Search Data Shows How Entrepreneurs Cope With Starting A Business, Semrush Survey Finds

During the early days of starting a small business, entrepreneurs may put their online presence on the back burner, but that could prove to be a fatal mistake, according to data released Thursday.

“Small businesses have been thrown a number of unimaginable challenges during the past few years,” Fernando Angulo, senior market research manager at Semrush, wrote in an email to Inside Performance. “Between rising inflation costs and strict COVID regulations, it's no surprise financial searches are top of mind for many business owners.

While economic uncertainty won’t likely slow down, he wrote, there are other steps beyond loans and government aid business can take to get ahead. He suggests making sure to have the correct tools to reach customers and drive online awareness.



The report, Small Business Trends and Stats: Assessing Americans’ Interest in Starting a New Venture, provides an inside look at how small businesses perform across online channels and what areas of marketing they are most interested in.

As of 2021, the U.S. has 32.5 million small businesses, which made up about 44% of all U.S. economic activity, according to the report.

Using data from its clients’ sites taken from various Semrush tools, the company tracked some general success patterns. Semrush analyzed areas ranging from traffic growth trends to organic and social media performance over time to determine the small business categories doing better online.

From 2018 to 2022, the number of searches for all things related to starting a small business spiked by 76%. Interestingly, nearly one-fifth of all entrepreneurs-to-be want to open a boutique. Vending machines gained the biggest traction, as the category entered the second spot of most-searched small businesses.

Some Key Insights Include:

  • Searches for digital marketing services surged by 1,500% from 2018 to 2022, while interest in creating short videos for small businesses grew by 420%
  • 600% more people searched for free text message marketing in 2022 than in 2018
  • Small business domains analyzed have the top organic rankings for approximately 8,000 keywords on average.
  • 60% of the categories analyzed on Facebook reduced the number of posts by an average of 50%.
  • About 75% of the small business categories started publishing 65%, on average, fewer posts on Twitter.

Most frequent small business-related searches include loans at 37%, grants at 24%, administration at 19%, ideas at 14%, how to start a small business at 6%.

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