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Small businesses are spending more on Internet advertising

A report by Irvine-based WebVisible indicates a whopping 91 percent jump over ’09.

BY CAROL STARCEVICPublished: April 16, 2010 10:43 AM

Small businesses spent more on search-engine advertising during the first three months of this year, according to figures from WebVisible, an Irvine-based firm specializing in online marketing products and services.

The report shows that the average small-business advertiser spent $2,201during the period. That’s a whopping 91 percent jump over the same time last year and a 2.4 percent increase over the fourth quarter of ’09. The figures represent about $23 million in ad spending by 12,000-plus small businesses across the U.S. during the first quarter.

And their spending apparently paid off: Those same businesses reported a 35 percent increase in the percentage of search clicks that resulted in a phone call, according to the study.

“Small businesses are the engine of our economy, and it’s telling to see how they’re spending their ad dollars and how they shift their strategy to maximize their results,” said WebVisible CEO Kirsten Mangers.

In terms of search engine selection, researchers found that Bing saw a 10 percent increase in ad-buy revenue, while Google showed a 3 percent pop compared to the first quarter of last year.

“Small businesses will spend their money wherever they can get the most bang for their buck – the most clicks and conversions for the least money,” Mangers said. “Bing maintains the highest click-through rate at costs that are lower than Google’s overall.”

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