Best Practices For Transitioning Client Away From Yext

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Lloyd Silver

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I have a client who is using another marketing firm that in turn has used Yext for local citations. My assumption is that once they cancel their service with the old marketing firm, their Yext account will be cancelled (if not immediately than at the end of the anniversary), and that they will both lose some citations as well as having citations revert back to pre-Yext status.

With that in mind, what's the best way of transitioning someone away from Yext to using a manual citation building process or perhaps a hybrid using something like Moz Local in conjunction with manual citations?
 

Colan Nielsen

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Lloyd,

The first thing I would do is make sure that you get control of the clients listings on the Major Data Aggregators. MozLocal is a great tool to accomplish this.

If the client has NAP Issues I would do some manual work to take care of those ASAP.

If there are no NAP issues, you will probably be fine to simply let the Data Aggregators do their work. All the listings that Yext had a lock on should still exist, they just won't be 100% filled out with all the additional details.
 

ridgerunner

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Something else to remember is, if the listing was incorrect when Yext took over the listing it will revert back to the incorrect info.

So you will need to keep an eye on the listing and make corrections where needed.
 

Linda Buquet

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Thanks all, great feedback Colan and ridgerunner.

I pinged my contact at Yext to see if he's in town and might have a chance to explain in a little more detail how this works or see if he has recommendations. He's really knowledgeable!
 

21Development

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I'm going through this now as well. However, my client gave me the option to renew the subscription if it makes more sense. I don't like being "under the thumb" of a platform like Yext, but is it worth it to break away?
 

Lloyd Silver

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I think that's an excellent question where the answer should be both short and long term.

Meaning, if a client has been using Yext, should we possibly maintain that service at least temporarily while we're creating a long-term strategy?

I'd love to hear from Darren (which we could tag people) and invite him to offer an opinion. I clearly favor a service like Whitespark to Yext but if the client already has Yext perhaps there could be some additional complications.
 

Linda Buquet

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I'd love to hear from Darren (which we could tag people) and invite him to offer an opinion. I clearly favor a service like Whitespark to Yext but if the client already has Yext perhaps there could be some additional complications.
Darren subscribes to this citation forum so I think he'll see this and stop by. If not give me a nudge and I can email him and Nyag too.

I emailed Yext and they'll be by later with info as well.
 

Greg Schueler

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I would also add that it may depend on what the client's NAP situation was prior to going into Yext.

If there were a lot of bad NAP data and/or a lot of duplicates, and those were all cleaned up using Yext, I would say keeping Yext in play would be a good thing. Yext suppresses duplicate listings and if that goes away, those duplicates would "be free" again. Also, on some big citation sites, Yext is the only way to access them for changes, so if there were original errors, they could come back.

If the client's data was pretty clean though, it probably wouldn't hurt much to move away and take over all the listings manually (and with the help of the aggregators).

If you want to keep using Yext, you can have them cancel with current seller, and re-list them in their own account (if you don't have one) and then manage the listings inside their own Yext account. At least that way you (your client) would be in control.
 

Lloyd Silver

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Thanks Greg. That's certainly a great suggestion.

With one slight issue . . .

If it's a new client, no way to know what their citations and NAP looked like pre-Yext.

This may be the case of once in Yext, always in Yext. Not sure. I would definitely make sure the client understood the risks of cancelling Yext and what could happen (and I do understand this isn't something that Yext does, it's up to the individual sites).
 

Eric Rohrback

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yes, once you cancel Yext all the citations revert back to what they were prior to Yext. There are a handful of sites that either won't let you claim their listing or will force you to pay, so it's not really possible to get all the same citations. Do what others have suggested and get to the major data aggregates first thing (start that now). Then you'll want to prioritize the sites that show up highest in the SERPs (yelp, yellowpages, superpages, etc).

You'll want to claim listings manually if you're not using Yext to make sure you have photos and business descriptions to make the profiles look good. That will give you the best chance to convert/get someone to actually call or visit the website from one of those profiles.
 
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Hello, Everyone.

I'm Christian Ward and I run the Partnership program at Yext, under which the original client is probably utilizing Yext through a professional marketing firm.

All of these are good questions and comments and Linda was kind enough to let me know that the discussion was going on. Naturally, I would love to discuss keeping Yext as a solution, but I want to at least cover the basics of what can or will happen if the client is cancelled with Yext.

Lloyds, I don't know the entire situation regarding your client, and I am happy to hop on a call to discuss the exact details. As Greg accurately pointed out, each client situation and their NAP situation can be different, so each one needs to be reviewed. Also, while this is a citation discussion, the reality is that many professionals utilize Yext for its real-time updates and control over the 56 Publishers in our network, so there are additional reasons that may (or may not) be important to maintain with the client.

I agree that you may not be able to know exactly what their citations looked like before Yext, but it may be possible to review in some searches what other data might be out there. Further, we can tell you if they enacted any duplicate suppression tools, which might also give you some insight as to the effort this might require.

On the question of what happens if you cancel, basically Yext stops feeding publishers data and releases the 'Lock' on your listing so the publishers' processes take over and they take over responsibility for your information. Quoting from one of our old blog posts on "How Yext Works"...

The simple answer to each of these questions is that effectively, the Lock comes off. What that means is that the NAP is not deleted or removed by Yext, but the Lock that was put in place to protect the business listing is no longer present. Once this occurs, the business listing is subject to the normal compilation process at the search engine, online directory, mobile app, or social network. In fact, because Yext no longer has this lock in place, Yext has no control over the listing directly at all, and the business listing data will now act as it normally would occur without Yext.
Further, when a PowerListing becomes inactive, the enhanced content (photos, menus, hours of operation, products, biographies, featured messages, and more) that was connected to the business listing ceases to be available. This situation happens because the Lock that provides the Dual-Sync technology that delivers this enhanced content is the same Lock that protects the PowerListing, and it is no longer connected. In reality, this content is still available on the Yext platform, but it can no longer be accessed because the Lock came off of the business listing and that connection has been severed.
Basically, all that occurs is that you will need to go back in and claim, wherever possible, the access to these listings one by one. In many cases, your clients data will slowly revert to whatever data existed before, meaning the results of the publishers own compilation file or whatever all the sources they used or were aggregated said last. In some cases, the data will revert almost instantly, as some publishers have integrated Yext, but don't retain the data provided by Yext.

I would be happy to discuss if submission of data to data aggregators will solve the problem or merely be part of a broader compilation process. My background in compilation of large data sets contributed to this simple explanation on how/why the data changes and reverts at every publisher over time (unless, of course, it is locked by a Yext connection.)

For clarity, we firmly believe that every SMB would be best utilizing our services through a professional. There are many tools and capabilities in the Yext platform that professional SEOs, Agencies, and digital marketers are best suited to utilize and that is specifically why we created the Yext Certified Partner program. We would be happy to discuss how over 1,800 firms actively use Yext today to solve these problems and keep them solved.

So, Lloyds, in conclusion, I'd be happy to discuss this specific situation so you can determine the best course for your client.

Thank you, and if there are any follow up questions, please feel free to email me at christian@yext.com.
 

Linda Buquet

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Thanks so much for the detailed reply Christian! That was very in-depth and helpful.

I think if folks would follow and read all the links you provided they would learn alot, not just about what happens if you cancel Yext, but how the data flows ect.
 

Linda Buquet

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FYI for those that don't know. Christian used to be the Chief Data Officer at Infogroup so he's a world of information about how all this data ties together.

I was just reading some of the links Christian shared in the lower part of the post.

I'm going to repost the same links with titles because I think you guys should be sure to read.

What an eye opener!

<a href="http://partners.yext.com/community/how-yext-works/the-marching-madness-of-data/">The Marching Madness of Data</a>

<a href="http://partners.yext.com/community/how-yext-works/there-is-no-permanent-record-the-madness-of-local-data/">There Is No Permanent Record - What Happens Without Yext</a>
 

Lloyd Silver

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Thank you very much for your response. I've been creating citations for a couple of years but still haven't settled on what I'd call a best practice. I know that one concern with several of my clients when speaking about Yext is of course the ongoing fee. And specifically what value is being provided in an ongoing basis to justify that fee.

Please consider that a question because my guess is that there is more that Yext does than build citations.
 
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I have a client whose NAP consistency was recently impacted through their account with Verizon. The internet number Verizon assigned my client and their account name, not the business name, showed up on more citation sites than I had even listed their correct NAP/biz info on. Worst part is that the number from Verizon that is showing up on citation sites is dead.

This is what we got after a call with Verizon yesterday-

When we took out our services with them they didn?t ask if we wanted our number public or private. They put it public and is now starting to get traction and people are picking it up. I have put a stop to it being public, but they said it will take a little while for it to come down. Until then we can forward the number to our number, I just need the number that it needs to be forwarded to so we can still track the calls.


My question is since Verizon is one of the publishers in Yext's PowerListings network can we ask them to provide the correct information to Yext to clean up this mess? Since the client never agreed to have this information public I feel like it is a little unfair to our client to have to pay us extra now for the time it will take to clean up data that was provided by Verizon that has really hurt the consistency of the NAP for this business.

Hopefully I don't sound like I'm whining. Just curious what other Local SEO's would do in this position.

Thanks in advance!
 

Linda Buquet

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Hi Amber,

Christian is watching this thread and was here earlier today.
I think he'll probably weigh in when he has time.
 
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Amber,

Sorry to take so long replying. This sounds like a very messy situation and I am happy to help in any way we can. Would you mind emailing me directly at christian@yext.com so that we can discuss the details a bit further. I spoke yesterday to our operations and publisher team to try and figure out if there is some explanation, but they really require the business NAP to dig deeper.

Verizon is an interesting case as they are a Publisher, a Source, and a Compiler of Local data. In the broad scope of things, this means that they fulfill third party platforms with their data, but also have their own compilation process which incorporates third party data sets. You are correct that we recently added them to our network, so hopefully there are some insights we could gather on your behalf.

Feel free to email me when you can and we'll set you up with someone who can look into this quickly.

Thanks.
 

Linda Buquet

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Thanks so much Christian.

I'm impressed by your offer of support to try to track this down for Amber, especially since it sounds like it may not even directly be a Yext issue.
 
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