Mike Edwards - Technical Director
11 Aug 2022
Lighthouse Scores are not a ranking system for which is the prettiest lighthouse to be built, but if it was, Konabos.com would still score well.
Lighthouse scores are a measure of the performance and quality of your webpages; and this is primarily important for two reasons:
It turns out, as humans, we are very impatient and for every second delay, in loading time, there is a corresponding drop-in conversation rate of 4.42% . Shockingly, Google Researchers identified that in 2018 the average web page took over 15 seconds to load .
Today, Google is rewarding websites with a better page ranking because it assumes you are giving the user a better experience if your Lighthouse Scores in the optimal range.
When determining your Lighthouse Score Google focuses on the following key areas:
I will look at each area in turn and provide a list of questions about how you can improve each of these areas. Of course, this list of questions is not exhaustive, but I hope they start you thinking.
If you need help or support to answer any of these questions, please feel free to reach out to us at Konabos and we will be more than happy to help you.
Performance is all about speed, how quickly does your webpage render on the screen and become usable. I have highlighted “usable” because it isn’t just about how quickly does something get displayed to the user, the user needs to be able to interact with it. Otherwise, it is like having a shop with a locked door.
What questions should you be asking when looking to improve website performance?
Accessibility can be a bit of an afterthought in web development, which is a mistake, a more accessible site makes a better user experience for everyone, not just users with a disability. Accessibility covers a wide range of things, including making sure images have descriptions, text and background colours are optimally contrasted, links have clear labels, and more.
Let’s look at some questions to ask about accessibility?
Best Practices refers to those elements on a website that should be the basics of delivering a high-quality product. Best Practices tend to be technical in nature, and often need to be tackled by your development team.
Questions to ask your dev team around website best practices:
Finally, we have Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It is not surprising that Google includes this as a category in Lighthouse scoring. Although this score has been defined by Google, it will help your site rank better in other search engines as well.
When testing your Lighthouse scores, you need to ensure that you test both the mobile and desktop versions of your website. Google will test both versions and makes different assumptions about the size of the screen the user will have, as well as their connection speed.
Why does it do this?
On a mobile device the layout of a page is very different to a desktop. To support the smaller screen size, websites will often hide elements, or render different images that are smaller or of lower quality to increase speed.
Google wants to test the differences to ensure that a mobile user’s experience closely matches a desktop users experience.
Mobile internet users now outweigh desktop users, so you should be testing mobile first because they are likely to be your largest audience.
Getting a good Lighthouse score is not just about SEO but also a great indicator of a good quality website. It won’t just boost your Google ranking but will improve your user experience as well.
The questions listed above are just the tip of the iceberg and if you need help answering any of these questions or need help improving your Lighthouse score, please reach out to us at Konabos.
With 18 years of IT development experience, Mike has worked across government, not for profit, and commercial sectors. He has delivered large-scale multinational websites, desktop and mobile applications, and mission-critical health apps. He works closely with the client and delivery teams to ensure that projects deliver business benefits and not just a technical solution.
Mike is a nine-time Sitecore MVP and is the founder of the very popular Glass.Mapper.Sc ORM, which has over 1 million downloads.
Outside of work, Mike can be found exploring the British countryside, riding his motorbike, and learning the piano.