Microsoft Study: Search Marketing For Small Business

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Microsoft Study: Search Marketing For Small Business

400 small and medium businesses in the UK were questioned about how they embraced PPC and online advertising, as part of a research project commissioned by Microsoft. The study revealed some interesting misconceptions and barriers to entry among SMEs in the UK.

2.79 million small and medium businesses in the UK have a company website. However, 62% do not promote their site online, which means that with websites costing £1,750 on average, an estimated £3 billion is spent on websites that are not visible to customers!

  • 34% of SMEs plan to use search marketing in the future
  • 20% have ‘never got round to it’

Out of the 1.73 million (62%) SMEs who own websites but do not use search marketing:

  • 92% have never even tried to set up a campaign
  • 78% are aware of the online marketing channels available
  • 56% claim they would be willing to set up a campaign themselves

Time, costs and lack of expertise seem to be the two main reasons why SMEs do not use search marketing. A quarter of the companies questioned thought that £50 would be a profitable cost per lead.

  • 89% thought SEM is more complicated than online banking
  • 39% think it is too complicated to do themselves
  • 34% of SMEs surveyed believed it would take them a day or more to set up a PPC campaign
  • 25% do not use PPC due to cost
  • Whereas only 29% thought search marketing was not right for their business

A number of SMEs tried to run a search marketing campaign but gave up. Of these companies:

  • 44% thought it was too time consuming
  • 33% thought it was too complicated
  • 56% thought it was too expensive

Of the SMEs that are currently running a search marketing campaign, 76% said it had increased their sales, which is  a good indicator of the value of SEM as a marketing method for small and medium companies.

Microsoft’s UK SME Search Marketing Report