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UK startups that created the biggest buzz in 2014

2 minute read

Quickly building excitement around your small business can be a key driver towards success. With this in mind, we’ve taken a closer look at a handful of UK-based startups that managed to create a good deal of buzz last year to see how their example could help you.

We’ve taken startups.co.uk’s top 100 list from 2014 and scored each startup based on social shares, visitors, mentions and more. Here are the top 10 results:

  1. Reviveaphone
  2. LatestFreeStuff.co.uk
  3. Hiring-Hub.com
  4. GoGroopie
  5. Eyetease Media
  6. Q App
  7. A-Star Sports
  8. Buyapowa
  9. Lovework
  10. PleaseCycle

Which businesses made the cut?

Startups.co.uk’s 2014 top 100 heavily featured food and drink, ecommerce, advertising, mobile and recruitment-based small businesses.

However, it’s not surprising to see new advertising companies taking up half the spots in our top 10, the likelihood being that they’d put their own best practises to the test. Recruitment firms took up 20% of our list and did particularly well at creating visitor growth.

Which marketing strategy is more successful?

Judging by the low number of social shares gained but the high level of branded searches registered in Google for each of these small business websites, we can assume startups prefer to lean on offline marketing strategies, such as PR activity, to get new customers’ attention.

For those that chose to adopt online marketing strategies most pumped their time and money into Facebook (40% of online investment). Only one business spent budget on paid search and even then was only running a small campaign.

How are .co.uk domain businesses fairing?

From an SEO standpoint, .co.uk domains are going strong. Despite the fact that only a third of our top 10 are .uk, they gathered over 40% of the total Google+ shares and over 80% when we look at the original top 100.

Want to be part of the entrepreneurship buzz this year? Then make sure your startup gets noticed with the help of our top tips for boosting website traffic.

Share your opinions and join the digital discussions on Twitter @dotuk andGoogle+.


Figure 1. List of startups that have created the most buzz in 2014

Startup Rank Alexa rank Industry
Reviveaphone 1 699,560 Phone accessory product
LatestFreeStuff.co.uk 2 116,212 Lead gen / vouchers site
Hiring-Hub.com 3 714,398 Recruitment
GoGroopie 4 37,496 Group buying
Eyetease Media 5 10,145,958 Advertising agency
Q App 6 3,620,866 Ticketing sales platform
A-Star Sports 7 8,353,236 Sports coaching aggregator
Buyapowa 8 866,157 Social sales platform
Lovework 9 7,714,828 Recruitment
PleaseCycle 10 3,175,230 Cycling app

Figure 2. Social shares found per startup

Startup Rank Total social shares
Reviveaphone 1 361
LatestFreeStuff.co.uk 2 195
Hiring-Hub.com 3 171
GoGroopie 4 1,159
Eyetease Media 5 60
Q App 6 28
A-Star Sports 7 920
Buyapowa 8 1,429
Lovework 9 84
PleaseCycle 10 178

Figure 3. Estimated investment into online marketing channels

Channel % of found traffic % investment we expect
Paid search 0%
FB likes 20% 12%
Tweets 14% 8%
FB shares 41% 48%
G+ 18% >21%
LinkedIn 7% 12%
Pinterest 0% 0%

Figure 4. How the .co.uk domains compare with G+’s

  % of total domains  
Segment .com .co.uk .co.uk share of G+’s
Top 10 70% 30% 43%
Top 100 66% 31% 80%

A collection of articles written collaboratively by members of the UK Domain Team.

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