A website page’s loading speed will, in all likelihood, remain as one of the most important factors that will determine its spot in the SERPs and digital marketing as a whole. It has a direct impact on indexation and user experience, after all, which are pillars of search engine optimization.
And, come to think of it, Google would undoubtedly not have made that complete transition from PageSpeed Insights to Google Lighthouse if page speed is not correlated with overall website quality. Indeed, page speed importance is always paramount when trying to rank on Google.
How Does Lighthouse Function?
Nevertheless, Lighthouse is no longer just limited to page speed. It actually audits your entire website’s SEO performance in a more in-depth manner compared to PageSpeed Insights. And Google has already affirmed that it will only add more checks in the future.
Also Read:- How to Build a Strong SEO Strategy for 2020
It goes without saying that it’s a very nifty tool to have for any webmaster hoping to get a substantial slice of the organic traffic pie. Let’s get down right to how you can use it to the fullest.
You can instantly access it by pressing ‘F12’ when viewing any webpage. Afterward, you will see the categories that it will check (and you can tick prior to requesting an audit). These include essential factors like:
- Best Practices
- Progressive Web App
You can select to either check the Mobile or Desktop versions of the page, which Lighthouse will perform separate audits for. Once you click on ‘Generate Report’, you will only need to wait for the tool to create a detailed report of the site’s standing with regards to the categories you ticked.
Though not readily visible, the entire audit also checks fundamental aspects like the following:
- The overall mobile-friendliness of the page
- The validity of structured data, robust.tx, rel=canonical setup, and hreflang implementation
- The presence of a meta description and undesirable plugins like Flash and Java
- Whether it’s blocked from indexing, uses proper anchor texts and font sizes, and alt text in images
As you can see, Lighthouse is already an adequate tool whose wealth of information you can use to improve your site in Google’s eyes. An added bonus is that it is actually provided by the still number one search engine in the world.
Also Read:- Advantages of Local SEO?
How to Make the Most Out of Google Lighthouse?
To get the most out of Lighthouse only means you should be able to use it to acquire a wealth of information that you can use to directly improve your site’s SEO. The reports generated are fairly straightforward and should you help you pinpoint the areas of your site that you need to improve to adhere more to Google’s page speed guidelines. The question is what should your next steps be once you receive the detailed reports from the audits?
Well, if you’re a savvy webmaster, you’ll probably be able to get a good inkling about what you need to do improve on aspects where your page is in the red (or orange). The Lighthouse reports themselves actually take the liberty to list down the best courses to take to improve your site.
Here are a few tips to help you get more green metrics once you perform a Lighthouse audit:
- Opt to minimize your site as much as possible - To minimize a site means you should purge elements that your site do not really need and only causes it to slow down. If, for instance, you’ve been using high-resolution pictures before, then you should probably start utilizing lazy loading, optimize images, or opt for next-gen formats like JPEG 2000 instead of JPG.
You also need to start checking for plugins and CSS codes that your site rarely uses. Lastly, we also highly recommend you start using content delivery networks because it actually does all the minification and compression for you.
It does not take long to see that there are individual factors like page speed that has a lot of influence on Google algorithm impacts. We hope that the SEO techniques we have outlined above and that Lighthouse freely imparts would be of good use to you, once you get a good grasp on how to use the said tool optimally. In the end, it’s one of the best gauges of website quality at present, and using it is fairly straightforward as evidenced by the facts outlined here.