Whenever I hear clients ask about Yext, it’s all I can do to stop myself from facepalming. That being said, Yext is not without appeal. I understand local search optimization to the average person is at best confusing, and the relationship between local ecosystem directories can easily be described as “complicated”. Patience is certainly a virtue when building local citations manually, as it can take months before you begin to see any value.
Yext’s data distribution, however allows for the listings to be live much sooner. Its speed and simplicity are among its most coveted features. Yext is very user friendly – just plug in your company information and Yext blasts it throughout the interwebs on the promised directories. It’s not a terrible solution if your company is brand new.
On the other hand, it’s also my opinion that Yext is a clever one trick pony used to quickly disperse information throughout select directories, but as someone who takes the time and effort to hunt down valuable directories and enhance listings, my opinion is somewhat biased. While Yext is many things, it’s certainly not inexpensive at approximately $500 a year. Yext is also not a substitute for managing how your business is presented on the internet and can lead to duplicate listings which can hurt your rankings. So while a professional can catch and report or delete those duplicates, Yext can’t. Those duplicates will then continue to circulate as they are scraped and further distributed.
Yext can also make you complacent. Sure it’s great that Yext blasted out your business information, but how is that information being displayed? Did your quote character (”) turn into strange code or is your logo being distorted? Does the directory give you an opportunity to enhance the listing with additional information that Yext didn’t ask for? And while the promise of ~50 listings can be alluring, some of the most powerful ones aren’t mentioned on Yext’s site – like Google Plus, Yellow pages, or Manta.
In our industry you quickly get to appreciate the power the internet represents. While I am always amazed at the advancements in technology, I would argue there are still things that require human intervention. The ability to find opportunities specific to your industry or to your business and to use them to your advantage is something that requires a little something more than a computer program.