Google Lighthouse is a free tool to monitor and optimize online performance in terms of speed and user experience. Remembering a brief review of basic SEO principles. In reality, it is not a simple tool that measures the loading times of a single page but a suite of tools to improve a site’s performance through a wide-ranging analysis.
The fundamental aspect of this tool is clear: you can obtain an accurate, complete audit of your web project, analyzing a series of aspects that can form the basis for future optimization work which, today more than yesterday, ignores simple speeding up of web pages. It seems to me a good reason to delve into this topic. Let’s dive into the fundamental aspects of Lighthouse together and cover why it has become indispensable for your site.
What Is Google Lighthouse In A Nutshell?
It is a Mountain View tool, available free of charge and completely open source, to analyze the performance of a website, blog or e-commerce in different ways. The difference with other tools to monitor performance, such as Pagespeed Insight or Gtmetrix, is its ability to analyze many parameters that embrace different areas. But all gathered under the umbrella term of user experience. The experience lived on web pages. This is a concept that is increasingly topical and important to Google. Precisely in light of the declarations that see the concept of Web Core Vitals as a future SEO positioning factor, those who want to improve project performance cannot limit themselves to discovering loading times.
How Can You Analyze Your Website?
Several solutions allow you to leverage the data you pull from Google Lighthouse analytics. The most straightforward and most immediate: through the extension of the various browsers:
With this solution, clicking the icon is enough to get all the information needed to tackle a precise and punctual optimization job. But that’s not the only solution. From Chrome, go to the site you want to analyze and press the right mouse button. What procedures to follow? Simple. Go to the item inspect, and in the top menu, click on the arrow. This is how some items appear, including the one that starts the LightHouse analysis. Now the results are available to you. But what do you get from the check just completed? What are the voices to address?
Results Of This Performance Tool
Whether it’s from a browser extension or through Chrome DevTools (Command+Option+C for Mac or Control+Shift+C for other OS), the results returned by this tool are exciting. Mainly because performance analysis today is not limited to loading speed. Which always remains fundamental but travels, at least if you want to think about objective optimization, together with a series of parameters well analyzed by Lighthouse Google. What is to say?
The first item taken into consideration by this tool is, of course, that of performance in terms of speed. Yes, we don’t just have to see this. But you must recognize that Google always adds a set of metrics that more accurately record a website’s behavior. So, in addition to the classic Speed Index and First Contentful Paint, you now also get Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), which pertain to the Web above Core Vitals theme. One more point to remember. Before starting your verification, you can choose between desktop and mobile devices. To have increasingly precise results based on the real needs of the user.
That’s right, Google’s Lighthouse also gives you some advice on search engine optimization. Interestingly, it’s always handy to have advice from authoritative sources. What does the report suggest? What are the items of this SEO audit? On-page optimization basics like:
- Title tags.
- Meta descriptions.
- Anchor text.
Yes, Google’s Lighthouse suggests the presence of texts that still need to be more descriptive, which can lead to problems interpreting the links. It is essential to evaluate the robots.txt to discover indexing anomalies of your resource and the presence of alt tags in the images.
Often this item is completely ignored to broaden toward more captivating concepts. In reality, space should always be given to accessibility, a set of techniques that make it possible to make a website always available for consultation. What is evaluated in this phase of the analysis? Anything that helps people quickly consult a web document, such as the description used on the buttons and the contrast between the font and background color. These details must be addressed to improve user experience (UX).
Progressive Web Apps
A dedicated section, as the name suggests, to web applications and is tested to simulate actual use. Does the analyzed item load quickly from mobile? Does it offer a secure connection? The answers arrive, together with other numbers, thanks to Lighthouse’s analysis.
Google Lighthouse: How To Use The Data?
A valuable reflection to conclude the overview linked to this tool. Now you have a complete analysis of the website, how to exploit it? The idea is that you don’t just follow the one-time instructions but use the information from this tool to start an ongoing analysis and optimization process. Following a continuous Deming cycle, the work carried out on a site does not stop at single optimization but at studying solutions to proceed towards continuous performance improvement. Do you agree with this point of view? How do you usually proceed?
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