Survey: UK SMBs Struggle To See Value In AdWords

A new survey of roughly 500 small businesses (SMBs) in the UK reveals that only a minority perceive AdWords to be delivering a positive ROI. The online survey was conducted by Workbooks.com and YouGov. The question asked was: “Do your sales exceed the cost of AdWords?” Only 18 percent said “yes,” 45 percent said “no” and 37 percent were unsure.

This is not a new revelation. Google has a network of resellers promoting AdWords to small businesses. However the “churn” rates experienced by those programs often exceed 90 percent per year. The reasons for high churn are varied but boil down to the fact that these SMBs are having difficulty seeing value in many of these programs.

Google has recently built its own telesales force and a parallel customer service organization to onboard SMBs and help them better understand AdWords. Google also created AdWords Express (formerly Boost), which simplifies the process of adoption and outsources ongoing campaign management (to Google).

Most SMBs don’t have the time to become sophisticated enough about paid-search to really see the benefits that professional search marketers do. But there’s also some skepticism about the value of paid search as well. While they all want to rank or “show up at the top” of Google that desire often doesn’t extend to paid results.

Related Topics: Channel: SEM | Google: AdWords | Google: Maps & Local

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About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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