Tag Archives: sem

Is your small business intimidated by search marketing?

While small businesses are investing heavily in improving their online presence, over half don’t use paid search marketing (SEM).

Out of the number of small businesses that have websites, 59% don’t currently use paid search marketing and of those, 90% have never even attempted it, according to a survey by Microsoft Advertising.

Despite their concerns, businesses that utilize paid search marketing are satisfied with their decision. Almost three-quarters (72%) reported an increase in sales inquiries and 68% said they consider their paid SEM efforts successful.

Topping the list of major concerns about search marketing campaigns, participants cited cost, time and complexity. Other findings included:

  • 89% feared keyword research might become too expensive.
  • 81% questioned whether paid search marketing is the best use of their marketing budgets.
  • 25% believed paid search marketing is too complex.
  • 21% think it is too time-consuming.
  • 35% feel they need an agency to set up a search marketing campaign.

The survey also revealed that despite the lack of investment in paid search marketing, the economic downturn and increased competition, 86% of small-business owners felt they’re missing valuable opportunities to grow their business online. Three quarters of those surveyed believed prospective customers might be searching online for the type of service or product their business offers.

“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,” said Brian Boland, director of adCenter at Microsoft Advertising. “Given today’s current economic conditions, small-business owners need more effective ways to optimize their marketing dollars. 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 websites.”

SEO/SEM advice from across the web

Do you know how to find the right keywords for your online marketing strategy and how to leverage those keywords to allow customers find your site and training products easily?

The right SEO and SEM strategies can mean the difference between your site making it to the top of search results or being virtually invisible. Here’s some great tips and information from across the blogosphere to strengthen your strategy:

Ian Lurie from Conversation Marketing shares 10 SEO and Marketing-Friendly Title Tag Formulas that will help quiet some arguments around the office.

Marketing Sherpa answers 15 SEO questions including: Is the long-tail keyword dead?

SEO Guy Shavkat Karimov predicts that in the next year or two SEO will become obsolete and personalized search will take over. Is no more SEO a reality?

Anne Haynes from Kansas City SEO and SEM recently sent out a question on her Twitter network asking SEO experts whether they use underscores or hyphens when constructing websites.

Is it possible to outsmart search engines? Jason Kintzler from PitchEngine explains how to use the latest SEO techniques and online tools to build your credibility within media outlets.