SMBs and Paid Search: The Struggle Continues

Microsoft just released results of a survey of 400 small businesses (SMBs) that shows they continue to struggle with search marketing (how to think about it, how to do it). This is consistent with what I and others have observed about the majority of SMBs, even those with websites. The search engines want to reach this massive market directly but have found it very difficult to do so without working with established sales channels and partners (newspapers, yellow pages, webhosts, etc.) that have existing SMB relationships. That can be problematic in some cases because the various revenue sharing agreements diminish the available funds for a paid search buy (but that’s a lengthy topic for another time).

First some context. Here’s a breakdown of US businesses by headcount according to US Census data:

Source: US Census (2004)

The rest of this post is at Search Engine Land

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