Small Business Predicted to Increase Online Search Marketing

sbi-icon2Small businesses are continuing to invest in online search marketing campaigns to reach new and existing clients. According to WebVisible’s 2009 Q3 Report on the State of Small Business Online Advertising, small business owners upped their search marketing by 91% between the third quarter of 2008 and the third quarter of 2009. What accounts for this huge increase? WebVisible CEO Kirsten Mangers suggests that increased competition in the search engine market, especially with the entrance of Bing this summer, may have accounted for some of the growth.

Bing had captured about 10.5% of the search market at the end of Q3 2009. Much of the growth came at the expense of Google. And this shift in the search market may be because Bing has CPC (cost per click) rates that are 30% lower than Google in some areas.  However, Google still had 60.4% of the small business search market. Mangers also notes that more small businesses are entering the search market, especially in the Local area, because they see that their efforts are paying off.  “The real news is that these SMB advertisers are getting results from their interactive budgets that they’ve been after for years now. Local interactive is on the rise – because it works,” says Mangers.

WebVisible’s survey indicates that the typical small business spent $1,658 on search marketing in Q3 2009. At least 15% of firms spent at a higher quarterly rate that ranges from $2,000-$2,999.  Analysts expect SMBs (small and medium size businesses) to continue to spend on local interactive search.  Matt Booth, SVP and Program Director, Interactive Local Media for BIA/​Kelsey states, “I should think that they (search engine companies) would be encouraged by these results, as more and more SMBs move their ad budgets away from print and directories and online, small market share increases will come to represent big dollars.”

[Source: WebVisible Q3 Report Reveals New Trends in Local Interactive Marketing, company release, Fall 2009] 
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.