When I wrote up a post on my Entrepreneur.com blog on ten free advertising opportunities, I would never have guessed just how popular one of the ideas would be – free online local business listings. Recently, I came across another one of these great services, so I figured everyone would want to hear about these two great services for small businesses.
MerchantCircle.com is a combination of a business listing site with business reviews. If you don’t have a website or don’t know how to optimize for search engines, you can take advantage of their free listing which will have a good chance of showing up in the first page or two. The free package also allows businesses to upload photos, coupons, and create a business blog.
You can also upgrade listing packages to include more local advertising opportunities that Merchant Circle will manage for you, which is perfect for those business owners who don’t have the time or patience to learn about Pay Per Click advertising or buying their own media spots on top publishing sites such as USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, or FOX News.
TouchLocal is a similar service for UK-based businesses. They also have both free and paid listings, and offer similar Pay Per Click assistance in their paid package (and even offer a minimum number of guaranteed visits). Although TouchLocal has been around since 1999, I’ve only recently heard about them – so I was thrilled to know I could help my UK friends with a service similar to US based MerchantCircle.
Happy Free Advertising, everyone!