Nowadays, the first thing many of your customers will do is immediately go online and search your company before they choose to use the product or service you offer. Potential customers always research a company online and gather as much information as they can before making a purchase. Here’s how to use online review sites to market your business.

Encourage your customers to write reviews on your business. Think about sending customers an email with a link to a review site. This way, they’ll remember to write a review, and it makes the review site more easily accessible. Also, make posts on social media about how you welcome and appreciate customer reviews. Since most customers only write reviews if they have an amazing experience or a horrible experience, make sure they have an amazing experience!

Highlight positive reviews on your social media site and website.  When you see that customers write positive reviews about your business, share these reviews on your social media sites. You can also create a page on your website that is dedicated to showing testimonials from satisfied customers.

Interact positively with your customers online.  If you run into a negative review about your business, remain positive when you interact with that customer. Do not make any threats to the reviewer or anything else that you might not want the public eye to see. Instead, respond with contact information for your business so the customer can privately contact you.

Encourage customers to use multiple review sites. Determine which review sites will be important to your business and which ones will best cater to your service or product. There are several sites where you can read reviews such as Yelp, Angie’s List, Yahoo Local, Urbanspoon, and more. Once you decide which review sites to use, set up an account and start including links from these review sites on your website. This way, customers can easily access them.

Do not write fake reviews. This is seen as an unethical practice, and most of the time, you will get caught. When you get caught doing this, it can cause your business to lose all credibility.