Local businesses in Raleigh need to be found. While the internet has opened up a tremendous amount of opportunities for local companies, it has also become increasingly complicated over the years. How are Raleigh businesses supposed to leverage the Internet if it becomes cost and knowledge prohibitive?
After working with nearly 1,000 small businesses across the country, I know first hand how confusing this world of internet marketing can seem. For every solid piece of advice, a small business owner is hit with 100 other pieces of crap that drain their bank account and morale.
Internet Marketing Hurdles in Raleigh
Most small businesses rely on social media to get their brand out to their local community. A few years ago, this was accomplished through a $5 boost to a Facebook post. These days, brand awareness ads don’t drive revenue. You need cash flow to grow your business.
The problem with hitting the boost button is that it’s a shotgun approach. Facebook is an extremely powerful advertising tool, but only if you know the tools and tricks. As time has gone on, the platform that appealed to SMBs has now been built out for sophisticated media buyers. I don’t know about you, but I don’t see “Media Buyer” in the small business owner resume very often.
While these tools continue to be more complicated, service providers have sprung up to make internet marketing more affordable.
How to Grow Your Raleigh Business
Local RDU businesses can use these tactics (without breaking the bank) to reach their customer base and grow their business:
- Google Ads
- Facebook Ads (Instagram, Facebook, and Facebook’s network)
- Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Reputation Management (local listings, reviews, and more)
- Simple Website (I prefer WordPress and Webflow)
Internet marketing for local businesses isn’t rocket science for the experts. In fact, most Raleigh business owners should be able to understand marketing reports as well.
Simple Marketing Success Metrics for Small Businesses
Here are a few easy ways for you to measure marketing results if you decide to hire someone to help.
Paid Advertising Metrics
Paying for ads on Google or Facebook are a great way to expedite results. It’s one of my favorite ways to through gasoline on a business’s cash flow.
Here’s how it works:
- Business places an ad on Google or Facebook/Instagram
- User sees ad and clicks on it
- User decides to become a customer
- They fill out a form to be contacted (lead)
- They call a special phone number to connect with someone (lead)
- They make a purchase online (sale)
- Small business owner celebrates!
That’s the simple version, but it’s rarely how things are delivered by marketers or agencies. If you’re a local Raleigh business, here are a few things you should ask:
- What is the goal of the campaigns that we’re running?
- How many leads/purchases did the ads create?
- What was the ROAS (return on ad spend)?
Depending on how your business operates, you might weight these questions differently. Some businesses will need 100 leads to get 1 sale, others will need just a few. These are conversations you should be having internally with your company and also with your agency.
SEO Metrics for SMBs
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a marathon. It takes patience. I typically tell people that SEO is similar to investing in the stock market, or even buying rental properties. SEO is labor intensive, and it takes a lot of upfront work with little to small returns. As time and work continues, results begin to compound (just like your Roth IRA).
A few basic things will factor into your SEO results:
- The health of your website (this is why many SEO agencies will want to rebuild your site)
- Your local reputation
- Backlinks to your website
- Local knowledge/citations
- The size of your presence
You can approach how to accomplish these factors in different ways, but there are a few proven methods. At the end of the day, it’s about execution and communication. As a small business owner, you need to know that your marketing agency is doing the work and that they’re chipping away to get results.
Here’s what you should be discussing/measuring with your Raleigh marketing agency:
- Organic website traffic (visitors to your site that come from search engines)
- Local listing traffic (Google, Yelp, etc listings)
- Phone calls from local listings (I recommend using call tracking numbers)
- Website leads/bookings from local listings
- Directions requests from local listings (people that actually request directions to your business)
- Number of relevant keywords ranking in the top 100 results
- Keywords ranking within the top 20 results
These talking points should help give you a better idea of how your RDU business is doing with organic results.
Whether you’re a service business (lawn care, house painters, etc) or a bowling center, understanding these basics should help your Raleigh SMB grow using internet marketing.
Have questions? Contact me today!