In an era where small businesses must outsmart algorithms, bots and other artificial intelligence, digital marketing juggernauts Yext aims to help your business convert more consumers into customers. By cutting out the tedious task of manually listing your business across hundreds of platforms, alongside other hoops and hurdles, Yext has become a useful digital marketing tool for medium and large-sized businesses alike. When you sign up with one of Yext’s plans, their algorithm compiles all of your business information, i.e. name, means of contact, services and location into one database, thus ensuring consistent listing information across the board, which also helps improve your ranking in relevant Google searches.
The Rise of Yext
Given the level of consistency that Google oh so loves and Yext dutifully provides, it’s easy to see why more and more businesses are moving toward Yext to improve their digital presence while making their marketing initiatives more efficient. While Yext is an especially powerful tool, for larger businesses like Simon, T-Mobile, Guess, Denny’s and Ben & Jerry’s—all of which utilize Yext for their digital marketing needs—the benefits remain to be seen for small, local businesses. Two major problems can arise for small businesses regarding Yext, the first one being cost. If you are a small business looking at Yext, you have four annual plans to choose from, albeit expensive ones.
With their $199 “Emerging” plan, Yext will integrate your business info across various SMALL and locally-geared listing platforms like Acxiom, Yellow Pages, AB Local, and City Squares among numerous others. This is, of course, a swift and easy means of getting your small business listed on these smaller and obscure platforms., all of which add up to the greater whole—favor in the eyes of Google.
Consequences of Saying Yes to Yext
Unfortunately, the only way to get listed on these websites is through Yext, who has proprietary listing rights over the likes Yellow Pages or Insider Pages. So, what if your business is too financially strapped to afford these incredibly important listings? If you were to ask Yext, the answer would be to suffer the ultimate consequence of lower consumer-to-customer conversion rates.
With the $449 “Essential” plan, Yext will integrate your business’ info across all major and popularly visited platforms like Google, Yelp, Facebook and various other leading information directories. However, the price to pay for this plan is too astronomically high once you realize that one does not receive, in addition to, listings from the “Emerging” package. Don’t tell Yext this, but you can easily list your business for free through the likes of Facebook, Yelp, etc. Just make sure you are consistent with the information you list across all platforms.
Without going into the $999 “Premium” package—because that number is just silly—the only plan that should be considered by small businesses is the $499 “Professional” package. Customers who choose this plan will receive fully integrated and consistent listing information across 150 plus websites, apps, GPS location systems, etc. This doesn’t sound too bad, but again, the near $500 price tag will be difficult to swallow.
Aside from pricing, there is one more HUGE issue that should be considered before you submit your credit card information to Yext and their overpriced digital marketing packages. If you decide that Yext’s listing services are not worth the price tag—which may be inevitable—guess what? All of your business listing information will go out the door alongside your subscription With Yext; you are essentially renting your digital presence. So if you cancel, any marketing progress goes down the drain as Yext resets your listing info to what it was before choosing their services.
Is Yext Worth the Risk?
Though the concept of a one-platform service controlling your business listing and other digital marketing needs is not the worst idea, these are two undeniable red flags. Unfortunately, with high prices and lack of control for customers, Yext has a long way to go before they can provide a perfect SEO listings service for both big AND small businesses looking to leave their digital footprint.
At Promotion LA, we are digital marketing and SEO-savvy experts dedicated to making sure our customers are as informed as we are when a wrench is thrown into our industry. With a team that comes together to research, analyze and consult, we aim to ensure your online presence is optimized and translates to business growth, even if that means wrestling with changes brought upon by companies like Yext.