Microsoft Adcenter released the results of a survey recently looking at search marketing
behaviors of 400 small business owners in the United States. The
findings indicate that small businesses still have a long way to go
when it comes to utilizing this valuable (and ever-increasingly relevant) tool.
Most have sites, but don't do anything to enhance their online presence. 90% of those surveyed have never even attempted a paid search campaign.
"Given today's current economic conditions, small-business owners need more effective ways to optimize their marketing dollars," said Brian Boland, director of adCenter at Microsoft Advertising. "By investing in paid search marketing, small businesses can track online sales and determine the return on investment for their campaigns, while at the same time boosting traffic and visibility for their Web sites."
Why are small business owners hesitant to jump on the paid search bandwagon?
- Nearly nine in 10 (89 percent) feared keywords "may become too expensive".
- Eighty-one percent questioned if paid search marketing is the best use of their marketing budgets...without much supporting or comparative information.
- One quarter of respondents believe paid search marketing is too complex.
- Twenty-one percent thought it would be too time consuming.
Of course free (also known as "organic") listings are just as important as a paid strategy, but again, small business owners are reticent to do the things necessary to be ranked highly. This in spite of their general recognition of the importance the internet now plays in marketing products and services.
Still, many experts believe that small business owners will come around as education spreads on what it takes to succeed in these areas. Interesting survey. What are your thoughts on search engine marketing for your business?