SEO Comparison of Startup Websites - Ignite 2023
September 27th 2023
In this smaller SEO Showdown, read Mickael Maddison's website reviews of the startups at 2023's Ignite conference in Vancouver!
On September 25th 2023, I attended the Innovate BC Ignite “Path to Commercialization” conference in Vancouver at Canada Place West. The agenda was directed at startups looking at raising funds and bringing their innovations into the marketplace. I attended the event in order to learn more about Innovate BC, what technologies are bubbling up right here in our province, and to gain some knowledge on the process startups are going through to raise funds and market their innovations. Over the years my team has invested a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into researching and developing a portfolio of software and electronic systems to enhance our services so this is of great interest.
As is often the case when I attend events, if the speakers have websites chances are pretty good I’m checking it out and running some tests. At this particular event, these are the websites that I checked out and the scores that I assigned them based on the results of the health and keyword tests I ran on them.
For the sake of making this as simple as possible. I combined Accessibility, Best Practices, Performance, Indexability and Google PageSpeed into one value that I called “SEO Health Metrics”. Load Time, Total Size, Requests all came from GT Metrix. The Page 1 results are a bit more complex in that I did some very basic keyword research to find anywhere from 100 to 200 search terms for each site, and then checked their ranking positions for “British Columbia, Canada”.
Page 1 Unique is the percentage of the keywords tested that resulted in a Google page 1 ranking position. In general, a higher percentage can be a good indicator that Google is understanding your subject matter well and sees your site as being authoritative, at least compared to other options.
Page 1 Results is the total number of Google page 1 results (if your website has multiple pages, you can have more than one page 1 ranking position for a search term). This number is interesting as having more than one page 1 ranking position for a search term means your links may be more likely to attract visitors.
|Startup||SEO Health Metrics||Load Time||Total Size||Requests||Page 1 Unique||Page 1 Results||Page 1 General|
Finally, Page 1 General is the total number of page 1 unique results that did not include their business name as part of the search term. One of the easiest things a business should be able to achieve is to rank for it’s own business name. If this number is low, it suggests that Google understands your business, but does not see your site as an authoritative source of information.
While there are many other things that are typically considered when doing a deeper SEO review, this is enough for me to get a sense of the general health of each site. From what I see, all of the sites could use some attention, but if I was to pick a winner, I would pick Salish Elements followed fairly closely by Daanaa. While the latter has more rankings overall, they’re almost exclusively tied to the business name. Salish Elements has stronger SEO health metrics which tends to mean if they focused on good quality content building, they would probably be able to grow their rankings and visitor traffic without a lot of extra effort.
As far as the event itself, I found it to be fairly enjoyable. The agenda was fairly well packed with great speakers and panellists. We heard from First Nations representatives in a discussion on working and innovating together. We learned about the importance of Intellectual Property and some of the issues around IP. We heard pitches from BC based startups with follow up questions from venture capital investors. At the end of the event there were awards with cash amounts provided to a number of startups followed by a reception.
The food was great, the sessions were all very interesting, and I met some very interesting people at the event. I did enjoy my time there but it was fairly clear early in the day that the event was targeted towards University research and development startups that are focusing on things along the lines of environmental, natural resources, medical, and energy. At SilverServers we approach R&D as a mix of what can we do to optimize our workflow, reduce costs, add value to our services, and learn something new. Whether our innovations are scalable to those industries is yet to be determined but for now, I’m happy to have attended the event and had this opportunity to learn about these interesting startups and test their websites.
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