5 Common First-Time SEO Mistakes and How To Fix Them

For something so seemingly simple, SEO newbies have a lot of ground to cover. SEO can be a great tool for boosting site traffic, but SEO is no one-trick pony. There are quite a few things to think about when first optimizing your website. Whether you are just breaking into digital marketing or are looking to diversify your business’s marketing efforts with SEO, here are five of the most common mistakes we see SEO first-timers make and how to fix them.



Meta information is an HTML attribute that offers search engines and searchers a brief web page summary. Google often displays the meta description in search results, so having good meta info is a must. A common mistake we see first-timers make is neglecting to complete this HTML information, most likely because they either don’t know what it is or don’t realize its significance. Metadata can be a great tool to accomplish the two main goals of SEO: 1) to compel search engine users to click on your listing and 2) to utilize good keywords for search engine rankings.


“Google My Business” is a free, simple tool that offers a wide range of helpful features that let business owners promote their Business Profile and business website on Google Search results and Maps. Through Google My Business, profile owners can see and connect with customers, post updates to their Business Profile, and see how customers interact with their business on Google.

Given that this tool is completely free, it’s a good idea to use it to its fullest extent, especially for businesses operating under a tight marketing budget. Make sure to add photos of your product or services, write compelling descriptions, and keep customers updated on your business hours or any special promotions.


Keywords are the bread and butter of SEO. If you’re going to take the time to create quality content for your website (which you should!), it would behoove you to use your keywords, blog posts, web copy, and/or landing pages. Your keywords should be present in your copy headers and paragraphs. If you’re curious about focus keywords, we’ve got you covered. Check out our super helpful blog post on that exact subject.


Quality websites are not like slow cookers you can just set and forget. Google and other search engines prefer websites that get regular care and attention. So, to get the most out of your website, you need to regularly update and/or add new, quality content.

This is also a great time to utilize those all-important keywords. This could be in the form of blog posts, new landing pages, or even just refreshing existing content or pages. The ultimate goal is to show Google your site is a happening spot to be. It will rank active sites much better than inactive ones.


Getting searchers to your site is one thing, but keeping them engaged is a whole other matter. Your user experience (again, we have a great article on UX if you’re looking to take a deeper dive on the subject) is a lesser-known piece of information Google uses to rank websites. Google takes note of how long someone stays on your site.

If your website has a high bounce rate, that is going to count against you. Keep your customers engaged with videos, images, and easy-to-navigate content. Your site should be intuitive, so people don’t land on your site, get confused, and immediately abandon it.


If you see yourself in any of the mistakes listed above, fear not; they are easy fixes that can yield great results over time. Between keywords, content, metadata, and user experience, it can all feel very overwhelming to the untrained SEO eye. If you’re looking for a little help, give us a call. Boxwood specializes in helping small to mid-sized businesses create new connections and reach their goals through time-tested SEO inbound marketing strategies.