SEO Audit Checklist for Vancouver Startups

December 8, 2021
SEO Audit Checklist for Vancouver Startups

A SEO audit is an assessment of a website’s SEO elements and identification of areas of improvement. During SEO audit, SEO experts would point out areas that a website should optimize to improve its search rankings for certain search phrases. SEO experts would also detect website errors and suggest recommendations on content-related and technical matters.

To help you perform a SEO audit for your Vancouver startup, we have come up with a simple checklist that you can go through for your website and identify SEO elements on your website that you should address before you engage in a SEO Vancouver campaign.

Title tags

Title tags are the page title of a webpage. Google heavily refers to keywords in the title tags to gain textual understanding of a webpage and display the webpage on search results for search terms related to keywords in the title tags. For example, if a webpage’s title tags include “Commercial Real Estate Lawyer”, Google will understand that the webpage is related to “Commercial Real Estate Lawyer” and display the webpage for search terms related to “Commercial Real Estate Lawyer”.

To find popular keywords that your audience uses to find your products or services, you can use keyword research tools such as Google Ads Keyword Planner, Google Trends, SEMRush, Answer the Public, or Ahrefs Keyword Explorer.

Alternative text

Alternative text is a textual description of an image. Alternative text was developed initially to help those who are visually impaired so these individuals could understand what an image entails. When a visually-impaired person uses an eBook reader to listen to text on an webpage and the eBook reader comes across an image, the eBook reader will read out the image’s alternative text to the person so the person can understand what the image is. For example, if an eBook reader comes across an image of a sun and the image’s alternative text is “sun setting in Whistler”, the eBook reader will read out “sun setting in Whistler” to the listener.

Google uses alternative text to gain textual understanding of an image and shows the image in Google Images for search terms related to the alternative text. Google also uses alternative text as a SEO factor to rank the webpage that the image is on. For example, if an image’s alternative text is “Whistler hotel” and the image is embedded on a webpage that’s about a Whistler hotel, the webpage is likely to display on search results for search queries related to “Whistler hotel”.

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)

Secure Sockets Layer, commonly known as SSL, is a piece of security technology that is used to secure server to browser transactions. This security process generally includes securing information passed by a browser (such as a customer’s credit card number or password) to a webserver (such as an online store or online banking application). When you go to a website and the browser indicates that the website isn’t secure, it means that the website hasn’t installed SSL.

Google takes website security under consideration when ranking a website because the search engine wants to display secure websites to its online users. To install SSL for your website, you can easily purchase SSL from your website hosting company and install SSL on your website from your website hosting account.

Mobile responsiveness

With more shoppers using their phones or tablets to browse for information or products, ensuring your website is mobile responsive is imperative for delivering positive mobile user-experience and satisfying Google’s mobile responsive standards. More, assuring your website is mobile responsive is important for ranking well for mobile SEO.

An example of assuring that your website is mobile responsive is that the text on the mobile version of your website is legible and content on the mobile version of the website is stacked vertically so users can scroll through and read the content from top to bottom easily.

Website pagespeed

Website pagespeed refers to how fast a webpage loads on a browser. Google takes website pagespeed under consideration when ranking a website because pagespeed affects a website’s user-experience (UX). Slow pagespeed leads to poor UX which leads to lower search ranking.

To increase your website pagespeed, minimize the file sizes of website elements on your website. For example, compress image files on your website to under 100KB, limit the amount of animation on your website, and compress HTML and CSS files. You can also use a dedicated website hosting. When you use dedicated hosting, you’ll receive full resources from a single server. You don’t need to worry about other websites clogging up the server’s CPU and RAM. With a dedicated server, you can be sure that bad scripts running on another website or spikes in bandwidth usage won’t slow your server down.

Broken links

Similar to website pagespeed, broken links also affect UX which ultimately influences a website’s search ranking. Broken links deliver poor UX because no user wants to click on a link only to be led to a 404 error page. As mentioned above, poor UX leads to lower search ranking.

To detect broken links on a website, there are a few tools you can use. The most popular ones are Screaming Frog SEO Spider and Broken Link Checker. These two tools crawl through a website and find all broken links on the website. Once you’ve gathered a list of these broken links, you can remedy them by removing the links altogether from your website and update them with functioning links.

URL structures

Google uses keywords in a URL to gain textual understanding of a webpage. For example, if a webpage’s URL is “2022-Toyota-Corolla”, Google will understand that the webpage is related to the “2022 Toyota Corolla” and display the webpage on search results for search queries related to “2022 Toyota Corolla”. If a webpage’ URL is unthematic such as “refsehrq.html”, Google won’t be able to use the URL parameter to gain textual understanding of the webpage. The webpage will lose an opportunity to let Google understand what the page entails and appear on search results for related search queries.

SEO has emerged as one of the most important digital marketing programs for Vancouver startups. To achieve SEO success, you should start by performing an SEO audit on your website to assure that your website is optimized for search ranking. By using the checklist above, you can assess SEO factors on your website and address any issues you may have. For example, you may need to compress your image files to increase your website pagespeed or include relevant keywords in your webpage URLs to help Google gain textual understanding of your webpages. Engaging in these SEO optimization tacitcs will help your website become more search engine-friendly and establish a solid foundation for your website’ SEO. This establishment is critical in succeeding in SEO in the long run!


RW Digital is a Vancouver digital marketing agency. RW Digital specializes in data analytics, digital advertising, SEO, WordPress website development for consumer brands and hospitality, real estate, self storage, and social-impact industries and startups.

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