Small businesses are agile. They're known for being innovative and creative. They're able to test and try things far easier than a larger company. As a small business, you want to use this to your advantage. Yes, I know you're swamped with limited resources, but so many of the great things you can do for your company don't actually require that large an investment.\u00a0 You just need the nerve and foresight to try them. Like starting down the road of using online video to connect with and engage customers and boost your search engine rankings. But...we don't have time for that! Before you mentally list off all the reasons why online video won't work for your small business, let me tell you why it will. As a small business, you can use video to engage your customers and make more personal connections. While your competitors are trying to sell with text on their barely functional Web site, you establish yourself as a company who gets it. Using video allows you to speak directly to your customers, looking right at them and using your real voice to tell them why you're the best at what you do and how you can help them. It's the difference between picking a name out of a phone book or calling up a friend. How do you use video for your company? Create informative How To content and video tutorials that you can market to help you get links and visibility. For example, if you run a local pool company, create videos explaining how to do all the in between maintenance that's required before your next visit. Show them how to use that new vacuum, how to set up their filter, how to winterize or summarize their pool, how to chlorinate their pool, how to set up the perfect pool palace, etc. Take all the questions you get from customers every day and turn the answers into video content for your Web site. It's a powerful differentiator that will set you apart and make you even more useful to your customers. But that's not all it will do. At yesterday's Google Searchology event in Mountain View, Google's VP of Search Products & User Experience Marissa Mayer informed everyone that Universal Search results are present in 1 out of 4 Google searches. If you're unfamiliar with the term, Universal Search was a change to Google's algorithm that put media content like blogs, video, images, news, etc, right in with the regular Web search. That statistic is important because it means if someone does a search for [how to winterize my pool], the video that you created and uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo may begin to rank very competitively, gaining your business a considerable amount of traffic and links that will help you rank in local search. And if the searcher lives in your area, then you can be pretty sure they're going to contact you for services. Because now they know you. They know your name, they know what you look like, they've heard you explain to them in a friendly tone all the benefits of using your company. That's how you differentiate your small business from all the other "me toos" out there. Butwe don't have the budget for that! Yes, you do! This is the Web. You don't need pockets of money to do impressive things. You don't even need the best video equipment. Last week David Ingram posted a great guide to video search marketing for small businesses on Search Engine Land. In the piece, David specifically mentions how DIY yourself video is perfectly suited for small businesses because it's just like you. It's relatable, it's friendly and it's all about who you are. That's what your customers are looking for. If you've never consider using video to connect with customers and help your site rank in Google's local search, I recommend you give the Search Engine Land guide a read. It may open your eyes to a whole new way to increase your search engine rankings, while also connecting with customers in an intimate way.