There’s a quick way to tell if your website is falling behind. And you don’t have to be a web developer to understand the numbers that matter most.
Ranking higher in Google searches is called SEO, or search engine optimization. Google accounts for over 92% of web searches.
If your website doesn’t show up on the first page of a Google search on a relevant topic, it might as well be invisible.
SEO requires consistent high-quality content creation over time and a well-informed strategy. However, even if your content is gold and your strategy flawless, your website could be holding your business back. That’s why it is important to measure your website’s performance and optimize wherever possible. An easy way to do this is with Google’s lighthouse score.
What is a Lighthouse score?
The lighthouse score is a simple but effective way that Google measures the performance of a website. While your website may look beautiful on the outside, the code that makes up your website may be bloated, inaccessible to those with disabilities, and even a security risk. With the Lighthouse audit, businesses can measure their websites and fix issues that prevent them from reaching their potential.
Every page of your website is crawled (analyzed) by Google and assigned a score between 0-100 in 4 different categories: Performance, Accessibility, Best Practices, and SEO.
- Performance: How fast does your website load?
- Accessibility: Is your website accessible? Can users who rely on a screen reader or those who are colourblind use your website?
- Best Practices: Is your website using APIs or code frameworks/libraries with known security risks? Is your website served over a secure HTTPS connection?
- SEO: Is the code of your website optimized for search rankings? Does Google have everything it needs to understand what your website is about?
(NOTE: The SEO category isn’t an indicator of how likely your website will rank in search engine results but rather whether or not your website has everything it needs in order to rank high.)
Why does the Lighthouse score matter?
Websites that score lower on the audit are less likely to rank well in Google search results. Sites that score higher have a better chance of hitting that crucial first page of search results. I say “chance” because SEO (search engine optimization) is a complex game that takes more than just having a fast-loading, accessible website to win.
To take an audit of your own website, just enter in your url at https://web.dev/measure/ and click “Run Audit”. Google will breakdown how your website performs, along with some helpful suggestions on how you can improve your website.
Scoring a perfect 100 under the metrics of accessibility, best practices and SEO is fairly straightforward. Scoring well with the performance metric is a whole other beast to conquer which often requires a custom-coded solution.
If you’ve taken the audit yourself and aren’t happy with the results, let us know. Our web development team is ready to help you improve your Lighthouse scores and help your business reach its potential online.
Scott has been at Story Digital since the start. He loves to design and develop websites that are beautiful, dynamic, and SEO-friendly.