BrightLocal vs Yext: Which Platform is Best for Small Businesses?

Online reputation management and local search engine optimization (SEO) are critical for small businesses looking to build credibility and get found online. Managing a company’s online presence involves regularly monitoring and growing their visibility and reputation. This process allows potential customers to see positive information about the business when searching online.

A positive online reputation signals that a company is reliable and delivers good customer experiences. Local SEO also drives more qualified traffic to a business’s website by optimizing for relevant searches in their geographic area.

In this article, we’ll explore tools like BrightLocal and Yext that automate and streamline reputation management and local SEO activities for small businesses with limited time and resources.

Listings Management

Both BrightLocal and Yext provide tools to manage and sync local listings across top directories and citation sources like Google Business Profile, Apple Maps, and Facebook. These tools help businesses ensure their NAP (name, address, phone) information is consistent across the web.

BrightLocal uses automated syncing paired with human verification to push updated listing information out to 300+ directories. They monitor listings for accuracy and send alerts when they find inconsistencies. Users can also manually claim and update listings through BrightLocal’s dashboard. BrightLocal claims to update four times as many listings as Yext.

Yext focuses on automated listings management across their database of 100+ directories. They emphasize real-time syncing where updates publish out instantly. Yext also enables users to claim listings directly on directory sites for more control. However, there is no human verification of accuracy like BrightLocal offers.

Citation Building

Citation building is a key part of local SEO and managing online reputation. Citations are mentions of a business name, address, and phone number across the web. Both BrightLocal and Yext focus on building citations to strengthen local search presence.

BrightLocal takes a manual approach to citation building. Their team researches and submits listings to relevant directories and aggregators on the business’s behalf. This hands-on approach allows for greater quality control. They customize listings for each directory with unique descriptions and data.

Yext uses an automated system to push business listings out to their publisher network. While this process enables faster citation creation, there is less customization of each listing. The focus is more on quantity over quality of citations.

Both platforms provide ongoing monitoring and maintenance of existing citations. BrightLocal claims to offer more personalized management of citations versus Yext’s more automated monitoring system.

In terms of costs, BrightLocal citation building plans start at $39 per month for up to 15 citations. Yext’s basic plan costs $199 per month for up to 100 citations across a limited number of directories. For small businesses concerned about costs, BrightLocal offers more budget-friendly options. However, Yext can scale to support larger volumes of citations for bigger companies.

BrightLocal claims to build higher quality citations through manual research and outreach. Yext automates more of the process but may lack the personal touch of BrightLocal’s team.

Review Generation

Both BrightLocal and Yext provide tools to help businesses generate more online reviews, a key factor for local SEO and reputation management.

BrightLocal’s review generation features include review monitoring across 100+ sites, automated review request emails, and review widgets for the website. Businesses can track all incoming reviews in one dashboard and respond privately to reviewers. There are also filters to compare positive and negative reviews.

Yext offers similar capabilities like automated review requests and consolidated review monitoring. However, their review generation features are not quite as robust as BrightLocal based on third-party analysis. Overall, BrightLocal appears to have a slight edge over Yext when it comes to gathering customer feedback and online reviews.

Analytics and Reporting

BrightLocal provides robust analytics and reporting focused specifically on local SEO data. It tracks rankings across Google Maps, organic search and Google Business Profile to show how your efforts impact local search visibility. It also provides citation analysis to optimize your NAP consistency. BrightLocal’s customized reporting dashboard allows you to quickly view key metrics and share reports with clients. However, it lacks website analytics or e-commerce tracking offered by some competitors.

Yext focuses more on brand performance analytics, with tools to track brand search volume, clicks, calls, reviews, and other signals. It shows how consumers interact with your brand across the web; however, Yext lacks some of the granular local SEO data BrightLocal offers. It does not track detailed local rankings or provide citation analysis. Yext analytics may be more useful for large multi-location brands than smaller local businesses.

Overall, BrightLocal has a slight edge for local businesses needing actionable local SEO data. But Yext provides value for brands managing their identity across multiple directories. The ideal solution depends on your specific analytics needs and business type. For comprehensive insights, using both platforms together may be beneficial.

Pricing and Plans

When it comes to pricing, BrightLocal and Yext take very different approaches. BrightLocal offers simple, affordable pricing with transparent one-time fees starting at just $208 per location. In contrast, Yext has complex pricing tiers and recurring monthly or annual fees that can cost over $500 per year for a single location.

BrightLocal has three main plans: 

  • Track: $39 per month 
  • Manage: $49 per month 
  • Grow: $59 per month 

These prices per month are for one location; prices increase with the number of locations.

Yext has four pricing tiers based on number of locations, ranging from $199 to $999 per location per year. The higher tiers add features like enhanced analytics, multi-location management, and custom integrations. However, core citation management is only included in the most expensive plans.

When it comes to budget-conscious small businesses, BrightLocal is the clear winner. As noted on their site, “Where Yext charges you $499 per year, per location, you can create an equivalent campaign with BrightLocal for just a $208 one-off payment, per location.”

For larger multi-location brands, Yext may provide more robust enterprise-level features. But for most small businesses, BrightLocal delivers excellent value and results at a fraction of the cost.

Ease of Use

When it comes to ease of use, BrightLocal is more user-friendly than Yext, especially for non-technical users. BrightLocal has an intuitive dashboard that allows you to manage your listings, citations, and reviews from one central platform. The onboarding process is straightforward with step-by-step guidance. You don’t need any technical expertise to get started and implement BrightLocal.

In comparison, Yext has a more complex interface that can be overwhelming initially. The platform is very robust but requires more technical knowledge to set up and manage. Yext is better suited for experienced SEO professionals rather than small business owners who want a simple, hands-off solution. The onboarding process with Yext involves more steps and requires training to use all of the platform’s capabilities.

According to reviews on Capterra, BrightLocal rates higher for ease of use with a score of 4.6/5 compared to Yext’s 4.1/5. Users mention BrightLocal having an intuitive dashboard and simple workflow while Yext has a steep learning curve. So for most small businesses looking for an easy to use local SEO tool, BrightLocal is likely the better choice.

Customer Support

When it comes to customer support, BrightLocal offers a wider range of resources compared to Yext. BrightLocal provides helpful guides, webinars, videos, and other training materials to help users get the most out of the platform. Users can also get quick answers by searching BrightLocal’s knowledge base. For more urgent issues, BrightLocal offers email, phone, and live chat support with quick response times. Users typically receive replies within a few hours.

Yext focuses more on self-service support via knowledge base articles. Phone and email support is available but response times are slower, often taking 1-2 days. Yext also lacks some of the proactive training resources that BrightLocal offers like webinars and videos. Overall, BrightLocal provides more robust customer support through their library of training materials and multiple quick-response support channels.

Pros and Cons of BrightLocal and Yext

When comparing BrightLocal and Yext, there are several key advantages and disadvantages to consider for each platform:

BrightLocal Pros

BrightLocal makes local SEO easy with their all-in-one platform and dashboard. Key advantages include:

  • Comprehensive features for managing and optimizing local listings
  • Affordable pricing plans starting at $39/month
  • User-friendly interface and setup
  • Strong customer support and onboarding

BrightLocal Cons

Some downsides to BrightLocal include:

  • Limited brand management features compared to Yext
  • Less customizable analytics and reporting
  • Smaller customer base than Yext

Yext Pros

Yext is known for its powerful brand management and knowledge engine. Key pros include:

  • Robust brand monitoring and control features
  • Customizable analytics and in-depth reporting
  • Larger customer base and brand recognition

Yext Cons

Some potential downsides of Yext include:

  • More complex platform with steeper learning curve
  • Higher pricing, starting at $199/month
  • Can be overwhelming for smaller businesses

Recommendations

For most small businesses, BrightLocal is the better choice compared to Yext. BrightLocal offers more affordable pricing plans, starting at just $39 per month compared to Yext’s minimum of $199 per month. This pricing makes BrightLocal much more accessible for businesses on a tight budget.

In addition, BrightLocal provides a more customizable solution tailored to small business needs. You get access to core features like listings management, citations, and reviews without having to pay extra for add-ons. BrightLocal also lets you fully own and control your data.

BrightLocal’s interface is also simpler and easier for non-technical users to manage. You don’t need a dedicated staff member to implement and maintain BrightLocal. The onboarding is smoother and ongoing management is more intuitive.

For larger enterprises with bigger budgets, Yext may offer more robust analytics and custom integrations. But for most small businesses, BrightLocal is the clear winner when it comes to price, features, usability, and control over your online presence.

A Third Option?

ReputationStacker vs Yext:

ReputationStacker offers a more straightforward and cost-effective approach to managing online reviews compared to Yext. With an intuitive interface and automated review generation, businesses can easily solicit and manage customer feedback without being overwhelmed by unnecessary features.

ReputationStacker’s focus on simplicity and efficiency ensures that small to medium-sized businesses get the most value without the high costs and complexity associated with Yext’s broader suite of services.

ReputationStacker vs BrightLocal:

ReputationStacker excels over BrightLocal by providing a highly specialized solution for review management that is both user-friendly and affordable. While BrightLocal offers a range of local SEO tools, ReputationStacker’s dedicated focus on automating review requests and managing customer feedback makes it easier for businesses to enhance their online reputation quickly and effectively.

This targeted approach means businesses can achieve better results in less time and with less effort, making ReputationStacker the smarter choice for reputation management.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ian Kirby has been working in digital marketing for over 15 years. Having worked both with and for digital marketing agencies and in-house with multiple companies, he has a specific interest and expertise in online reputation management, online reviews, and the implementation of business systems. Ian’s writing, videos, and interviews have garnered millions of reads, views, and listens.

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