A recent study of 7000 + Small to Medium Business (SMBs) published on Media Post indicated that 72% of them plan to spend money on Digital services in the next 12 months. This is good news for those of us in the digital marketing agency business. But digging a little deeper into the study, you realize that the majority of that money isn’t going into the types of things we regularly recommend- social media, content creation, digital advertising and integrated campaigns.
No, the majority of that money is going to beef up existing digital assets and website (or at least bring them up to speed for current SEO and Mobile best practice. The reality is that most SMBs (while usually considered more nimble than their larger counterparts have been neglecting their online presence are playing catchup just to become “current.”
Google’s SEO Algorithm Updates
Now a part of this has to do with the fact that Google has made significant changes to its search algorithm that make some of the outdated search “gimmicks” not only ineffective, but rather counterproductive. Sites that have relied on older SEO tactics now risk being penalized for trying to change the game (Google being Google!). As much 29% of SMB’s entire Digital marketing budgets are estimated to be used to improved onsite (organic) SEO.
Mobile and Responsive Design
The improvement in device interface, the availability of secure Wi-Fi and cheaper wireless service has also re-defined the importance of providing a positive user experience on Mobile. Like search, the days of gaming the system with mobile specific versions of websites are over and sites without responsive design are quickly (this is also a self-fulfilling prophecy because a high and/or quick bounce rate is significant factor in Google rankings as well). It is expected that another 22.7% of SMB’s Digital budget will be spent on creating a better mobile experience.
Ad Spending within the Google Ecosystem
Another interesting bit of this survey focused on spending by SMBs with in the Google ecosystem. While it continues to lose ground to Facebook, Google’s family of offerings still appeal to SMB’s with 83% using AdWords.
SMB’s who spend money on Google Products:
- AdWords – 83%
- Google Display – 48%
- Google – 27%
- YouTube ads – 20 %
- Google Display Network – 13%
- Click to call – 12%
What’s the BFD?
The net take away of all of this is that SMBs are, in fact, responding to the needs to the needs of their customers for an improved digital user experience. While they may not be ready to take full advantage of some of the digital tools at their disposal, they are moving in the right direction.