedious. Yext takes away a lot of the pain by allowing you to claim and/or create listings for your business in over 65 local business directories by setting up just one profile. So, should you use Yext? Keep reading, and judge for yourself.
Pros of Using Yext
As of today, Yext manages over 65 local business directories from their dashboard. Changes to a business’ profile on Yext appear almost immediately on directories partnered with Yext. Some of the more well known websites in the list are:
Yext would be beneficial to many small business owners because most small business owners don’t have the time nor the skill to manually set up multiple accounts one-by-one. I’ve set up profiles manually for Mr. Technique on many of the websites listed on Yext, and it took me several hours. This entailed adding my business name, business description, business hours, categories, forms of payment, and photos. Doing this process was undesirable to say the least.
With Yext, you can have 65+ profiles set up in a fraction of the time that it takes to manually setup each local directory listing. It would have taken more than 10 hours (maybe even more than 20 hours) for me to manually setup or change all of my directory listings managed by Yext. In addition to the long setup, I would have to wait for a couple of months for some of those edits to be approved and published. If your business has duplicate listings, Yext can suppress them if you are subscribed to their duplicate suppression plan. I had to do some research on removing duplicate listings on Google, Yahoo, and Facebook. It wasn’t the easiest task in the world, and it took a few weeks for the duplicate listings to disappear.
If your business’ phone number, website, or address changes, you could change this information in minutes with Yext as opposed to hours if you were to make the change one-by-one. Another huge benefit of using Yext is that you get somewhat of a free upgrade on some of the websites. For example, if you set up a free ChamberofCommerce.com profile now, they won’t make it public unless you upgrade to one of their paid plans. Another example would be Superpages. I wasn’t able to get a YouTube video on my business’ Superpages profile when I manually set it up, but now that Yext controls it, I’m allowed to add a YouTube video to it (see Superpages listing).
Interested in Trying Yext?
Cons of Using Yext
Yext comes at a hefty price tag. Yext doesn’t offer monthly plans. You have to prepay for a year upfront which is somewhere between $500 and $1000. If you don’t renew with Yext, all of the listings that were set up through the Yext dashboard revert back to the way they were before you signed up. Also, all of the suppressed duplicates will come back.
If you took the time to set up profiles on any of the business review websites, Yext will overwrite those profiles. My business description that took me an hour to type on Yelp was replaced with the business description that I typed on Yext. I didn’t want my Yelp business description to be the same as all of the others, so I clicked the Opt Out option. When I did that, Mr. Technique’s Yelp business description was wiped out. Luckily, I was able to get a Yelp representative to restore the old original description.
After I restored the Yelp description, I used the Opt Out option on a few websites that hadn’t been changed by Yext yet. I didn’t want Yext overwriting all of the original content that I wrote. I’m not so sure how Google, Bing, or Yahoo views original content on these types of websites, but it can’t hurt to have a few different descriptions. Shown below is a screenshot of the websites that I opted not to be controlled by Yext.
Other profiles that were replaced were my MerchantCircle and ChamberofCommerce.com listing. The ChamberofCommerce.com listing was actually taken out of my account and put back in to unclaimed status. I had to send them an email to reclaim the listing.
It’s not shown on here, but I used the Opt Out option on Google Plus as well. Keep in mind, that while the number of directories that Yext manages is increasing, there are still several local directories that Yext doesn’t have access to such as:
Hotfrog and Kudzu used to be in this list, but Yext now manages these directories. If you don’t like the idea of never owning your local directory listings, you could go about setting up your business’ local directory listings yourself by visiting these two links:
So Is Yext Worth It?
At first, I thought that it wasn’t, but the more that I use it, the more I feel that it is worth the price. Has Yext helped Mr. Techinque’s search engine rankings? No, but I had already set up several directory listings manually before become a Yext Partner. Also, I had to wait months before my business listing was approved in some of the local directories. Yext has agreements with the directories that they manage, so the wait time won’t be more than a week.
Yext has helped Sittersphere (one of our clients). Before setting up a Yext account for them, Google thought the search term “Sittersphere” was a misspelling of another word like stratosphere or something along those lines. Thanks to the local directory listings that were quickly set up by Yext, the Sittersphere website and local directory listings now dominate the first page on Google.
Yext isn’t the only thing needed in Local SEO though, so don’t expect miracles though. There are other factors that contribute to your business’ local search result like maintaining a good online reputation.
I hope this post was helpful, and I’d love to hear your comments below.