KPI ExamplesPerformance Score

Performance Score

The Google Lighthouse Performance Score is a quantitative measure of a website’s load time, efficiency, visual stability, and adherence to SEO best practices. This metric provides insight into overall website performance and the user experience.
Performance Score

Speed Check

Uses this Lighthouse Score to measure how fast a page loads.

SEO Review

Evaluate whether a page is correctly set up for visibility on search engines.

User Friendliness

Assess whether the site is easy to navigate, especially on mobile devices.

Spot Fixes

Identify what needs to be improved to boost the overall Performance Score.

User Experience Indicator

Why Performance Score Is Important

This Google Lighthouse score shows how well a website works and how it may influence a user’s perception. Consider it a health assessment for websites–it pinpoints both strengths and areas for improvement.

Notably, this score uses lab data and insights from real users to gauge website performance. Lab data offers a controlled environment for identifying issues. Real user data, however, reflects the experience of visitors under varying conditions. This highlights specific performance issues that lab data might overlook.

A site’s Performance Score is a way to guide website optimization efforts in the right direction. It also helps boost search visibility, increase website traffic, and encourage user engagement.

Why KPIs are Important

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Speed Assessment

How Performance Score Relates To Other KPIs

Many data points contribute to this Lighthouse score. For example, improvements in Google’s Core Web Vitals often result in higher Performance Scores and search rankings. 

These vitals include First Input Delay (FID), which measures the time a site takes to respond to a user's first interaction. Secondly, Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) gauges the stability of a page as it loads, ensuring elements don't move unexpectedly. Lastly, First Contentful Paint (FCP) tracks the time until the first text or image is visible, which gives an early indicator of load speed.

In addition, Performance Score incorporates the Speed Index–a measure of how quickly content is visibly populated on a page. Together, these performance metrics offer a rounded view of a site's functionality, speed, and online visibility.

Image Illustrating How KPIs Interact
Optimization Checkpoint

Key Factors That Impact the Lighthouse Performance Score

This Lighthouse score is affected by many factors. For example, page elements that are too large or improperly optimized slow down a site. On the other hand, efficiently designed elements contribute to a sleek and fast-loading page. 

One practical approach is to streamline page elements. This means optimizing images, minimizing heavy scripts, and ensuring that only essential elements are on the page. Also, consider the test infrastructure itself. For example, a slow internet connection may result in a lack of functionality. Additionally, render-blocking resources are elements that must load before a web page shows up fully.

Other Impactor KPI Factors to Consider
Generating Actionable Insights

Running Lighthouse Audits

For a clear picture of performance, Google Lighthouse audits should be run in clean browser environments free from extensions that could skew results. This ensures the data reflects actual performance, not how a website operates under specific, potentially unique conditions.

Understanding these nuances is a way to create more accurate Google Lighthouse reports and achieve better web performance.

The Benefits of KPI Tracking
Professional reports help communicate the results of marketing campaigns, website performance, and other key metrics to stakeholders such as clients, management, and investors. This helps demonstrate the value of the work being done and provides a clear picture of progress towards goals and objectives.
Daniel Dye, Native Rank

How To Calculate Performance Score

Calculating this metric is a complex process automatically done through Google Lighthouse tests. It considers different metrics that reflect loading and interactivity, including Google’s Core Web Vitals, Speed Index, and SEO Performance.

Lighthouse runs a series of audits and assigns scores to each metric based on performance. Then, these numbers are weighted and aggregated into a single metric score. As a reference, Google Lighthouse scoring distribution ranges from 0 to 100.

What Is a Good Performance Score?

A Performance Score between 90 and 100 is outstanding, which indicates that a site loads quickly and provides a smooth user experience. It also suggests adherence to best practices, such as compressed images and efficient script usage. 

Optimize website elements and run a regular Google Lighthouse audit to maintain a good score. It’s also a good practice to gather insights from real users and identify any unnoticed issues.

What Is a Bad Performance Score?

A bad Performance Score is typically below 50. This range suggests a slow page speed, delayed interactivity, or unstable page elements. In turn, this may hurt the user experience and search rankings.

To address this, implement lazy loading for lower-priority files (e.g., a background image), minimize the impact of third-party scripts, and optimize codes (e.g., CSS, Javascript).  

How To Set Performance Score Benchmarks and Goals

To set effective benchmarks and goals, start by running a baseline test to see where the website stands. Evaluate a historical Google Lighthouse performance scoring, if available. If the current score is below 50, aim to reach the "needs improvement" range (50-89) as a short-term goal. Then, set a long-term goal of achieving a "good" score (90-100).

Identify specific areas for optimization, such as image compression, script minimization, and improving server response times. Establish milestones–like increasing the score by 10 points within three months–to keep the ball rolling. Regularly review and adjust goals as those targets are achieved. This structured approach systematically enhances site performance and a more favorable Google Lighthouse report.

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User Experience Indicator

Why Performance Score Matters to Clients

For clients, Performance Score directly impacts the user experience and search engine visibility. A high score means a better chance of showing up on the SERPs and increased traffic. It also helps to achieve more tangible website-related outcomes (e.g., more Clicks or online sales). 

It’s also a way to demonstrate professionalism, develop a positive brand image, and gain a competitive advantage. In doing so, clients are more likely to hit their goals, improve user perception, and have a well-functioning website.

Why KPIs Matter to Clients
Optimization Checkpoint

Why Performance Score Matters to Agencies

For agencies, Performance Score is a tangible measure of a website's overall health and effectiveness. It’s a way to help clients achieve their objectives, like driving more traffic, improving user engagement, and boosting revenue.

Additionally, Performance Score is a way to quickly fix any issues, like an input delay or a slow page load on specific web pages. In doing so, agencies show due diligence and their ability to quickly address website issues.

Why Marketing KPIs Matter to Agencies

Spend Time Crafting Winning Strategies, Not Just Reporting Them.

Best Practices When Analyzing and Reporting on Performance Score

Tracking this Google Lighthouse score is a way to improve website performance and enhance the user experience. Here are some reporting best practices to convey this information effectively.


Ensure Data Accuracy

Confirm that the testing environment and parameters for Lighthouse scores remain consistent.


Analyze Over Time

Track Google Lighthouse Performance Scores over time to identify improvements or regressions.


Put in Context

Benchmark this score against industry standards and competitor performance. Report on related metrics like First Input Delay and First Contentful Paint.


Align to Client Goals

Clearly articulate how improvements in Google Lighthouse scores contribute to client objectives (e.g., increased traffic).


Visualize Performance

Where possible, use appropriate graphs and charts to enable easier data comprehension.


Include Actionable Recommendations

Offer practical suggestions to improve Lighthouse scores over time (e.g., optimizing images for a slow website).

When you use KPIs to clearly demonstrate your client’s ROI from your efforts month over month, it increases your retention rate and keeps clients paying you month after month.
Jacob Hicks, Magnyfi
Reporting on Performance Score

Google Lighthouse Dashboard Example

To understand Performance Score in a reporting context, check out the Google Lighthouse dashboard in AgencyAnalytics. Access a visual representation of this metric alongside other Google Lighthouse performance metrics, like Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), Speed Index, SEO Score, and Core Web Vitals. See how the score fluctuates over time to identify certain performance weaknesses (like a lack of SEO practices). For up-to-date insights, run a real-time performance audit, all in-platform. Generate a shareable link for this live dashboard or generate reports in a few seconds.
Google Lighthouse KPI Dashboard Example
Helpful Tips

How To Improve Performance Score

Improving this Google Lighthouse score is a way to increase page speed and ensure an optimal user experience. Here are some actionable ways to improve this metric.


Optimize Media

Resize media for faster loading times. Choose appropriate compressions to avoid sacrificing quality. 


Eliminate Render-Blocking Resources

Remove unnecessary third-party scripts or defer their loading to improve site speed.


Implement Browser Caching

Configure caching headers, set expiration times, and utilize CDNs for efficient content loading.

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