Small businesses slow to embrace search

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Redmond, Wash.—Nearly six in 10 small businesses that have Web sites don't currently use paid search marketing, and of those, 90% have never even attempted it, according to an analysis by Microsoft adCenter, the advertising research division of Microsoft Corp.

Reasons vary, according to the organization. 89% of respondents cited a fear that paid keywords would become too expensive; 81% said they weren’t sure paid search marketing was the best use of their marketing budgets; and more than one-third said they thought they would need an agency to set up a search marketing campaign.

One-quarter said they believe search marketing is too complex, and 21% said it is too time consuming. The online study of 400 small-business owners was conducted by Kelton Research. —Christopher Hosford

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