When running a small business, where do you put search engine optimization (SEO) on the food chain of importance?

If you’re a smart business owner, you know the positive role that SEO can play in helping market your brand and ultimately increase your revenue stream.

With that being said, are you an SEO player or just a benchwarmer?

Promoting Your Brand the Right Way

In order to give your small business brand the proper promotions online, you need a solid mix of content marketing, selected keywords, and social media outreach.

With that in mind, here are a few reasons why your small business should be using and loving SEO:

  • Keywords – One of the big keys to your content marketing (see more below) efforts is the right usage of keywords. Remember, target keywords that best define the products and/or services that you sell. For example, if you run a life insurance business, using keywords such as life insurance, selling life insurance, buy life insurance, cheap life insurance etc. stand to do well upon Google searches. In the event you’re not sure how best to apply keywords and SEO in general to improve organic traffic, this is where consulting on SEO strategy with an expert or experts in the field is to your benefit;
  • Less expensive – In using SEO, you will likely save your small business money, something that is sure to please those companies finding themselves tight on a budget. In general, SEO efforts will not cost you what online advertising, banner ads, pay per click etc. will.
  • Content marketing – The content you place on your website is the bread and butter of your online promotional efforts. That said you need to make sure it is content that resonates with consumers, not content that is stale, uninformative, and regurgitated from elsewhere. While you do not necessarily have to post content each and every day, you can’t put the occasional piece of content on your site and hope it will do the trick. Post good content on a regular basis, content that is informative and authoritative. At the end of the day, you want your content to serve as an educational source for any and all consumers that visit your site. Another reason to want and have strong content is that it helps boost your Google page ranking. The higher up you are in the rankings, the better chances of making sales to consumers;
  • Social media – As good as your keywords and content may be, will anyone really know about them if you don’t promote on social networking sites? Yes, some consumers will come across your keyword rich content, but social media opens up whole new possibilities for your small business brand. The key to effective social media usage is not spreading you too thin on too many sites. Focus on the best sites for your brand, typically ones like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. This way, you get the most bang for your efforts. If you are new to social media, start out slowly. Trying to do too much at once can be a recipe for disaster. Using interesting imagery and even videos in some of your posts is a good idea too;
  • Mobility matters – As mobile devices continue to gain traction with consumers, using local search engine optimization benefits your brand. You can target specific keywords to entice consumers to your products and/or services. In doing so, look to reach shoppers when they are most likely to consider shopping and ultimately buying. That said it is important that your content/images download quickly and accurately for mobile shoppers. You can improve such odds by removing such obstacles as Flash and those images that are large (these can take forever to download). Your content also needs to be rather brief and to the point. Lastly, it is important that your social media pages have connections to your mobile website. Doing so allows a simple means by which consumers can reach out to you and learn more about your brand.

If SEO hasn’t been on the front-burner of your small business up to this point, time to take it off the back-burner and run with it.

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