Best of 2010: Small Business Online Ad Spending to Increase

Small business owners are growing increasingly sophisticated with their use of online search advertising and with their ability to transform the consumer information they capture into good leads. These findings come from WebVisible’s latest State of Small Business Online Advertising for the 4th quarter of 2009. Important metrics from this study include the following:

  • Average quarterly spending on search advertising by small business at the end of 2009: $2,149
  • Clicks that result in Web site conversion activity: 35.3%
  • Businesses are using more video on their Web sites: 19%
  • The average root keyword inventory: 67 words

The study also attempted to categorize several types of small business operating in the U.S. when it comes to advertising . The indexed advertising rate (where average advertising is 1) appears in parentheses:

Part-​timers or new businesses: Between 5–7 million. These businesses tend to be small. (0.9)

Soloists: Between 2.8–3.8 million. These businesses have been operating up to 2 years and have less than $200,000 in revenue. (0.68)

Entrepreneurs: Between 1–1.9 million. These businesses may have been in operation up to 5 years and have up to $400,000 in revenue. (0.92)

Small Business Generalists: 0.8–1.4 million. These businesses may have 5+ years of operational history and sales of up to $2.4 million. (1.19)

Small Business Managers: 400,000–700,000. Established businesses with 5+ years of operational history and sales over $2.5 million. (2.26)

Based on these results, it appears that as small businesses grow and succeed, they spend at a higher rate on advertising. But even the smallest businesses are finding online techniques make a difference in their ability to reach local consumers.

[Source: The WebVisible Report: State of Small Business Online Advertising. WebVisible. 22 Mar. 2010. Web. 29 Mar. 2010] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.