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How Online Review Sites Benefit Small Businesses

December 7, 2012

Small businesses have plenty of challenges to face. They don’t have as much manpower as larger businesses, and they certainly don’t have the same size budget.

One great tool that small businesses can utilize to help them find success is online review websites. These sites, which include Yelp, Citysearch and Google+ Local, can be a great way for small businesses to get their name out there, promote their talents and even generate some new customers.

They’re free to join.

The best thing about most online review sites is that they’re free to join, which means that companies with the tightest of budgets can still reap all the benefits. All that a business needs to do is visit the respective review site and claim your business. After that, you will be able to add information, edit the content and even respond to reviews as the business.

They can promote your business.

Simply by claiming your business on these sites, you are allowing your business to be found by potential customers. Most online review sites are location-based, so if a customer is using the site to search for businesses in a certain area, your business will appear. Because of this, potential customers now know that your business exists when they may not have known about you before.


You can learn what your customers think about you.

The best way to have a successful business is to ensure that your customers are receiving great products and services and having a great experience with your company, and online review sites can let you know how your customers think about your company. Check the reviews on these sites to see what is making your customers happy and what is making them unhappy, and use this information to fix the bad and keep up with the good.

You can keep a close eye on your competition.

Along with knowing what your customers think about you, you can also use online review sites to see what they think about your competitors. Feel free to peruse the pages of your competition to see what they’re offering their customers, what their customers love and what their customers don’t like. Then, use this information to your advantage.

You can highlight your specials.

Some online review sites will allow you to advertise special deals, promotions or sales that your company is offering, and this information can be exactly what an individual needs to choose your company over your competition.

Some online review sites, like Foursquare, allow you to provide incentives to your customers directly through the site. For example, you can give your customers a reward for every time a customer checks into your location, or you can allow them to earn a bigger reward after a certain number of check ins. These incentives can be just the thing to get your customers through the door.

Online review sites can be extremely beneficial to your small business, especially if you use them correctly. So if you’re looking for cheap and easy ways to promote your business and generate some business, online review sites may be the best option for you.

Kathryn Thompson is a small business manager and reputation management expert. She enjoys writing and recently gave tips for managing online reputation for small businesses.

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