Shifting away from Google
Small businesses using search advertising have sharply increased their efforts in Q3 2009, according to data from WebVisible.
Average spending by small-business search advertisers was up 91% year over year and 93% quarter over quarter in Q3. The average number of keywords purchased was also up.
Spending shifted among the major search engines, with Google losing some 5 percentage points of spending share from Q3 2008 to Q3 2009. Bing gained 2.9 percentage points in the same time period (compared with then-existing Microsoft search engines).
Bing also brought small businesses the highest click-through rates of any search engine, followed by Google. Click-through rates from Yahoo! improved 123% year over year but were still the lowest of the top three engines. Costs per click were highest on Google, followed by Bing.
Overall, 32% of search clicks studied by WebVisible in Q3 2009 resulted in conversion on an advertiser’s Website, as defined by the advertiser. The fastest-growing conversion action was video viewing, with 16.9% watching a video in Q3 2009, up from less than 1% a year earlier.
While businesses that spent more on search advertising tended to purchase more keywords, there was not a significant difference in click-through or Web conversion rates across spending categories of more than $100.
VerticalResponse reported that one-quarter of small businesses increased their spending on some form of search marketing in 2009. More than 45% planned to up spending on the tactic next year.
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Check out today’s other article, “Consumers Free to Speak Their Mind Online.”