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The impact of Google Lighthouse SEO metric: 6 things to know

Introduction

The Valido blog series on Google Lighthouse metrics returns! This time we investigate the impact of the Lighthouse SEO metric. If you are new to Google Lighthouse and are wondering why it is so important for online businesses, do check out this article first before proceeding.

Whether you are an ecommerce manager or a digital marketing manager of an online store, understanding and optimizing this critical metric is absolutely essential. However, due to the specific nature of the Lighthouse SEO audit, you may not be aware of metric’s hidden impacts to the success of your ecommerce. In this article, we will explore six key insights that will empower you to harness the full potential of the Lighthouse SEO metric.

1. What really is the Lighthouse SEO audit?

To begin, we have to understand what the SEO audit really consists of, and what can one really achieve from doing it. Google explains what it is here, nevertheless we will summarize what it really means in non-technical terms.

SEO is the most important word in any digital marketer’s dictionary. We optimize it to drive traffic to one’s site, improve search rankings, enhance the user experience, and make Google happy. The Lighthouse SEO audit sets the ground rules, helping all websites benchmark themselves on content optimization, the ability for search engines to crawl your site, as well as mobile friendliness, making the audit the most comprehensive evaluation tool there is for this purpose.

2. Lighthouse SEO metric is closely aligned with the Accessibility and Best Practices metrics.

If you look at the Lighthouse Accessibility and Best Practices metrics, some of their scoring criteria are closely connected to what the SEO metric represents.

Lighthouse Accessibility scoring examples:

  • Image elements have [alt] attributes
  • <input type=”image”> elements have [alt] text
Lighthouse Accessibility Scoring examples, with weight

Lighthouse Best Practices scoring example:

  • Checking that a suitable title is provided for each page
  • Ensuring that the page is mobile-friendly with optimized images

This means that optimizing the SEO metric alone is not sufficient to improve one’s search rankings, but it has to be done in conjunction with the accessibility and best practices score. This enables ecommerce businesses to take a comprehensive approach to improve website performance, user experience, and search engine visibility. 

You can learn more about practical strategies to improve the other metrics in our dedicated Lighthouse Best Practices and Accessibility articles.

3. Lighthouse SEO metric is dynamic

The Lighthouse SEO metric is not a static measurement; it evolves over time in response to changes in SEO best practices and search engine algorithms. Google, as the driving force behind Lighthouse, continually refines its guidelines and algorithms to ensure a better user experience and more relevant search results. 

Not only is it crucial to stay informed about updates to the latest SEO trends and Google’s guidelines, it is also necessary to regularly perform the iterative process of fine-tuning your website’s SEO, as well as track your scores and improvement efforts.

The Valido Web Score app does this by streamlining the process of monitoring and optimizing your Lighthouse SEO metric. Its intelligent monitoring capabilities gives real-time insights into your website’s performance, provides you with comprehensive competitor benchmarking features, and also generates AI-powered recommendations to address any detected issues promptly.

4. Lighthouse SEO metric focuses on Technical SEO elements

The Lighthouse SEO metric primarily focuses on technical SEO elements rather than content-related factors. 

While content quality and relevance are essential for SEO success, Lighthouse specifically assesses the technical aspects of a website that impact its visibility to search engines. Some examples:

  • meta descriptions
  • marking up your content to ensure that the structured data on your webpage is valid
  • canonical tags – this help search engines identify the preferred version of duplicate content
  • redirects – this ensures that users and search engines are directed to the correct page when accessing outdated or removed content, avoiding broken links and enhancing website usability

These elements impact how users, as well as search engines view your site. Optimizing these technical components ensures that search engines can crawl and index your website effectively, increasing the likelihood of higher search rankings and improved online visibility.

5. Lighthouse SEO metric is not the only SEO indicator

While the Lighthouse SEO metric provides a valuable assessment of a website’s technical SEO, it’s important to note that SEO success is not solely determined by this metric. Other factors like keyword optimization, backlinks, user engagement, and overall content strategy also play significant roles in achieving high search engine rankings.

As such, a well-optimized Lighthouse SEO score is only one of the factors in ensuring a comprehensive approach to SEO. Nevertheless, knowing this score empowers ecommerce businesses to make better-informed decisions on how to improve their overall website performance.

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6. Lighthouse SEO metric helps you better target international markets

UX localization and reaching an international audience is crucial for ecommerce success. According to recent studies, 75% of internet users prefer to purchase products in their native language, while 59% rarely or never make purchases on websites that are only in English. Moreover, 90% of consumers in non-English-speaking countries say they are more likely to buy from a website in their native language.

For ecommerce businesses targeting international markets, the Lighthouse SEO metric holds particular importance in such efforts. Optimizing technical SEO elements like hreflang tags to indicate language and regional targeting, ensures that search engines present the correct version of your website to the appropriate international audience. By proactively addressing international SEO considerations through Lighthouse optimization, you can effectively engage global customers and foster trust in your brand.

Conclusion

The impact of the Google Lighthouse SEO metric/audit extends beyond traditional search engine optimization. It plays a vital role in the user experience,  as well as aligns with accessibility and best practices. The audit can also give you a better perspective on your website’s performance and potential for growth.

By understanding the lesser-known implications of the metric and integrating Lighthouse optimization into your overall strategy, you can position your online store for increased visibility, engagement, and success in the competitive ecommerce landscape. For more strategies and tips to improve your Lighthouse scores, get in touch with us.