Check out our latest SEL column on how to find the right market and vertical for launching new services for SMBs, featuring a chart that shows the penetration of SMB advertisers on leading IYP sites in 8 verticals, covering 8 major cities: http://searchengineland.com/where-is-the-opportunity-17232.

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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.

Our latest Search Engine Land column discusses how “SMBs Claim Their Online Business Profiles”. In this post we present a new target group of SMBs we call “Seekers”, SMBs who haven’t quite made the leap to online advertising, but are performing some kind of online activity.

Interested, informed, not quite sold but not adverse to buying, seekers are SMBs who may just prove to be great prospects for new online ad products. Armed with some knowledge of online advertising, they may just need a little help from the professionals to start engaging in more elaborate online marketing activities, and more importantly, to start spending money. Initial tests show they do indeed convert better than the average sales lead, and with up to 10% of SMBs falling in this category, there may be quite an opportunity here.

A couple of months ago we published a chart that suggested that SMBs who claim or update their business listings on various online directories advertise more than those who do not. In a recent sales leads project for a customer we looked at businesses from various categories in the Denver metropolitan area and examined another feature of online presence of SMBs – whether or not the advertisers have websites.

We looked at over 2,800 Denver auto dealers and repair shops. Below is a chart that represents the breakdown of advertisers, with and without a website, to low, medium, and high-end spenders.

 
The above chart suggests that businesses with websites spend more on online advertising than businesses without websites. Indeed, we have recently been receiving feedback from our clients, who are finding it easier to sell online advertising services to SMBs who have websites.
 
A couple of weeks ago, at SMX Local & Mobile in San Francisco, our CEO, Hanan Lifshitz, presented some of our data pointing to various opportunities for online marketers who provide services for SMBs.
 
For creating the following chart we looked at over 6,000 businesses on leading online directories, from these categories: beauty & fitness, photographers, landscapers and limousine services. The chart shows ad spend information on LA & SF online advertisers from the above categories. 
 
 
Note that since there are advertisers who pay a monthly fee for a placement package or various features in addition to a PPC add, the total of this chart is a little over 100%.
 
The information for the above chart was collected while working on a sales leads project for one of our customers. We provide ad spend and advertising package information to companies who sell online marketing services directly to SMBs. Our customers find that knowing how much SMBs spend on online advertising and what kind of products they purchase can dramatically improve sales conversion rates. For example, companies that sell high-end online ad services, like video, found it’s very effective to target SMBs who are already spending more than $300 a month on online advertising.
 
For more about Palore’s Sales Leads Service or for ordering a custom project, contact us here.
 

In a project we recently did for one of our customers, we looked at whether or not SMBs claim their business listing on various online directories. Owners of SMBs can claim their listings on online business directories relatively easily: they add information such as opening hours and special offers to their basic listings. The chart below shows the results of our analysis among Health & Beauty online advertisers and non-advertisers in the West Coast:

It’s no surprise that 45% of businesses who advertise online also claim their business listing on various online directories.

It’s interesting that as many as 18% of the non-advertisers we looked at invested the time in claiming their listing on various online business directories; they recognize the importance and value of online presence and visibility. This data suggests that there is an opportunity here among non-advertising SMBs – catch the ones who know the value of online visibility and convert them to advertising customers.

Targeting the right leads increases sales conversion rates. Palore can provide comprehensive analyses of SMBs’ online behavior and point to various opportunities that derive from these analyses. If you want to know more about our Sales Leads Service or if you’re interested in a custom project, contact us here.

Our previous post featured statistics on attorneys who advertise on Internet Yellow Pages sites. While working on several projects for customers in the food & dining and nightlife verticals, we gathered initial advertising data from 30 leading local, vertical and IYP (Internet Yellow Pages) sites.

We stumbled upon some interesting facts regarding SMBs online advertising patterns. We focused on whether Boston restaurants and NYC night clubs advertise on a single site* or on multiple sites.

The following two charts show the results:

 

* By “single site” we mean that the advertiser has elected only to advertise on one site – not that only one site is the preferred choice of all “single site” advertisers.

It wasn’t very surprising to see that most of the businesses in the verticals we looked at advertise on a single site, e.g. 74% percent of online advertisers among Boston restaurants. Also, it was interesting to see that the number of businesses that advertise on multiple sites is larger than we expected, e.g. as many as 13% of online advertisers among Boston restaurants advertise on 2 sites. An additional 13% advertise on 3 sites or more amounting to a little over a quarter of Boston online advertising restaurants that advertise on more than a single site.

There may be an opportunity here for local search sites to approach local business owners who advertise only on one site and interest them in larger, potentially more effective campaigns – Palore offers such sales lead services.

Another interesting point about the data we’ve extracted is that despite the differences between the target audiences of Boston restaurants and NYC clubs, the advertising patterns seem very similar.

As always, we’d love to hear what interests you. Contact us here to suggest analyses or order a custom project.