SMB customers looking for businesses online.

Small business owners know how important it is to get their names in front of the right customers, which is why they sponsor community events and provide outstanding services that generate word-of-mouth buzz. However, small- and medium-sized businesses must also use the web to increase recognition with an increasingly active audience.

To get maximum visibility with new and existing customers, SMBs must follow SEO best practices for Google. The largest global search engine’s site provided results for 13.3 billion internet searches in April 2013, according to the latest comScore data for search engine rankings. Earning positions on Google’s page one or two for search results means hundreds, thousands or even millions of prospective buyers will see SMBs’ website content.

Google performed 13.3 billion internet searches in April 2013.

However, comScore’s latest report also suggests that small business owners shouldn’t put all their eggs in one basket because Bing and Yahoo are creeping into Google’s search territory. Last month, Bing sites accounted for 16.9 percent of the search market, while Yahoo took hold of 11.8 percent.

If small business owners aren’t certain whether their customers are Google advocates or Yahoo die-hards, they should turn to content analytics. ContentLEAD recently reported that SMBs can measure the returns on their investments with metrics about the number of clicks each blog post receives on Google, compared with the number of internet users who click through to their websites from Bing. SMBs can then use that information to create content marketing plans that will get their websites in front of the right customers.