Don’t you just love posts like this?

You know, the ‘Are you making these mistakes in your business?’ ones?

The ones where you go and look to simply reassure yourself your SEO and marketing strategy is on point…

…only to realize you are indeed, making one of the listed mistakes?

Well rest assured this post is not meant to point out what you’re doing wrong.

Well wait. Yes, maybe it is. But don’t worry, you’re not alone.

I am actually putting this together because 99% of my small business SEO clients was in fact making at least one of these mistakes when we first started working together.

My hopes is that you can use these 5 important SEO and marketing tips to refine your own strategy and plug up any holes in your game.

Let’s get started…

1. Not Having A Small Business Marketing Plan

Small Business Marketing Plan

This is actually not technically 100% an ‘SEO’ mistake, but SEO is (and should be) a component of a solid marketing plan.

Not having a written marketing plan is like flying a plane with blinders on. You are just asking for trouble.

Not having a written marketing plan is like flying a plane with blinders on. Click To Tweet

Your marketing plan is what guides your marketing strategy.

It identifies the who, what, when, where, and why of your business, and how you will address these identifiers through marketing.

Fix this mistake right away if you fall into this category.

If you don’t have a functioning, updated marketing plan you are more than likely making other mistakes in your SEO strategy.

If you need a place to start, you can go to a website like Mplans ( to see marketing plan samples and templates for free.

2. Not Allocating Enough Budget To SEO

Business SEO Budget

Alright, so before you hit me with a “Ah-Ha! You’re just trying to talk up SEO service costs,” just hold tight and hear me out.

First and foremost, if you don’t realize SEO (or any marketing for that matter) is an investment in your business, you need to shift your mindset.

Here’s why…

…SEO is a tool that will provide you a steady stream of customers coming through the door or ringing your phone.

How much is that worth to you? How much is it worth to you to have customers to buy your products and services?

That is why you started your small business correct? To sell stuff and make money right?

Bottom line, SEO and marketing drive revenue.

But how much should you be allocating to your SEO budget? That’s not an easy question to answer for sure.

There is a lot of ‘it depends’ in an answer like that.

The Small Business Administration says businesses making less than $5 million a year in revenue should allocate 7% – 8% of revenues to marketing.

My take is SEO for small businesses can and should be affordable. I also think there is an easier and more precise way to assess how much you should be spending on SEO.

It all boils down to Return On Investment (ROI), which ironically is the next mistake.

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3. Not Using ROI To Measure Your Business SEO Strategy

SEO Strategy ROI

If you’re not measuring you’re SEO strategy in terms of ROI, you’re doing it all wrong.

If you're not measuring you're SEO strategy in terms of ROI, you're doing it all wrong. Click To Tweet

I find most small business clients I work with are surprised when I show the projected ROI of the SEO strategies I put together for them.

Not because they find the numbers unbelievable, but because no one has ever done this for them before.

It is a true power when you can actually determine an expected ROI, and then have actual measurable goals to monitor progress against.

Don’t get me wrong, rankings are great.

But if you are spending $1000 a month for SEO, and getting $800 a month in return, it doesn’t matter if you are Page 1 or #1.

What’s more important to your business is actual customers and sales. It makes sense to understand if your SEO strategy is delivering customers and sales.

I always aim to provide a minimum 300% ROI for every service. You give me $1 and I give you at least $3 back.

But honestly, as a small business owner myself, as long as I can acquire customers at break even or better, I know my business will operate and grow successfully.

I do this by measuring against ROI.

Here is a quick example of how you can measure your SEO ROI.

Take the keyword small business SEO services. It has a monthly search volume of about 260 searches a month.

Small Business SEO Services

Let’s just hypothetically say I was able to rank #1 for that search term. If I captured 30% of the clicks from that search phrase, I would get about 78 visits a month to my website.

Let’s say that 10% of the visitors to my website inquire about SEO services for their business. That would give me about 8 leads.

Let’s say out of those that inquire, 50% become clients. That means I would expect to get about 3 – 4 clients a month from that one search term.

If a client is worth $1,000 to me, that would mean that keyword alone is worth $3,000 to $4,000 a month to my business.

That also means my out-of-pocket costs must be that amount or lower to have a true ROI.

So now I know how much I can spend (budget) on an SEO marketing strategy, and how to measure to ensure I am getting a good return on the money I’m spending.

4. Forgetting To Think From The Customer’s Perspective

Small Business Customers

Sometimes when talking with small business owners about their SEO strategy, I am provided a list of keywords they want to rank for.

But as I mentioned before, rankings don’t necessarily translate into traffic.

The key to a successful small business SEO strategy is understanding ‘how’ your customers are searching for your services and products. Basically, what makes them BUY.

You may want to rank for small business software, when in fact, your users are searching for software solutions for small businesses.

These differences can be huge in terms of time and money invested in an SEO strategy.

So how do you know how your customers are searching when they are looking for your products and services?

This is pretty easy. And leads me to small business SEO mistake #5.

5. Not Using Competitor Intelligence To Formulate An SEO Strategy

SEO Competitor Intelligence

This surprises me quite a bit. Small business SEO is not like taking a college exam.

You don’t have to spend countless hours of late nights trying to memorize all the answers, and then struggling to take the test on your own.

No, in fact, you can ‘phone a friend’ when it comes to building an effective SEO campaign for your business.

Your friend is called competitor intelligence.

Competitor intelligence is like having the answers to the test before you even pick up your pencil.

Competitor intelligence is like having the answers to the test before you even pick up your pencil. Click To Tweet

Every small business (99% of the time), has at least 1 competitor in their niche. If not, then there is someone in a very similar niche you can pull data from.

The bottom line is this, you can leverage the traffic and conversion data of your competition and literally take what works and insert it into your SEO strategy. And throw away what doesn’t work.

Do you see how powerful that is?

You can maximize your SEO budget by focusing your efforts on what is already attracting your ideal customers and clients.

A thorough competitor analysis will reveal customer behavior, interests, hidden advertising sources, and many more valuable insights.

Use this information to put together and implement your initial SEO strategy, or refine your existing one.

We offer a completely Free analysis of your Top 3 competitors here.

Learn From The Mistakes Of Others

If you managed to get through this post and find you are not making any of these common mistakes…


You more than likely have a successful small business and are getting decent traffic and sales.

If you went through and found you are making 1 or 2 of these mistakes…

…don’t panic.

Simply use this post as a guide to get your small business SEO strategy back on target!

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