Merchant Circle is more expansive than many of the other options for listing your business in Local Search. Listings can include coupons, add photos, other Merchant Circle users can add reviews of your business, and you can create blog posts within your Merchant Circle account. If you have your own blog you could use posts in your Merchant Circle blog to drive traffic to different posts in your own.
It is not always obvious what features at Merchant Circle are free and which incur additional charges so do read the fine print. To get started simply enter your primary business phone number on the Merchant Circle Submission page and click submit. This is a screen capture of that page:
If your business is not already listed you will get the form below with text reading “The phone number you entered does not match any business in our system.” Fill out this information and click Submit.
Merchant Circle will send a confirmation link to the email address you used. Click on that link to continue the process. If you want to start out with just the free Merchant Circle account, click on the link in the top right corner of the Merchant Circle Pricing page that says No, thanks. Set up my profile as shown in the screen capture below:
If you want to start out with just the free Merchant Circle account, click on the light gray link in the top right corner of the Merchant Circle Pricing page that says No, thanks. Set up my profile as shown in the screen capture below:
You will see references to verifying your Merchant Circle listing. There is more than one process for Merchant Circle Account Verification for doing so:
- Pay $2.99 per month, billed in one year payment of $35.88
- Free if you can to provide two out of these three: Sellers Permit Number, Business License Number, or DUNS Number
- Although it first appears that supplying the business name and email of five businesses that will verify yours would allow you to verify your account without charge, going through that process brings you to a checkout page asking for the $35.88 annual fee.
It appears that unless you provide two of the three numbers mentioned above that if you want your business verified you will have to pay the annual fee.
Merchant Circle is one of the most ambitious of the Local Search Directory sites. You may want to spend some time getting familiar with what they offer and then decide which of the directories with advanced functions is the best fit for your business. You may want to keep notes on your activities and measure the amount of traffic you receive when you are active and when you are not. Let your results determine how much time to spend on each site.
Not convinced yet? Watch the video or read how one business made $15,000 with their Merchant Circle listing. He says “Merchant Circle is like a MySpace for business owners plus a lot more.” He also said “I started to show up on the first page of Google for specific keywords about my business and yes all for free.” and “My phone started ringing.”
MERCHANT CIRCLE HOW-TO RESOURCES:
- Andrew Shotland – Local SEO Guide – @AndrewShotland – How to Do Local SEO in 5 Minutes or So
- John Jantsch – Duct Tape Marketing – @ducttape – How to Listen in the Age of the Customer
- Dane Carlson – Business Opportunities Weblog – @danec – Small Business Branding Online