Keeping your small business relevant with all the competition offers can seem at times like running a marathon.

You see the finish line in the distance, but you are struggling to get there. The question then becomes how do you finish and make that next sale?

For small businesses in a variety of industries, the end result of winning or losing a sale oftentimes comes down to just how good of a marketing game they have.

So, is your marketing game helping or hurting your brand when all is said and done?

Marketing Can’t Be Taken for Granted

In order for your small business to always stay on par or even ahead of the competition, where you rank on Google is oftentimes a deciding factor.

If you have a solid ranking (at or near the top of the page), consumers will find you when they do a search of your respective industry. In the event your ranking is marginal, you could very easily be passed over by competitors. This is especially true if consumers are not willing to spend the time sorting through pages on Google during their searches.

With that being the case, it is imperative that you do everything possible to secure a solid ranking, not to mention maintain it.

In order to do that, keep these tips in your mind:

  • Website – Are you satisfied with the overall look and feel of your website? If the answer is no, what are you going to do to change that feeling? Your website serves as the bread and butter of your brand, so don’t take it lightly. Pour your heart and soul into your site, giving it all the necessary resources. If your site is not informative and interesting enough to attract consumers, you will end up missing out on a number of sales, something most small businesses can’t afford to let happen;
  • Content – What kind of content are you posting to your site, notably on your blog? Content that proves authoritative and serves the consumer a purpose is your best option. If your content is boring, barely updated on a regular basis, and essentially looks and feels like a sales pitch or spam, Google will look down on it. In turn, your site will be lucky to get anywhere near sniffing the top pages on search engines. Don’t be hesitant to post guest blog articles on your site if they are worthwhile. Doing this opens up the door not only to a variety of topics and thoughts of mind from differing authors, but it also opens up the door for cross-promotions. Guest authors who publish on your site are likely to then promote those pieces on their social media channels, giving you more eyes to come and view your site’s products and/or services;
  • Marketing – If you don’t have the time or quite frankly the expertise when it comes to marketing, look for assistance. In hopes to locate an experienced search engine marketing firm, you ultimately turn over your marketing needs to those who have the time and experience. In doing so, you invest in improving your brand’s outreach to consumers, something every small business needs to do. Whether you write your marketing copy or someone else does, the right search engine marketing firm can teach you the value of injecting the right anchor text into each and every piece of content you put out there. They also can assist you with how best to promote (see more below) that content and all other aspects of your brand;
  • Socialization – Another key to increasing your Google ranking is the right amount of promotions on social media. If you’re not giving your brand a push on sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram etc. you are setting yourself up for missed opportunities. One would be a fool not to want to capitalize on all social networking can offer businesses in today’s Internet world.

These are but a few of the keys to finding the best ranking possible for your brand.

When you invest the time and money into climbing the Google ladder, good things await at or near the top.

About the Author: Dave Thomas covers small business topics on the web.