Microsoft says that 62% of UK small to medium-sized businesses (SMEs) are wasting more than £3bn on websites because potential customers are unaware of them. Research from Microsoft AdCenter shows that because most SMEs are not investing in search marketing they are collectively wasting their investment in websites.
The research says SMEs are reluctant to use search marketing because they think it is too expensive and complicated. However, of those SMBs that do use search marketing, 76% see an immediate increase in sales.
Microsoft says the research demonstrates several misconceptions SMEs have about search marketing. Many respondents thought that a campaign would take a day or more to set up when it can take as little as 15 minutes to go live.
Some gave cost as a reason for not investing, believing that the best keywords have already been taken, when it is possible to invest as little as £5 a month to see results.
A large number said they were put off because they thought the process was too complicated, with 89% saying they thought it more complicated than online banking.