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