Search advertising spend is on the rise for small- and medium-sized businesses. In fact, that would be the understatement of the year: SMB ad spending in the second-quarter soared 159% from last year, according to a WebVisible report. What's more is that Yahoo is pulling the dollars away from Google and Ask.
WebVisible, the provider of local online marketing products and services, published its second-quarter report on SMB paid search advertising showing a strong recovery from the same period a year ago.
Strong Upward Trend
The findings point to an average spend of $2 231 on search advertising in the second quarter, up a whopping 159% from last year. The strong upward trend is consistent with what had been reported before on year-on-year growth rates, the study says, citing a 91% increase year over year in the first quarter and a 111% boost in the fourth quarter of 2009 (compared to Q4 2008).
Standing at 43%, conversion rates were up 22% from last quarter and up 39% from last year. "Conversion activity more than doubled for form fills, video views, printed driving directions and bookmarking in Q2 2010 versus Q2 2009, suggesting that users are taking advantage of additional website options provided by advertisers," the report found.
Clicks resulting in a phone call rose 29% over the first quarter and climbed 58% over the same period a year ago.
Yahoo Gets Bigger Bite
The other trend that was put forward by WebVisible is Yahoo pulling part of the overall SMB ad spending from its competitors - namely Google and Ask. During the quarter, Yahoo's market share grew by 4 percentage points, while Google's shrunk by 2. Ask lost 1.4. As for Bing, who will power Yahoo Search later in the year as part of their Search Alliance, it lost a marginal 0.6 percentage point.
Similarly, Yahoo registered both a year-on-year and a quarter-on-quarter increase in its click-through rate (CTR), while other engines saw theirs decline from the previous quarter. Yahoo's second-quarter CTR was 35% higher compared to the first quarter, while Google's edged 4% lower and Bing's slid 6.6%.
Yahoo's CPC for the period rose 23%, Bing's improved by 9.8% and Google's was slightly up by 2.2% -- compared to last quarter's CPC.
Kirsten Mangers, WebVisible CEO commented: "Over the past year, conversion activity increased on almost all website actions - filling out an online form, watching a video, bookmarking a page or printing driving directions. For advertisers this is great news. The more options a company provides, the more actions a website visitor will take - giving advertisers multiple opportunities to establish a connection with each potential buyer."
WebVisible's report is based on U.S. advertisers representing nearly $23 million in U.S. SMB ad spending from more than 12,000 individual advertisers in the second quarter. The top 10 U.S. advertiser categories accounted for 43% of total advertisers in the quarter.