Search engine optimization has been a hot topic for content marketers in recent years. Google, the undeniable leader of Web indexing, is constantly changing its algorithms for what content rises to the top of search results, and attempts to cheat the system render your webpage all but invisible. These fluctuating best practices have made SEO a considerable challenge for businesses of all sizes.

Small businesses are in an especially difficult position when it comes to SEO due to their typically limited resources. However, there are a few basic tried-and-true methods that can help you adapt to the ever-shifting landscape. Here are five steps you can follow to create an effective SEO strategy.

Take advantage of analytics tools

If you want to make the search engines happy, a good first step is using the free tools they provide for website administrators. Les Corrigan, president and founder of digital marketing agency CheckSite Websites & SEO, advised signing up for Google Analytics and Google and Bing’s webmaster tools to help you understand the ins and outs of your site traffic.