That is the question asked by many of us that perform Search Engine Marketing, and one that has been debated mostly to “no” side until recently. This article introduces Yext, discusses its features, offers pros and cons, and describes how you can use this service to improve your company’s visibility in search engines.
What is Yext you ask?
Yext is a company that offers an annual service branded as Yext PowerListings, and a brand new companion service titled PowerListings+.
Tell Me About Yext PowerListings
Yext PowerListings as of this writing runs $499.00 annually and allows you or your search engine marketing (SEM) team to promote your web site easily and cost-effectively in 42 local search engines/search directories, including YellowPages.com, Yahoo! Local, Yelp, Best of the Web, WhitePages.com and others using an easy to use portal. Enter the information in Yext, and the information about your company, including description, keywords, photos, hours, payment methods, address and contact information is fed directly to each of Yext’s search partners. This makes it easy for you or your SEM team to get your company’s information out there in local search engines other than the Google Plus Local and Bing Local. It also provides the ability to review feedback provided by persons on many of their partner search engines/search directories.
What is Yext PowerListings+ ?
Yext PowerListings+ extends PowerListings functionality to allow you to add staff biographies, product and services listings (with descriptions, prices and links), event calendars (for real estate agents, that could include dates of open houses), and restaurant menus. It’s intended goal is intended to help answer the question “why contact you/why use your product/service” when your listing appears on a search page.
The Pros of Yext PowerListings
There are many pros for using PowerListings. The main one is having a one-stop location for getting your company’s information posted and kept current on 42 local directories. PowerListings+ shows a lot of promise by extending the PowerListings functionality to staff biographies, menus, event calendars and products/services listings. A truly wonderful feature is the option to send Yext’s staff a link to your web page that has this information, and they will add the content for you (or for your SEM professional).
The Cons of Yext Power Listings
Any automated feed to 42 different locations at the same time is going to potentially have issues. I have found that at times, data such as your Twitter handle, which is entered into the Yext portal as @YourTwitterHandle doesn’t translate into a clickable link in some of Yext’s search partners. I suggest reviewing the content in each Yext search engine partner periodically, and if the information in that listing needs updating, to update the information manually via that search engine’s portal (you will need to create a separate account for this). You may find multiple listings that were automatically added that will need to get removed. You will also need to manually create a Foursquare account, then associate that account to your Yext PowerListing, in order to update your Foursquare listing via Yext. Although Yahoo! is listed as one of Yext’s partners, I would opt to use Yahoo’s Enhanced Listing service to get better search rankings (this runs $10.00/month).
In an ideal world, you and/or your SEM professional would have the time to create 42 separate local search accounts, to manually load the information to each, and to manage the content directly from each search engine’s/search directory’s portal. Yext makes it easy to get listed in all of these, and to manage the updates to your content via a single location. Their new PowerListings+ service make this annual investment a no-brainer, as long as you commit to reviewing the content in each of the 42 partner sites periodically to make sure that the information provided by Yext translates properly into each search engine/search directory. I recommend using Yext PowerListings as a supplement to your overall SEM strategy.