Yext bills itself as the solution for any business problems you might have. It uses a process called PowerListings, and it guarantees that you can get new clients and customers by using its services. As soon as you sign up for the service, the company will supposedly place your business name at the top of more than 20 search engines, and you’ll have personalized listings when people search for local businesses. While many business owners thought this sounded like a great idea, Yext is just another scam company that preys on the weaknesses of those with limited experience of how the Internet works.
Search Engine Rankings
Let’s say that you run a gardening and landscaping business in Des Moines, Iowa. When locals search for landscaping companies on Google, Google will put the top local businesses at the top of the search results page. If you have even one review from a past customer, Google will rank your information higher. If you have a website, that page will appear high in the search results too. PowerListings from Yext will do little to change the rank of your website or company name.
If you only read the information the company provides, you won’t know that it can’t help increase your rankings on Google. While you might see your business mentioned on Mapquest or Yahoo, most people do their shopping and searches through Google. They hope that you won’t notice that your Google results remain the same. Unless you want to pay a high price for something that doesn’t work, look for an alternative to this company, or better yet, do the work yourself.
High Costs and Cold Calls
Yext charges a high fee for its services, and while prices start at $500, you might receive a quote of $1,000 or more. You’ll also find that once the company has your information, it won’t let go. After filling out the contact form on the company’s website, a representative will call you with a quote. If you turn down the first quote, the representative will offer you a lower quote. Even if you say that you’re not interested and hang up the phone, the calls won’t stop. Representatives will call you at all hours of the day and night, trying to push you into a different package. You might even find that the company begins harassing or threatening you, claiming that it can ruin your business.
The company often relies on cold calling in the hopes of picking up new clients. It has representatives who deliberately call companies, claiming that they asked for more information. Larger businesses often listen to the sales pitch without realizing that they didn’t contact Yext first. Those who turn down the company will find that the calls continues for weeks and even months with new sales pitches.
Many users also find that the company charges their credit cards automatically at the end of the year. Your contract won’t list the renewal terms, and the company will tell you that you can cancel at any time, but canceling is harder than you might think. The calls will continue after canceling your contract, and you might even deal with a few representatives who refuse to take no for an answer.
Potential Loss of Sales
Yext claims that it works with dozens of websites and will get the name of any business onto those sites, but the company often fails to deliver on that promise. When it does link those listings, it often uses affiliate listings. Every time that visitors use the link on that website to visit your page, the company makes money. You’ll also find that some of your listings link back to the company’s own website. Instead of users clicking on your page, they must go through their site to find your information. This company uses your hard work as free advertising, redirecting potential customers through its own website. Many customers will skip the page and look for another company in the area.
One of the other big problems associated with Yext is with the citations on your page. Creating a page on Foursquare, building a Facebook page and launching other associated pages often requires verification that you own that business. Google requires phone verification, and other websites will demand that you contact them through a work email. The company somehow gets around these verifications when launching those associated pages and linking your company on different websites. When you decide to cut ties with them, you might find that the company refuses to give you back those citations, making it difficult to separate yourself from the poor pages the company built.
While a few businesses find Yext helpful, most companies learn that it charges a high fee for something they can do on their own. Search engines rank websites based on a process known as search engine optimization, which refers to the number of references to the company or specific keywords on the site. Pages with a high keyword density drop low, but sites with a good keyword density rank high in the results. By adding a few simple pages to your website that mention the services you offer or the products you sell, you can easily watch your rank improve.
I don’t think that Yext liked our review.
The following email was sent to us after posting this report:
I came across your review of our platform late last week and wanted to reach out to see if you had some availability to discuss these concerns in further detail. We work with over 1,000 local SEO companies nationwide and care very deeply about our reputation. There are several items in your report that are particularly troubling that I’d like to clear up, if possible.
If you have an account # for our service that you can share I’d be happy to walk you through your Partner Portal in depth. Hopefully, I can clear up some of the misconceptions or at least learn more details about the issues or failings that you see. Our goal is to work in unison with companies just like yours to be a powerful tool that allows you to provide great service and efficiencies to your clients.