Chrome DevTools: A Powerful Toolbox for Technical SEO Audits
Chrome DevTools is a free tool embedded within the Chrome browser that offers a range of features to help you perform real-time audits on your website. With just a click, you can access this powerful toolbox for conducting comprehensive technical SEO audits.
Accessing Chrome DevTools
Accessing DevTools in Chrome is a breeze. Simply right-click on any webpage and select “inspect.” This will open the DevTools panel, usually on the right side of the screen. However, you have the option to dock it at the bottom, left, or even in a separate window. To customize the dockside, click on the three dots next to the settings cog and choose your preferred location.
Building Your Console Drawer
The console drawer is a hidden panel within DevTools that contains additional tools. For SEO purposes, the most useful ones are Coverage, Rendering, and Network Conditions. To access the console drawer, click on the three dots again and select “Show console drawer.” Once opened at the bottom of the elements panel, clicking on the three dots in the drawer will display a list of additional tools that can be added in a tab-like format.
SEO Auditing Opportunities
When it comes to performing SEO audits, there are various methods to identify issues, validate findings, and assess a website’s accessibility for both users and search engines.
- Ensure Content Is Accessible: Check if search engines can crawl and see your content. In the Elements panel of DevTools, you can view the Document Object Model (DOM) of your page. This shows the structure of your HTML document, including meta tags, canonicals, hreflang tags, and the main body content.
- Find and Validate Useful Tags: Review tags that guide search engines on how to view and index your page. Use the search function in the Elements tab to easily find title tags, meta tags, OG tags, canonicals, hreflang configuration, and robot meta tags.
- Verify Alt Text: Check if images on your page have logical and descriptive alt text. Use the element selector in the Elements tab to review the code and alt text of an image.
- Emulate Multi-Device Responsiveness: Ensure your website is responsive and accessible across different devices. Use the device toolbar in Chrome DevTools to audit mobile-friendliness and customize the screen size and responsive format.
- Site Speed Audits: Use Chrome DevTools to audit the speed and performance of your website. The Lighthouse feature provides a performance score and identifies improvements to increase the score. The performance tab helps you assess the load time of each element on the page.
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