Ei Group leverages Yext to Support Thousands of Pubs With Their Digital Listings
With over 4,000 pubs, Ei Group is the largest pub group in the UK, with the core of its estate comprised of partnerships with independent pub operators, as well managed businesses. The collaboration with Yext provided a unique use-case for the Yext search experience cloud platform, in that the individual users of the technology would be the publicans (pub managers) themselves, in addition to the central marketing team. With 852 unique users and 19 different user roles, the group needed a platform that was accessible to all levels of technical ability.
Ei Group needed a solution that would allow it to overhaul the arduous process of keeping its information up to date. With over 4,000 separate pubs, the business had an “operational strain” to keep the information accurate, up to date and consistently managed, said Helen Cook, Customer Director. “With our information being managed centrally or by operators, we were facing many challenges relating to accuracy, consistency and quality”.
Through the partnership, Ei Group leveraged the Yext platform to quickly sync its business information across over 150 platforms. “The key for us has been taking on the capacity. Before we were focussed on just managing Google My Business, but even that was an inordinate amount of work. With Yext, we’ve been able to empower our publicans to make updates about their own businesses”.
Yext has allowed Ei Group and its publicans to drive considerable clicks and impressions on their third-party listings. In the 24 months since launch, Ei Group has driven over 4.3M clicks to its pub and restaurant listings, while experiencing a year over year growth rate of 144%. This included 122% year over year growth in direction clicks and 175% year over year growth in website clicks, which has been “amazing” said Cook.
A secondary benefit of the Yext solution has been the optimisation for local search. Ei Group have leveraged the Yext platform to boost discoverability, as patrons and new customers alike search for information on their local pub. “Now that we have the listings information managed, we can focus on discoverability for the pubs’ unique selling points” said Cook. Ei Group has optimised for and sustained increased visibility in the Google SERP (Search Engine Results Page); since launch, 51% of search results they appear in have been for terms without any mention of the business name. “We want them to be found in search for what makes them special”.
The multi-layered model of Ei Group means that the business has many priorities, but Yext has allowed it to focus on what matters most; its publicans and their patrons. “The key was to put the resources and power in the hands of our publicans, and support them in the same way that they might get with a large-scale managed business model”.
Ei Group is highly motivated to continue educating its publicans and drive digital change. “Yext have been super supportive in influencing our publicans by attending our Ei Live trade shows and educating our regional managers” said Cook. Through Yext events, Ei Group are also able to continually learn about the future of the search landscape. “It is a journey of digital development and Yext is a very exciting partner”.
In the 24 months since launch in December 2017:
- Ei Group has driven over 4.3M clicks to its pub and restaurant listings while experiencing a year-over-year growth rate of 144%.
- This included 122% year-over-year growth in direction clicks, 175% year-over-year growth in website clicks and 121% year-over-year growth in phone call clicks.
- Ei Group has driven over 327M impressions to their pub and restaurant listings.
- Ei Group has optimised for and sustained increased visibility in the Google SERP, with 51% of search queries they appear for being unbranded.
Within the platform they have 852 unique users with 19 different user roles.