Professional Tools for Web Developers & Business Owners

Welcome to the Being Found Show. I’m Chauncey here with my co-host, Jake. Jake is more of a project manager and front-end developer, and I am the tech guy. It is rare that Jake would bring us a Dev tool that I had never heard of, but he has something great for us.

Jake: Our featured tool for this show is from Google Developers, and it’s called Light House“Lighthouse is an open-source, automated tool for improving the quality of web pages. You can run it against any web page, public or requiring authentication. It has audits for performance, accessibility, progressive web apps, and more.

You can run Lighthouse in Chrome DevTools, from the command line, or as a Node module. You give Lighthouse a URL to audit, it runs a series of audits against the page, and then it generates a report on how well the page did. From there, use the failing audits as indicators on how to improve the page. Each audit has a reference doc. explaining why the audit is important, as well as how to fix it.

I think it’s been under development for a while and this is the first time I’ve gone in and looked at it, and I must say it was useful. The way I found it was through a study that was conducted. They concluded that 15 percent of the world’s population has some type of disability. That’s everything from color blindness to deafness, if your website is missing some accessibility tools, then you could potentially be missing out on about 15 percent of your website’s traffic. Especially here in America because here we’ve created a world where people with disabilities are a thoroughly active part of our economy.

Maybe in other countries that may not be the case, but here in America, we have accommodated everyday things, and your website shouldn’t be any different. I was looking at ways to kind of understand this whole accessibility thing, and I found Lighthouse which is really awesome and simple to use.

So I’m gonna I’m going to go through quickly how you can use it. What you need to do is you need to download Google Chrome, open up the webpage and right click. It brings up your options and hit inspect. Once you’ve hit inspect, all you need to do is scroll over in your tabs, and there is an option. Run a Lighthouse audit, and it gives you five performance indicators; an indicator of performance, a progressive web app, accessibility, best practices, and SEO. It does so in order and is very simple to read and simple to use it. It identifies where you’re doing well and where you need to improve. You don’t even need to install an extension.

Chauncey: My wife is very aware of everything that’s going on around her. Her peripheral vision is great like she knows exactly what is in the fridge when I can’t see it right in front of my face. There’s something about work and the repetition of doing work that I didn’t even notice this tab come up. I am in that thing all the time and Lighthouse is right in front of my face. I’m excited to brag to my peers who haven’t brought this up that I found it.

Accessibility is something that is the next big ranking factor. It’s only a matter of time until Google basically starts ditching websites for not being accessible because Google doesn’t always know if you have an accessibility issue. If Google does know that you have an accessibility issue and your website doesn’t fit those criteria, it sure isn’t going to show you up.

I’ve tried to tell this to SEO companies, but none of them want to get ahead of it. I definitely think people should want to get ahead of it. If you have all your accessibility in place and then all of a sudden they roll out this thing, what you’re going to notice is all your competitors drop and up you go.

At the risk of sounding like a total champ, it’s kind of the right thing to do. A few people who have disabilities and they need your service, you should probably be available to him. Do you want to be found by people with money? Yeah. But also being available in more places, in the long run, will make you the most money. Now I’m finding out though, that in the long run, what goes around comes around. Do the right thing, and your business will succeed with the people.

Well, I’ve definitely learned from SEO that staying White Hat and not doing anything Black Hat or even Gray Hat, you will fall short when Google rolls out something new. Everyone who’s playing the sly mouse, right when the cat updates its algorithm, you get caught.

So, Light House is a very exciting tool that more businesses should take advantage of,  and if you are not maintaining your own site ask your Internet marketing company if they are using Light House, if not suggest that they do.

Thank you for listening to this segment of the Being Found Show, to hear the full show listen here: Being Found Show Episode #57 or subscribe to our podcast.