My Thoughts on Where Yext Fits Into a Local Search Marketing Plan
Disclosure: GetListed.org, a company where I serve as president, currently receives a small referral fee from both Yext and Localeze for business owners we send their way & sign up for a paid account.
Reader Kat Taylor recently commented on my Local Search Ecosystem post, as well as Kelly Marsh (comment), and a dozen or so people have asked me privately via email what my thoughts are on Yext vs Localeze vs Infogroup, etc. So I thought I’d respond publicly to lower my response time on future queries 🙂
As I said to Kat,
Localeze and Yext are fundamentally different propositions. Localeze and Infogroup are essential to long-term success in Local. Yext should be used
a) only AFTER claiming your listing at ExpressUpdateUSA and Localeze
b) businesses just getting started in both the online and offline world OR
b-2) businesses who need an immediate boost to their citation profile & don’t have time or expertise to claim listings across the rest of the ecosystem
[[from Mike Blumenthal: c) where time is more valuable than money and you use Yext for claiming secondary directories. ]]
Simply put, Yext is NOT a substitute for managing your business information at major aggregators.
The analogy of building a house is probably over-used, but it fits here. Let’s say your entire digital online presence is your house. Your basic business information is the foundation. Your website, NAP information, and blog are the studs of the house.
Seeding your NAP with major (permanent) data aggregators is the equivalent of your house’s drywall and insulation. This is absolutely critical if you’re going to have a house that will stand up to the “winds of change” at Google Places, the mobile space, etc., etc., etc.
Yext provides a valuable service that is more like wallpaper in your nicest, most public-facing room. It’s NOT a permanent solution, nor is it a substitute for drywall. Only an idiot contractor would try to build a house with wallpaper glued directly to the studs, with no insulation in between. Like wallpaper, Yext can hide a lot of fundamental problems in the construction of your Local SEO house…but don’t be an idiot contractor and think that it’s a permanent long-term solution.
And not every house needs wallpaper. Going around and claiming your listing directly at all the places Yext syndicates to is a more permanent solution, but does require work and you will have to be patient going through all of the various approval processes. And as Chris Gregory astutely observes, Yext may not override previously claimed listings at major portals like Yelp, etc.
My conclusion about the value of Yext is essentially the same as Mike’s:
It definitely makes the Local process more time-efficient.
It may lead to an additional 5-6-7 quality citations if your business has not already claimed them.
It may not be as cost-efficient as outsourcing to reputable companies for manual claiming. Companies (and clients) choosing this option have to be patient, however, and have at least some faith in the outsourced provider that they’ll do what they promise they’re going to do and not hijack an account.