What is Yext?
Yext is essentially a centralized platform that allows you to create, monitor and manage your local presence online from a single dashboard. Different levels of the subscription service allow for additional benefits such as duplicate listing suppressions, as well as claiming of listings that may otherwise be somewhat difficult to claim. The latter is due to the fact that there are listing sites that are fully automated and there is no other way to claim and manage listing but via the Yext platform.
Please note that Yext is not a MUST HAVE marketing tool, but it does offer a solution to address a lot of issues that when conducted manually may take an excessive amount of time and resources in managing, and more so on an ongoing basis.
Why it’s important:
- The amount of incorrect data, as well as the low level of data quality, on the internet has a direct impact on your local presence. Incorrect listings that do not coincide with your actual data are literally worthless from two different perspectives:
- The search engines cannot tie up two sets of different data (here you lose the value of the listings in terms of providing signals to your existing / correct listing).
- If a prospective client or customer should rely on data that is incorrect you may lose a lead. People searching and shopping online do not go out of their way to try and overcome inaccurate or incorrect data or listings!
Incorrect or incomplete information online causes small businesses to lose potential customers at a cost of $10 billion per year. — Based upon a study commission by YEXT in 2013
How To Setup Your Yext Account
Yext offers a number of different tiers for setting up an account. These range from $199 to $999 per annum. These options are displayed below, in the screenshot:
Assuming you have a Yext account and you are signed into the Yext dashboard. You will need to have the following materials available:
- NAP details (name, address and phone number) – it is vital that these are consistent with your existing Google listing.
- A set of suitable images for your listings. Including brand and account images which will be detailed below.
- Content for your listings.
- Be signed in to services that you intend to authorize (eg Google, Facebook and so on).
Bear in mind that the overall purpose of having a Yext account is that you can ensure all data is accurate across as many places as possible online. Although Yext does not offer the entire ‘spectrum’ of sites in terms of citation and listings websites out there, they have access to certain websites that are exclusive to this platform and often the only means of effectively controlling these is via the Yext dashboard and service.
Yext Account Setup
Once you have selected which Yext account you will be subscribing to, the basic setup is the same. Bear in mind that each of these external properties, populated by Yext, will act as an online asset in terms of your digital presence. Hence profiles, details, services and so forth need to be as complete and comprehensive as possible to maximize your firm’s digital presence.
The following screenshot has been obtained from Yext’s marketing materials and serves to illustrate the importance of key information that you should be including in your profile setup.
Below each of the steps in completing a “solid” profile is covered.
- Required Business Info
This is pretty self explanatory. The address details should be 100% identical to your Google My Business listing. This accuracy is crucial to ensure that no duplicate or inaccurate listings are created which may result in issues being experienced in terms of overall digital presence, as well as your local marketing efforts.
Start with your broadest category (eg. Personal Injury Attorneys) and then add 4 or 5 additional categories that are more specific below that (eg Personal Injury Attorneys > Auto Accident etc)
- Featured Message
Add a strong call to action with a link to a desired landing page. This will allow for prospective client click throughs as well as a link building effect.
- Optional Business Information
This area allows you to customize (and basically improve upon) your business listing. The business description is a key area that will help populate the various listings online with information about your firm and what sets you apart from your competitors. A solid business description will also appear more professional for both a website user as well as the search engines and you will benefit directly from taking the time to fill this part out.
Business hours are shown on a lot of the websites where this data will be fed to, including Google My Business, and accurate business hours are essential for the end user.
- Email and Website
Self-explanatory – here you can add different anchor text for links to your website – branded is recommended (eg John Smith Attorneys, PLC). A functioning email address is recommended.
- Photos and Videos
This serves as another opportunity to showcase your law firm, products, services and offerings. Additional embeds of any videos you may have will contribute to your firms Youtube channel and videos. Select images that are applicable to your practice areas, as well as images of your team, offices and related imagery. Ensure that these are named correctly, and if at all possible that the meta data within the images (usually customized within photo editing software) is aligned with your services and practice areas as well as being geo tagged.
- Social Media
Linking your social media profiles to your business, and your listings allows you to post directly to some of the listings, via the Yext dashboard. Additionally these are signals to the search engines to link your online ‘assets’ and attribute them accordingly.
- Google My Business
This is where you can manage your Google listing attributes and imagery. Self-explanatory
- Enhanced Content Lists
The enhanced content lists offer you the unique opportunity to further build out your online profiles and digital presence. These essentially allow for additional pages and excerpts of your products and services as well as enhanced bios of attorneys (mini about us pages). Many folks do not take advantage of these.
This is a new feature from Yext, and allows for Yext advertisers to utilize Uber in terms of advertising on directories and other sites for prospective clients to utilize Uber to get to the business in question. This is arguably geared more towards the restaurant and hospitality sectors, however there is nothing stopping you from using this within your own marketing efforts. There will of course be additional costs related to this sort of advertising where establishments offer the client a ‘free’ ride with an Uber driver.
- Additional Attributes
Again another area that you can use to differentiate your business, services and offerings. Additional information can be added to set your listings apart from your competitors.
Once you have completed your listing it is important to continually manage it and provided updates and tweaks moving forward. Additionally if you are subscribed to the premium listing, the system will identify duplications and data inaccuracies. These should be investigated and rectified wherever possible, and duplicates should be suppressed.
Yext also offers review management and these can be located within your dashboard, and should also be closely monitored to leverage the positive reviews as much as possible, and address any potential negative reviews that may arise.
Yext is not the be all and end all of listing management software or platforms, however the platform does offer a wide range benefits, as well as a fairly easy to use and manage system that can be used to your advantage in an ever increasing competitive landscape online.