In the current economy, small business owners need to take every advantage in order to give themselves an edge – including using search engine optimization (SEO).

Writing a recent business column for the Rochester, Minnesota Post-Bulletin, Dean Swanson, a volunteer counselor at small business group SCORE, says small businesses should use search engine optimization (SEO) to take advantage of the growing amount of people using search engines to find information.

Although some entrepreneurs may think they can just create a website and the leads will come in, Swanson says businesses have to be proactive about getting to the top of search engine results pages can’t expect the search engines to find them.

Swanson advises business owners to use keywords that are associated with their product or service throughout the site to help draw traffic and also suggests organizing the pages on the site to make them easier for the search engine crawlers to find all the information on there.

A growing number of small businesses are turning to online marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) according to a recent study from Entrepreneur magazine. According to the report, 76 percent of SMBs said the web is becoming more important for their marketing needs with 42 percent saying they had increased their use of search engine optimization (SEO) or updated their website.