I’ll be speaking about Local Search and Local Advertising at the LeadsCon conference, March 4-5, 2009.

I’ll be in Vegas for LeadsCon and then in LA, where I’ll be attending Kelsey’s Marketplaces 2009, March 16-18, 2009.

We’ve been collecting and analyzing ad spend data of SMBs on various local, vertical and IYP sites for over a year. Last month we started looking at SMBs who also advertise on search engines (i.e. businesses who bought PPC ads on search engines).  

We looked at over 3000 SMBs who advertise online, on different websites, out of which we focused on 300 businesses who also advertised on search engines in the past 5 months. The chart shows the average monthly ad spend of SMBs on search engines over a period of 5 months.

search-engine-ad-spend-of-smbs1

The dramatic drop represented in the chart is probably larger than the actual drop in local search ad budget since we filtered out nationwide chains and all SMBs with more than one office location. The businesses represented in the chart are small businesses where the decision making process is swift, as opposed to large corporations, who have a longer decision making process. Additionally, changes in advertising patterns/behavior appear more quickly when it comes to PPC since PPC campaigns can be modified at any give time, unlike annual advertising contracts.

We cannot be sure of the cause for the significant decrease in dollars spent in the months of September and October. However, we did happen to come across another chart, the similarity of which to our own cannot be ignored…

 nasdaq3

At the request of our customers, we have been gathering nationwide rich data on restaurants. We now have a database of close to 1 million businesses in the food & dining vertical with rich details including but not limited to menus, special features, descriptions and user reviews. The data was gathered from over 70 local and vertical sites.Compiling a nationwide analysis of user reviews of restaurants, we took the total number of restaurants we found in each state and checked how many of them have at least one user review on at least one site.
The map below shows what percentage of restaurants, in each state, has one or more user reviews on at least one site.

Restaurants Online Reviews - Nationwide Map Chart 

The three states at the top of the list, where over 23% of restaurants have at least one user review, are Massachusetts, Washington and California.Palore can provide information on small businesses from hundreds of sites in any vertical and any market, including ad spending data. If you’re interested in a custom project contact us here.