What is an API? Reputation Loop’s Top API Integrations

What’s an API?

API stands for “Application Programming Interfaces” and they allow one program to talk to another. Whether the programs are on the same computer, or websites on external servers the allow for seamless software integrations API integrations connect the programs you use the most.  Essentially it is a tool that helps developers write code that lets the software they developed interface with other software. Many companies supply their API’s for free because API’s help their programs interact with other programs which make their software more useful (and thus more valuable) to their customers.

Written in a standard code that all computers understand, API’s are designed to be used by computers, with the end-user (the other software) in mind much the same way apps in the app store are designed with the end-user (humans) in mind.  To protect the humans who use API integrations, two computers using an API can establish trust using authentication and credentials to protect better any sensitive data that passes through.

Think of an API as super-charged automated data entry tool that has been pre-approved to:

  • Get (ask the server to retrieve something)
  • Post (ask the server to create something)
  • Put (ask the server to edit/update something)
  • Delete (ask the server to delete something)

API integrations make large amounts of data more manageable for computers by automating tedious and labor-intensive tasks that would take hours or days for a human to accomplish.  They also let the computer programs and apps we use every day talk to each other so the things we need to do or know can be seamless done or delivered.  With each passing day, the importance of API’s grows as customers (you), businesses, and programmers find new ways to use software to make their lives easier, their businesses more profitable, and their programs faster and more user-friendly.

Reputation Loop’s Newest Integrations

Reputation Loop recently released two new API integrations that make it even easier for some of its users to gather and promote the five-star reviews that set them apart from the competition online.

Reputation Loop Integrates with Zillow

Lenders and real estate agents providing services on Zillow can now use Reputation Loop to build and protect the ratings and reviews home buyers rely upon to choose the best real estate professionals and mortgage providers. Zillow is the leading real estate and rental marketplace with a living database of more than 110 million U.S. homes, serving the full lifecycle of owning and living in a home. The ability to post reviews on real estate agents and mortgage lenders launched in December 2010 and today there are more than 2 million reviews of real estate agents and mortgage lenders. Learn more about the Zillow integration.

Zillow’s review widget showcasing five-star rating

zillow reviews API integrations

Reputation Loop Integrates with MacPractice

MacPractice Customers Can Now Use the Reputation Loop Platform to Generate Online Reviews Fast, Monitor Their Online Reputation, and Promote Their Positive Online Presence to Gain New Customers.  Users of MacPractice will now be able to use one of the most powerful Reputation Marketing platforms available to build a positive reputation that attracts more patients. MacPractice is the leading Apple developer of the premier practice management and clinical software relied upon by over 30,000 users in 31 countries.  This integration makes it easy for doctors to accumulate and publish patient reviews.  Learn more about the MacPractice integration.

Reputation Loop’s Most Popular Integrations


Over 20,000 small businesses use Infusionsoft to handle contact management, sales, email marketing and e-commerce because it’s the best sales and marketing automation platform on the market. Now Infusionsoft users can harness the power of Reputation Loop to enhance their automation as fully integrated software that handles the process of turning customer feedback into 5 Star reviews.  Adding Reputation Loop’s innovative software API with your Infusionsoft account allows you to preset the entire process for generating customer feedback and turn positive feedback into online ratings and reviews. Learn more about the Infusionsoft integration.

Reputation Loop Directly Integrates with Infusionsoft’s Campaign Builder

infusionsoft API integration

Social Sharing

Automatically share customer feedback and reviews on all your business’ major social media accounts and have your friends and followers help spread the positive word. Each shared review includes an image, increasing your likes and shares, and a customer review that highlights your company.

  • Google
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Directory Integration

Reputation Loop’s business listing management service ensures your business can be found everywhere customers are searching.  Integration with leading online directories locks in the correct information from one single source that you control within your Reputation Loop dashboard. With real-time control of your listing across a network of 55+ leading sites, maps, and apps, you’ll have a guaranteed presence that you control across the web. Business listing management updates all the directories with basic NAP (name, address, phone number) information, bu also enhances your listings with the capability to add descriptions, maps, websites, photos, logos, reviews and more.  Here are just some of the 55+ leading websites:

directory API integrations

Review Monitoring

Reputation Loop actively monitors the top online rating and review sites, and you can connect your dashboard to these top sites to pull in reviews.  New review snapshots are displayed on your dashboard along with a special alert and you are notified that a new rating or review has been found by the software.

Reviews are monitored on sites like:

  • Google
  • Yelp
  • Facebook
  • Citysearch
  • YellowPages
  • OpenTable
  • FourSquare

… And MORE

A Public API & More Reputation Loop Software Integrations

Every API Reputation Loop builds is designed to create powerful integrations that are simple to use and quick to implement. A public API is also available to bridge the gap where an API is not in place with another service provider.  The API listing gives you a link to the directory on the partner site and implementation instructions whenever possible.  Click here to see a more detailed list of software integrations available with Reputation Loop.

Want to Integrate with Reputation Loop?  If you have a company and are looking to integrate with us, contact us.


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Zach_Color_Trans_small_CroppedAbout The Author

Zach Anderson is the co-founder of Reputation Loop (helping small businesses grow by generating customer feedback and online reviews) who loves online marketing and golf.

The post What is an API? Reputation Loop’s Top API Integrations appeared first on Reputation Loop.

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Competitor Research Tools to Track Top Competitors

Research Competitors’ Websites with these Competitor Research Tools and Leverage Competitive Data to Improve SEO and Marketing Tactics

If you have competitors that consistently outrank you in search, you should take a look at what they are doing on their website.  Could be they’ve found the golden ticket to SEO success in your industry.  Use the competitor research tools below to uncover the marketing activities that are boosting competitors’ search rankings.  Compare the content, back links, and social media of top competitors to see what tactics you can incorporate to improve your SEO, SEM, and Content strategies.


With Alexa, you can see the performance of competitors’ marketing activities and improve your strategies to model successful tactics. Get the data you need with a competitive intelligence tool and a free (for opt-in) Competitive Analysis Template.  To use the competitive intelligence tools you will need to buy-in on the $49 a month Insight Plan.

Alexa Reputation Metrics Screen

Alexa Competitor Research Tool


SEMrush is a leader in competitive research with reasonably priced service plans, but you can also search a domain, keyword or URL for free from the search box on the SEMrush homepage.  Paid plans get you analytic reports on your competitors’ strategies in keyword selection, paid search, organic search, and link building. There are also tools to cross, combine and visualize data to compare competitive domains. Paid plans start at around $70 per month.

SEMrush Domain Overview Results

SEMrush Competitor Research Tool

Netpeak Checker

Netpeak Checker is a desktop tool for analyzing and comparing websites based on any SEO parameter you can think of: tags, meta data, keywords, canonical, status codes, links, and more.  Add powerful reporting and the ability to merge URL’s under projects and there isn’t’ anything you won’t know about your competitors’ website.  Pricing for Netpeak is $19 a month or $159 for the year with a free 14-day trial.

Netpeak Popular Website Listing

Neatpeak Competitor Research Tool


Just one of many tools provided by SEOBook.com, you can download the SEO Tool Bar with a free SEO Book account.  It sits at the top of your browser and for any web page you are on it pulls in useful marketing data points for a holistic view of the competitive landscape with links to data sources so you can dig deeper. The best part is it is free to download, but note that it only works on Firefox browsers.

Exporting SEO Tool Bar Data

SEO Toolbar Competitor Research Tool


Track backlinks, keywords, brand mentions, and competitors’ activities. There are dozens of tools and reports to give you a comprehensive set of data to analyze both your competitors’ and your marketing effectiveness. Ahrefs plans start at $99 a month after a two-week free trial.

Site Explorer – Get a detailed backlink profile for any website with smart filters and advanced reports for tracking.

Ahrefs Competitor Research Tool

Positions Explorer – See the keywords your competitors are ranking for in search results and which pages are ranking high for both paid and organic search traffic.

Content Explorer – Uncover the content getting the most shares and backlink and use the list of sites linking to content to build a list of content marketing outreach targets.

Ahrefs Content Competitor Research Tool

Position Tracker – Track daily keyword ranking with daily position history over time and automated weekly and monthly ranking reports.

Crawl Report – Check of issues that may be hurting your site including response codes and loading speed.


With the MozBar Chrome extension, you get a top-of-screen browser toolbar that shows you the SEO metrics of any website you are on.  Get top SEO metrics at a glance while surfing the web the way you usually do.  You can also create custom searches, see the difficulty level in ranking for given keyword, and see page elements with the Analyze Page overlay feature.  Plus, the MozBar lets you view social metrics for Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.  This free tool promises to streamline your SEO and competitive analysis.

MozBar Features

MozBar Competitor Research Tool

SimilarWeb Pro

Modeling itself as a market intelligence platform, SimilarWeb Pro gives you comprehensive analysis for any app or website.  With the pro plan, you get website analysis with engagement, SEO, and PPC metrics as well as audience interests, industry leaders, traffic sources, and app analysis. SimilarWeb Pro’s basic plan is $199 per month.

SimilarWeb Pro Audience Overview Report

SimilarWeb Pro Competitor Research Tool

Analysis Tools That Work for You Often Work as Competitor Research Tools

You’ll find that many of the tools you use to monitor your website performance also work as competitive research tools to track what your competitors are doing.  If you are looking just to dip your toe in competitive research tools you can try one of these:

Google Alerts – for monitoring mentions

SocialMention – for researching keywords and mentions

Monitor Backlinks – have competitor backlinks sent to you


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Zach_Color_Trans_small_CroppedAbout The Author

Zach Anderson is the co-founder of Reputation Loop (helping small businesses grow by generating customer feedback and online reviews) who loves online marketing and golf.

The post Competitor Research Tools to Track Top Competitors appeared first on Reputation Loop.

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New Facebook Native Store Locator & SMB Advertising Resources

Facebook launches a native store locator that helps people locate and navigate to your nearest store location.

Facebook has proven to be an effective way to reach local customers because you can reach people interested in your business whether they are looking at their phone, tablet or computer.  Facebook’s local awareness ads have been helping businesses connect with people and spread their local message, and the native store locator takes it one step further.  With improved metrics and an offline conversion API, Facebook looks to use local awareness ads to encourage and measure foot traffic and in-store sales.

FB Location Based Relevance Store LocatorNative Store Locator Launched

As mobile search overtakes desktop and laptop searches, over 90% of retail sales still take place in-store according to eMarketer.  With local awareness ads and Facebook Locations, businesses with multiple locations receive more insight into the people nearby and create local ads for each store. This month Facebook launched a native store locator.  The native store locator can be added to any local awareness campaign.  You’ll use it to drive people to your store and measure the amount of store visits and in-store sales from your Facebook mobile ad campaigns.

The native store locator shows Facebook users a map of all the locations of your business nearby their current location.  The user can click on the map in the ad to see information like estimated travel time, address, hours, website and phone number without leaving the ad or app.  Your ads are now a one-touch portal to all the information a buyer needs to get to your brick-and-mortar locations to make a purchase.

FB Store Locator Drive Sales“Store Visits” Metric Added to Ads Reporting

How are your in-store sales affected by your Facebook ad campaigns?  It’s been hard to measure the impact, until now.  By adding “store visits” to Ads Reporting, Facebook has made it easier for you to understand how store traffic has been affected by local awareness ads.  Store visits data is based on information from users with location services enabled on their phone.  Store visits reporting lets you see how many people come to your store after seeing an ad so you can better optimize ad creation and targeting.

Offline Conversion API to Connect Store Sales and Facebook Ad Campaigns

If you want to connect in-store and phone transactions to your ads you can use the offline conversion API.  The offline conversion API lets you match transaction data from your database or P.O.S. system to Ads Reporting.  Now you can see real-time results as transactions happen and gain demographic insight about customers to optimize future ad campaigns and track campaign effectiveness.

Advertising on Facebook – Small and Local Business RESOURCES

Advertising on Facebook can seem complicated.  However, what you will find is it is the same with any new system – once you get it, you’ve got it.  Facebook wants you to get it, so they’ve developed a handful of resources to help you become a better advertiser.

Facebook Blueprint

Completing the Facebook Blueprint is like getting a Masters in Facebook for business.  With over 50 e-learning modules you’ll learn everything you need to know to leverage Facebook features to grow your business.

FB Blueprint ElearningFacebook for Business

Facebook for Business is the hub for doing everything you want to do for your business on Facebook.  You’ll learn about marketing and get to read success stories.  Create your page or create your ads.  Everything starts right here on Facebook for Business, and if you need help, there is a “Learn How” section that gives step by step instructions.

Facebook for Business Store Locator

Facebook Local Awareness Ads

Here is where you get everything on Local Awareness Ads.  Learn how to:

  • Get Started
  • Choose Your Audience
  • Set Your Budget
  • See Your Ad (by device with photos and “Get Directions” buttons)

Facebook Basics

Facebook Basics is a quick and simple overview of using Facebook for Business.  If you have some experience with online advertising, you’ll be able to use this page to be up and running in no time with your Facebook page and ads.  Here you’ll find short write-ups and quick links to:

  • Set Up Your Page
  • Identify Your Audience
  • Create Compelling Content
  • Measure Results and Adjust Campaigns

Facebook Ads Guide

The Facebook Ads Guide is a comprehensive “What, Why, and How-To” on all things Facebook Ads.  Click through for visual tutorials, recommendations, and tips on creating, optimizing and targeting your Facebook ad campaigns.

Facebook Ads Guide Store LocatorObjectives covered include:

  • Clicks to Website
  • Website Conversions
  • Page Post Engagement
  • Page Likes
  • App Installs
  • App Engagement
  • Local Awareness
  • Event Response
  • Offer Claims
  • Video Views
  • Lead Generation
  • Brand Awareness

Winning New Customers with Facebook Local Awareness Ads and Native Store Locator

With Local Awareness ads and the native store locator, you can reach people in your area with the information they need to visit your locations.  Stay top-of-mind, build brand awareness, and encourage customers to visit your store locations with a targeted Facebook advertising campaign that reaches your customers when they are ready to buy.

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Zach_Color_Trans_small_CroppedAbout The Author

Zach Anderson is the co-founder of Reputation Loop (helping small businesses grow by generating customer feedback and online reviews) who loves online marketing and golf.

The post New Facebook Native Store Locator & SMB Advertising Resources appeared first on Reputation Loop.

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Best Free CRM Software for Small Business

Picking the Best Free CRM Software for Your Small Business

Customers are the heart of your business.  Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software helps you run your business better.  To leverage your list of leads and connections you’ll need more than the contact list you’ve been saving on your smartphone, note apps, or (gasp!) an actual pen and paper notebook.  Stop it!  We are going to share with you the best free CRM software out there and show you how to pick the right free CRM software for your small business.

best free crm increasesSuccessful small businesses make the most of every relationship.  They also know how to save money and when to spend money on the tools that make their business grow.  Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software can seem expensive to a small business but a survey by Baseline found that the average ROI for CRM was $5.60 for every dollar spent.  That’s a nice return, but do the math on spending zero dollars and you’ll want to check this “Best Free CRM Software” list.

Why You Need CRM Software

CRM software is going to save you time by tracking and automating many of the tasks that need to be done to gain and retain customers, while working at increasing revenue and growing your small business.  A good CRM software system is going to handle all your interactions with current customers, leads and prospects. It organizes, synchronizes, and automates sales, and marketing activities. Many CRM programs also handle customer support on an easy-to-use and integrated platform to simplify the management of your small business. If you don’t currently have a CRM system you’ll be amazed at how all that customer data previously scattered between five salesmen and the four corners of your office is now organized, in one interface where it can be used to analyze and grow your business.

best free crm usageHow to Choose the Right CRM for Your Small Business

There are dozens of CRM software options for your small business.  Automating business processes is a lucrative industry and the big names running big businesses usually have a low-cost small business option.  But they also have option and features you’d never use while spending, in some cases, over $100 a month to track and manage customer relationships. We can give you a list of the best free CRM software options for your business to increase sales and improve productivity, but which one is the right fit for your business?

Essentially, your CRM serves as a database that organizes all your customer information and interactions in one place, providing insight and tracking for improved sales and marketing functions.  Since your CRM is a contact list on steroids it can also serve as contact manager for vendors and business partners. Use this checklist of CRM features to decide your business needs.  Research the features (by clicking the links below) of the software listed on the Best Free CRM list find the one that fits your business needs.

CRM Business Needs Checklist

[  ]  Easy to learn and use.

[  ]  Third-party integration.

[  ]  Cloud-based and/or mobile access.

[  ]  Order tracking and invoicing.

[  ]  Lead generation.

[  ]  Prospect nurturing.

[  ]  Sales forecasting.

[  ]  Sales rep performance tracking.

[  ]  Email marketing.

[  ]  Competitor tracking.

A small business that just needs to manage contacts and send invoices won’t benefit from a robust CRM that requires a lot of data to run simple functions.  Those looking to leverage the technology that automates the business functions that drive growth and revenue can find free CRM software that delivers professional results at no cost.

Best Free CRM Software for Small Businesses

What does it take to make the Best Free CRM Software for Small Business list?  Besides being absolutely free (no free trial teasers or credit card numbers required here!) and loved by customers and reviewers, we’ve narrowed down the list to intuitive and flexible systems with powerful tools and useful reporting that make it easy to manage contacts, segment clients and automate tasks.

(In alphabetical order – no affiliate links)

best free crm capsuleCapsule

“Use Capsule to keep track of the people and companies you do business with, communications with them, opportunities in the pipeline, and what needs to be done when.” – Capsule

CRM Pro CRMPro – Free CRM

“FREE UP TO 100 USERS AND 100,000 CONTACTS. Our Free edition is limited to 100 users, 100,000 contacts and no campaigns, no technical support and expires in 1 year.” – CRMPro

InsightlyInsightly Features

“CRM and Project Management. Easy. Powerful. Affordable.  Manage leads, contacts, organizations, partners, vendors and suppliers. See everything from background, email history, events, projects or opportunities.” – Insightly

best free crm RaynetRaynet Features

“Less paperwork, more business. Simplify your daily agenda, keep track of everything that’s going on, and boost up your business with one of the most easy-to-use CRM solution.” – Raynet

best free CRM Really Simple SystemsReally Simple Systems Features

“Everything you need to manage your customers, prospects and sales – completely free!  Our CRM software has been designed with small and medium sized businesses in mind. It’s easy to set up and simple to use.” – Really Simple Systems

 best free crm Suite CRMSuite CRM Features

“We’re changing CRM for the better – less cost, more dynamic and flexible features, faster deployments with no vendor lock-in.   SuiteCRM over delivers on functionality when compared to Salesforce, SAP, Siebel, SugarCRM and Microsoft. It’s customizable to suit any business size or requirement and more importantly, it’s FREE and Open Source.”  – Suite CRM

best free crm zohoZoho CRM Features (scroll down on pricing page for “Free Edition”)

“Close more deals in less time. Zoho CRM gives you a 360-degree view of your complete sales cycle and pipeline. Identify trends, spot opportunities, increase efficiency, and reduce costs with the right answers, right now.” – Zoho CRM

best free crm ZurmoZurmo Features

“Zurmo is an Open Source Customer Relationship Management (CRM) application that is mobile, social, and gamified. We use a test-driven methodology for building every part of the application. This means you can create and maintain a custom-built CRM system or platform with the assurance that future updates are not going to break your installation.” – Zurmo


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Zach_Color_Trans_small_CroppedAbout The Author

Zach Anderson is the co-founder of Reputation Loop (helping small businesses grow by generating customer feedback and online reviews) who loves online marketing and golf.

The post Best Free CRM Software for Small Business appeared first on Reputation Loop.

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Small Business Marketing – 3 Crucial Digital Marketing Strategies

Higher ROI with Proven Cost-Effective Small Business Marketing Strategies

They are not a ton of “dumb luck” successful small businesses out there stealing your customers and eating up your market share.  High performing businesses have developed small business marketing plans and deployed digital marketing strategies that increase sales, grow market share and build brand awareness. (Yes, even the smallest mom-and-pop or basement startup has a brand.)  To survive your marketing has to be efficient, but to grow your digital marketing has to be masterful.


Are you struggling to grow your business in a crowded market?

Are you looking for a better return on investment for your online marketing dollars?

Are you utilizing the most cost effective digital marketing channels?

3 Small Business Marketing Digital Strategies You Need to Be Using

Lead Generation and Traffic Beyond SEO with Paid Advertisements

The importance of good search engine optimization has been repeatedly drilled into your brain.  You are profoundly aware of what a game-changer it would be if your business showed up number one in search results. As part of our small business marketing plan you’ll want to publish quality optimized content (website pages, blog posts, videos, images, etc.) that cater to the latest search engine algorithms and you’ll rank high in organic search results.

Done right, effective SEO is cheaper and longer lasting than paid advertising. That is why SEO deserves all the attention it gets. However, when it comes to lead generation and website traffic, it shouldn’t be your only focus.  Planned with ROI in mind, online advertising such as PPC (pay per click) and retargeted ads work well to get your business in front of consumers who are interested in what you are selling.  It’s important to remember that paid advertising isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it strategy.  If you are new to paid advertisement online, start with a small budget and remember you must monitor and analyze the data from your paid marketing campaigns and then make metrics-based improvements to get the best return on investment.

ALSO READ: The New Google SERP Layout

Make Reputation Marketing a Higher Priority and Get More Customer Reviews

When looking for the highest return on investment with your small business marketing, reputation marketing is a clear winner.  Your online reputation is largely made up of SEO friendly and keyword rich content that is continually refreshed in the form of customer reviews.  Because good reviews have to be earned and can’t be bought, reputation marketing is one of the most cost-effective and influential marketing strategies you can employ.  Review monitoring is essential, and marketing those reviews to attract new business is easy which makes reputation marketing such an effective tactic.

Consumers have become very internet-savvy with the research phase of their customer journey.  They know what websites will give them reviews and ratings they trust to make their buying decisions.  “Trust” being the most important word in this entire section.  Consumers trust reviews on reputable sites like Yelp, Google, and Angie’s List.  That is why it is crucial that you build a positive online reputation with stellar customer reviews and market that glowing reputation on your website and the sites your customers turn to when they need to pick the best provider for the product or service they are going to purchase today.

Reputation Winning Customers

Some businesses don’t try to collect reviews for fear of getting a negative review posted online.  If you don’t create a profile on Yelp then no one can leave a review good or bad, right? Wrong!  Customers are online talking about their shopping and buying experiences, and you want to monitor, if not control, any part of those conversations you can.  Did you know that some review sites allow people to create a profile for a business that hasn’t claimed a profile?  As you can imagine, that level of investment just to leave a review is more likely to come from a very dissatisfied customer.  Claim and optimize your business profile on the review sites and directories that matter most to your business and respond professionally to any negative reviews you do receive with future review readers in mind.

ALSO READ: Reputation Management for Local Small Businesses

Manage and Optimize Your Businesses Online Directory Listings

Most business owners and managers don’t think to include business listings management in ther small business marketing plans.  Your business’ listings in online directories make your business visible to both search engines and customers who are looking.  The more listings you create; the better chance you have of customers finding you.

Your business listings and citations are important to search engines like Google, so they should be extremely important to you.  These are factors in the ranking algorithms used to create search engine results and a business with more citations will (if all other factors are equal) rank higher than a business with fewer citations and listings.

Knowing the importance of local search results to your business, managing your business listings is not something you want left undone or haphazardly maintained.  Ranking high in local search results is highly dependent on search engines being able to confirm your correct contact information and properly categorize your business.

Business Listing StatsYou can easily automate your business listing management, saving time and ensuring your business is listed and managed accurately in the online directories that secure your online presence.  Managing all these critical business listings on your own can be time-consuming, so if you choose to go it alone start with the most impactful listing and claim, verify, and optimize your Google My Business profile.  Google pulls from these profiles for search results that include customer review star ratings and search users trust these search results pages.


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Zach_Color_Trans_small_CroppedAbout The Author

Zach Anderson is the co-founder of Reputation Loop (helping small businesses grow by generating customer feedback and online reviews) who loves online marketing and golf.

The post Small Business Marketing – 3 Crucial Digital Marketing Strategies appeared first on Reputation Loop.

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