Search engine optimization for small and very small businesses.

Big Mistake in Small Business SEO: Copywriting

In a recent online poll of SEO experts asking what’s the biggest mistake small businesses make in terms of their SEO, Joost deValk contributed an important one. Joost is an expert in the field of SEO, online marketing and web development, helping both big brands such as eBay as well as small businesses with their online strategy. He blogs at, where he also provides the WordPress community with lots of free plugins to help them in their optimization.

His response to what he thinks is the worst mistake small businesses make was this:

To spend a lot of money (relatively speaking) on their website and even on SEM and SEO, but not on their site’s copy. I’m not a good copy writer myself, but the impact good copy can make on your business and on your rankings is often misunderstood.

When I made that investment myself on, the results were immediate: higher rankings and, more importantly, I doubled conversions.

Don’t short-change the value of professional copywriting on your web site. It’s almost always a short-sighted mistake to think you can do as good a job as a professional copywriter. If you’d like to talk with a copywriter, you could do worse than starting out with our list of strategic partners.


  1. Great post. In my experience as well, small businesses often try to save money by writing their own copy. I always tell clients that copy should do two things — drive people to their website through keyword rich copy and keep them reading once they get there. Keyword-rich, compelling copy goes a long way to making a website successful.

    • Thanks, Joan. We often tell our clients that SEO can drive lots of visitors to a website, but it’s up to the website itself and the copy visitors can read there to convert them into paying customers. It’s a rare small business owner who can write compelling marketing copy.

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