You need to get the word out about your business to attract customers. With more people turning to online reviews, a business listing on a site like MerchantCircle can be one of the most effective marketing tools in a business owner’s arsenal.
BrightLocal reports that 86 percent of consumers refer to online reviews of local businesses. Reviews garner even more popularity with people 18-34-years old—95 percent of whom read online reviews. And consumers aren’t just reading reviews; Moz reports 67 percent of respondents also use reviews to make purchasing decisions.
Since reviews are so incredibly influential, businesses must do whatever they can to maintain positive online reputations. This often necessitates maintaining business listings on multiple review websites.
While big-name business listing sites like Google My Business, TripAdvisor, and Facebook might be the most well known, MerchantCircle remains a tremendously popular option for local businesses. If you don’t have a listing yet, your business might miss out—MerchantCircle attracted over 100 million visitors last year. And because over two million merchants already use MerchantCircle, your competitors might already be on the site—winning business through positive reviews.
How to Add a Business to MerchantCircle
Like other listing sites, MerchantCircle gives business owners an opportunity to present accurate information to local customers and respond to reviews. However, MerchantCircle also offers some unique features you won’t find on all platforms—like social networking—making it an appealing and useful option for business owners. Creating a MerchantCircle listing is a simple process that can yield big results. Here’s what you need to do.
1. Sign Up
To start a new listing from scratch, click “Sign Up” in the upper right corner of the homepage. Create an account.
2. Provide Accurate Information
Provide the following info, making sure it is 100% correct:
- Full business name
- Correct address (including map location) and phone number
- Business category
- Website address
- Business hours
- Accepted forms of payment
When it comes to writing a business description, make sure it’s concise. Outline all the services rendered and highlight what your business has to offer its customers.
3. Select the Appropriate Categories for Your Business
MerchantCircle will allow you to choose up to four categories for your business during your registration process. These categories allow users to search for businesses based on their needs, so choosing the correct categories can ensure that interested users can find your business’s listing.
Once you select a category, you can further clarify your business’s focus by selecting increasingly more specific subcategories. Select the categories you think best apply to your business.
Here are a couple of best practices when it comes to selecting business categories:
- Use only a few categories, and make them as specific as possible to your main business.
- Don’t use non-relevant business categories. This creates a bad listing.
- Use categories that are closely linked to each other.
- Focus on your target audience. Only select categories that apply to people who are looking for your type of business.
4. Take Your Listing to the Next Level
Stand out from the crowd of competing businesses by attaching coupon codes, adding a minimum of 4 photos, and linking to any of your blog posts. Remember, the longer a potential customer browses around your listing, the better.
5. Select Your Plan
MerchantCircle offers multiple plans, including paid and free options. The free version gives you access to most of the site’s features, while the paid options can remove ads from your listing—and thus distractions to customers—allow you to post up to four links, and much more. Don’t worry if you aren’t prepared to commit to a paid plan at the beginning. You can upgrade from the free plan later on if you change your mind.
6. Confirm Your Account
It’s very easy to confirm your account with MerchantCircle. Once you complete your profile, MerchantCircle will send a verification link to your email account on file. All you have to do is click the link to confirm your account and you’ll be up and running.
How to Claim Your MerchantCircle Listing
MerchantCircle may already list your business, so it’s a good idea to first verify and claim your listing if there already is one. That’s because duplicate business listings confuse customers and make your reputation harder to manage.
1. Conduct a Search
Search for your business by name on MerchantCircle.
2. Claim Your Listing
For a MerchantCircle listing claim, click on your business listing and then click the “Claim Listing” button. This is located in an orange box above your business name.
3. Verify and Complete Your Business Information
Oftentimes, businesses have incomplete or incorrect information. However, complete and accurate information ensures consumers can readily find your business when they need you. It also makes your business come across as more professional, instilling trust in your expertise.
4. Review Your Reviews
If your listing already exists, then you may already have some customer reviews posted. Read through each one and respond appropriately, perhaps apologizing for not responding sooner.
5. Follow Steps #3 Through #5 Above
Once you’ve gotten to this point, review and follow steps 3-5 under “How to Add a Business to MerchantCircle.”
5 Benefits of a MerchantCircle Business Listing
There are numerous benefits to having a MerchantCircle listing. Here are five of them.
1. Control How Consumers See You
MerchantCircle may already list your business before you formally edit it on your own. Therefore, it may already provide potential customers with information about your business, but that information may not be correct. Claim your MerchantCircle listing to put yourself in the driver’s seat of what appears on the site. This allows you to ensure your business information is current, accurate, and complete—increasing your odds of in-store visits, new customer acquisitions, and sales.
2. Easily Respond to Reviews
Once you list your business on MerchantCircle, you can respond directly to customer reviews posted on the site. This gives you a valuable opportunity to address customer complaints, thank customers for comments, and interact with your customers more easily. Even negative reviews are better received when businesses visibly address issues and attempt to reconcile an issue. Showing existing and potential customers you care is huge for your bottom line.
3. Offer Customers Additional Information
MerchantCircle enables businesses to post blogs, newsletters, coupons, and photos, so you can share all your latest news and offers with potential customers. This boosts your search results when customers search for information relevant to your business. It also gives more incentive for customers and users to stay on your bio longer.
4. Interact With Other Merchants
Want advice? Need to network? MerchantCircle enables you to chat with other business owners on its platform. Since two million other merchants already use MerchantCircle, there’s probably someone you’d like to connect with and can benefit from speaking to.
5. Access Additional Paid Services
It’s great that MerchantCircle allows you to use its basic platform for free and offers paid versions with all the bells and whistles. Not only can you upgrade to a premium account to remove ads, post links, and overcome issues that may deter customers from visiting your store, but you can also connect to additional paid services through MerchantCircle.
MerchantCircle partners with outside companies to allow users easy access to analytics, performance tracking, and search engine marketing services. Data is key to improving and optimizing your marketing strategy, so any access to insights is incredibly helpful.
Add or Claim Your Business on MerchantCircle
MerchantCircle business listings can be a great tool to improve customer engagement and boost visibility. Create or claim your listing today to round out your online reputation, awareness, and engagement.