A Complete Guide to Google Lighthouse

Do you want to enhance your site’s performance through Google Lighthouse?

Then you have come to the right place.

As lighthouse provides a competitive advantage to your online business by increasing your website's overall performance & SEO.

Getting Started with Google Lighthouse

Everybody on the internet wants swift results.

And a great way to achieve that is by visiting web pages that load quickly.

Do you know that 53% of mobile device users bounce off a webpage if it takes >3 seconds?

The solution is obvious i.e. to increase your website’s speed & performance.

And, this is where Google Lighthouse comes into the picture.

In this post, we present you with a complete guide to Google Lighthouse, its features, benefits, usage, and so much more!

  1. What is Google Lighthouse?
  2. How to Install Google Lighthouse?
  3. Metrics used to analyse a Website
  4. Why use Lighthouse for Website Testing?

Google Lighthouse Guide

Learn how to get more traffic with exclusive tips and insights that I only share with my private newsletter subscribers.

Patrick’s SEO knowledge is insane. If you want higher rankings, you need to read his stuff.

Shawn Pack Image Wireless

SEO Audit 2020

Learn how to get more traffic with exclusive tips and insights

Sign Up

1. What is Google Lighthouse?

Google introduced an SEO tool in mid-2018 named Lighthouse that provides the finest way to advance the overall performance & quality of your pages.

As an open-source fully automated tool, Google Lighthouse checks a page's accessibility, performance, and a lot more.

Initially Lighthouse was made to review Progressive Web Apps (PWA).

The tool executes four reviews for Progressive Web Apps, accessibility, performance, and an all-inclusive rundown of best practises.

As of late, Google even included a fundamental SEO check.

These provide you a brilliant diagram of the value and execution of your website.

Site speed has a direct correlation with client experience & recognition.

If your site still feels slow, speed in numbers amounts to nothing.

Heaps of clients around the globe are on rather awful versatile associations of 3G or less.

Indeed, even with exceptionally quick 4G associations, a site can basically feel slow.

Also, we as a whole comprehend what a staggering impact a slow site can have on your conversion rates.

Even milliseconds of reduced loading time could improve things greatly.

During the testing process, Lighthouse provides a simulation of browsing your mobile website on a marginally powered gadget through a weak 3G connection.

Packets are lost trying to recreate certifiable conditions as genuinely as could be expected under the circumstances.

When the test is complete, it’ll generate a report with actionable tips to implement along with a score which represents your current performance.

In all actuality, the recently updated and overhauled Test My Site by Google is unendingly progressively wonderful, yet it has comparatively less functions.

2. How to Install Google Lighthouse?

There are 3 easy ways to install Google Lighthouse.

a) Google Chrome

One of the simplest methods for running Google Lighthouse is straight through the Google Chrome application, without downloading or introducing anything extra.

To utilize Lighthouse on Google Chrome, simply pursue these basic steps:

  • Go to the site or site page you wish to run the audit on
  • Then click 'Inspect' anyplace on the page, or simply hit the F12 key to open Chrome Developer Tools.
  • Explore to the Audits tab and select the important reviews you wish to run.
  • Click 'Run audits’ to run the Lighthouse reviews report.

Doing this prompt Lighthouse to display the audit report of the webpage.

b) Google Chrome Extension

An advantageous and simple method for running Google Lighthouse is through the Chrome Extension from the Google Chrome Web Store.

The extension enables you to rapidly run the Lighthouse tool on a page without opening a different tab or open the developer tools.

You simply need to click the Lighthouse button present on the toolbar.

To utilize the Lighthouse extension on Google Chrome simply pursue the accompanying steps:

  • Download the Lighthouse extension from the Google Chrome Web Store and add it to your Google Chrome program
  • Explore to the site or page you wish to review.
  • Then click the Lighthouse Chrome e symbol on your program's toolbar, and let the Lighthouse tool run.

After the tool has completed the process, it will show the review results for your site on another Google Chrome window.

c) Node Command Line Interface (CLI)

Google Lighthouse can likewise be accessed on the Node.js command line or node module.

This is a significantly more specialized establishment and is suitable for individuals who want to automate Lighthouse.

To run Lighthouse in Node.js CLI you have to:

  • Download and install the Google Chrome internet browser
  • Install a present and stable variant of Node.js (this should be rendition 6 or higher, in a perfect world the most recent form).
  • Run the accompanying command line to download and install the worldwide Lighthouse npm bundle to Node.js:

pm install -g lighthouse

Once installed, you can run the Lighthouse tool by composing the accompanying direction into the CLI:

lighthouse https://airhorner.com/

You can likewise utilize various CLI choices (otherwise called flags) to modify your reports. A rundown of alternatives can be found on the Lighthouse Github.

Running the hub CLI as a matter of course will save a HTML adaptation of the report which can be saved and shared.

3. Metrics used to analyse a Website

Google Lighthouse gives a breakdown of your site into the accompanying metrics:

  • Performance
  • Accessibility
  • Best Practices
  • SEO
  • Progressive Web Applications

Here is a brief explanation of each of the aforementioned metrics:

a) Performance

Performance is generally viewed as the most valuable metric given by the Google Lighthouse tool.

Like the PageSpeed Insights, the Performance area of the Lighthouse report contains a few helpful metrics you can use to advance your site to climb Google's rankings.

The Performance segment of the Lighthouse report joins the Opportunities, Field Data, Lab Data, and Diagnostics metrics of the PageSpeed Insights tool.

A great example is the opportunities metric as it flags three types of render-blocking URL’s namely stylesheets, scripts, and HTML imports.

This merged perspective on performance metrics gives an exact and valuable analysis of your site's performance and any progressions you should make to expand your site's exhibition.

As per the official guidelines, this tool tests for estimated input latency for a target score of 50ms.

Another great tool within this metric is the first meaningful paint.

The lower this score the faster your page’s primary content loads in front of a user.

Following the prescribed improvements won't just give you a superior shot of positioning higher in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

And you'll likewise be following the best web development practices.

b) Accessibility

The first of the new regions of Google Lighthouse is the Accessibility metric.

Basically what this metric does is feature potential chances to improve the availability and client experience of your mobile app or website.

Following the accessibility improvement report will guarantee that your clients can without much of a stretch explore and utilize your site.

Just as guaranteeing that you have the most obvious opportunity with regards to positioning better on web search engines.

While Lighthouse doesn't cover all availability tests, it covers a scope of important tests, for example,

  • Element Structure – guaranteeing that your HTML content is very much organized.
  • Shading Contrast – guaranteeing that your content is readable and decipherable.
  • Element Naming – guaranteeing that your components are appropriately, pertinently named.
  • Element Descriptions – guaranteeing that assistive innovation can peruse your content effectively.

Just as giving a definite rundown of Accessibility suggestions, the tool will likewise reveal to you which audits you've passed, which reviews are not pertinent, and above all – which extra checks you should make.

c) Best Practices

Another segment new to Google's analysis tools is the Best Practices metric.

This region of the Lighthouse report doesn't carefully give execution related data.

However, it will give you recommendations which can improve both your exhibition and client experience, particularly for mobile sites.

d) SEO

The latest and most dynamic of the highlights in Google's Lighthouse instrument is the SEO metric.

PageSpeed Insights doesn't offer this tool.

This is why most web designers and SEO specialists prefer to use utilize Google Lighthouse to analyse a website.

The SEO metric gives fundamental tools to examine your page's streamlining for search engine results rankings.

While there are numerous a lot more factors which Lighthouse doesn't consider or quantify, the most essential focuses are secured.

So ensure that you're not missing any of these – as it will vigorously affect the overall performance of your site!

As of now, Lighthouse checks:

  • Is page not blocked from indexing?
  • Do links have descriptive text?
  • Does the page have a successful HTTP status code?
  • Are there any unwanted plugins?
  • Does the document have a < title > component?
  • Does the document have a valid hreflang
  • Is there a meta description?
  • Does the document have a valid rel=canonical
  • Does the document use legible font sizes?
  • Does it have a < meta name="viewport" > tag with width or initial-scale?

Additionally, it proposes some additional checks run physically.

These incorporate the Google Mobile-friendly Test and the Structured Data Testing tool.

e) Progressive Web Applications

The Progressive Web App area is another of Google's most up to date execution measurements incorporated into its Lighthouse tool.

While the meaning of a Progressive Web App (PWA) hasn't been especially clear, Google's documentation expresses that there are a few key variables which make a site a PWA:

  • Each page has a start URL
  • Metadata given to Add to Home screen
  • First load quick even on 3G
  • Pages are responsive on tablets and cell phones
  • Page advances don't feel like they produce lag on the network
  • All application URLs load while disconnected
  • Site works cross-browser
  • Site is served over HTTPS

Google states that these are the essential capabilities that a site must meet to be a PWA.

A great feature of this metric is registering service workers which allow you to enable push notifications on your web app

For the full rundown of variables (huge numbers of which Lighthouse doesn't check for), see their official checklist.

4. Why use Lighthouse for Website Testing?

Is Lighthouse an exhaustive tool that will test each part of your site?

No and it doesn’t claim it to be.

The tool even prescribes more top to bottom testing of specific components, for example, accessibility.

What Lighthouse Tools does is give trying to the website design angles that Google considers as important steps.

From these outcomes, you will get guidance on the most proficient method to fix issues to improve your performance, which ought to at last bring about better rankings on Google.

Here are a couple of reasons why you ought to have Lighthouse as a component of your site testing routine:

  • Actionable Items: When Lighthouse identifies an issue, it will give you significant things to address to improve execution. Frequently, the reports will point to explicit segments and even lines of code that can be fixed or improve.
  • Continuous Updates: Lighthouse is consistently refreshed by Google engineers to guarantee that the most recent in web metrics are being tried. You don't need to stress over this tool utilizing obsolete rules as those that make the rules are the ones refreshing the program.
  • Convenience: If you're new to website architecture, SEO can be befuddling, and the greater part of us don't have the specialized learning to run complex testing devices. Lighthouse is easy to utilize, and you can examine your site in a single tick.

Google Lighthouse enables you to test your site against metrics that Google regards essential.

And you get significant things to enable you to improve your site's performance.

With Lighthouse, you can improve mobile functionality, website speed, and accessibility all while making acclimations to guarantee that your site meets the accepted procedures in website composition.