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How to Use Google Lighthouse to Improve Site Speed

According to Google, your bounce rate can increase by 123% if your page load speed increases from 1 second to 10 seconds.

Luckily, the tech giant has since offered a suite of valuable tools to help you improve your page load speed and overall user experience. One such tool is Google Lighthouse.

What Is Google Lighthouse?

Google Lighthouse is a free tool designed to help improve website performance. It’s open-source software so that anyone can use it on any webpage.

The tool audits the accessibility and SEO of your webpage, with a particular focus on core web vitals.

What Are Core Web Vitals?

Core Web Vitals are a set of metrics Google developed to measure web pages’ page speed and overall user experience. In 2021, Google introduced the Core Web Vitals algorithm update that measures a website’s Core Web Vitals metrics.

These metrics have become increasingly important for website owners that want to provide a good user experience and rank higher on Google.

The three key Core Web Vitals are:

  1. Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): how long it takes for the largest content to load above the fold. Learn more about LCP with our complete guide.
  2. First Input Delay (FID): how long it takes for a page to respond after user interaction. Check out our guide to FID.
  3. Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): how much of the content moves as the page loads. Read more about CLS here.

Recommended reading: Core Web Vitals: A Guide to Improving Page Speed

What You Can Check with Google Lighthouse

You can measure your Core Web Vitals using Google Lighthouse. The tool audits your site based on the average device and connection a user has. However, you can specify the device and relationship you want the tool to emulate for your tests. The results from these tests will help you know which stages of page load you need to optimize to provide a good user experience.

How to Use Google Lighthouse

You can run Google Lighthouse with the Chrome browser (in the Devtools) or as a Chrome extension. 

After running the audit of your webpage, Lighthouse will generate a report on 5 different areas:

  1. Performance includes elements that slow your page down, including images and resources.
  2. Accessibility audits how accessible your content is to users, including the use of assistive technology.
  3. Best Practices identifies any web development element that does not follow current guidelines and best practice.
  4. SEO highlights the most essential SEO issues with the webpage but is not comprehensive.
  5. Progressive Web App indicates your web application’s performance and problems with implementation.
google lighthouse
Screenshot:Ionic Firebase App

How to Use Lighthouse in Chrome Devtools

In your Chrome browser, you can run a Google Lighthouse audit from the Chrome Devtools.

To access it, you will need to:

google lighthouse
google lighthouse
  1. Download and install Google Chrome for Desktop (if you don’t already have it).
  2. Visit the webpage you want to audit in Google Chrome.
  3. Right-click anywhere on the page, and select Inspect.
  4. The Inspect feature will open a panel at the bottom of or to the right of the webpage. Select Lighthouse from the panel’s toolbar. (If you can’t find the Lighthouse option, click on the two arrows at the end of the toolbar.)
  5. The panel will open to the Lighthouse tool. Select Generate report.
google lighthouse

To access Lighthouse with Chrome Devtools, try these 3 steps:

  1. Open the Chrome browser, then open the menu by selecting the three vertical dots to the right of your address bar.
  2. Select More Tools.
  3. Select Developer Tools.
google lighthouse

How to Use Lighthouse as a Chrome Extension

  1. Download Google Chrome for Desktop.
  2. Vist the Chrome Webstore.
  3. Download and install the Lighthouse Chrome Extension.
  4. Restart your browser.
  5. Click the lighthouse symbol in your address bar.
  6. Select Generate Report.
google lighthouse
Screenshot:Ionic Firebase App

What Is the Difference Between Lighthouse and PageSpeed Insights?

In addition to Lighthouse, Google also offers another auditing tool, the PageSpeed Insights tool. This tool scores your webpage’s speed and provides a list of improvements.

Both tools audit similar aspects of your webpage, including page speed and Core Web Vitals. However, Page Speed Insights only focuses on improving your webpage’s speed, while Lighthouse covers multiple aspects of your webpage.

We advise using both tools to improve your page speed and Core Web Vitals metrics.

How to Use PageSpeed Insights

To use PageSpeed Insights, you need to:

  1. Visit PageSpeed Insights.
  2. Copy and paste the URL of your webpage.
  3. Click Analyze. 
google lighthouse

Other Ways to Improve Your Website

When it comes to tracking your Core Web Vitals, the more information you have, the better. You can always pair the data you gather from Lighthouse, Page Speed Insights, and other Google tools with third-party auditing apps.

The Site Audit tool audits your site’s technical SEO, including site speed and performance. The Core Web Vitals thematic report displays your Lighthouse data in an easy-to-read format including a list of analyzed pages. You can edit the list directly to add or remove pages for a new score.

google lighthouse
google lighthouse

For a general overview of your site’s performance, select the Site Performance thematic report from the Site Audit overview report:

google lighthouse

This thematic report provides an overall site performance score, as well as the average page load speed:

google lighthouse

You can use the Performance Issues table to review any site issues currently impacting your site performance. Select Learn more to read more about each issue and how to fix it.

To get started with the Site Audit tool:

google lighthouse
google lighthouse
google lighthouse
  1. Log into your Semrush account. If you don’t have an existing account, you can create a free account.
  2. From the toolbar, select Projects under Management to view your project(s):
  3. Click on your preferred project, then select Site Audit from the project dashboard.
  4. The tool will prompt you to configure your audit settings. You’ll be able to set the audit’s crawl scope, disallow URLs, and add additional website login information.
  5. Select Start Site Audit.

Recommended reading: 2021 Core Web Vitals Update: Assessing the Initial Impact

Summary

Page speed is as important to Google as it is to your users. Poor page load speed can hurt your bounce rate and, to an extent, how you rank organically.

Google Lighthouse helps you audit web pages and identify specific areas to improve your page load speed and overall user experience. Pair Lighthouse with Google’s other Devtools or similar site auditing apps for a comprehensive review of your site’s performance.

Source: https://www.semrush.com/blog/google-lighthouse/

General

The Benefits Of Facebook Custom Audience

Facebook is considered one of the most effective digital advertising channels and maybe the only that can be used in all the phases of the communication funnel.

One of its main strengths is the advanced audience targeting capabilities that are based on several criteria such as demographic (gender, age, marital status) geographic (Nicosia, Larnaca, Limassol) and interests of the user (sports, cooking, pet lovers etc).

One additional but powerful type of targeting option that Facebook provides is the ability to create custom audience based on past-behavior of the user. Some examples of past-behavior can be purchasing a product, visiting a website, or intention to purchase a product. Facebook also offers the option to the campaign manager to expand significantly the custom audience with people with similar characteristics (Look-A-Like Audience) and eventually create a re-targeting campaign based on these expanded audiences.

There are four main sources of custom audiences:

1.Customer/Contact List

The strongest source of custom audience is a company’s CRM data or an e-mail list collected from existing or potential customers. This kind of lists enables advertisers to target directly to existing client base for client retention. Moreover, it enables you to target new customers with similar characteristics through look-a-like audience tool. Please consider that advanced e-mail marketing platforms like MailChimp or GetResponse have direct integration with Facebook so e-mail lists can be uploaded directly to Facebook custom audience builder.

 

2.Website Visits

Website visitors is another powerful source to create a custom audience. Usually, people that visit a website and spend significant time in it, is a signal for intention or interest to purchase company’s product or service. In order to be able to track visitors’ s presence and behavior a Facebook tracking pixel should be inserted into the website.

3.Audience through an app
It is a common practice for many people to download an app but eventually not to proceed to further action or even use of it. The fact that people downloaded the app is a signal that intent to use it. It is recommended to create a list of those people and create custom audience in Facebook for further targeting or re-targeting.

4.Engagement custom audience
People that have already interacted or engaged in any way with your Facebook or Instagram page (posts, events, videos, forms) seems to be eligible for re-targeting. This kind of custom audience is not the strongest but still is a source of users that seems to have an interest into your product or service.

In summary, creating a Facebook custom audience is a strong tool for effective digital performance. It is based on past behavior of the user with possible intention or interest to purchase a company’s product or service. Similarly, Facebook enables you to expand the audience with users of similar characteristics through Look-A-Like Audience tools.

If you are interested to learn more about social media management and how to help you expand your business, feel free to contact us on 22 010 018 or send us an email at info@adap.digital

General

7 Steps Of A Good Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Strategy!

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of improving the quality and quantity of website traffic by increasing its visibility to users of a web search engine. It is considered as one of the best strategies to increase the organic traffic on a specific website and to improve the unpaid results. Any direct traffic or paid search placements are not part of SEO strategy.

Even though, there is a debate whether SEO requires high-level of technical skill or special coding knowledge, the truth is that people with such skills have more chance to provide top level results. This is obvious since SEO professionals need to make recommendations about page speed, rendering, lazy loading, server redirects, microdata tagging, and basic HTML tags. On the other hand, there are a significant number of successful SEO experts that do not have these kinds of skills.

In general, there are 7 important steps that every SEO specialist should follow in order to enjoy top organic presence in the search engines:

1.Proper SEO planning
An SEO plan is the most effective key in helping you meet your market goal by analyzing the type of your future customer. By better understanding your target market and creating the right strategy, you have to find your consumer’s behavior to drive effective data. Companies with no SEO plan will probably fail easier than others who follow their strategy guidelines. To keep things short, you have to understand how to boost conversions, stand out against competitors to make sure have the best possible ROI (Return on Investment).

2.Keyword List
Keywords are important because they are the cornerstone between what people are searching for and the content you are providing to fill that need. Your goal in ranking on search engines is to drive organic traffic to your site from the search engine result pages (SERPs), and the keywords you choose to target (meaning, among other things, the ones you choose to include in your content) will determine what kind of traffic you get. If you own a golf shop, for example, you might want to rank for “new clubs” — but if you’re not careful, you might end up attracting traffic that’s interested in finding a new place to dance after dark.

Keywords are as much about your audience as they are about your content, because you might describe what you offer in a slightly different way than some people ask for it. To create content that ranks well organically and drives visitors to your site, you need to understand the needs of those visitors — the language they use and the type of content they seek. You can do this by talking to your customers, frequenting forums and community groups, and doing your own keyword research with tools like Keyword Explorer, Google Keyword Planner, KeywordTool.io, Jaaxy and many more.

3.Provide High Quality Content but also make sure to update regularly
When it comes to SEO, content is the king and the queen together! Quality content is the number one driver for high search engine rankings and there is no substitute for great content. Quality content created specifically for your intended user increases site traffic, which improves your site’s authority and relevance. So, it is essential to spend valuable time to fine-tune your web writing skills.

Beyond page URL, title, and headings, content is most influential on search engine rankings. Repeat your keyword phrase several times throughout the page—once or twice in the opening and closing paragraphs, and two to four more times throughout the remaining content.

Don’t forget to use bold, italics, heading tags (especially an H1), and other emphasis tags to highlight these keyword phrases—but don’t overdo it. You still want your language and writing style to read naturally. Never sacrifice good writing for SEO. The best pages are written for the user, not for the search engine.

4.Update Your Content Regularly
You’ve probably noticed that we feel pretty strongly about content. Search engines do, too. Regularly updated content is viewed as one of the best indicators of a site’s relevancy, so be sure to keep it fresh. Audit your content on a set schedule (semesterly for example) and make updates as needed.

5.Link building
Link building sounds simple but is the main process of getting other websites to link back to your website. All marketers and business owners should be interested in building links to drive referral traffic and increase their site’s authority. Furthermore, building a link is one of the most important tools as plays a major role in how Google ranks web pages and it’s also a proven marketing tactic for increasing brand awareness, therefore organic traffic. Getting customers to a website through link building is only half of the battle; keeping them is the difficult part.

Focus on creating relevant links within the text. Instead of having “click here” links, try writing out the name of the destination. “Click here” has no search engine value beyond the attached URL, whereas “University of Athens Enterprise Program” is rich with keywords and will improve your search engine rankings as well as the ranking of the page you are linking to. Always use descriptive links by linking keywords—it not only improves search engine optimization, but also adds value to your readers, including those with disabilities or who are using screen readers.

6.Improve the technical performance of the website
Another area of SEO to focus on is technical SEO, which refers to improving your website’s technical aspects to help Google crawl and index it more effectively and improve your rankings. Crawling refers to Google reviewing and analyzing your site, and indexing refers to Google organizing and storing your content so that it can appear in search results.

Some of the technical SEO factors you should pay attention is the site speed, mobile friendly design and proper format of robot.txt.

7.Upgrade your website’s design and user experience (UX)
When deciding how to rank your page, Google also takes into account how users interact with it. That’s why the next step of our SEO tutorial is to make sure your page is easy to use and enjoyable to look and navigate. It is worthwhile to work with a web design company that can optimize your site for search engine.

Having successful SEO strategy is important for companies to enjoy long-term success of digital performance. Hiring an SEO specialist might be the optimal solution but in case there is no budget available is a good start to follow the above recommended steps.

In case, you need to discuss further how to improve your search engine rankings organically, please free to contact us at 22 010018 or info@adap.digital

General

7 Reasons You Should Outsource Social Media Management

Twitter, Facebook,YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest and the link just keeps on growing. Of more concern is if you run a business of any size, you simply don’t have time to manage all those social networks yourself. In fact, you likely don’t even have time to manage even one channel. It takes several hours a month to capably handle a single social media platform. So, should you try manage it yourself? Or should you outsource social media management?

I’d like to share seven reasons why your should outsource social media management rather than do it yourself.

1) Accountability

Any social media agency or consultant worth their salt professionally provide Social Media every day for a minimum of 8 hours a day per employee week in week out. The Social Media Managers should be graduates with public relations experience and have an aptitude in literacy and a passion for Social Media. They should thrive for a challenge and understand the digital landscape better than anyone.

They must have a great understanding on system platforms and be able to predict upcoming trends? They must also be able to generate genuine content that the public wants to interact with?

Campaigns must be run by professional Social Media Managers that understand the Social Media platforms for business use and use these to promote, test new methods and create new systems for promotions every-day.

As this is a professional service there are certain levels of accountability required for clients’ expectations and results need to be measured and proven. If a member of staff is not equipped properly to lead a business’ expedition into the jungle that is Social Media it can and will ruin a client’s relationship with their staff.

2) Defined Systems

Social Media is not a ‘flash in the pan’. It’s been around for years and experienced consultants have been there to watch the rise of Facebook, the fall of Myspace and maybe even it’s phoenix like rise from the ashes.

Some Social Media Agencies have tried these social platforms and found where they are comfortable in the industry. They will then specialize in Twitter or Facebook but are never good at both.

A Social Media Agency or consultant cannot afford to be a Jack-of-All-Trades, OR a master of none. They must understand the key Social Media tools and platforms. Additionally, they must have in house systems in place so they can utilize all the platforms at once offering a well-rounded and thorough experience for you and your users.

It is literally impossible for a single member of staff to specialize in all areas, the expertise of a social media agency is not focused on one individual and is instead spread over several members of staff who all have an input into campaigns.

Systems are monitored, measured, tweaked and tested every week and are continually developed to ensure that you are getting the very best from the efforts of the consultant once you outsource social media management.

3) Knowledge

In order to be truly successful in Social Media you will have to have a knowledgeable individual running your campaigns. Whether this is a member of staff or you have outsourced social media management, this is inevitable.

However being knowledgeable is not enough and that individual has to be supported by a variety of people with experience in other fields who can help build a campaign.

If you are prepared to support that one person with a team of others who can help on campaigns then so be it, but many companies cannot afford this.

If you were to outsource social media management to agency however, then others will automatically support that one person who runs your campaign with experience in a variety of online skills.

For example, if you have someone with several years Web design and development experience combined with a sales driven background, that person’s experience is different from someone that learnt how to be a Social Media Manager from a home study course and was a Plumber for fifteen years before that.

It is this eye for design, graphical skills, industrial knowledge and experience that all add maturity of using a social media agency instead of a member of Staff.

4) Content

Being an insider may deter you from communicating your ideas to your audience in a way that they understand and appreciate fully.

Having a certain communication tendencies could dissuade people to talk and communicate with you due to the language you use. We call this Social Media etiquette.

How you behave online should be the same way you behave with your staff and your clients. Although old habits die hard, mistakes are made and the odd roughly edged comment term here or there could completely devastate your Social Media efforts and brand.

Agencies often implement a sign off system to avoid such errors whether they be grammatical errors or off-message posts that do more harm than good.

5) Fun

One of the most important things to remember is that you don’t need to flog people to get the job done. They should love Social Media naturally. Applying them in a business environment should not be a struggle but a pleasure. Outsourcing social media management can give you access to a talent pool that does this for fun and hence does a great job.

6) Reliability

The hardest and most risky aspect of hiring someone to work for you as a Social Media Manager is how reliable he or she is.

This is not only from a quality of work perspective; after all you might not be hiring someone if you if knew what you were doing so how can you reliably judge whether that person truly knows their stuff.

At a Social Media Agency people are seldom ever sick, if they are there’s plenty of people looking after accounts to have you covered. You won’t have someone complaining to labor authorities, they won’t expect you to pay their tax or pensions, you don’t need to train them.

Most importantly you are paying an annual fee and you most likely would get 3 members of staff for the price of one.

7) Cost

A decent Social Media Manager will cost you in the region of $50k-$70k per year, they will be qualified with a degree or years of experience and have certain expectations of you and your time. For example, gathering content and copy for the campaign can take many hours.

There are of course benefits to having the right person doing that for you if you can afford their salary. However, there are so many aspects to hiring the right person that getting it wrong is very risky business. How do you know that they will be good at managing a Social Media campaign?

If you do decide to outsource social media management, not only are you guaranteed a professional who knows the ins and outs of Social Media but you get one for less money. Additionally this professional will be supported by a whole team, so for less money you get much more.