So, if you are a business, online marketing can make or break your company.  It still wasn’t that long ago, in fact thirteen years to be exact, when being online really didn’t make that much of a difference unless you were in a very specialized field.

Today, if you’re a local business, online marketing – if you don’t do it, could literally be the end of your business.  Recently, a friend of ours opened up a Mexican restaurant.  Another friend of mine walked into their business last summer, loved the food, and wrote an amazing Yelp review. Luckily for them, that person has a strong account and wrote amazing comments.  That set the tone and person after person went in and of course the food was great, and they wrote excellent comments online too.  The place now has over 300 great online evaluations , and is so busy, the owner told me they can barely keep up.

When he told me how much money they were collecting a month, I couldn’t believe it.  I asked him where all these customers came from and he said the majority of them now come from online review sites. I’ve found the same results with many different types of local businesses like dry cleaners, pet groomers, hair and nail salons not just restaurants.

In my own business, a huge percentage of our income now comes as a result of people who read about us online.  So far, I’ve done Google Adwords. I’ve done Facebook advertising. I’ve SEOed our sites as well.  But for small business online marketing, in my opinion, the best bet, the best return you can get on your dollars and hours spent, is through doing marketing on Yelp.

I personally have not had success with the paid ads on any public commentary sites.  But instead, I’m building up our online profiles so that it’s shining and truly reflects the high quality company that we run.  If someone writes something bad about your company online, it can be a real death sentence for a business these days.

If you’d like to learn more about how online reputation management can improve your business, and I’m not talking about things you have to pay for, I’m talking about work you and your staff can do for free.  And also even about other types on online marketing for your business, put your email address in and how this can help you with your online marketing for your local business.