Back in January, Street Fight announced that VistaPrint was adding a presence management product, yet another important tool in the small business owners toolbox. For those of you familiar with our Citation on Trial series, we put several leading citation and presence management services to the test, with less than stellar results. We thought it would be good to give this new VistaPrint product a quick test run.
VistaPrint is offering the service for $10/mo., with the first month free. They do caveat the pricing and say that the promotional pricing is valid for the initial billing cycle. I don’t know what that means! They seem to be positioning themselves as an offer similar to Yext or Moz Local, an automated citation management tool.
Like most presence management tools, they offer free insight into your current online visibility. So I entered a few businesses and looked at the results. I had some immediate questions and issues:
- They show whether a business is listed in Neustar (and I assume that’s Localeze), but what about Infogroup, Acxiom and Factual? These four make up the major aggregators in the US. Only covering 1 out of the 4 is not sufficient.
- They show Google as a citation – I assume that is Google My Business? But I’m not sure because of the five businesses I tried (all of whom have a GMB page), VistaPrint only said two of them had a Google listing. Are they implying that they will create a GMB page for the business if they sign up for the service?
- They got Yelp and Yahoo correct across the board – although I’m surprised Yahoo is there given it’s lack of commitment to local directories now. What’s ironic is we were struggling for months to get one of our listings on Yahoo, and VistaPrint found it. A big plus for them there!
- They got one entry wrong with both YP.com and Facebook, however the other 4 business listings were correct.
- They said only one business was listed in Neustar out of the five. If that were correct, it would be a major issue they should highlight. As it stands, all 5 are indeed listed in Localeze.
- The most puzzling result of all – the last listing they call out is “100+ Directories”, and of course every listing failed for that column. VistaPrint doesn’t tell you who the 100 directories are, simply that you need to be there (and you lose points because you’re not!) Although I assume they mean you aren’t on all 100. I’m guessing you could be on 99 of the 100 and still get an X for that column!
Spending the few minutes to get this data did not leave us interested in going further. We may actually sign up a new business to their service just to see how long it takes to get syndication with the sites they mention, but there’d be so many gaps in coverage (especially the large aggregators). I don’t think we’d be doing a service to that business!
Finally, our largest issue with this service is that it doesn’t specify anything locally or vertically oriented for a business. In our case, we are laser focused on hyperlocal businesses – these are businesses that primarily service a very local market. In this case, being found on hyperlocal directories – such as the local digital publisher in your area – are critical. This segment of VistaPrint’s presence management seems to be missing completely.
We have concluded that local search begins with the hyperlocal publisher, and there are strong numbers to back that up. Presence management should begin with the hyperlocal publisher as well.