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Digital Marketing Checklist for Small Businesses

Digital Marketing Checklist for Small Businesses

Today more than ever, it’s super important that your business is visible online. The first place customers go to find a business like yours is google or other search engines. If you’re trying to find a mechanic, the first thing you do is google “Car Mechanic Near You” and look for the business closest to you with the most amount of reviews. Your potential customers are also spending a lot of time perusing Facebook and Instagram, so creating relative and interesting content on those platforms can help you get more exposure as well.

When a customer does find you via your website, they’ll be sure to look at your product offerings or services, pricing, and find out why your products are unique compared to your competitors. That means having a fast, mobile responsive, and easy-to-use website is critical to getting sales. Without further introduction here are the top things your business needs for digital marketing.

Build Out Your Website

If someone finds your business, the first place they go to learn more is your website. I could talk about what you specifically need on your website but every business is different. The main things you need are a simple navigation bar to take users to different pages, a contact page, and your phone number at the top so they can call you at any time.

Many people ask where they should go to build their website and for us the answer is simple, WordPress. No other platform offers the design and user capabilities that wordpress can offer. Websites like Shopify, Wix, Squarespace, and others all have their own proprietary software. That means they host the websites on their platform and control the app and plug-ins in their app stores.

WordPress is open-source, which means that anyone can create a plug-in and you can host your website on your own hosting platform. Also there is an extremely large development community, meaning there are more prebuilt solutions in terms of themes and plug-ins than any other. This means you have a lot more flexibility in creating exactly what you want on your site.

Setup a Facebook and Instagram Page

We recommend that anyone who is trying to build their business, start your social media with Facebook. Facebook has the most active users on the platform, so people are more likely to find your business through their platform.

Instagram is a close second, however if your product is not as visual as a fashion-line or restaurant, Instagram might not be as important as Facebook. That said, Instagram is one of the fastest growing social media platforms, so we believe that you should take a little time to set it up and do it correctly.

On Facebook, posting can be effective when you tell an interesting story or capture attention through a great visual or video. Facebook is meant to be a source of entertainment, so don’t try to sell forcefully. Maybe publish interesting information about your business such as new locations or products. Tell a story about a customer or the growth of your business. Simple.

Instagram posts are meant to capture the eye with bright visuals and colors. That’s why it’s great if you have beautiful or visual products. If not, that’s ok too. If you’re a social media marketing firm like us, you can post stock photos with interesting facts or information about your business. Or you can make videos telling users helpful tips or information.

We also recommend that anyone trying to grow their business through paid marketing use Facebook first. Facebook offers a large user base and amazingly detailed targeting to get your business seen by millions.

Putting Your Business on LinkedIn

Any business professional these days knows that LinkedIn is the source for industry information and networking. Creating a LinkedIn page can truly help grow your professional network and help grow your business especially if you have a B2B product. Also if you have a couple employees, having them list their employment with your company on their page is basically free advertising to their connections.

Posting on LinkedIn is a little different. Most people are there for business purposes, so you might not post with all the emojis or types of visual posts you would on Facebook or Instagram. We try to stick with information about your business in terms of growth, industry outlook, and ways to run your business. Ways to run your business could mean anything from how you interact with your employees to customer interactions as well. All in all, LinkedIn is definitely a must for social media.

Google Reviews, Yelp, and Facebook Reviews

Many people may know about your business, but they might not know if your business provides a quality product. Getting reviews is one of the top ways to set yourself ahead of your competitors. When you search for a local service, you will most likely inquire about the business with the most Google reviews. Getting them can be a simple practice of asking. When you interact with your customers, make sure to ask them for a review on Google, Yelp, or Facebook. You could also ask them for a review in return for a product discount.

If you own a restaurant or catering service, Yelp is one of the top ways to be relevant with your consumers. Sure when you look for a restaurant online you go to google first, but Yelp has developed a larger following in the restaurant community since it began. For those reasons, it can be a greater source of information.

Google reviews are by far the most important for SEO. Having more google reviews can rocket you to the top of the search results. We stress for any local services like a dentist office, law practice, or real estate agent, make sure you get as many google reviews as you can.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Site Analysis

Maybe you have heard of this term before, but Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of steps to help your business rank higher in search results on sites like Google, Bing, and others. We recommend that you create your website and make it fast, mobile responsive, and contain relevant information to improve that search juice.

To improve your site speed, make sure to compress images, host it on a fast platform, and hire somebody with coding knowledge to optimize slow performing code. Having a mobile responsive site can be as simple as building out your website through a mobile-responsive theme on wordpress or any other platform. In terms of content, don’t try and jam-pack your site with keywords to get Google to find you for certain search terms. Write your information in simple language and pepper in your keywords throughout. It’s important to note that Google has advanced AI algorithms to penalize you for keyword stuffing. Also it can be super helpful to write blog posts and other information to give you extra “link juice” to improve your SEO.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Backlinks and Site Links

Besides optimizing your site, Google wants to know whether your site is a legitimate source of information and respected in the field. That is where backlinks come into play. A backlink is any link to your website from another website. So if another company writes something about you and lists your website on theirs, that is great for you. That said, don’t just ask any website or company for a backlink. Try and reach out to those that have a high domain authority so Google knows that a very legitimate source is vouching for you.

On the flipside, don’t be an island on your own site. Outbound links, links to other websites on your own site, can show that you are involved with other businesses and can show a reciprocated credibility on your behalf. Don’t forget to include inbound links on your website too. These are links directed other pages on your site. That way users spend more time on your site. More time on your website, better SEO.


Having an online presence can make or break your business. We recommend any business to create a website and grow it from there. Post blog posts and make your site easy-to-use, fast, and mobile-friendly. Also include your contact information and address at the top so users can contact you at any moment.

Social media is critical too. Facebook and Instagram are the biggest so make sure to have pages setup. Create posts that are interesting and entertaining. If you don’t know what to post, the easiest thing to do is find an image and then tell the story. LinkedIn can be great too if you’re trying to network or reach out to the professional community.

Lastly, SEO can be the biggest help in getting your business in front of people. If your business ranks the highest in your area, that can be amazing for sales. In all that you do, keep striving to improve your online presence. For more information be sure to check out The Small Business Owner’s Digital Marketing Checklist. For help with your own business be sure to reach out on our Contact Page for more information.

6 Reasons Why Facebook Ads are so Effective

6 Reasons Why Facebook Ads are so Effective

Since Facebook started over 10 years ago, Facebook ads came to dominate the game of digital marketing as it grew the largest user base in the world. In 2008, Facebook already had 100 million users on their platform and as of March 2019, that figure has grown to a whopping 2.38 billion monthly active users. That means the user base has grown over 2200% over the last decade. A staggering 1 out of every 3 people on the planet have a Facebook account. That’s a lot of eyeballs!

When Facebook bought Instagram in 2012, Instagram had a little less than 100 million monthly active users. Now that figure has jumped to over 1 billion users across the globe. This is a 1000% increase and is still growing rapidly. The numbers don’t lie! See for yourself below:

Of that 2.38 billion, 66% of Facebook users are scrolling through their feed on a daily basis. Interestingly, 74% of American users visit daily as well. For Instagram, 50% use the platform every day. No wonder so many businesses are turning to Facebook and Instagram ads to grow their businesses!

1. Ability to Reach Your Customers

As we mentioned above, the amount of people that you can reach on Facebook and Instagram is incredible! Those people aren’t just scrolling through their feeds but they’re using Facebook messenger, marketplace, reading instant articles, watching videos, Facebook Lives, Instagram Lives, IGTV, and all sorts of other content platforms.

At the click of a button you can target an ad to a third of the world’s population using Facebook’s mobile and desktop platform. For a marketer, that is very powerful and can be instrumental in growing your business if used correctly. If you’re advertising for particular goods or services, chances are your future customers are already on there!

2. Very Cost-Effective Reach

It is no secret that Facebook is the most cost-effective way to advertise your business. With only 5 dollars, you can reach up to 1000 users on the platform. Try doing that with radio, TV, or mail advertisements. When taking that a step further, if you create ads that are interesting and relatable to your audience, you can get people to visit your website for only 10 cents. If you do the math, you can get 1000 people to your website for only $100 dollars.

Say you have a 1% conversion rate, which is pretty conservative per industry standards. That means if 1000 people visit your website, 10 people will eventually purchase from you. If you’re selling a product that is $100 that means you just made $1000. So if you spent $100 in advertising and made $1000, that means you’ve made a 1000% return on investment with just one ad. Amazing when you consider other marketing alternatives.

3. Targeting Using Facebook’s Data

Facebook collects and stores a massive amount of information about each user on their platform. Think about all the times you update your Facebook profile and the information you include. They collect basic demographics about age, gender, education level, life events such as birthdays and anniversaries, how many kids you have, relationship statuses, and even your employers’ industries. This allows you to find a broad spectrum of potential users for ads targeting.

When you scroll through the newsfeed, like or follow different pages, or click on and engage with certain content, Facebook collects that data too. From there Facebook categorizes that data and associates your profile to different interests and behaviors.

For example, if you’ve watched a trailer or liked a page of an upcoming action movie or even visited and engaged with content about your favorite sports team, Facebook assigns your profile into that category and allows advertisers to target to that interest or behavior. There is no other social media platform with that extensive targeting on the market today!

4. Creating Custom Audiences

What if you already have customers who are actively purchasing your products and just wanted to reach them. Fortunately you’re in luck! With custom audiences, Facebook allows you to upload customer information such as phone numbers and email addresses and compile them into an audience for targeting. That’s why we always stress to never stop building your list! From there Facebook matches that information with user profiles, equipping you with the tools to target your customers.

Maybe you don’t interface with customers very much but you have a Facebook or Instagram page with decent following. Thankfully, Facebook allows you to save audiences of people who liked your page, engaged with or shared your posts, or sent you a direct message via Instagram or Facebook messenger. It also allows you to choose how far back you want to target that information. If people were interested in your product a year ago, that doesn’t always mean they are actively interested. For that you can specify people who have interacted with you on social media with the past week, two weeks, 30 days, and as far back as a year.

There are ten options to choose from including customer lists, app activity if you have your own mobile application, Facebook events, Facebook and Instagram pages, lead forms, video, and even website traffic.

5. Tracking Website Visitors with Facebook’s Pixel

Say you’re looking to buy a new car and you’ve scoured the web in search of the perfect new ride. You might have gone back to Facebook and realized that your newsfeed is bombarded with ads related to purchasing a new vehicle. That is no mistake!

Probably the greatest tool in the Facebook marketing arsenal, the Facebook Pixel allows you to copy a tiny snippet of code and embed it onto your website. In turn, this tracks which Facebook users are browsing your web pages. For any business, this information is extremely useful to find your potential customer base.

What’s even more amazing is that Facebook allows you to create custom events such as which particular web pages they’ve visited, how much time they spent on your site, and categorize what each page does. So, if you wanted to track which Facebook users have gone to your page and submitted a contact form, you can categorize that as a lead and target ads to people who are actually potential leads. Very exciting! Below you can see some pixel tracking in action.

Here’s the only downside. What if you have only 50 people visit your website in the last week. You can’t just blast 50 people to buy your product or book your service, because sometimes they might not be willing to buy for any number of reasons. That’s where the lookalike audience comes into play.

6. Using Facebook’s Algorithm to Create Lookalike Audiences

When your customers have already purchased from you, a lot of the time they might not need to buy from you again right away. Custom audiences are great at putting together your lists but lookalike audiences supercharge them into customer finding machines.

Here’s how they work. When you create a look-alike audience, Facebook uses it’s algorithm to find users that are similar to the users in your custom audiences. You can specify the percentage of similarities they share and target audiences that match within 1% to 10% of you custom audience. In most cases, we recommend choosing 1% because it targets to users that have more common interests, demographics, and behaviors.

This opens a host of opportunities to find new customers similar to your current customer base, Facebook or Instagram following, and any other custom audience you choose. If you only target to your custom audience, the amount of people can be too narrow at times. Fortunately, lookalike audiences broaden your customer acquisition horizons to a fresh user base. In our experience, we have received some of our best results in terms of engagement, link clicks, and landing page visits when using lookalike audiences. Definitely do not overlook.


Advertising on the Facebook platform can yield many benefits. You can use Facebook’s data to target age, gender, location, and interests. You can create custom audiences of people already engaged in your brand. From there you can track website visitors and create lookalike audiences of similar Facebook users. Not to mention, ads can be created fast and are super cost effective in increasing leads and boosting product sales.

Many people claim to advertise on Facebook yet see little to results. If you use the above tools at your disposal, you can create ads that are specifically designed to convert. At times, Facebook and Instagram ads can be very overwhelming if you’re trying to learn from scratch. That’s why hiring an agency with industry experience and a dedicated support staff can help you navigate the ins and outs of Facebook ads. Best of luck in your advertising journey! If you need a crash course on Facebook Ads, be sure to check out Ad Espresso’s Beginner’s Guide to Facebook Advertising. Also let us know if you need help with your ads. We’d be happy to help! Contact us today for a free Facebook Ads analysis.