Small businesses are boosting their online ad campaigns by expanding keyword portfolios and spending across the major search engines, according to a new study from Irvine-based WebVisible.
The Web marketing firm's fourth quarter State of Small Business Online Advertising report shows that the average advertiser spent $2,126 in the period, down a slight 1.1 percent from the same time in 2009. However, keyword counts jumped 30 percent, compared to the fourth quarter of the prior year.
Taken together, this suggests that "search spending by small-business advertisers has reached a level of efficiency in which optimized budgets are delivering expected results." The report notes that diversifying keyword portfolios and shifting spending among the search platforms can lead to increased effectiveness of ad campaigns.
“We’re pleased to see that our robust technology and years of experience are clearly helping small-business advertisers achieve greater efficiency and conversion rates, and they’re achieving these results with manageable ad budgets,” said WebVisible CEO Ron Burr.
Meanwhile, the percentage of clicks that resulted in phone calls in the fourth quarter jumped 56 percent over the same time in 2009. And, video usage continues to be important for small businesses; 26 percent of advertisers used the platform on their landing pages in the fourth quarter, up from 19 percent at the same time in 2009. And this has helped with video views, which jumped 85 percent compared to the prior year. Printing driving directions, bookmarking pages, submitting emails and printing landing pages also rose; only clicking through to websites dropped.
"This data suggests that users are becoming more active in obtaining usable information directly from the landing page, rather than clicking through to the website," according to the report.
“Looking ahead, we believe successful campaigns will be those that combine the best creative, most dynamic media-buying strategies, and smartest use of keyword targeting all working together, which is what WebVisible does best,” said Burr.
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