The Ultimate List of UK Startup & Small Business Statistics for 2021

There’s no doubt that starting a business is one of the most daunting things you can do, not only in your professional career but in your life as a whole!

Most entrepreneurs will be giving up a steady, well paying job to roll the dice and start from scratch as the owner of their own, brand new business.

From huge decisions such as choosing your product or service, target audience and how to raise funds, to more frivolous choices such as which shade of blue your logo will be, there’s plenty to think about!

If you’re reading this article then you’ve probably already seen numerous startup failure rate statistics that so often get shared across national news sites and social media.

However, there’s a whole bunch of positive startup stats too which paint an altogether more rosy picture of becoming your own boss.

Statistics and analysis can also be a great way of understanding the current state of the UK startup scene and identifying potential pitfalls or areas of opportunity.

It’s for all these reasons that we’ve produced this ultimate list of startup statistics for you to cast your eye over and gain insight from.


Reasons for Starting Up 

In this section we take a look at the most common reasons that UK entrepreneurs start their own business, what inspires them to do so as well as what holds people back.

  • 64% of UK workers wants to set up a business (SME Loans, 2019)
  • 83% of 18-24 year olds have ambitions of self-employment (SME Loans, 2019)
  • More males (69%) have ambitions to start up than women (56.4%) (SME Loans, 2019)
  • Over ⅓ of the UK workforce don’t enjoy their job (SME Loans, 2019)
  • The age group most driven by financial gain are 18-24 year olds (SME Loans, 2019)
  • 1 in 3  UK workers want flexible working hours and have the option to work from home (SME Loans, 2019)
  • 43% of aspiring entrepreneurs don’t think they will ever set up their company (SME Loans, 2019)
  • ¼ of aspiring UK entrepreneurs are put off by ‘fear of stress’ (SME Loans, 2019)
  • ⅓ of aspiring UK entrepreneurs would like to set up business with their husband or wife
  • Only 13% of UK workers would choose their best friend as a business partner
  • 39% of young entrepreneurs saw lack of access to funding as a major barrier to growth (Institute of Directors, 2016)


“⅓ of aspiring UK entrepreneurs would like to set up business with their husband or wife”


Startup Failure Stats 

Startup failure statistics are the most shared startup stats online. Take a look at some of the damning startup failure statistics below which shows just how hard it can be going alone.

  • Fewer than half of UK Startups make it beyond 5 years (GOV.UK, 2019)
  • 60 % of new businesses will go-under within three years (Telegraph, 2019)
  • 20% of new businesses will close their doors within just 12 months (Telegraph, 2019)


“20% of new businesses will close their doors within just 12 months”


Startup Success Stats 

Don’t believe all the negative headlines. There’s more than enough small business success stats to reveal that UK businesses are still thriving.

  • 1 company is formed every minute in the UK (GOV.UK, 2019)
  • 89% of UK startups survive their first year (ONS, 2019)
  • There were 5.8 million small businesses at the start of 2019, up from 5.7 million in 2018 (despite Brexit concerns) and up from 5.5 million in 2017. (GOV.UK, 2019)
  • The number of small businesses in the UK has increased every year since the year 2000 and is expected to do so throughout the ‘20’s’. (GOV.UK, 2019)


“1 company is formed every minute in the UK”


Startup Funding Stats 

Startup funding or ‘capital’ is the money required to get a new company on its feet and turn an idea into a business. Startup funding can come from a variety of avenues such as personal savings, friends & family, loans, crowd funding and more.

  • 2017 was a record high year for UK startup funding (Beauhurst, 2019)
  • The total invested in UK startup companies dropped 15pc from £8.27 billion to £7 billion in 2018 amid Brexit fears (Beauhurst, 2019)
  • 82% of Startups used Self Funding to start their business (Institute of Directors, 2016)
  • 56% of Startups use self funding as their only source (Institute of Directors, 2016)
  • 74% of startups used just one source of funding to start their business (Institute of Directors, 2016)


“74% of startups used just one source of funding to start their business”


Startup Stats By Sector 

Startup statistics differ greatly by sector and it’s important to seek out industry specific figures when making predictions or forecasts. 

  • 99.9% of all private sector businesses in the UK are SMEs (GOV.UK, 2019)
  • 69% of service based businesses have a startup budget below £5,000 (Institute of Directors, 2016)
  • 67% of creative businesses have a startup budget below £5,000 (Institute of Directors, 2016)
  • 75% of recruitment companies have a startup budget over £10,000 (Institute of Directors, 2016)
  • 75% of finance businesses have a startup budget over £10,000 (Institute of Directors, 2016)


“99.9% of all private sector businesses in the UK are SMEs”


Startup Stats By Location 

Startup stats that focus on location tell a very interesting story about the current state of funding, entrepreneurship and wealth across different areas of the UK. As you’d expect, London is the home of the startup but is that changing?

  • London is above the national average for businesses, 1,563 businesses for every 10,000 adult residents (GOV.UK, 2019)
  • In the UK, there are 1,059 businesses per 10,000 residents (GOV.UK, 2019)
  • London (1.1 million) and the South East (940,000) had the most private sector businesses, accounting for 35% of the UK business population (GOV.UK, 2019)
  • The North East had the lowest private sector businesses of any English region with just 152,000 (GOV.UK, 2019)
  • One in three businesses are in London or the South East. (GOV.UK, 2019)


“One in three businesses are in London or the South East”


Owner Profile 

What does the standard small business owner in the UK look like and how does this differ to the rest of the world? Startup owner profile stats can highlight notable trends on age, race, gender, education and more.

  • The majority of UK entrepreneurs are in their 40’s (Startups)
  • Only 14% of UK SMEs are woman-led (Startups)
  • Just 11% of Startup owners have no educational qualifications (Startups)
  • Only 8% of UK small business employers are MEG-led; that is led by a member of a minority ethnic group (Startups)
  • Small businesses in London are more likely to be minority ethnic group-led, at 22%, compared to 8% overall. (Startups)
  • Over 95% of small business owners don’t have a basic understanding of how search engines work (Institute of Directors, 2016)


“Over 95% of small business owners don’t have a basic understanding of how search engines work”



Guide To Google Analytics Attribution Modelling

If you have a high average path length or are running campaigns at the top end of the marketing funnel (social media, display, PR) then you should be lookinat attribution closely and assessing the impact it is having on your results and therefore your decisions.

Finding Your Social Media Voice

When it comes to social media there are so many ideas and techniques out there to help your brand perform better. From post formatting to frequency and timing, there seems to be a lot of technicalities to social media marketing today.

Amongst all of these techniques it is important not to forget the main purpose of social media; to connect and engage with your customers. This is what makes your social media voice so important. In this post, we will explore how to establish an effective voice for your brand, and how you can use this to improve your social media strategy and increase engagement.

Think of your brand as if it were a person:

Don’t you hate it when you phone a call centre and you’re greeted by a lengthy automated voice message? Or those irritating automated marketing calls? People like talking to other people, not computers or robots, and this rule also applies when it comes to social media. Giving your brand an identity will make your audience feel more comfortable, meaning they are more likely to interact.

In order to humanise your brand, you can begin by asking yourself some questions about the kind of person it would be. The more detailed your brand persona is the better, but below are some questions to get you started:

  • What kind of personality would they have? (Try choosing your 3 most important personality traits)
  • What tone of voice would they use? (E.g. Friendly, authoritative, funny, casual, serious etc.)
  • What kind of relationship would they have with your audience? (E.g. Friend, coach, an inspiration/someone to aspire to, colleague etc.)
  • Who would be your brand’s celebrity mascot/s? (This is a good way of further visualising the persona of your brand and how you would like to be perceived)

Once you have developed a clear persona for your brand you should visualise this character in all of your social media posts. If it doesn’t fit the character, then don’t make the post!

Give people a reason to follow your brand:

People are constantly being marketed to, but they certainly don’t use social media just to look at ads. Competition is fierce, so you need to give consumers a reason to follow or like your page. Many businesses make the mistake of being overly promotional on social media, with profiles that look something like this:


Looking from an audience member’s perspective, would you really be interested in following a brand that constantly made posts like this? Probably not, right?  Of course, it is fine to post some promotional content; just make sure it is relevant, not too sales-heavy, and most importantly is of interest to your audience.  One brand that does this particularly well is Innocent. Their light-hearted and humorous tone is projected in all of their posts, even promotional:


In a case study interview with The Drum, Innocent Drinks social media team broke down how they promote their brand on social media:

Our team is split between ‘One To Many’, and ‘One To One’. ‘One To Many’ is our content creation – they’re the ones who get all the glory. ‘One To One’ covers our responses across social – both solving customer service queries and having a fun chat with the people who buy our stuff. 

We actually have a very in-depth strategy: chat nonsense all day. (…) it’s our day-to-day stuff – making consistently great posts that our core audience love. We don’t crowbar sales messages into every tweet. (…) We constantly reply to people. We try to have one-to-one interactions so good that they become one-to-many by writing replies that people want to share.

Your audience wants to feel like they matter, so be polite and make sure you respond to any interactions. Competitions are another great way of giving value to your audience whilst boosting engagement and expanding your social media presence.

Put yourself in your audience’s shoes:

You should already be aware of your business’s target audience and their interests, so the next step is to cater your social media content towards these interests. Make the most of analytics tools to see which posts your audience responds best to and tailor your future posts around this data.

Remember that social media is all about conversation, so give your audience something to talk about. Ask questions and encourage interactions – just one person talking positively about your brand can reach a multitude of potential new customers.

When posting content on social media your brand identity and consumer profiles should always be at the forefront of your mind.

Concluding thoughts:

Your social media voice may seem trivial at first, but getting it right truly can make such a difference for your brand.  Having a consistent and authentic voice allows your audience to really connect with your brand; they should almost feel like they know your brand as a person and will, therefore, be able to interact with you in that way. Engagement is key when it comes to social media success, so having an audience base that is willing to interact with your brand is invaluable.

Remember that building a recognisable social media presence will take time; so be patient, keep things consistent, let your personality shine through, and you’ll soon start seeing the rewards.

If you would like any further advice around finding your social media voice, or anything else related to social media management then please get in touch and we’d be happy to help.

The Ultimate Analytics Referral Spam List

Google Analytics is the most used tracking tool in the world. It’s used on almost half of the top 1,000,000 websites (as currently ranked by Alexa).

As a Digital Marketer or webmaster, it can be incredibly frustrating to open your Google Analytics reports and see huge increases in traffic to your site only to have to put the champagne on ice after you’ve dug a little deeper.

Realising that a load of the new referral traffic you have been receiving has come from spambots and not, in fact, genuine sites linking to you is both heartbreaking and incredibly frustrating!


Referral spam is the fake referral traffic that you get from ‘bots’ that crawl your website and perform a variety of repetitive tasks for a multitude of malicious reasons.

Not all bots out there are bad, take Google’s very own ‘Googlebot’ for example. Googlebot crawls the web to index websites and pages so they can accurately present them in their search engine results pages (SERPs).

block referral spam

Google’s Googlebot is good. It even has flowers.

However, you are going to want to stop the not-so-friendly bots from crawling your site and appearing in your Analytics data.

Not sure which ones I mean? Well I’ll come onto how you can spot the spammy sites that you need to block soon, but as a starter for 10, if you recognise any of these then I have bad news for you:


But do not fear, the majority of websites today are receiving referral spam on a regular basis and it’s a trend that has increased rapidly over the last couple of years. In fact, Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst, John Mueller, has admitted that Google know all about referral spam but have yet figured out a working solution!


The initial frustration you may have with referral spam is that it skews your, otherwise mostly reliable, Google Analytics data making any conclusions you take from the tracking software redundant.

Metrics based on sessions such as bounce rate and conversion rate will be hit and gleaning any valuable information becomes tricky. Although some of the less complex bots that crawl your site won’t affect your GA stats, they can still negatively impact on site performance.


I know right. Where has the humanity gone? Well, there are a variety of reasons they do it, and here’s just a few:

  • Boosting traffic stats – Advertisers will pay more money to sites that have a large number of regular visitors. These crawler programs can falsely inflate these numbers.
  • Click fraud – when a person or program clicks a PPC ad with the sole attention of wasting the advertiser’s budget rather than purchasing the advertised product or service.
  • Harvesting emails – to then sell on to 3rd parties for bulk email campaigns.
  • Scraping web content – to repurpose or feign as their own content.
  • Spreading viruses – many of the sites that appear in your reports are loaded with malware and when you unwittingly visit them your device will get infected.
  • Lead generation – unbelievably, some companies do it for lead generation although why anyone would purchase from such an unethical business is beyond me!



Well, as I mentioned earlier, there is no definitive solution to referral spam but there are effective workarounds. Whilst Google themselves tell you to use the ‘Referral Exclusion List’ to block the spam, this is not the ideal technique; and here’s why:

Using the Referral Exclusion List to attempt to block spammy websites coming up as referrals in your Google Analytics reports is dangerous as it merely records the traffic as direct rather than excluding it completely.

What we and many other reputable sources recommend is using ‘custom filters’. Here’s how:

1. Head over to Google Analytics and sort your ‘Referral Traffic’ by ‘Bounce Rate’. It’s fairly safe to assume that any site that has 0% or 100% bounce rate, with at least 15-20 sessions, is spam.

2. If you’re unsure then check it against our ‘Ultimate Referral List’ at the bottom of this page.

3. Can’t find it in our list? consider searching the site in a search engine to see what other people are saying about it. Remember to be incredibly cautious when choosing whether or not to visit the site as we already know that a lot of these sites are harmful.

4. Now you have your final list, block them with ‘custom filters’

spam referral list

When you’ve selected the account you desire, click the ‘Admin’ tab

domains spam referral

Select ‘All Filters’

ghost referral spam list

Click the big red ‘+ Add Filter’ button

spam referrers list

Enter the spammy URL’s as you see them entered in this example, select ‘All Website Data’ from the ‘Available Views’ box and click ‘Save’.

Bear in mind that there’s a 255 character limit for each filter so you will only manage to get 10 or so spam domains in each one. Although it can be time-consuming to keep adding to your
filters, this currently the best fix and is definitely worth doing.


The Current 128 Domain Strong Referral Spam List

Which Social Media Platforms Work Best for Different Businesses?

To be a thriving business in today’s world, you need to have a compelling presence on a variety of platforms.

Some social media sites may suit companies within certain business sectors more than others – and your audience may engage with and show interest in some profiles more than others. In this blog post we will take a look at a handful of image-based social media platforms to see how they are being used:


This photo-sharing website allows companies to be creative with what they share and their content should be high quality, interesting and original imagery. Hashtags are vital when posting on Instagram. Users will then be able to find your posts in the billions of photos posted every day. Companies within the following sectors tend to be popular on this platform:


Instagram is a place where people can share everything that they get up to in their everyday lives, especially when it comes to what they eat. Users love seeing photos of food that they can try out the recipe for themselves or would just like to try. Restaurants can use this platform to share photos of their tasty looking meals. This type of business should also take advantage of the popular food hashtags such as #foodporn and #foodie. A good example of a restaurant that is using Instagram to best effect is Pizza Hut:



The travel industry can use Instagram as a promotional tool to great effect. Airlines, cruise lines and holiday travel companies can share photos of destinations to entice users to book through them. British Airways and Airbnb are examples of travel companies that we think are using the social media platform to great advantage:

blog 3


Pinterest is a social media platform that can be useful for various business industries to promote and sell services/products as well as keep up-to-date with the current trends in their area. For some types of businesses Pinterest may hold the most potential to engage and interest consumers. The platform is ideal for planning and ideas and therefore perfect for any businesses or users that are preparing, designing or organising anything. Here’s what businesses we have found work best on Pinterest:

Event Planners/Venues

Venues that can be hired for occasions such as weddings and those who plan events can effectively be promoted on Pinterest. Users can use this platform as a way of planning their own event and collecting their ideas. Venues or planners can create boards around photos of the venue or work done as well as boards regarding other related aspects. For instance wedding venues can provide inspiration for other areas of the big day such as dresses, food, ideas etc. This helps potential customers gain ideas for their own events and envision themselves at a venue.

Here’s a wedding venue and wedding planner that we think are using Pinterest well:

blog 4

blog 5


Fashion is a sector that receives a large amount of engagement in the form of likes and repins. Photos are pinned based on fashion-related topics such as outfit inspiration. The online fashion retailer ASOS is one business that is using Pinterest to its full potential. With their 412.8k followers and only 42 boards, their approach to this platform and ultimately promoting their products are extremely successful.


Interior Design

Interior design is something that requires planning. Therefore, Pinterest is the perfect microsite to be on for any interior design business. As well as post inspiration for homes, businesses in this sector can convey the newest trends available and how their products/services can recreate this look. It also allows interior designers to create an online portfolio for their work and target potential customers.

UK homewares brand Dunelm have managed to take advantage of the many users on Pinterest interested in interior design. They have individual themes for each board with their products and inspiring photos pinned to each. Each board is very simple but effective.

blog 2


Tumblr is a platform where branding can really be promoted to full effect. A company can promote their brand through not only their Tumblr posts but also their page design. One company that has a consistent and visually-effective brand image on Tumblr is Coca-Cola:


Companies should try to fit in and appeal to the Tumblr community when having a presence on this social media site. It is important to use hashtags on Tumblr so that your posted content can be found. Users on Tumblr also like to share images in GIF format which, when done well, can also work for companies. Coca-Cola, Nike Women and Disney use these effectively to create eye-catching and interesting profiles.

Company sectors that seem to perform best on this platform in terms of gaining the most interest and engagement include:


Users on Tumblr use it as a way of gaining inspiration for what to wear. Retailers Topshop and Adidas are two brands that are using the social media site well. Brands are able to use social media as way of displaying their products to their audience almost as if it were a shop window.

topshopPageBreak-1 (1)

With the young and individual audience on Tumblr there are not necessarily any particular rules or types of things that a business should be posting to gain interest. Therefore this is a social media platform that allows for creativity and more risks to be taken. Humour is one thing that seems to go a long way on Tumblr. This and posts providing some real inspiration seem to work best.

If your business is in one of the sectors mentioned within this list, it is essential to be present on the social media platform most relevant in order to compete and take advantage of having your target audience in one place. If not, your company should still have these profiles but it may just be a slighter different or smaller user base that you are targeting.

If you would like to help with getting your business noticed on social media, get in touch with us today.

Google Choose The Top 30 UK Digital Agencies

We interview Robert Craven about his work with Google, and can reveal the full list of the 30 best digital agencies in the UK.

The 30 agencies come in all shapes and sizes and from across all areas of Great Britain. Common features of the agencies selected include a commitment to invest in staff development, and a positioning at the cutting edge of Google products. Robert was able to reveal more detail:

“Google selected the top 30 using factors such as; current high performance in their field, and having demonstrated the most potential to develop to the next stage of their growth. – Robert Craven.”

As part of the program, we schedule calls with Robert where he asks probing questions and gets to the root of the challenges that we currently face.

At the end of our phone call we turned the questioning on its head and took the opportunity to ask Robert a few questions of our own. His answers are eye-opening!

We interview Robert Craven about his work with Google, and can reveal the full list of the 30 best digital agencies in the UK.

The 30 agencies come in all shapes and sizes and from across all areas of Great Britain. Common features of the agencies selected include a commitment to invest in staff development, and a positioning at the cutting edge of Google products. Robert was able to reveal more detail:

Google selected the top 30 using factors such as; current high performance in their field, and having demonstrated the most potential to develop to the next stage of their growth. – Robert Craven.

As part of the program, we schedule calls with Robert where he asks probing questions and gets to the root of the challenges that we currently face.

At the end of our phone call we turned the questioning on its head and took the opportunity to ask Robert a few questions of our own. His answers are eye-opening!


An Interview with Robert Craven

Hello Robert, now it’s time for us to ask you some questions.
Fire away.

Firstly, can you tell me about your work with Google?
My current work with Google is to lead a program designed specifically to help 30 high potential digital agencies transition to the next stage in their growth. The program is a bit like a market stall where the agencies can come and take from it to match their individual needs. I then individually engage with those business to help springboard them to the next level.

If all of the top 30 agencies could improve in one dimension, what would it be?
I’ve got a short answer and long answer.

The short answer is put up their prices. The reason that I say this is because it means you can create better quality work and it will allow you to work with people who truly value what you are doing. You can deliver a concierge service rather than a commodity product. It also separates you from the masses. There are thousands of reasons to put up prices. All the agencies on the programme are probably undercharging for their work.

The long answer is that you’re asking the wrong question! It’s the wrong question because there are three dimensions for all agencies to improve on.

Ok then, if all of the top 30 agencies could improve in three dimensions, what would they be?
1) Where the heck is my business going? Also known as strategy.
2) How on earth are we going to sell this stuff? Also known as marketing.
3) Why can’t we get on together better? Also known as teams and people. If you talk to a “normal” agency that simply plods along, they wake up every morning, open up their inbox, and work from that. They won’t have a marketing strategy; they simply take any work that comes in.

So how did Google select the top 30 agencies to work with in 2016?
They were selected from an original pool of Google Partners. Google selected the top 30 using factors such as; current high performance in their field, and having demonstrated the most potential to develop to the next stage of their growth. If you want more detail you’ll have to ask someone at Google, because I didn’t select you!

Good to know! Final question; you’re helping us to form a 3-year plan. What does your 3-year plan look like?
Very ambitious. We are switching from a ‘best kept secret’ model to a ‘high value adding’ program. This is based on a 2 year scaling strategy. We’ll be using the same systems, programmes and tools across the organisation, to deliver the same level of results.

It’s been a pleasure Robert, thanks for your time.


Below you can find the complete list of the top 30 digital agencies in the UK as chosen by Google. Take a look at what they do below and make sure to follow these market leaders on Twitter!



“Intelligent Education Marketing Solutions”



“London-based digital marketing agency. 12 Years of SEO, PPC, Display Advertising, Social Media & Mobile Marketing expertise.”



“Anicca are a leading  agency based in Leicester, UK. Specialists in search, social and paid. “




“Hello! We are a multilingual & award-winning PPC experts. We create, manage and fine tune your Search & Social Media PPC campaigns so you get the most out of them”




“We’re an online marketing company and Google Partner that help our clients be excellent. We mostly tweet industry news and other things we find interesting.”



London & Norwich

“Fountain is a  digital agency that offers effective online lead generation through Evidence-Based Marketing”




“Digital Marketing Agency offering SEO, social media marketing, PPC and more. Follow us for digital marketing tips and advice, or call us on 0115 948 0123.”



Suffolk, London & Yorkshire

“WebDesign And Marketing Company. We Specialise In Providing ,, & To A Variety Of Clients Locally & Worldwide”



London & Southampton

“Koozai Ltd are a leading UK Digital Marketing Agency based in London and Southampton. Specialists in SEO, PPC, Social Media and Reputation Management.”




“Full service  agency – Strategy and services to help your brand shine and grow through inbound customers”




“Vibrant Welsh digital marketing agency offering search engine optimisation (SEO), pay per click advertising (PPC), copywriting & social media marketing.”




“Digital Marketing Director”




“Specialists in   and great looking, converting business websites! Please get in touch for a free quote.”



Cornwall, Devon & Somerset

“Google Partner & Online Advertising Agency for SME’s. Focused on Digital Marketing for the best results. 



United Kingdom & Australia

“An independent digital media agency specialising in Affiliate Marketing, Media Planning & Buying, Paid Search & Social Media. IPA accredited.”




“Pay-per-Sale Search Engine Marketing innovators with a world-class Adwords management system”




“Pop Creative is a friendly Design Agency based in Shropshire specialising in Digital Media, Web Design, Web Management, SEO & Printing.”




“The PPC Agency That Keeps You Ahead Focused on targeted traffic that converts to sales/leads.”



Bedfordshire & London

“UK based Digital Marketing Consultancy experts in SEO, PPC, Social Media, Link Building & Content. Super nice Tweeters.”



Bristol, London & Monmouth

“A Paid Search & SEO agency – Genuine expertise with a friendly face! We’re also a Google Partner.”



Manchester & London

“We’re an award winning digital marketing agency. At Return on Digital, return isn’t just an end goal, it’s an all-consuming passion. 



Ashford & London

“Award winning digital agency providing solutions to UK and International based clients to develop, promote and champion their brands!”




“Lincolnshire based digital marketing agency, experts in &. Talking , and the future of .”



Manchester & Preston

“Award-winning digital marketing agency combining commercial thinking with technical brilliance in web design & dev, search marketing, and lead generation.”




“We are the full package when it comes to. Follow for tweets on & news. Based on Lower Park Row.”




“Edinburgh-based digital marketing agency. Marketing nous meets digital geekery. Channel agnostic, we bend digital to client objectives.”



Glasgow & London

“We spend our days creating digital strategies, websites, microsites, mobile apps, digital marketing strategies & learning all there is to know about the web!”




“Stay ahead of competitors with our Digital Updates and Resources. We are a Digital Marketing and Web Design Agency specialising in Ecommerce Site Development.”




“A real-time bidding media services & technology company.”

The Quick Guide To Merging Multiple Facebook Pages

Company Facebook pages are a great way to boost your brand awareness and interact with customers on a personal level. Ensuring that your brand is well represented on this social media platform should be a focus and users need to be given a reason to follow your brand. When doing this you may be managing multiple Facebook pages. However, this can be time consuming and difficult to do so.

Google’s Top 3 Ranking Factors

We have long wondered “how does google rank search results!?” and now we know! Google have kept pretty quiet about how they rank websites and SEO website … Moz even runs a Search Engine Ranking Factors survey with their latest being from 2015.

What Factors Affect Organic Facebook Reach?

As I’m sure most people are all too aware of, achieving organic Facebook reach for your business is now harder than ever. There are many rumours surrounding… the subject, but are they all true?

How we increased Shoe Zone’s AdWords ROI by 196% in just one month

Today, we’ll show you step-by-step how Limelight Digital helped Shoe Zone plc to achieve the best AdWords returns in its history.

Online shoe retail is a highly competitive space. Large shoe retailers bid against each other to appear at the top of Google’s popular searches for specific phrases. Direct competitors for Shoe Zone’s search phrases include; Asda, Debenhams, Next, Schuh, Monsoon and many more. Each company has to carefully manage their advertising spend to ensure it provides a strong ROI.

This is a common situation for many of our clients at Limelight Digital We use all our experience and knowledge (as accredited Google Partners) to find the best solution.

In this case study, we’ll show you EXACTLY how we achieved an increased ROI by 196%, step-by-step.

So, how did Limelight Digital almost double Shoe Zone’s AdWords ROI in November 2015?

In June 2015, Shoe Zone’s AdWords were converting at 2 x ROI, essentially this means that for every £1 of Google advertising cost, Shoe Zone made £2 in additional revenue.

Shoe Zone calculated that to achieve financial targets it required a 3 x ROI.  In this competitive space, that level of increase is not an easy challenge.

Using our expertise, in November we tripled the 2 x ROI they were typically achieving, increasing it to a 6 x ROI. The client was, of course, thrilled.

And here’s how we did it….

Step 1 – Identify the best placement for adverts

From June to October we optimised adverts in the highly competitive bidding at the top of search results. We saw month on month small gains by doing this.

However, the huge stepped change (196% in one month) occurred in November, so what did we do?

We identified Google’s Shopping campaigns as a more appropriate placement, with the following benefits:

  • Lower cost per click
  • An image of the shoes appears in search results
  • A higher conversion rate to buy (once visitors land on the website)

Here’s an example of how Google’s Shopping adverts appear:

Step 2 – Optimise keywords for campaigns

Google Shopping campaigns work quite differently from normal AdWords campaigns. Normally, we define the keywords to target and write our own titles and descriptions for the adverts. However, Google Shopping automatically selects product titles and descriptions directly from the website. In theory, this should make it easier to set up.

However, to maximise ROI, product titles and descriptions must be re-written to appear in search results and increase website conversion.

To achieve this we worked closely with Shoe Zone to edit custom labels to create helpful descriptions which are in line with how their target audience search and buy.

Here’s an example of the finished advert – all content is provided from the product titles and description information, hosted on the Shoe Zone website.

Step 3 – Targeting a specific audience

Shoe Zone has over 10,000 SKU’s on its website, we are able to target specific shoe types to maximise ROI. To achieve this, we replicated the website structure into the product feed so we can filter what we are targeting down to individual product types.

Filters include:

  • gender
  • types of shoes
  • season
  • limited stock/ plenty of stock
  • in sale/ not in sale
  • increase conversion rate

We can also filter out certain SKU’s. For example, if the product is flagged as ‘limited distribution’. This ensures Shoe Zone does not waste marketing spend on SKU’s that are unavailable.


By optimising Google Shopping campaigns we were able to almost double Shoe Zone’s ROI in just one month.

This case study requires the following health warning:

Not all e-commerce websites respond to Google Shopping in the same way, but with our skill and experience, you will see improvements.

We’ve been in the digital marketing industry for long enough to know that all businesses are unique and need bespoke solutions.

Unlike most agencies, Limelight Digital spends time to continually optimising AdWords accounts to achieve business objectives. As accredited Google Partners we learn about new Google products before the majority of other agencies and have a superb team of qualified Google professionals on hand to work closely with you through every step of the campaign.

If you are interested in taking your PPC account to the next level, call the team on 01509 631 136 or email [email protected] and let’s chat about your ambitions and how we can help.