Mel Carson from the adCenter Community Team posted some commissioned research on how SME's are embracing PPC and online advertising.
The results of over 400 UK SME's are as follows -
44% of SMBs not doing search marketing think it is too time consuming;
56% think it is too expensive; and 33% too complicated.
76% of SMBs promoting their website on search engines see an immediate increase in sales.
The research also revealed three common misconceptions:
Search Marketing Myth One
Over a third (34%) of respondents think it would take a day or more to set up a campaign. In reality, the time taken from opening an account to it going live can take as little as 15 minutes.
Search Marketing Myth Two
Some 56% cite cost as a top reason why SMBs will not invest, with a quarter of all SMBs thinking the best keywords are already taken. Actually, SMBs can invest as little as 10-20 pence per click or a monthly budget of around £5.
Search Marketing Myth Three
Many are put off by the idea that it sounds too complicated - with the overwhelming majority (89%) thinking it was more difficult than online banking. However, SMBs can easily manage accounts from their desk and are likely to see immediate results from just a few simple keywords.
The report went onto give some practical tips
Keep your ad copy short and descriptive, while avoiding empty promises. Every word counts!
Investigate what your competition is doing online (try a few searches)
Choose the right keywords - the Microsoft adCenter Keyword Generator (which finds similar keywords to the one you enter) and the Keyword Research Tool (which reveals the typical profile of the people searching on your keyword) will help
Make your keywords relevant - speak the same language as your customers. They will type in brand names when looking for products, like ‘Hoover’ when they mean 'vacuum' or ‘Kleenex’ when they mean 'tissue'. They could misspell words, use abbreviations or try unexpected variations on the actual names of what you’re selling. Try to cover them all off!
Keep your keywords updated - raise your bidding on some keywords with a low position and delete poorly performing keywords or ads
Estimate the cost of recruiting a new customer (or the cost of losing an existing one) then set aside a fixed keyword budget and timeframe to assess results
Think about the seasonality of your business or the time of day/week when potential customers will be looking for your business; Think about the best time of day, day of the week and location to advertise in
Know your target audience - choose to up-weight your bids for certain genders, ages and places. For example, spending more on searches conducted by men over 25 during, say, lunch breaks in Birmingham.
Add local keywords to the phrases you bid on - for example 'florist Newcastle'.
If you want to know how MSN adCenter can increase the exposure of your brand - contact HitSearch and see how we can help target your customers. Remember, its a big world outthere, make sure you become visible.