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Internet Marketing Powering Small Business

The Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO) has just published current statistics for internet marketing. The group reports that Search Engine Marketing spending, including paid placement, paid inclusion SEO and purchase of technology platforms, is expected to double by 201

1. The aggregate spending total will be $18.6bn. This will have a dramatic effect on how small business does business on the Internet. More companies are enhancing services to make it easier for small businesses to access consumers. Google has released its voice service, along with Adobe, to improve web conferencing. Combining this with the stick released recently for VOIP services, has enabled small businesses to expand their markets content wide. The improvement in technology, and the flexibility, has increased the amount of money spent on search engine advertising. Organic SEO is still the strongest marketing tool. Three quarters of all advertisers use it. A close second is paid placement 86% of the total advertising dollar, at $8bn. The market is still driven by companies trying to generate direct sales, however, brand awareness is growing as advertisers learn to use the net to improve PR and customer relations. No surprise is MSN’s gain on Google. It has now captured 68% of the market, up from 29% in 2005. The surprise came last fall when random reports claimed that myspace had surpassed the number of hits sent to websites. The increase in use of MSN is no surprised as online shopping increases. MSN still leads the way with ‘decision to buy’ or ‘impulse buy’ visitors, resulting in a lower Cost Per Click (CPC) than the other search engines. Despite this, Google still dominates the field in 2007, with 95% of all respondents advertising on AdWords, followed by 86% on Yahoo. One fifth of all respondents claimed they were shifting money from print magazine advertising, while this is a bold move, only time will tell whether it is a smart move. Currently, trade and regional magazines top all other media in dollar value when considering ‘decision to buy.’ Magazines now have a higher retention rate, even than television, on a single view. It is not sure if this will transfer to the web, but if it does, then it will level the playing field for small businesses that lack the marketing budget to advertise in national magazines. Myspace is showing itself to be a powerful branding tool, so much so that many companies, including Pepsi, McDonalds, and Nike are trying to force Myspace to discontinue profiles and hubs with URLs that use those trademarks. Many business owners are using the Myspace option in the same way that YouTube is, creating channels that allow business owners to improve Internet Marketing by ‘riding the coat tails’ of the large companies – for a price. Either way, the release of Web

2.0 this spring, set to coincide with the release of MS Vista, will have hard hitting repercussions which will change the internet forever. Smart webmasters are already taking advantage of Social Networking, by creating Myspace.com, Squidoo.com, Youtube.com and other hubs, as well as optimizing for Web 2.0 to gain the advantage when the web changes. This foresight is not optimistic thinking, but a learned behavior. Any change in the Internet’s SEO algorithms shatters the SEO marketing objectives of the best sites and brings small business sites to the forefront, at least for a few months. Not bad, when taking into consideration that a few months on the top of Google can equal hundreds of thousands, or even millions, in extra profits.


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