BT Business http://business.bt.com/ has today announced plans to make enterprise quality digital marketing more accessible to small businesses with the launch of BT SearchSmart http://business.bt.com/domains-and-web-hosting/marketing/search-smart in partnership with the UK’s largest independent search agency, Latitude http://www.latitudegroup.com/. BT SearchSmart is a cost effective service to help small businesses market themselves better online.

With 25 per cent - £78 billion - of UK retail spend in this year projected to come from online sales2, businesses need to ensure they are capturing potential customers online. Consumers are also increasingly researching a purchase online with 41 per cent using search engines to identify new companies and websites3.

A comprehensive search engine marketing service, BT SearchSmart gives small businesses access to highly trained search marketing experts to improve their online returns. From £74.99 per month4, businesses will receive an in-depth telephone consultation, including a web site audit, advice on on-site optimisation, and keyword targeting. BT SearchSmart can also build and transparently manage pay-per-click (PPC http://business.bt.com/domains-and-web-hosting/marketing/search-smart#business_benefits) campaigns.

Chris Holder, partner and co-founder at Brand X PR, and small business owner said, “Online is set to become an increasingly important channel for us, and until recently, this type of service was only available from dedicated agencies or if you had a specialist in-house, both of which were beyond our budget, so it’s refreshing that it’s now available as a subscription service from BT.”

“Professional marketing services have in the past been out of reach for the vast majority of small businesses who don't have access to the skills or tools needed to manage search campaigns. That's the gap we are filling with BT SearchSmart.” said Bill Murphy, managing director, BT Business. “Search advertising is growing rapidly and is now the leading advertising format in Europe growing at a rate of 26% year on year5. We want to make sure that small businesses can participate in this rapidly growing market at a price they can afford and with access to the tools to manage their campaign performance effectively.”

BT SearchSmart will give small businesses access to a dedicated portal where they can manage all their search marketing activity in one place with online reports, recommendations and access to qualified professionals. The reports will track improvements in individual keyword rankings and transparently report on paid search spend and allocation. The search marketing professionals are all accredited Google AdWords professionals.

Alex Hoye, Latitude CEO, said, “ This partnership brings together BT’s reach and trust with Latitude’s technical expertise to enable small businesses to succeed as more consumers move online. We are excited to make our scale, technology and experience managing campaigns for big business now accessible to smaller enterprises through a service especially designed to meet their needs.”

There are a range of BT SearchSmart packages designed especially for small businesses including support for PPC, search engine optimisation (SEO http://business.bt.com/domains-and-web-hosting/marketing/search-smart#overview) and web analytics. Additional free advice and support from BT Business includes best practice guides on a range of digital marketing topics.

For more information about BT SearchSmart visit www.bt.com/searchsmart

Notes to editors
1. Econsultancy Search Engine Marketing Buyers Guide 2008
2. IMG 2008
3. Verdict Research, May 2009
4. Minimum 3 months contract, £100 set-up fee
5. IAB Europe, July 2009

For further information

Enquiries about this news release should be made to the BT Group Newsroom on its 24-hour number: 020 7356 5369. From outside the UK dial + 44 20 7356 5369. All news releases can be accessed at our web site: http://www.btplc.com/News

About BT

BT is one of the world’s leading providers of communications solutions and services operating in 170 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to our customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband and internet products and services and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists principally of four lines of business: BT Global Services, Openreach, BT Retail and BT Wholesale.

In the year ended 31 March 2009, BT Group’s revenue was £21,390 million.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.
For more information, visit www.bt.com/aboutbt

BT Business

BT Business understands the challenges that businesses face in the current climate, and supports cost control, improved productivity and winning business with technology including business broadband & internet, domain names http://business.bt.com/domains-and-web-hosting/domains and web hosting http://business.bt.com/domains-and-web-hosting/web-hosting/web-hosting-packages packages, IT support and mobile services including BlackBerry http://business.bt.com/mobile/mobile-email/blackberry-internet-service.

About Latitude

Latitude is a leading digital marketing agency http://www.latitudegroup.com/ who deliver their expertise in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Pay Per Click (PPC), social media, online display advertising, affiliate marketing and conversion analytics to clients including Tesco Personal Finance, Virgin Games and Toys R Us. Our whole approach is built on performance, and our conversion analytics expertise ensures that, once visitors get to your site, they convert from prospects to customers. We are confident that we can demonstrate a significantly better ROI on your marketing spend than you’re getting at the moment. In fact, we’re so confident that we offer many of our clients performance-based pricing.

PR Contact:
Kina Kara
BT Group Newsroom
BT Centre
81 Newgate Street
London
EC1A 7AJ
020 7356 5369
www.bt.com/newscentre

Published on: 10:00AM on 17th September 2009