Major Marketers Shift Ad Dollars to Google. Your Local Business Should Do the Same.

Are you familiar with those little text ads that appear on the top and on the side of Google’s search engine results page? You might be surprised to know that it’s through those ads – most often known as pay-per-click or PPC ads – that Google earns 97% of its revenues. And what were Google’s revenues in 2011? An astounding $37.9 million, according to a recent report issued by Wordstream.

What types of advertisers contributed most to Google’s pot of gold in 2011? In short, they were major businesses with names you probably know. Let’s take a look at which companies invested the most ad dollars in the top 10 most widely searched business categories on Google:

Google’s Top 10 Advertising Categories & the Top 5 Advertisers in Each

1. Finance & Insurance
• State Farm $43.7 million
• Progressive $43.1 million
• Geico $23.7 million
• Quicken Loans $21.1 million
• eHealthInsurance $20.6 million

2. Retailers & General Merchandise
• $55.2 million
• eBay $42.8 million
• Macy’s $35.6 million
• Sears $34.3 million
• JC Penney $30.9 million

3. Travel & Tourism
• $40.4 million
• Expedia $28.9 million
• $28.7 million
• Marriott $19.6 million

4. Jobs & Education
• Univ. of Phoenix $46.9 million
• ITT Tech Institute $29.9 million
• DeVry $19.7 million
• Capella Univ. $17.0 million
• ClassesUSA $16.3 million

5. Home & Garden
• Lowe’s $59.1 million
• The Home Depot $50.3 million
• Service Magic $21.4 million
• Sears Home Svs. $20.7 million
• Lighting Universe $15.0 million

6. Computers & Consumer Electronics
• Hewlett Packard $33.3 million
• Dell $26.3 million
• Best Buy $23.7 million
• Apple $17.9 million
• Microsoft $16.3 million

7. Vehicles
• $21.3 million
• $20.4 million
• Firestone $16.9 million
• $16.3 million
• Chevrolet $15.5 million

8. Internet & Telecom
• AT&T $40.8 million
• Verizon $22.9 million
• $21.7 million
• Comcast $19.0 million
• DirecTV $18.4 million

9. Business & Industrial
• Uline $35.1 million
• Vistaprint $26.9 million
• Office Depot $17.3 million
• Staples $15.2 million
• United Yellow Pgs $14.3 million

10. Occasions & Gifts
• $30.8 million
• FTD $30.7 million
• $27.2 million
• Teleflora $24.8 million
• $10.1 million

What’s most significant about the numbers above is not so much the dollar amounts each advertiser spent on Google last year, but rather that major brands have shifted their ad dollars away from other media like print, TV and radio because they have proof, day-in and day-out, that advertising on Google drives business. And it does so more efficiently than any other medium. Why? Because only on a search engine like Google can advertisers target only those people who have not only entered the buying cycle, but are ready to buy.

Now if my hunch is correct, you’re likely a small business owner who has never advertised on Google before. And chances are you don’t have even a tiny fraction of the budgets that major national advertisers do. But no worry, because as a local business, you can use Google inexpensively to target prospective, ready-to-buy consumers just in your local area and learn almost instantly how well your advertising is performing.

It’s time that you, as a local business, explore the value of advertising on Google (as well as other search engines like Bing and Yahoo). Take a cue from the big advertisers and start shifting your ad dollars to where the majority of your customers are now spending their time. You don’t have to make a big investment, nor do you need to make a long-term commitment to advertise on the search engines. So in 2012, make a commitment to spend at least a portion of your ad dollars online.

About Find My Local Biz

Find My Local Biz is a website design and Internet marketing company specializing in helping local businesses achieve success online. After we learn about your business and your marketing goals, we’ll set you up with a hard-hitting, results-driven, search engine advertising campaign that will be seen only by prospective customers in the areas in which you want your advertising reach.

Call Bruce Mishkin at (732) 535-6527 or email for a free consultation or more information on how search engine advertising will grow your business.