Small Businesses Search For Leads With Website Video

According to the latest quarterly report from WebVisible, the average small business advertiser spent $2,149 on search advertising in Q4 2009, an increase of 30% over Q3 2009 and 111% over Q4 2008. Video capability was the fastest-growing website feature for small business advertisers over the past year, with 19% of advertisers showing video on their websites in Q4 2009, versus just 5% in Q4 2008. The data represents nearly $22 million in U.S. small business advertisers spending in Q4 2009 from more than 12,000 individual advertisers.   

Conversion rates also improved for small business advertisers, with 35.3% of clicks resulting in website conversion action, compared with 32% in Q3 2009 and 26.6% in Q4 2008.  Actions are predominantly calls, and also include sending emails or SMS texts, form fills, printed driving directions or video views. The average keyword count per small business advertiser increased by 21% in Q4 2009 over Q3 2009, to an average 67 keywords.    

WebVisible CEO, Kirsten Mangers, says "... these numbers show increased confidence by small businesses in using search to gain leads, and increased ability to turn those leads into sales... "

Mangers continued, "... a key is knowing the most cost-effective place to spend those ad dollars... Bing has higher click-through rates and lower costs-per-click than Google... often a better buy."

Click-through rates and cost-per-click did not change significantly on the search engines on a quarter over quarter basis: 

  • Bing maintained the highest CTR while Google maintained the highest CPC 
  • The share of spending was unchanged on Yahoo! and Bing in Q4 2009 
  • Some spend was shifted from Google to Ask as advertiser resellers sought lower-cost sources of traffic

Effective with the Q4 2009 study, WebVisible has begun analyzing the spend among different types and sizes of small businesses, segmenting advertisers into five distinct groups based upon their organizational maturity and advertising propensities:

Profile of Segmented Small Businesses




Business Type

Part_Timers / Newbies

Estimated 5 - 7 million in U.S.

 Not in dun & bradstreet database

New businesses with small commercial footprint


Estimated 2.8 - 3.8 million in U.S.

1 employees 0 - 2 years in business <$200k/year in sales

Unknown business/legal type


Estimated 1 - 1.9 million in U.S.

2 to 4 employees 2 - 5 years in business $200k-$400k in sales


Small Business: Generalists

Estimated 0.8 - 1.4 million in U.S.  

5 to 24 employees 5+ years in business $500k-$2.4m in sales


Small Business: Managers

Estimated 400,000 - 700,000 in U.S.

25+ employees 5+ years in business $2.5m+ in sales


Source: WebVisible, March 2010

"In most reports and trend stories, all small businesses get lumped into the same category," said Mangers.  "But a solo entrepreneur running his architecture business in the evenings is not going to have a lot in common with a 10-person hair salon or a three-location local restaurant chain. 

Examination of spend levels by segment revealed that, not surprisingly, larger businesses are more likely to spend more on advertising.

Index of Historical Advertising Spend (1.0 baseline = average spending across all advertisers)


Spending Index







Small business generalists


Small business managers


Source: WebVisible, March 2010

 Part-Timers, perhaps with bigger dreams and better funded pockets than Soloists, who depend on their business for income, outspend Soloists by 33%.

Entrepreneurs, who still keep a tight rein on expenses, spend slightly less than average. It is not until a business has more than $500,000 a year in revenue and at least five employees that advertising spending goes above average.

Small Business Managers, who are most likely sales or marketing specialists within their organizations, are dependent on advertising to drive leads to the business and thus spend more than twice the average among all the small businesses included in the study.

 The data represents nearly $22 million in U.S. small business advertiser spending in Q4 2009 from more than 12,000 individual advertisers

To follow up with WebVisible for additional information, please visit here.

3 comments about "Small Businesses Search For Leads With Website Video".
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  1. Mike Einstein from the Brothers Einstein, March 31, 2010 at 9:32 a.m.

    Further proof positive that the only thing scalable about Google is its accounts receivable list.

  2. Fredy Mfuko from Mission 101 Media, March 31, 2010 at 2:02 p.m.

    Excellent! Online video advertising is the way to go.

  3. Jonathan Mirow from BroadbandVideo, Inc., March 31, 2010 at 3:38 p.m.

    The real issue is one of context. It's pointless for a website to have a self-agrandizing "commercial" that nobody cares about because, well - you're already AT their website. If you're a Sailboat site, showing me your TV commercial is idiotic, giving me a show about my hobby or passion with your product as a part of that mix creates a much deeper connection. It also makes you a subject matter expert and a point for future information. We have one live show where consumers won't buy specific products unless the host endorses them - they send email and chat in asking for advice on these purchases.

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