Yext is a service that enters important information about your law firm (including your address, phone number, hour of operation, and more) into a few dozen local search directories. It’s commonly used by law firms to streamline the process of listing their website (creating citations for local SEO) so it can be found by the people that need legal services and improve their search rankings.
Think about a news wire, for instance; a story or press release gets published on a service like PR Newswire, and a number of other news websites who are linked to the PR Newswire feed instantly publish the same article. That’s how Yext works, only for local citations and directory listings.
But with a considerable yearly cost, many law firms wonder: is Yext worth the price? Here, we’ll explain how Yext is only worth the price if your law firm is of a certain size and has certain resources.
What is Yext?
It’s worthwhile to ask whether Yext is worth the price for law firm websites. But to answer this question, it’s useful to understand exactly what Yext is and how it can be useful to law firms that have websites.
Yext is a service that makes it easy for businesses to update basic information about themselves, including their full business name, address, phone number, hours of operation, and different types of services they offer on multiple sites at once. Law firms and other businesses can update their information in Yext, which will then automatically update the business’s information on about 80 websites and directories such as Google, Bing, Yelp, Yellowpages, Citysearch, Superpages, and others. Yext calls these listings PowerListings, and they’re meant to put your law firm ahead of your competitors and help you stand out in your industry.
The Advantages of Using Yext
Yext is valuable to law firms and other businesses because it makes it easy to control information on the web — instead of updating information on multiple sites, businesses can update information on just one. With Yext, businesses can make sure that information about themselves is available to the public is not only accurate and consistent but as up-to-date as possible, which saves a lot of time that can be spent on more productive things.
Yext can also improve businesses’ searchability, since having consistent information across multiple websites makes it easier for search engines to recognize a pattern, which can boost search results; in fact, the improved searchability is the real appeal of Yext for most business, more so than simply being listed in multiple directories. Local directories play a major role in Google’s local search rankings, and Yext is good at identifying them and making sure businesses’ have accurate profiles on them.
Worth noting – there are some directories in Yext’s network that can only be edited if you have a Yext account. So let’s say that your business info is inaccurate on a particular directory, and you click the “claim my directory” button to fix it. You then get prompted to sign up for Yext – and you realize that since that directory is owned by Yext, you have to pay Yext in order to correct your business info.
Some of the Disadvantages of Using Yext
The main disadvantage of using Yext is that it’s expensive. It can cost between $500 and $1,000 per location to use it for just one year. And since it automatically renews, businesses might be faced with a huge bill if they’ve forgotten about their subscription.
Another problem with Yext is that if a business cancels their subscription, Yext will revert the business’ listings back to their old status, which means that all of the listings across the web that were once accurate and up-to-date will suddenly be wrong. And if listings are wrong or profiles on local directories no longer exist, the business’s searchability will be affected. It’s hard to cancel a Yext subscription and once it happens, the consequences of cancelling can be worse than not having used the service in the first place. To avoid having to clean up the mess that’s made when they cancel with Yext, businesses are essentially locked into a lifetime agreement.
Detractors of Yext also point out that it doesn’t do much that businesses can’t do themselves. Businesses can often add their information to websites and create profiles on local directories on their own for free. If they need to they can update those pages and profiles on their own, too. It’s also important to point out that most webpage traffic comes from major search engines such as Google and Bing, meaning that Yext’s ability to update local directories doesn’t do that much to get information about your business to the people that need it.
Is Yext Worth it?
Yext can be worth it if you don’t have the time or expertise to devote to more manual, traditional local SEO methods.. It’s not necessarily a scam, but it does have limited value.
Since small online marketing teams have a lot on their plates, the time that Yext saves can be extremely useful. Yext may also be worth it for businesses that have multiple locations, but this isn’t the case for most law firms. Yext will probably not be worth the price for law firms that have a large marketing team or that work with an experienced agency with the resources to update listings themselves.
Law firms that have small marketing departments might still be able to benefit from using services that are much cheaper and easier to use than Yext. They can either use the help of SEO professionals to manage their web presence for them, or use a citation company that specializes in updating local directory listings.