Expectations for your website are high. Not only does it need to look sharp, it also needs to load quickly on a wide range of devices. Keeping a site looking and running smoothly can overwhelm even the most seasoned web developers. If you’re struggling to optimise your site, Google Lighthouse is a powerful development tool that can show you the way.
Never heard of Google Lighthouse? Learn how it can help you in this guide.
Quickstart guide to Google Lighthouse
- What is Google Lighthouse?
- What is included in a Google Lighthouse score?
- Why does my Google Lighthouse score matter?
- We built GoDaddy Websites + Marketing with Lighthouse in mind.
What is Google Lighthouse?
Google Lighthouse is a tool that helps web developers improve the quality of the pages on their site.
It checks the loading speeds, accessibility, and the overall search engine optimisation (SEO) of the page it checks. These functions are important, as the quality of each page is a contributing factor to your website’s SEO.
Originally intended to analyse Progressive Web Apps (PWAs), Google has expanded the functionality of this tool to make it more accessible to the everyday web designer.
It runs tests, also known as audits, on how well the page loads under simulated conditions. The simulated conditions include a weak data connection on a slow device, packet loss and network throttling.
The goal of Google Lighthouse is to help you to better optimise your site loading speeds, so testing from not-so-ideal conditions is an excellent real-world test to help you on your optimisation journey.
What is included in a Google Lighthouse score?
When running a scan of your web pages through Google Lighthouse, you’ll be presented with a score on five individual metrics. Let’s consider each below.
The performance of your site’s pages relates to the overall speed at which your site loads and how well users can interact with your site content.
These functions are crucial to both your site’s SEO ranking and how users perceive your site.
Your site might be full of beautiful, high-definition pictures, but if the page doesn’t load fast enough, the viewer might leave your site before the images ever load.
Google rewards sites that loads pages quickly and prioritises fast sites above slower sites in search results.
The accessibility test checks your pages to be sure that a page header has been established. It also runs checks on the colours on your site to be sure that it’s easily readable and whether your site text can be scaled for a visually-impaired user.
Since it’s not possible for the automated tests to check everything, Google Lighthouse will also present you with some items to check manually to ensure that your site is fully accessible.
3. Best Practices
This test is more generalised than the other tests, but focuses heavily on security vulnerabilities. It looks for things like behind-the-scene errors when the page is loaded, references to libraries that are out of date or unsafe links.
The test checks to be sure that your web page is easily discoverable by search engines. This includes checks for H1 headers on each page, proper meta tags, etc. The SEO test will also include a list of manual items to check.
5. Progressive Web App
The Progressive Web App (PWA) scan tests your pages to make sure that they can be easily downloaded on a viewer’s mobile device and accessed offline. This functionality is especially important if your website serves a region of the world where internet access can be poor or spotty.
Why does a Google Lighthouse score matter?
When you aim to optimise the performance of your website with mobile devices in mind, the performance of your site on desktop browsers will improve at the same time.
Users are increasingly accessing sites via mobile devices, so it’s important that your site offers a quick and smooth experience for your visitors. These improvements will also greatly improve the searchability of your site.
After all, what good does your site do if no one is viewing it? A site that performs better will be rewarded with higher search engine rankings. Caring about performance gives your site an advantage over your competition.
The slower your website is, the more likely visitors are to leave your site without exploring more content (or buying anything).
Faster sites provide a better experience for your site visitors. GoDaddy is committed to providing our customers with the best possible tools to provide a quality experience to keep users on your website.
We built GoDaddy Websites + Marketing with Lighthouse in mind
With all the details on website metrics and Google Lighthouse, you might be itching to start optimising your site.
However, we’ve covered only the most general features of what Google Lighthouse will test in this article. Resolving the issues presented can often require a high level of technical skill.
Because of that, the results — and the suggestions that they give — can leave you feeling lost and overwhelmed.
That’s where GoDaddy Websites + Marketing can lend a hand.
We designed our Websites + Marketing website builder from the ground up with Google Lighthouse in mind. In the past, our site builders were developed with SEO as a heavy focus, but because Google is now using Lighthouse scores in its ranking algorithms, we shifted our goals.
The result? Beautiful, streamlined websites, all from an easy-to-use site builder tool.
With GoDaddy Websites + Marketing, you can have a gorgeous website in no time, and the site optimisation heavy lifting is done for you. So what are you waiting for? Give Websites + Marketing a try and see the results for yourself.
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