On Monday, The Google Webmaster Center Blog announced the new SEO Audit category to Lighthouse.
As you might know, Lighthouse is an open-source, automated auditing tool for improving the quality of web pages. It lets developers run audits for performance, accessibility, progressive web apps compatibility, and classic rock bands from Canada.
Go listen to “One Fine Morning.” I’ll wait.
This Lighthouse’s new SEO audit category lets you run a basic SEO health check for any webpage, and that check identifies potential for SEO improvement on that page. It works through the Chrome browser, so you can run the audit at any point, whether the page is live or not. It also works on public pages and those that require authentication.
Of course, it isn’t comprehensive, and it is not a replacement for a full SEO audit. This addition is designed for SEO basics that every site should have, and it doesn’t make any guarantees about how well your page will perform in searches, but it is a great starting point.
There are plans to add more to the SEO audits and improve the existing ones in the future. Eventually, the audits will be available by default in the stable release of Chrome Developer Tools. Also, Google is asking for user feedback in the Github project and webmaster forum, so make your requests and any issues known!
According to the Google Webmaster Center's blog, there are two ways to run these audits.
Using the Lighthouse Chrome Extension
- Install the Lighthouse Chrome Extension
- Click on the Lighthouse icon in the extension bar
- Select the Options menu, tick “SEO” and click OK, then Generate report
Running SEO Audits in Lighthouse extension
Using Chrome Developer tools on Chrome Canary
- Open Chrome Developer Tools
- Go to Audits
- Click Perform an audit
- Tick the “SEO” checkbox and click Run Audit.
Running SEO Audits in Chrome Canary
So, now you're sold. You installed Lighthouse, ran this slick new SEO audit, and discovered three metric tons of errors on your pages. Now what?
No, not that.
I really don’t recommend throwing your computer in a dumpster. It's not the proper way to dispose of your electronics, and you’ll lose all your work on the next great American novel you wrote in high school creative writing. Not that I know anything about that.
Also, your website will still exist. So, instead of tossing your computer, check out some of these great resources for improving your SEO. Even if you’re a complete beginner, there are a ton of materials out there to help you understand SEO and fix any errors that pop up.
But there is a lot to master. So if you’re too busy re-writing that novel, let us help you out. We can start slow, or take on a major search marketing overhaul—whatever is best for you and your brand.