Yext Can Be Worth It for Large Businesses; Not So Much for Smaller Ones
For a local business with just a few locations that aren’t going to be moving any time soon, Yext makes very little sense. However, a large company like McDonald’s that needs a solution to manage hundreds of locations that may move, open, or close regularly, it makes sense.
If you own a business, they have called you.
They even call us, an agency that does exactly what they do, only at 2% of the cost. So should you sign up?
What is Yext and What Does it Do? Is Yext a Scam?
The short of it is no, it’s not a scam, but it is ludicrously overpriced considering that there are much cheaper alternatives that won’t cost tens of thousands over the lifetime of your business.
For what it costs you year after year, you can either spend a day doing it yourself or pay an SEO agency (like us) once to handle it for you.
The service that Yext provides is a local citations service called “Powerlistings.” It is an aggregator, a service that connects to around 50-70 web directories and lists your website for you. One time.
Unless you move, change phone number, or change the name of your business, there is no more work for them to do, yet they still charge hundreds of dollars a year in fees.
What Happens When You Cancel Yext?
If you cancel Yext Powerlistings—which some claim is incredibly difficult—all of your listings disappear.
So they get your business hooked on their service for a few grand a year for what would typically be a day or two of work for an agency to do manually.
Really classy move, Yext.
How Much Does Yext Cost?
Yext has four pricing tiers:
- Emerging – Billed at $199/yr
- Essential – Billed at $449/yr
- Complete – Billed at $499/yr
- Premium – Billed at $999/yr
As you pay more, they list you on more websites and if you spring for their $999 plan, they’ll monitor your online reviews.
The crazy part is that most local businesses stay in one place for years, if not decades. A local AC repair company doing HVAC marketing could be on the hook for $10k-$25k over a decade or two instead of spending a few hundred on an SEO company.
Can’t I Do My Local Citations Myself?
Absolutely. The hard part is finding the directories to list on, but we actually have a list of them in another post.
It’s probably a 6-10 hour job, but it’s a once and done. We provide local citations services for business owners that are too busy, but if you have a staff member that you trust to handle it, have him or her do it.
Why Do I Need To Do This In The First Place?
The way that you get into Google’s local three-pack results is through local citations:
Whether you pay Yext a small fortune, hire a local agency for a couple hundred dollars, or do it yourself, you do need these citations if you want to show up in the map results.
Essentially, your Google My Business information is being confirmed by all of these other directories; someone performs a search and the algorithm determines what to deliver to them. If 40 different directories are confirming your info and 3 are confirming your competitor’s, you’re likely to come out ahead since Google is more confident about your business info.
Can I Expect to Get Business Leads From the Directory Listings?
With the exception of Yelp, Homeadvisor, and some other niche-specific directories (like Avvo, Angie’s List, etc) I wouldn’t hold my breath.
We see the analytics of a lot of local websites, and we see very little referral traffic from directory websites, and even less conversions. Getting listed in these local directories is valuable, but mostly as a local SEO tactic.