Last updateTue, 20 Oct 2020 8pm

BIA/Kelsey Survey Finds Search Engine Marketing the Top Digital Marketing Priority for Majority of Higher-Spending SMBs

Google, Microsoft, Infogroup among the industry leaders set to examine the latest innovations and trends in search marketing at BIA/Kelsey's upcoming LEADING IN LOCAL: Interactive Local Media conference, Dec. 3-5, in San Francisco.

A majority (60.6 percent) of higher-spending small and medium-sized businesses (SMB Plus Spenders) rated search engine advertising and marketing (SEM, SEO, and pay-per-click) as an "extremely high" or "very high" priority for the next 12 months, according BIA/Kelsey's Local Commerce Monitor™ (LCM 18), an ongoing study of the advertising behaviors of SMBs. BIA/Kelsey defines SMB Plus Spenders as small-business marketers that spend more than $25,000 annually on advertising and promotion. On average, these SMB Plus Spenders spend nearly $79,000 annually on advertising and promotion.

Among the SMB Plus Spenders surveyed, 20.7 percent reported using pay-per-click advertising in the previous 12 months, holding steady compared with 19.6 percent in 2013.

"The LCM findings indicate small businesses want to improve on the ability for consumers to discover them," said Steve Marshall, director of research, BIA/Kelsey. "SEM, SEO, and pay per click are fundamental to achieving this goal, particularly with the growth of mobile search."

According to BIA/Kelsey's U.S. Local Media Forecast 2015, local search revenues are expected to reach $7.2 billion in 2015, up from $7.1 billion in 2014. The forecast also indicates local mobile search will account for more than half (51.1 percent) of mobile ad spending in 2015.

BIA/Kelsey's upcoming LEADING IN LOCAL: Interactive Local Media conference, Dec. 3-5, in San Francisco, will feature a number of sessions focused on the latest local search solutions and trends, including:

Google at LEADING IN LOCAL – Part I: Building Blocks for the Local Ecosystem. Which building blocks will prove most successful for local marketers? Google executives will discuss their efforts and ambitions, including how they work with partners and end users. Speakers include Christine Merritt, Head of Premier SMB Partnerships, Channel Sales North America, Google and Ben Wood, Americas Director, Channel Sales, Google.
Local Mobile Search on the Cutting Edge. Local search has evolved tremendously, as search has been enhanced by intelligent personal assistants (Apple's Siri, Microsoft's Cortana) and broadly integrated with social media, mapping and other features. This session will dig into the latest local mobile search trends. Speakers include Kelly Thomas Nojaim, Director, Bing Advertising, Microsoft; Grant Wernick, CEO, Weotta; and Ken Weyel, Director, Global, Bing Advertising, Microsoft.
The Evolution of Local Listings. The local listings business is changing quickly. Listings not only help local businesses get found, but engage customers via location maps, products and brands, promotions, testimonials and other features. In this session, Infogroup's Chief Data Officer Matt Graves will highlight what's had the greatest impact, and where listings are going.
Getting Ahead with Local Search, 2015. What are the best SEO and SEM strategies for local search, circa 2015? Which features really matter, which ones don't, and what's the most effective "buy" for local businesses? Speakers include Bernadette Coleman, President and CEO, Advice Interactive Group; Edwin Nissanoff, VP of Brand Sales, Local Market Launch; and Damian Rollison, VP, Product and Technology, UBL.


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