If you haven’t already heard of it, Yext is the latest company to enter the local business listings management arena. Unfortunately, this has not meant good news for many small businesses, given the fact that Yext is rapidly becoming the go-to partner for many popular websites that offer local listings for business.
Yext is now offering listing management for more than 100 services in the United States, including Google, YP.com, Mapquest, Yelp, ChamberofCommerce.com, Local.com, plus many more. Not only are the top partners in the United States opting in, sites in more than 15 countries including Australia, Austria, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, and Russia have also teamed up with Yext.
According to the YEXT Select Your Plan page, costs range from $4 per week for the Emerging plan to $19 per week for the highest Premium plan. That means you will have to pay HUNDREDS of dollars per year to manage your business listings with Yext.
If you are wondering why this is a bad thing, just think about it. Now, instead of going to each site and simply managing your online presence, Yext wants you to pay year after year to post information about your OWN business.
I have VERY strong feelings about the fact that Yext is infringing on First Amendment rights and making it “Yext” to impossible to present accurate and truthful location and contact information to the public – without paying HANDSOMELY for it.
The ONLY reason sites like these even matter is because the more local business directories your site is listed on, the higher you will rank in Google.
With small businesses already strapped for cash when it comes to marketing, this is yet another service that they will have to pony up cash for before they can even consider the other important tasks of a local SEO campaign.
Sigh…How can you avoid paying for yet another marketing service?
If you have more important things to spend your marketing budget on than services that ask you to pay for what you could do for free, here are a few ways that you can modify your listings without paying business listing services like Yext:
- If you do it yourself, you can save time and money. The list of complete directories that you can submit your business contact information to is available right on the Yext website. Simply go to each of these sites, sign up, and start creating your listings.
- Check out this article to see how to update your Yahoo Local Listing without paying for Yext.
- Save basic information about your business in a text file so that as you create accounts, you can just copy and paste the information to each website.
- Set up a schedule to create listings each week and you can finish the entire list of sites in a few weeks, if you are aggressive about getting this task completed.
- You can also hire a virtual assistant or have someone on your marketing team set it up for you.
Schedule reminders in your calendar to double-check your listings annually to ensure that all of your business information is up-to-date, and…
Voila! Your business can now enjoy the SEO benefits of local business directories without paying money every year.