Small Businesses to Increase Keyword Counts in Search Marketing

A couple of weeks ago, I highlighted the general move by small businesses into search marketing. sbi-icon2WebVisible’s survey indicated that the typical small business spent $1,658 on search marketing in Q3 2009. Another detail that came to light in that survey is the increase in the number of keywords used by small businesses.

WebVisible analysts note that the typical small business used 55 keywords in their search campaigns in Q3 2009. This compares to the 43 keywords the typical small business used in Q3 2008. Analysts expect the number of keywords and general complexity in small business search campaigns to grow though they have a way to go to reach the thousands of keywords employed by large advertisers.

The WebVisible survey also revealed significant differences between small business types when it comes to search marketing and the number of key words used. Here’s a list of businesses, their amount as a percentage of total advertisers using search, and the average number of keywords used:

  1. Attorneys/​Legal Services 7.68% (105 keywords)
  2. Dentists 4.97% (74 keywords)
  3. Air Conditioning Services 2.63% (55 words)
  4. Physicians & Surgeons 2.03% (57 words)
  5. Insurance 1.97% (69 keywords)

And what are businesses getting in exchange for this activity? Once a small business spends over $100 in a quarter on a search marketing campaign with good keywords, the click through rate (CTR) is 1% or higher.  CTR leads to conversion action on the marketer’s Web site of 32%. Conversion actions range from submitting an e‑mail to bookmarking the page to viewing a video. With results like this, it’s easy to see why so many small businesses expect to increase their spending on search marketing in 2010.

[Source: State of Small Business Online Advertising Q3, WebVisible, 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.