Report: Average SMB PPC Spend $9K Yearly

WebVisible released its quarterly “State of Small Business Online Advertising” report earlier today. The report is based on spending data from 12K US SMBs and 10K SMBs in the UK that WebVisbile manages directly or on behalf of partners.

Here are some of the big bullets from the release:

  • The average small business advertiser spent $2,231 on search advertising in Q2 2010 – up by 1.4 percent from Q1 2010 and by 159 percent over Q2 2009.
  • Nearly half of all clicks – 43 percent – resulted in a web conversion in Q2 2010, up by 22 percent over Q1 2010 and 39 percent over Q2 2009.
  • The percentage of clicks resulting in a phone call to the advertiser increased by 29 percent over the previous quarter and by 58 percent over the same period last year.
  • Click-through-rate (CTR) was up for all the search engines when compared to a year ago.  But Yahoo! was the only one to experience an increase over the last quarter.
  • Yahoo! performed the strongest for small business advertisers in the U.K. in Q2 2010
  • The top 10 U.K. advertiser categories accounted for less than 14 percent of total advertisers in Q2 2010, compared to 43 percent in the United States.
  • Average U.K. advertiser spending decreased by 1.8 percent from Q1 to Q2 2010. The categories that showed the highest gains in that period were printers, beauty salons and car servicing shops.

And here are some graphical representations of the data from the report:

Quarterly SMB Search Ad Spending (translates to almost $9K per year):

Average Cost Per Click Compared:

Search Clicks Converting to Calls or Range of “Actions” on SMB Landing Page/Site:

Top US SMB Ad Categories

Top UK SMB Ad Categories

The hierachy of spending categories generally mirrors print YP ad spending, perhaps because the people selling paid search ads are often YP sales reps and they’re typically bundling online and print.

You can obtain a copy of the report here.

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3 Responses to “Report: Average SMB PPC Spend $9K Yearly”

  1. Would Trada Work for the SMB Market? says at

    […] example, when last I checked, ReachLocal’s average SMB spend is about $1K to $1.5K. Yesterday WebVisibile said that the quarterly average of SMB spending on search is rising but now stands at $2,231. That comes […]

  2. earlplearl says at

    Every part of that data is extremely interesting: who the advertisers are; that the spend is increasing per quarter, the comparison of costs between google and yahoo/bing, etc.

    From my biz perspective, w/ the bing/yahoo merger it makes sense to pay attention to this area if one already hasn’t.

    As everyone has pointed to for years, the overall spend from local smb’s is gigantic. YP’s are shrinking. Newspapers are shrinking

    Local Web…..its where the action is.

  3. Greg Sterling says at

    And in mobile (as far as action), although that distribution will come via third parties. For the foreseeable future SMBs en masse won’t buy anything in mobile. They’ll buy IYP, search, daily deals, all of which will have mobile distribution.

  4. Phil says at

    With local business looking to replace their yellow page spend , The trend seems to be niche directories and SEM to provide better results. One example is the new car dealership directory . This directory is not a typical lead gen model rather a premium directory. 

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