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Other Digital Marketing, Search Engine Optimisation
Whether you are a freelancer, SME or a large enterprise, every business should have Google My Business (GMB) listing.

A listing on Google My Business is free and can give you lots of benefits. You will be able to collect reviews, give your customers valuable information and new customers will be able to find you more easily.

Screenshot of a Google My Business listing on Google Search.

How to get started

When you go to Google My Business website, you can sign up with your business details.

Google will then need to verify your address. You will receive a postcard in the mail with a verification code that you will need enter in your account. It can take several weeks before this card can arrive in the mail (Google is busy..).

Based on experience, it often happens that the card doesn’t arrive. Just keep an eye on it and re-apply for the card if you haven’t received it within a few months. Be patient, eventually, you will get it.

Now here are some tips about how you can get everything out of your listing.

Tip #1: Create the account with a company email address

So you hired a marketing manager to do this kind of stuff for you? They might leave your business and what’s left? An account that no one can access anymore, as you don’t have the login details.

This type of accounts should be owned by the business. Best is to create them with a company account, like info@ or contact@ to prevent any issues in the future.

GMB allows you to add different users to each location, so you the marketing manager can still access the account with her/his own details.

If you have multiple locations you can even give location managers access to just the location they’re working in.

Tip #2: Add all of your locations

Which brings us to our next tip: make sure you add all of your locations. This includes your head office and any other locations you might have (like shops).

Adding all of your locations will give you more exposure on Google Search. Business listings can appear on generic search terms, based on the locations users are. So adding more business listings will expand your reach.

Tip #3: Add all of your details

Make sure you add all the details that are relevant to your business.

The more details you add, the more likely Google is to show your listing in the search results.

You can add your business phone number, opening hours, order information, any promotions you might run and much more. Add as much information as you can, including pictures.

Visitors will be able to make suggestions if any details are missing or incorrect. So, make sure that all the details are up-to-date to keep in full control of your listings.

Also, make sure that you interact and periodically post any updates on what is happening in your company. As always, Google will reward businesses that are frequently posting up-to-date content. So this will lead to your listing being shown more often.

Tip #4: Link GMB with your Google Ads account

An absolute must if you are a Google Ads advertiser.

Linking your Google My Business account to your Google Ads account will enable you to use the location extensions.

These ad extensions will give you the ability to show your business address with your Google text ads. This will make local businesses stand out, which potentially will increase the click-through rate (CTR) of your campaigns. This will also have a positive impact on your Quality Score.

By adding the location extensions you will also be able to promote your business on Google search partners, which include Google Maps.

Tip #5: Start collecting reviews

Now, once you have your business listing up and running it’s the perfect time to start collecting reviews.

Reviews have a positive impact on how often Google shows your business listing. It will also help you to stand out versus your competitors.

Once you start collecting reviews you will also have to ability to write a comment, which will give you the opportunity to thank your reviewer.

Extra: help, you are getting fake reviews

O shit, you received a negative review and think it might be fake.

Now, the first step would be to investigate if this is really a fake review or just an unhappy customer. First, go to Google’s policy to see if this review is really in violation of the policy.

Then, if the review IS a violation of the policy, you can take further action. There are 2 ways to flag an inappropriate review. The first one is within the search results and the second one is from within the GMB. Make sure you use the second option. It is far more powerful, as it shows Google that you are the person that owns the review.

When you scroll to the reviews in the dashboard there are 3 dots in the top right of the negative review. When you click this you get a menu and you can click ‘Flag as inappropriate’.

Now, you will have to wait. It can take around 3 days for Google to follow up and once you received an email you can respond with additional details of why you believe the review is fake.


Growth Marketing
There it is, after weeks/months/years of pre-development your startup is ready for launch.

Now, how are potential customers going to find you?

Here are 4 growth strategies you can implement for your startup:
  • Viral

  • SEO

  • Paid advertising

  • Partnerships

1. Viral

Going viral” – it’s probably one of the hippest terms in the marketing world nowadays.

Lots of followers added to your brand with the click of a button. Free publicity around the web. It’s the dream for every startup.

And all because of a single post on social media right?

The truth is that “going viral” only rarely happens overnight. Most things that look spontaneous, are actually backed up by a well-planned marketing strategy.

What makes things go viral?
One of the most successful viral marketing campaigns was the “Ice Bucket Challenge”. Chances are that you have seen at least one movie of a person throwing a bucket of ice cold water over themselves. This was started by Pete Frates, to raise awareness for ALS.

The best-seller Contagious: Why Things Catch On of Jonah Berger, describes six factors of why things go viral:

Jonah Bergers six stepps to virality.

These six factors form the acronym STEPPS.

The “Ice Bucket Challenge” checks all of these boxes:

  • Social Currency – it shows that you’re a risk taker.

  • Triggers – it’s funny to see your friends throw a bucket of water over themselves.

  • Emotion – there’s an underlying thought of charity.

  • Public – throwing a bucket of water is something you can easily do yourself.

  • Practical Value – raising awareness for ALS.

  • Stories – there’s a deeper story behind it.

  • How to make things viral – the snowball effect

Viral marketing is all about word of mouth.

Like a snowball, your message will get picked up by more people and your reach gets bigger and bigger over time.

As a startup, you will have to make sure that the original content gets picked up by as much as possible people:

  • Create a large initial followers base on social media.

  • Collect email addresses of your website visitors.

  • Promote visitors and followers to invite other people.

  • Use call-to-actions in your post to share with others.

  • Make sure your messaging follow the STEPPS principle.

2. SEO

As a startup, there are a few ways to grow your business organically.

Organic means that potential customers will be able to find your product when they’re looking for it, or at least it’s on the top of their mind.

Increase your Google organic rankings

Depending on your business model, Google might be your best source to get organic traffic.

Optimising your website for SEO means that you get ranked for relevant search queries in Google.

Search Engine Optimisation image.

In order to optimise your website for SEO you can:

  • Optimise the meta tags on your website.

  • Create content and become an online authority.

  • Optimise that content to get ranked for particular keywords.

  • Create backlinks from other websites.

  • Improve the loading time of your website.

SEO is a long-term investment, where you have to invest time (and sometimes money if you’re using an agency) to improve your ranking. As a startup, you’re likely to have a new domain name which means you’ll have to build up credit before Google will give you a high ranking.

3. Paid advertising

Paid online advertising is the way to get relevant traffic to your website immediately. Depending on the business model of your startup, there are a few tactics you might want to consider:

Google Ads
The Google search network is one of the most targeted ways of advertising on the web.

You will have the ability to only target people that are actively searching for your product or service. As with any form of PPC advertising you will only have to pay when someone actually clicks on your ad.

Google Ads is the perfect platform to test different keywords, ads, landing pages etc. When setting up the right way you’ll be able to optimise your campaigns significantly based on the data and get more bang for your buck.

Facebook & Instagram Ads
If you have a very specific audience that you target, you might want to consider running ads on social media.

Facebook & Instagram give the opportunity to set up very specific audience lists based on demographics, interests and much more.

Social media advertising for startups.

For startups that are launching a product in a relatively unknown market this might be a good option, as the Google search network might not be able to give you much relevant traffic.

Google Display Network (Remarketing)

The Google Display Network (GDN) contains millions of website all over the world. You’re able to show ads to your target audience when they’re browsing around the web.

When you get started I wouldn’t recommend starting with generic display advertising. There are a lot of ways to target your ads, and finding the one that works for you requires a lot of testing, which means it could cost you a lot of money. However, you can use the GDN for remarketing ads.

With remarketing you’re advertising for people that already visited your site. As they’re already familiar with your brand they’re more likely to click your ad and convert. Your CAC (cost of acquiring a customer) will be significantly lower compared to generic display.

4. Partnerships

As a startup, you might want to start building partnerships to grow your business.

Although partnerships are sometimes hard to get off the ground (and require a lot of time investment), they might turn in your most profitable channel.

A partnership is often based on a commision, meaning that there’s a low risk from your end. If a partner is unable to get your sales or leads, you simply don’t have to pay them.