VantagePoint Marketing Google My Business Theme

Google My Business Websites


Should you build a free Google My Business Website?

Google My Business Websites are on the rise, and the question is- Should you build one? Google officially launched its Website Builder within Google My Business to help small businesses easily create websites, especially for those who don’t yet own their own website.

According to a Google My Business Help thread on Tuesday, June 13, 2017:

One of the most common actions people take when exploring a Google listing is to go to the website, but we know that getting a website can still be a challenge for a lot of small business owners around the world: too complex, too expensive, too time consuming. Millions of small businesses (60% of small businesses globally) don’t yet have a website. It is a free tool that allows small business owners to create a simple, striking website in just a few minutes. It’s easy, and you can create and edit your new website from your computer or your phone!

First, let’s look back at how free website builders have been discussed as being counterintuitive to your online marketing goals. We’ve discussed the many reasons before why you should never use a free website builder.

  • Rented, Not Owned
  • Limited Pages, Limited Data
  • Poor Analytics
  • Poor First Impressions
  • Design Quality
  • Mobile Friendly
  • Responsive Programming
  • No Branding
  • Advertisements
  • No Support

And so on. So what’s different here?
What makes a Google My Business website so special?

Well, let’s begin with the obvious. It’s provided by Google. Every day, Google is providing new ways to improve their search engine results. With as fast as new websites are being added to the crazy-fast digital highways of the internet, Google needs you to provide as many breadcrumbs as possible to find their way back to you. This Google My Business Website is another one of those crumbs.

Unlike the other free website builders, this is a page designed to enhance your search engine optimization efforts. It is crazy simple to set it up, and offers direct opportunity to get your optimized content listed with the world’s most popular search engine.

The Test Drive

We were excited to give the new Google My Business website designer a shot when it was released in 2017. As a website design company, we’ve rolled with a number of Google’s design interface changes and were curious what to expect from the experience. It took just a few minutes to get going and with a little copy+paste action from our actual website, the new page was ready!

Take a look at our Google My Business Website

The results?
It was so easy, there’s no reason NOT to do it!


Up-to-Date Information

We’d all love it if our clients and customers direct-dialed our website when they needed to reference our information. But the reality is that Google is most likely the first source of your business information for your audience. Whenever you update your contact information, operational hours or location, your Google My Business website is automatically updated for you. Bam, your information is streamlined along the first points of reference by those searching for you.

Website Design Costs

IT’S A FREE WEBSITE DESIGNER! That part is totally true. There are no costs to design the website or future costs for hosting the website. However, if you would like a custom domain (such as, you will have to purchase a domain through Google domains at a minimal cost.

If you already have a website design you’re marketing with, you won’t need another custom domain and can use the Google provided URL to promote the page. But if this is your only website for the time being and you want to market this page, we strongly recommend a custom URL that is memorable for your audience. It’s worth the cost.

Website Builder Features

  • Free Website Builder- It’s Free!
  • Custom Domains Available.
  • Responsive Website Designs
  • Mobile-Friendly, yay.
  • Automatic Content Updates
  • Manage from Mobile
  • Market with Google AdWords

Note that you need to have a verified listing on Google My Business to use the website builder. If you don’t have a Google My Business Profile yet, or need assistance with managing your online presence, contact us today for your free consultation.

How to Build a Website with Google My Business

First, add your business profile and get verified, if you haven’t already. VantagePoint Marketing Google My Business Profile


Next, you’ll be prompted to start your free website with Google.

Google My Business Website Builder

Once you’ve entered Google’s Website Builder, there are four easy steps from here until your finished website:

  1. Theme: Each theme has a different heading font style and color combination to help customize the website design closest to your company’s brand identity. We went with the Nouveau theme for our page.

VantagePoint Marketing Google My Business Theme

2. Edit- This is where you get to share the fun details! Be concise and direct with your audience. Aligning your digital marketing and SEO with Google’s best practices is always your best bet for traffic. Include a bulleted summary of who you are or what you do. This is your elevator pitch, and the clock is ticking.

VantagePoint Marketing Content Development


3. Photos- This is the fun part! Make your website look as beautiful as your best images by uploading graphics that speak to your brand and service. Show off your latest projects and share an update team photo. This is the visual connection from your audience into who you are. Lacking on imagery that speaks for you? We’re happy to help you with an afforable onsite photo shoot with our photographer or custom graphic designs to enhance your brand.

Google My Business Website Adding Photos

4- Settings- Here’s a few more opportunities for your online marketing efforts.

  1. Your Site Address: You can take what Google suggests, or write your own GMB website address. You can customize the GMB url, but this will not give you a custom domain. (See next step)
  2. Buy Domain: Now THIS is the plave you can purchase to advertize your new Google My Business website with.
  3. Publish Website: Encouraging words, aren’t they? Yes, it was that simple, my friend. We’re almost there.
  4. Site Language: Set your website’s default language for your target audience.
  5. Promote with AdWords: Marketing Strategists a callYour website is ready to market and Google has amazing Pay-Per-Click options to help you. Haven’t built a Google Ad Campaign before? Give our to ask about our PPC Management.
  6. Contact Details: The rest of the information, including your operational hours and contact info, is already populated from your Google My Business Profile. How handy!

Thoughts from Your Local Website Designer

How well does this website builder hold up to SEO best practices? We have a few thoughts:


  1. Easy to use.
  2. Nice, clean design.
  3. Mobile-Friendly.
  4. Optimized Images.
  5. Linkable Content.
  6. Includes Google Map.
  7. Includes Business Hours.
  8. Keyword Suggestions for Headers Available.
  9. Page Analytics let us know who has been here.

If this were your main website, we have a number of concerns.

  1. Single-page structure. One page is pretty limiting for providing content and encouraging a viewer to explore. The bounce-rate for these pages are likely very high (not a good thing).
  2. Call-to-Actions opportunities are lacking. Typical website designs offer multiple chances to encourage your visitor to engage with your website, which simply isn’t an option with this builder.
  3. Lacks Social Media sharing buttons. This is a bummer. Social media can play a big role in SEO, connecting you to your target audience through their favorite internet channels- Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more.
  4. SEO Opportunities: This website builder doesn’t allow for structured data markup, alt text for images, custom page titles or meta descriptions. If that was a bunch of jargon to you, that’s okay. We can help. If you understood what we’re saying, you know how limiting that is for your SEO efforts.

However, if this is (which we hope) a step toward boosting your SEO for your current website, those negatives really don’t apply. Free SEO is Free SEO, especially when it’s this simple and effective. So, should a small business owner build a website with Google My Business Website Builder? In short, yes.

While we wouldn’t recommend it as a stand-alone website for most small businesses, we do recommend it as an SEO booster. In our opinion, every small business deserves to own their own website which is why we’re designed with a per-minute billing system to provide website designs on any budget.

Your Website is the Car. The Internet is the Highway. And SEO is the Fuel.™

The vehicle you drive online matters. While the Google My Business website builder is a fantastic SEO tool to boost your optimized content online, it may not be enough for your small business. Still not sure? Call 612.444.2211 for a no-obligation consultation about your online presence.


VantagePoint Marketing- Anoka, Minnesota
Rocky Borchardt
Founder/Creative Director

VantagePoint Marketing Makes Anoka Home.

Seeing It from Anoka’s VantagePoint.

Now that our team has been in our Anoka office for over two years; we thought it was time to tell everyone the reasons why we decided to move to here in the first place. The atmosphere. The history. Anoka IS “The Halloween Capital of the World”. The AMAZING community. Plus, Anoka is just FUN!

Anoka’s atmosphere is perfect for website designers like us! The energy of the city and the people are what keeps us motivated and energized. Anoka is a citwebsite designer minneapolis, mny full of energy, and boy does it sure give us plenty of it! The artistic side of Anoka is what keeps inspired. Inspiration can be one of the most difficult challenges we face as designers, but Anoka hasn’t disappointed us. Some parts give ideas for rustic designs and other parts help us with modern designs.

The history of Anoka is unbelievable! As we looked more into Anoka as a possible location, we fell in love with the story it had. “The two rivers, Rum and Mississippi, played an integral part in Anoka’s settlement. Father Lewis Hennepin first visited this area in 1680 and settlers came to stay in 1844. Prior to the 1800’s, the area surrounding Anoka was claimed by the Dakota, but later the Ojibwa pushed the Dakota westward across the Mississippi. The territory of Anoka then became a neutral ground between the two tribes. The name Anoka was derived from two Indian words, the Dakota word A-NO-KA-TAN-HAN meaning on both sides of the river, and the Ojibwa word ON-O-KAY, meaning working waters…” to read more, click here!

Anoka has been named “The Halloween Capital of the World” since it is believed that it held the world’s first Halloween Celebration in 1920. October is filled with parades, contests, a pancake breakfast, and so much more! Anoka loves Halloween so much that it even has its own website at, which was done by us of course!

We LOVE the community of Anoka. When searching for a property, we knew that we wanted a city that we could be very involved with. VantagePoint Marketing, LLC. loves to volunteer and give back to our community. We loved the idea of a community being able to come together and have fun!

When the work is done, there are plenty of things to do! Over the years we have learned that breaks in between working is a necessity for us and our employees. So when we were searching for a new location; we knew that we wanted a place that offered TONS to do! From the Lyric Arts Main Street Stage to Green Haven Golf Course and even the Rum River. The restaurants here are dwebsite designer minneapolis, mnelicious too! If we are in the mood for some Tex-Mex, bring your smiles over to Casa Rio for a treat. After a long day at work we all just want a drink; well except for Kenzie! And there just happens to be many restaurant and bar combinations around us; 201 Tavern, Serums Anoka, Billy’s Bar & Grill and MacGilucuddy’s. Who doesn’t love a cup of coffee in the morning? As web designers we couldn’t get through the day without it. Thankfully Avant Garden has amazing coffee!

So there you have it, now you know why we decided to move VantagePoint Marketing, LLC. to Anoka! We knew we couldn’t pass up all the amazing things Anoka had to offer. And the rest is history…



Do Not Buy a Website | Without These 7 Questions

Do NOT Buy a Website Without Being Asked These 7 Questions

Congratulations! You’ve decided to take a trip down the information super highway. You’ve packed your bags and know where you want to go, but you’re just not sure where to turn or how you’ll get there. So you decide to turn to the experts for direction: A Local Website Designer.

It’s true that your website will be the “car” that drives you through the world wide web. So your website designer is your “car dealer”, for lack of a better term.  Now the question is: Which car dealer do you choose? Some will talk fast enough to make your head spin, utilizing the high-pressure technique. Others will charm you with technological facts, big promises, and big words. -So how do you decide who to buy a website from?

SIMPLE. Make sure your car dealer (website designer) cares about YOU and your goals- and cares enough to ask the following questions:


1. Before You Buy a Website: Can you tell me about your website content?

Your website designer should need to know more than just WHAT content you have or where it will come from.  Your website designer should be digging deeper when you’re ready to buy a website:

  • How often will you be updating when you buy your website?
  • WHY are you updating your content?
  • WHO will be updating the website content?
  • WHO do you want to see that you’ve updated the content? -Current clients, potential customers, your employees, your affiliates?

These questions should result in a full conversation, leading to the true goals you want to come from when you buy a website. Your website, like a car, needs to be maintained. You could just park it, but it won’t bring you anywhere. So if you want to still be travelling, not only at high speeds, but also stay in the right direction, you’ll want to keep your website running in tip top shape.  Your website content should have a strategic plan that is customized to your goals.


2. Before You Buy a Website: Do you plan to blog?

You might be familiar with how popular blogging is these days, even if you’re not sure why. Before you buy a website, you should know you want one! When you buy a website, your website designer should be digging deeper into your blogging plans:

  • You want to blog: Who will be writing the blogs?
  • What problem are you hoping to solve with your blog?
  • What topics do you plan to tackle with your blog?
  • Who do you want to see the blog, and why do they want to read yours?

Blogging can really help any website keep running, but this area also deserves a detailed strategy. It isn’t about the technology that provides you with the ability to blog. It’s about what your blog will do for your viewers, and in turn, for you.


3. Before You Buy a Website: Do you need an e-commerce solution?

If your company sells products, you’ll likely get a shopping cart when you buy a website. Again, this is an opportunity for a web designer to spout off a ton of technological options that will meet your needs. They can set up a great shopping cart with bells and whistles, and get you prepared to sell.  …but how will you get the sales? With e-commerce websites, it is VERY important that your website designer dig deeper.

  • What types of products are you selling?
  • Who is your target market?
  • Are you open to wholesale options?
  • How many have you sold already, and with what kind of profit?

E-Commerce SEO efforts require a strategy and plan that is specific to the product, company, competitors, and marketing budget. Don’t buy a website without your web designer knowing the ins and outs of your product, target market, and goals.


4. Before You Buy a Website: What makes your company, service, or product different from your competition?

Almost any good local website designer will ask this question. But it’s what they do with the answer that decipher’s their potential to really help your website fly down the information super highway.

  • Is their story worth of a press release?
  • Are the products the right fit for providing samples in exchange for reviews?

There are countless ways for you to benefit from your answer to this question. Your website designer should keep asking questions, knowing it will help design the path of efforts to bring traffic to your website.


5. Before You Buy a Website: What problem does your company, service, or product solve?

Again, the answer to this will truly help sculpt the strategy and long term plan to drive traffic to your website. Your website designer might ask this question, too. But perhaps this is when YOU should ask them questions in return:

  • As the website designer, how does this information affect our website layout?
  • How does this information change your plan for SEO for our website?


6. Before You Buy a Website: Aah, Social Media?

This is an important set of questions.

  • How many social media accounts to you have?  Types and for how long?
  • How much experience do you have with utilizing social media to produce a following?
  • Who will be posting for you and how often?
  • Can you find the balance of posting various types of media to keep your audience?
  • What is your budget for paid social media advertising?

Social media is a fantastic avenue to use as fuel for your website, if you know how to use it. Your website designer could simply tell you that social media is a plus and encourage you to do it. But without knowing your skill level and the time you have to dedicate to it, your website designer is likely missing out on a vital opportunity.


7. Before You Buy a Website: Will you be recording your website’s results?

When you buy a website, you should know how it’s performing! There are a lot of analytic reporting options that can be thrown at you when you buy a website, but deciphering the data can be confusing, overwhelming, and time consuming. Your website designer is aware of this! Does your website designer care that you are kept up in the loop?  They do if they ask the following:

  • Have you ever viewed a website analytic report before?
  • Which portions of analytic reporting are most important to you?
  • At which point (positive and negative) do you want to take action based on analytic reporting?

With a full online marketing company, you can receive analytic reports that are customized to the information that is important to YOU and will help you make decisions on how to move forward with your online marketing efforts. Hiring a local online marketing company that offers comprehensive online marketing plans will offer many additional benefits, turning your new website into real a lead generating tool.

When you buy a website, it’s not just about you doing your homework. It’s about THEM doing THEIR homework about you, your company, your service, and your product. If they aren’t willing to do their homework regarding you and your goals, they likely aren’t as invested as you deserve. Best bet, look for a local online marketing company so you can utilize their full range of online services. 

Give the VantagePoint Marketing Group a call before you buy a website: Get your free consultation. Tell them about your dreams and fears. Tell them secrets. Take up their time. Do what you gotta do to get their attention before you buy a website, because VantagePoint Marketing Group services are designed for small business owners, like you!

Small Business Marketing vs. Small Town Marketing

Small towns across our Nation are populated with hard-working Americans living the dream. While every small town tends to share the same timeless appeal, they aren’t easy to label. They are unique with character, history, and culture. Some small towns are busy, rich with pride and history. They are often responsible for the growth of the larger communities surrounding them. Other small towns are newer with a community appeal and a much different list of perks. But for every small town, one thing rings true: Small Business Marketing is different in small towns.

Common Small Business Marketing practices include paying attention to your competitor and staying one step ahead. Keeping an eye on your competitor’s prices, service list, target markets, and company progression can be key to daily growth. Your online marketing, B2B marketing, and network marketing efforts are designed specific for your service, product, and company as a stand-alone entity. As a standard small business, these practices are effective and efficient, and applauded! Still, they aren’t enough in a small town.


Small Town Marketing is Community Marketing.

Small Businesses who choose a small town for their home have an ADDITIONAL marketing opportunity: SMALL TOWN MARKETING.

Small Town Example A is a historic town. The Downtown area is small, but busy with consistent daily professionals from the county courthouse. The area is swimming with small offices with lawyers, insurance agencies, and realtors. Main Street is adorned with grand old buildings with interesting historic stories, now home to antique stores, apparel boutiques, cafes, and hobby shops.

Small Town Example B is larger, but still operates as a community of it’s own. The outskirts of the area are continually changing and growing, offering larger retail chain options for shopping, dining, hotels, and perhaps a University. The Downtown/Uptown area is defined, hosting the smaller cafes and restaurants, shops, and tourist and daily attractions.

Small Town A

for instance, is home to a number of antique shops located within a few short and walkable blocks from each other. Small Business Marketing practices keep track of the competitors, and focus on what you can do better: Better service, better products, better experience, better value. In a small town, however, this practice can be very short-sighted.

Small Town Marketing practice would instead encourage the antique shops to work TOGETHER. Form a communication group so that the shops are coordinating on a regular basis. Host a weekly Senior Discount Day, or monthly calendar events. Work together so one customer becomes a potential for ALL of the shops. Cooperating with similar shops in the area adds IMMEDIATE VALUE to consumer wanting to visit the town.

Small Town B

is home to a popular State University, increasing the young adult population. Small Business advertising will work for the small businesses located near the large retail chain stores. But the businesses who can benefit from historic Downtown area perks should take advantage of Small Town marketing directions, too.

For example: Small Town advertising practices would suggest the local Jewelers, Wedding Planners, and Venues to coordinate, and offer every potential customer a Full-Service experience. When someone visits the town, they are comforted by everyone knowing and supporting each other. Although different entities, the businesses work seamlessly together. Consumers feel the security of hosting in a small town, because the whole town is working for their interests.

Small Town Marketing:

Consumers who shop small towns are looking for the small town experience. This can mean going against the grains of typical Small Business Marketing practices. If your small business is located in a small town, you have incredible opportunities available that typical small businesses don’t have. If you’re doing your own marketing, consider the facets of Small Town Marketing practices. The mindset of cooperation makes a huge difference in small town markets. A third-party coordinator, such as a local Marketing Center, can offer incredible organization benefits and encourage additional traffic into the town as a whole.

Take advantage of Small Town Marketing strategies, while continuing the small business marketing efforts that are returning on your investment. Marketing strategies for small town locations is important, essential, and fun! They are important and essential because they focus on the way YOUR community operates. They are fun because they are different and creative avenues not commonly found in typical marketing plans. Contact your local Marketing Center for networking and partnership opportunities, and event organization. Every business of a small town should utilize their local Small Business Marketing Center, and as a result, the town grows together.

Can You Hear the Call Music Video

So, can you hear it?

Can You Hear the Call

Anoka Music Video

Over the past few days, the VP Team has been working on an exciting new promotional project. Marketing the city of Anoka, we are shooting a low-budget music video called “Can You Hear the Call”- A saucy, swing-style song originally written and performed by the UK band called, ELECTRIC SWING CIRCUS. (

Rocky Borchardt of VantagePoint Marketing, LLC has contacted the band, purchased the rights to this catchy tune, and rewrote the lyrics to promote some of the staple businesses in Anoka. She has single-handedly directed the over 20 hours of filming done this week. By her side, our videographer, Matt Perkins with Perkins Media ( has been shooting the video and will provide the exciting footage. Local artists and audio production specialists will be providing the vocal artistry, meanwhile, Anoka’s own STUDIO ONE Dance Studio ( will provide many of the moves. We will be excited to announce the finished video this fall!