What Is Google Lighthouse Score? Why Is It Important for SEO?

google lighthouse

What Is Google Lighthouse Score? Why Is It Important for SEO?

Your website not only needs to have a good design but also needs to follow the best practices and load quickly on different devices. Dealing with all the requirements of keeping your site looking and working properly can be challenging. A useful tool like Google Lighthouse can help. Google Lighthouse score is vital for both web design and SEO campaigns. Google Lighthouse is a free tool for auditing the quality of a website based on different metrics.

Haven’t you heard of Google Lighthouse? Or are you not sure how this tool can help you?

In this quick start guide for Google Lighthouse we’ll cover the following:

What is Google Lighthouse?
What metrics are considered for the Google Lighthouse score?
Why is the Google Lighthouse score important?

Let’s start.

What is Google Lighthouse?

Google Lighthouse is a tool aimed at helping web developers improve the quality of the pages on their sites.

It checks the loading speed, accessibility and general search engine optimization (SEO) of the pages. These factors are important because the quality of each page contributes to your website’s SEO.

The tool, which Google originally developed for the purpose of analyzing Progressive Web Applications (PWA). It has been expanded in functionality and provides feedback based on real-world usage to web designers.

The tool tests how well a page loads under simulated conditions. These conditions include a poor data connection, packet loss, and network throttling on a slow device.

Since the goal of Google Lighthouse is to help you better optimize your site loading speed, it tests how your web pages perform in these situations by offering non-ideal conditions. Thus, it offers an excellent test to assist you in your optimization journey by confronting your website with real-world problems.

What Metrics Are Considered For the Google Lighthouse Score?

You receive a Google Lighthouse score based on five different metrics. Let’s take a look at each of these metrics.

1. Performance

The performance of your site’s pages is related to the overall loading speed of your site and how well users can interact with your site content. (Check: UX design)

These functions are important in terms of both your site’s SEO and the perception it leaves on users.

Your site may be full of great, high-resolution images, but if your pages aren’t loading fast enough, your visitors may leave your site before those images even load.

Google rewards websites quickly loading and prioritizes fast websites over slower ones in its search results. Following metrics are used for measuring the performance of a website:

  • First Contentful Paint
  • Speed Index
  • Largest Contentful Paint:
  • Time to Interactive:
  • Cumulative Layout Shift

Recommended: Google Core Web Vitals

2. Accessibility

The accessibility test checks your pages to make sure a page header is specified. It also makes basic checks on the colors on your website to make sure they are easily readable and checks the text on your site to make sure it can scale for a visually impaired user.

Since automated tests can’t control everything, Google Lighthouse also offers some items that you should check manually to make sure your website is fully accessible.

3. Best practices

This test is more general than others but focuses largely on vulnerabilities. When the page loads, it looks for issues such as background errors, references to outdated directories, or unsafe links.

4. SEO

SEO is a topic that many users are familiar with. This test checks whether your web page is easily crawled and indexed by search engines.

  • Mobile-friendliness
  • Valid structured data
  • Meta description
  • Successful HTTP status code
  • Descriptive anchor texts
  • Legible font sizes
  • Page not blocked from indexing
  • Valid robots.txt
  • Alt attributes of images
  • Valid hreflang implementation
  • Valid rel=canonical setup

The SEO test also makes a list of items to check manually as well.

5. Progressive Web Application (PWA)

Progressive Web App (PWA) scanning provides valuable insights to make sure your pages are easily viewed by the visitor’s mobile device, fast, follow accessibility best practices, and accessible offline. This functionality is especially important if your website is serving an area where internet access may be poor or intermittent.

Why is the Google Lighthouse Score Important?

Google aims to present the most relevant results to the users and provide a satisfactory user experience. Google evaluates the websites using a similar set of criteria as Google Lighthouse metrics.  After all, it doesn’t do much if no one is viewing your website, right? A better-performing site will be rewarded with a higher ranking on search engine result pages. So paying attention to performance gives your site a competitive advantage. Even if the SOE isn’t your company’s priority, Lighthouse is a strong tool to help you improve the quality of your website.

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