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 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 undoubtedly so 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.
Like other listing sites, a 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.
How to Create Your MerchantCircle Business Listing
The MerchantCircle homepage includes everything you need to get started, like information about what MerchantCircle offers, access to existing listings, and more. From here, you can start the process of listing your business.
1. Verify if MerchantCircle already lists your business.
MerchantCircle may already list your business, so before you start a new listing, search to see if your information appears on the site. Duplicate listings could confuse customers and make your reputation harder to manage, so check for existing listings to protect yourself from problems down the line.
2. If MerchantCircle lists your business, claim your listing.
To claim an existing business listing, all you need to do is visit the listing and click the “Claim Listing” button, which appears in an orange box above your business’s name. Once you do this, MerchantCircle will prompt you to enter more information, including your email address, a password, business hours, and other information about your business. Simply follow the steps to complete.
3. If MerchantCircle doesn’t list your business, sign up for a new listing.
To start a new listing from scratch, click “Sign Up” in the upper right corner of the homepage. MerchantCircle will prompt you to create an account by entering an email address, password, and information on your business.
4. Provide accurate information on your business.
It’s a simple process to input your business’s information, and MerchantCircle will walk you through the steps one-by-one. However, as you complete your registration, enter as much information as possible and double-check to make sure everything is accurate. Include accurate information to ensure consumers find your business easily. Doing so will also make your business seem more professional.
5. Select the appropriate categories for your business.
MerchantCircle will allow you to choose up to four categories for your business during your registration process. 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. 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.
7. Select your plan.
MerchantCircle offers several different 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 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 plan at the beginning. You can upgrade from the free plan later on if you change your mind.
8. 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.
5 Benefits of a MerchantCircle Business Listing
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 acquisition, and sales.
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 customers 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 customers and potential customers you care is huge for your bottom line.
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.
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.
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 more 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.
MerchantCircle business listings can be a great tool to improve customer engagement and boost visibility. Create one today to round out your online reputation, awareness, and engagement.