Microsoft adCenter in their official press release elaborated on the results of an online survey that was conducted to know the search marketing behaviors of 400 small-business owners in the United States. According to the final results, it was found that while more than half of the small businesses surveyed invest in developing Web sites, but lag behind in taking even the simplest steps to enhance their online business presence. It was revealed that almost fifty nine percent of small businesses with Web sites are not currently indulged in paid search marketing, and of those, 90 percent have not even even attempted, even once!
Here are some of the extracts from the press release:
Surprisingly, seven in 10 small-business owners who participated revealed that they would rather try to do their own taxes than start a paid search marketing campaign. In an effort to minimize the intimidation associated with initiating a campaign, Microsoft offers free* search marketing assistance for those looking to get started.
“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.”
Despite the lack of investment in paid search marketing, the weakening economy and increased competition, nearly nine in 10 (86 percent) small-business owners surveyed felt that they could be missing opportunities to grow their business, while three in four believed prospective customers could be searching online for the type of service their business offers. Although most do not embrace the practice, the small-business owners who use paid search marketing are very satisfied, as 72 percent reported an increase in sales inquiries and 68 percent consider their paid search marketing efforts successful.
Among the participants’ chief concerns, most cited the common misconceptions of cost, time and complexity as major hurdles to conducting search marketing campaigns for their businesses. Other key insights included the following:
- Nearly nine in 10 (89 percent) feared keywords may become too
- Eighty-one percent questioned if paid search marketing is the best use
of their marketing budgets.
- One quarter of respondents believe paid search marketing is too
- Twenty-one percent thought it would be too time-consuming.
- Thirty-five percent felt they would need an agency to help set up a
search marketing campaign.
“These opinions run counter to widely held marketing industry views on paid search marketing, which recognize the practice as one of the most cost-effective, easy-to-use, measurable and accountable forms of marketing,” Boland said.
The Microsoft adCenter QuickLaunch program offers free consultation with a search expert for advertisers that set a minimum monthly budget of $500. The program also helps advertisers manage their search marketing campaigns by providing advisory services, classroom-style training programs through the Microsoft adCenter Learning Center, and tools such as building keyword lists with the Microsoft adCenter add-in product for Microsoft Office Excel and finding your target audience. More information is available at http://advertising.microsoft.com/search-advertising.
The study was conducted by an independent research company, Kelton Research in April 2008. Microsoft commissioned the quantitative research of 400 small-business owners with 250 or fewer employees via an anonymous online survey, consisting of a series of 38 questions designed to gauge their search marketing behaviors and attitudes.