Visibility in search engine results is an essential part of any small business marketing strategy. When consumers search for a company to do business with, they rarely go beyond the first page of results.

There are a few basic things you can do to increase the chances that your business will rank higher than your competitors.

1- Embrace Mobile

Having a quality website is the foundation of SEO. If you are building a site from scratch, you need to integrate SEO into the design. If you already have a site you need to optimize your site so it can easily be crawled by the search engines.

You must ensure that your website is mobile-friendly. This means that it will be displayed properly on any mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet.

Here are some eCommerce stats you need to be aware of:

40% of all consumers will go to a competitor if they have a negative mobile experience on your site

62% of smartphone users have made a purchase directly from their device

If you want to increase your sales you need to provide your customers with a positive mobile experience.

2- Optimize Your Site

You want to make sure that every page on your website is optimized for search engines. This goes beyond meta tags and keyword density.

Make sure your URL’s contain the keywords you want to rank for. And also include them in the image tags as well.

Use outbound links to high authority sites and also link to other pages in your site that will provide more information to your readers.

Add social sharing buttons to each blog post so that your readers can easily share your work with their social network.

Post long-form content. There is growing evidence that longer content (1,000 words+) tend to rank higher in the search results. This will not only help you rank higher but it will also allow you to provide in-depth answers to your reader’s questions.

3- Create Content Around Keywords

Your customers are searching for answers and it is your job to provide them. Find out the keywords and phrases that your customers are typing into the search engines and create content based on them.

It will take some time but you should have a list of 30-40 main keywords that you can create content around. This content does not have to be a blog post. You can create videos, infographics, white papers, or webinars that provide valuable information to your audience.

Keyword research is not a one-time event. You must continually be aware of what your customers are searching for. Trends come and go. You can benefit from these trends by creating relevant content before your competitors do.

4- Solve Problems

If you want your content to be shared and maybe even “go viral” you have to solve the problems of your audience.

The search engines are getting very good at penalizing thin or irrelevant content. You do not want this to happen to you.

Give your audience a mix of content types, like blog posts and ebooks. Videos are easily digestible on mobile devices and infographics make information easy to understand.

Another great way to provide valuable content and solve problems is to host webinars. This way you can present your information and take questions from attendees. You can then use these questions to create more valuable content for your readers. Make sure you have a webinar landing page for each webinar you plan to produce to make it easy for your prospects to sign up.

5- Get Quality Links

Links to your site are as good as gold. But you need the right kind of links. Getting a website that has authority in your industry to link back to your site is far more valuable than one that doesn’t.

For example, if you are a car dealer you want backlinks from other automobile-related sites instead of motorcycle sites. Google will look at where these links are coming from when they determine their rankings.

Always think quality (and relevance) over quantity when it comes to backlinks.

By integrating these tips into your SEO strategy you will be well on your way to ranking higher in the search results and outperforming your competition in the marketplace.