Microsoft adCenter released the results of a survey today 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 Internet marketing.
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.
– One quarter of respondents believe paid search marketing is too complex.
– 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.
Of course paid search isn’t the only way to market online. One other way is good old fashioned link building. Aaron Wall at SEOBook recently shared some small business link building ideas including:
– Use your agility
– Publishing strategy
– Nail the basics
– Give something valuable away
– Local news interest
– Sponsor charities
– Request a link in all communications
Of course Wall elaborates thoroughly on each of these in his article, and I wll not regurgitate his words here.
If you have a website (as any business certainly should), you want to be found in search engines. Whether your strategy is paying or getting there naturally, you’ve got to do something. You can’t just put up a site and expect people to find it. It’s amazing that more people don’t understand this by now, but it couldn’t be truer.