Google recently announced its launch of a new audit category for the Lighthouse Chrome Extension: SEO Audits.
The Lighthouse extension tool audits sites and provides suggestions to improve a web page’s quality. The audit scores pages on various categories such as performance and accessibility. It also lists best practices and relevant solutions to help you improve the quality of your web page.
Basically, it “keeps you from crashing into the rocks”, hence the name Lighthouse. – Google
Lighthouse is constantly getting updated so webmasters can stay up-to-date with new and relevant industry standards. Thankfully, that now includes search engine optimisation. Lighthouse’s exciting new update now lets it perform a basic health-check to ensure that a page is optimised for search engine results ranking.
Here’s what the Lighthouse SEO Audit currently looks for
- The <title> element – provides page overview
- Meta description – summarised page content
- Successful HTTP status code – ensures the page is secure
- Appropriate anchor text for links – descriptive text that helps search engines understand content
- No indexing blocks – tells crawlers how to index your content
- A valid hreflang – alternate translations
- A valid rel=canonical – canonical links suggest appropriate URLS for SERPs
- A viewport meta tag – scales and optimises your document for mobile screens
- Legible font sizes – font sizes equal to or over 16px are preferred
- Absence of plugins – most mobile devices don’t support plugins, so they can create a negative user experience
Certainly, there are other SEO factors that can affect your ranking, but Lighthouse currently only offer these 10 factors.
How to Perform a Lighthouse SEO Audit
First, you’ll need to install the Lighthouse Chrome Extension from the Chrome Webstore.
Go to Google Chrome and open the page you want to audit. The lighthouse symbol should be next to the Chrome address bar.
Before you click on ‘Generate Report’, make sure to click on ‘Options’ first.
You can choose whether you want to audit for all the other categories, but make sure SEO Audit is ticked, as in the image below:
We performed an SEO Audit with the Lighthouse extension for one of our latest blog posts, and received the following result:
It seems like we could use a bigger text font, but otherwise, it was a 9/10 SEO score for that particular web page. Conveniently enough, the report only took around 2 minutes to generate. Additionally, your audit can be printed or saved for future use.
Although the SEO Audit category for the Lighthouse extension is still in its early stages, Google spoke of plans for extending and enhancing this useful feature.
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