Yext is a New York City-based company that provides a service that can help businesses manage their listings in online business directories. So is it worth paying $499 a year?
The short answer is no. Based on research of Yext’s claims, Yext.com’s actual network, and review of our client’s web traffic results and search engine ranking positions, we believe that the listings they place:
- Do not boost page rank in the major search engines.
- Do not produce a significant amount of visits to the business’ website.
- Are not owner verified and therefore are not valued as highly by Google or the actual websites as if they had been owner verified.
- Are actually pay for inclusion listings which means that once you stop paying the annual fee, only the business’ name, address, phone (NAP) and categories remain on those listings. Additional information such as photos and text descriptions disappear and tracking and the ability to update information easily also is lost.
- Sometimes result in duplicate listings on the websites that are difficult to remove/correct.
Yext.com’s free scan is a nice diagnostic tool in that it lists whether a business has listings in the websites in their network and whether the NAP information is consistent across those listings. However, once a business has used the free scan, they can expect a high pressure sales call from Yext. And the bottom line is that the cost for the service outweighs the benefits.
The better strategy is to claim (owner verify) each of the free listings directly with each of the websites and then to optimize each listing according to the rules of each website.
CeSI has evaluated each website in the Yext network and has identified those that have value as incoming links. CeSI conducts the process of claiming and optimizing each value-added listing. However, rather than charge an annual fee, the cost for this service is included in the monthly ongoing optimization and reporting service. The service also includes support for monitoring local listings via Google Alerts for the business’ name and brand related keywords.
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