WebVisible put out a terrific report on Q4 2009 trends regarding SMBs and SEM (following up on its Q3 report); it’s got GREAT data. I haven’t had a free moment to digest it until now.
Here are some verbatim highlights:
- Average small business search spending surged in Q4 with the average small business advertiser spending $2,149 on search advertising in Q4 2009. This represented an increase of 30% over Q3 2009 and 111% over Q4 2008.
- Click-through rates (CTR) and cost-per-click (CPC) did not change significantly on the search engines on a quarter over quarter (QoQ) basis. Bing maintained the highest CTR while Google maintained the highest CPC.
- Conversion rates improved significantly for small business advertisers in Q4 2009 with 35.3% of clicks resulting in website conversion action, versus 32% in Q3 2009 and 26.6% in Q4 2008.
- Video capability was the fastest growing website feature for small business advertisers over the past year with 19% of advertisers showing video in Q4 2009, versus 5% in Q4 2008.
- UK small business advertisers spent significantly less than US advertisers in Q4 2009 at an average of $183 per advertiser. UK keyword portfolios were also much smaller at an average of 26 root keywords per advertiser.
- UK click-through rates (CTR) were significantly lower than in the US in Q4 2009 but varied similarly – Bing had the highest CTR and Yahoo! the lowest.
- The professional services of law and dentistry made up the largest percentage of advertisers at 9.4% and 6.1% of total advertisers respectively.
Here are a few of the charts that visually illustrate many of the above points (click to enlarge):
The two biggest conclusions here are that SEM spending grew dramatically as did video year-over-year.