5 KPIs that All Local Businesses Should Track On Your KPI Dashboard – And 5 They Shouldn’t

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Photo Credit: Pixabay

There is a wealth of data that local businesses can and should be tracking in order to ensure that they are properly armed to make better business decisions.

But which metrics should you track?

All of them?


If data isn’t actionable or useful, don’t waste your time. A KPI is a key performance indicator – the metrics by which you measure your success. It’s a good idea to decide on the metrics that you care most about and put them together in a dashboard to make tracking easier/quicker.

Don’t: Overall Traffic

Overall traffic levels are easy to track, but for a local business they are not helpful. More important is local traffic. Sure, national traffic might also matter, but tracking your traffic levels across the board is a waste of time.

Instead, monitor traffic segmented by location, so that you can see local traffic, national traffic and maybe even international traffic separately.

Do: Traffic Sources

Where are your users/how are they finding you? If you’re getting traffic from India, it’s probably not converting. Filter out irrelevant traffic, figure out who are your most relevant visitors (probably the ones in your local area)…

And then consider where that traffic is coming from. Search engines? Local listings? Referral from other websites? Once you know where your best visitors are coming from, you can hone your marketing efforts accordingly.

Don’t: Conversion Rate

This is controversial, and yes, tracking conversions is probably worthwhile, but for local businesses your tracked conversion rate may be inaccurate since you never know how many people view your website and then simply come to your physical location.

Tracking engagement metrics such as views of your contact page, your menu pages, your about page etc… may be more helpful.

Do: Phone Calls

Tracking phone calls is tricky, but possible, and for many businesses it’s the most relevant conversion metric. This is especially true for businesses that take bookings over the phone.

There are loads of services which allow you to track phone calls through your website analytics.

Don’t: Complaints

Should you listen to customer feedback? Absolutely.

But tracking complaints isn’t a useful KPI. Complaints are not representative of your entire customer base because they only come from the customers who are not happy.

Use customer feedback to improve your service, and absolutely respond to complaints and fix problems. But using complaints as a KPI will just get you down!

Do: Customer Lifetime Value

Track your ROI on marketing campaigns makes sense. But unless you are tracking your customer’s lifetime value you can’t be sure that your ROI is accurate.

Tracking metrics related to repeat custom in order to estimate how much a new customer is truly worth to you. It’s not easy to track, but if you can do it, you can make better-informed marketing decisions.

Don’t: Devices

Local businesses have more mobile traffic, right?

Probably, but does that mean that tracking device usage is helpful?

If your website is not mobile friendly you may not get as much mobile traffic as you should. So you don’t get many mobile viewers, it might mean that your customers don’t use mobile devices, or it might mean that your site isn’t attracting mobile users – it’s hard to be sure.

Instead, track metrics that show you whether mobile users are being well served by your website.

Do: Mobile/Local Rankings

Tracking your SERP rankings is a popular strategy and it probably makes sense to do so. But are you tracking rankings for mobile/local users?

Google results are personalized based on location and the device you are using. And for a local business that is important. There are various ways you can track your rankings within a local area, and those are likely to be your most important ones.

Don’t: Facebook Likes

Getting Facebook likes (Retweets etc…) is nice and something to shoot for. But it would be far more helpful to track click through rates and how much traffic those platforms are sending you.

Looking at which posts historically get the most likes can be a useful way to hone your strategy, but tracking Facebook likes as a KPI might not be as helpful.

Do: Top Pages

Which pages on your site are most popular? This gives you a clue as to what your customers are looking for.

For example: If customers go straight to the contact page, it may mean they just want a phone number. You can use these clues to improve your navigation and make your most important information easier to find.


I’m not trying to tell you what to track, but to think about each metric that you do track. Which KPIs matter to your business might not matter to another. There’s no one size fits all answer.

Think carefully about which metrics truly impact your bottom line/are actionable. Put all of those metrics in the same place so that you can monitor them quickly and easily.


10.15 headshotThanks for reading my post. My name is Alex Johnson. I work for Cyfe – an online KPI dashboarding service, so as you’ll imagine, I care a lot about data and making it useful. Our philosophy at Cyfe is that the right data should be easily available.

Why MORE Marketing Isn’t What You Need

photo credit: Unsplash

photo credit: Unsplash

Your marketing isn’t quite getting the results you want. In fact, it seems like the latest “thing” is taking far too long to work.

So you decide that what you really need to do is add another tactic to the mix because it just may be the thing that helps you reach your goals. As a small business owner or entrepreneur, does this scenario seem familiar?

You’re not alone. We’ve all been conditioned to believe that more is better. More marketing must equal bigger results. Right?

Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. Trying to be everywhere and continuously adding to our lineup of marketing tactics is likely working against you. When the focus is simply on adding more marketing to the mix, often it’s simply adding to the noise instead of cutting through to reach your ideal clients.

What if instead we decided to try a different approach to our marketing?

After coaching thousands of solo-preneurs, I realized the ‘be everywhere’ mindset of more marketing was backfiring for my clients. They were completely overwhelmed with the unending list of marketing tactics and frustrated that instead of doing what they loved, they were spending all their time marketing!

Our solution? Do less and do it better. By focusing in on their business sweet spot, we can determine the right marketing strategy for their business. When your marketing is in alignment with your business sweet spot, suddenly you’re playing to your strengths. It’s a “lean” approach to marketing mashed up with leveraging your zone of genius.

Here are a few ways to help you cut the marketing that’s not working and find your business sweet spot:

#1. Assess What’s Really Driving Results in Your Marketing

The average small business owner uses multiple social media channels, along with any combination of email marketing, blogging, podcasting, video, search engine optimization, and the list goes on and on. The reality is that few of us can do all of these things well, and we’re diluting our results when we’re spread too thin across strategies.

Take some time and make a master list of everything that you’re focusing on in your marketing. Then look at each one with a critical eye to determine if they are working for you. Keep this objective! Can you tie your strategy back to a measurable result? Having a large follower count on Facebook doesn’t matter if you aren’t able to convert that number into relationships and ultimately, sales.

One of my favorite ways to check in with my marketing strategy is to think through your top clients from the past 6 months. Simply making a list of your top 10 clients, then asking “how did they find me?” can cut through the confusion quickly! In fact, despite being an online business, I’m amazed that over 50% of my private consulting clients come from a personal referral. Now I spend more time focusing on nurturing referral relationships!

When reviewing your list, see if you can cut it down to the three most effective things. Then assess if you can let the rest go. You may quickly find ways to trim the fat or at least open up your eyes to gauge the real ROI on your marketing activities.

#2. Discover Where You Truly Shine

We all come to the table as business owners with our own unique set of skills, experiences, and personality traits. Some of us are at our very best in the maven role where we can build a large platform and shine on stage. Others may do their best in more intimate small group or one-on-one situations where they facilitate meaningful change and mentor clients.

There is no one-size-fits-all marketing strategy.

As a complete introvert, I’ve found that attending large events or conferences completely stress me out. Instead of feeling excited, I feel depleted. It takes days for me to recover! Not the best strategy for me – my marketing is much more effective when I leverage my strengths as a writer and teacher.

On the other hand, one of my colleagues adores attending events. She always makes great connections and walks away with new clients for her corporate consulting work. But spending most of her time behind a screen? Just the idea of an editorial calendar makes her feel restricted.

Not sure where you shine? Think about what your clients and community most thank you for. Alternatively, consider where you are most energized and what type of work you most enjoy. By tapping into that information, you can find clues that tell you how to best focus your marketing.

#3. Simplify and Streamline Your Marketing Strategy

Look at where you shine. Compare it to what’s working. You’ll likely find a clear pattern connecting the two – that’s your Sweet Spot! That’s where you should focus the bulk of your marketing time and energy to get the most powerful results.

By working in your sweet spot, you can jump off the marketing hamster wheel and say yes only to those marketing activities that are most aligned with what best works for you and your business.

What things have you found that are in your marketing sweet spot? What activities is it time to let go of? Share in the comments below.

RachealCookSquare-150Racheal Cook, MBA is an award-winning business strategist who believes entrepreneurs can grow their dream business while living their dream life, right now. You can connect with Rachael and get more of her mindful marketing advice by joining the Fired Up + Focused Challenge.


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