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Industry Trends

Microsoft Study: Search Marketing For Small Business

By November 13, 2007July 30th, 2023One Comment

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