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How to Inspect Element and Its Functions in SEO

Last updated: Sep 28, 2022

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Every browser has an inspect element feature, which is usually used to see various hidden elements of a website. Implementing the method of how to inspect elements is not a difficult thing to do. You can do it with just a few clicks.

In this guide, we will invite you to explore what an activity inspecting element is, how to display them, and their functions for implementing SEO on your website.

What is “Inspect Element”?

Inspect element is a feature in the browser that allows you to view HTML and CSS code on a website. Website developers usually inspect elements to find bugs on the website, edit the appearance of the website, or see lines of code on competitor websites.

Not only that, the inspect element also allows you to make temporary changes to the appearance of a website's page. You can change the HTML or CSS code on the website to change the background color, add text content, delete images, and so on.

Of course, this change only applies to the web page you are currently viewing and has no impact on the original web page. If you refresh the browser, the page will return to its original appearance.

Therefore, inspect elements can also be used by a front end developer to modify a line of code before applying it permanently to the website.

The Benefits of Inspect Element

Before discussing how to inspect element on a page, it's a good idea to know the benefits of knowing how to do it. Some of the important benefits of inspecting element are:

Knowing Website Elements

Figure 1: Screenshot of the inspect element view on the website elements section which contains a collection of HTML and CSS code. In doing so, you can see the various elements on a website.

When you do the inspection, you can see what kinds of elements exist on a website. Some of the elements that you can know are the structure of website headings, meta tags, keywords, canonical tags, image sources, text elements, and so on.

Inspect elements can be used to study competitor websites. By knowing what elements are on their sites, you can apply them to your own.

Website Audit

Figure 2: Screenshot of the inspect element display on the 'Console' tab. You can perform an audit to find errors in Javascript code or link status.

You can also audit the website by using the inspect element feature. A website audit is done by checking for bugs such as links or code not working on the page. If there is an unreadable Javascript code or an error link status, a notification will appear in the 'Console' tab.

By checking for errors on the website, you can perform debugging or repairs to improve your website's performance. 

View CSS Display

Figure 3: Screenshot of the inspect element display in the CSS panel. You can find out the CSS code of a page as well as make temporary edits.

If you want to know the CSS code used by a website and imitate it, then you can use the CSS panel in the inspect element. For example, you can see the background color code used on a website or the type of font in the text.

You can also experiment by changing the CSS code of website pages such as fonts, layouts, color codes, and more. When you change the CSS code in the inspect element, the browser will adjust the appearance of the website page in real time, so you can see the results immediately.

Inspect element also provides various features that make it easy for you to edit CSS code, such as a color picker, autocomplete, visual model box, and filters.

How to Inspect Element

In order to take advantage of the various features in the inspect element, you'll need to know how to do it in different browsers. Not only that, you also have to know how to inspect element on your smartphone, so you don't have to bother opening the computer.

The guide on how to inspect element in Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and on HP is as follows:

How to Inspect Element on Chrome

The steps to inspect element on Chrome are divided into three, which are:

  1. Open the web page you want to check in the Chrome browser.
  2. Right-click on the website page and select 'Inspect' at the very bottom. Another shortcut, use 'Control + Shift + C' for Windows users or 'Command + Option + C' for Mac users.
  3. The inspect element editor box will appear on the right side of the page automatically.

How to Inspect Element on Firefox

Just like on Chrome, there are three steps to view the inspect element editor box on the Firefox browser:

  1. Open the web page you want to check in the Firefox browser.
  2. Right-click on the website page and select 'Inspect Element'. Another easier way is to press the 'Q' button.
  3. After that, the inspect element editor box appears, which contains the source code.

How to Inspect Element on Safari

By default, Safari does not bring up the inspect element option for its users. However, you can adjust its settings so that you can use it to inspect elements.

The process of inspecting elements in Safari will take a bit longer, but it's not that confusing. There are five stages to how to inspect element on Safari:

  1. Open the 'Safari' menu, then select 'Preferences'.
  2. Select the 'Advanced' tab, then tick "Show develop menu in menu bar".
  3. If you have, the 'Develop' menu option will appear at the top and you can already use inspect element.
  4. Right-click on the website page, then select 'Inspect Element' at the very bottom.
  5. The inspect element editor box will appear at the bottom of the page automatically.

How to Inspect Element on Smartphone

There are three stages to inspect element on smartphones, especially Androids. You can use this method when you're not using your computer and need to inspect elements by following the steps below:

  1. Open the web page you want to check in the Chrome application on an Android phone.
  2. Add 'view-source:' at the beginning of the website URL. For example, 'view-source:https://example.com'.
  3. If so, press 'Enter'. Next, you will see the script code from the website page.

The Importance of Inspect Element for SEO

The inspect element feature is not only used for website development, but it can also be useful for SEO. An SEO specialist must be able to know how to inspect elements. There are several functions of the inspect element feature that you can use for SEO audits, such as testing responsiveness and website speed.

Testing Responsive Display

Figure 4: Screenshot of the inspect element display on the Device Toolbar section. This tool helps you to test the responsiveness of a website on various types of devices.

To find out how well a website is responsive, you can use the Device Toolbar. With this feature, you can see the appearance of your website on various devices, such as mobile, tablet, or desktop views. You can use this feature by pressing the device icon to change the display type.

If there is an unfavorable display on one type of device display, then you can check the code on the problematic display and make edits directly on the CSS panel.

Checking the Website Speed

Figure 5: Screenshot of the inspect element display on the 'Networking' tab. In this tab, you can test website speed.

Website speed is very important to improving SEO performance. You can test website speed with the inspect element. Testing can be done by opening the 'Networking' tab.

In this tab you will find information about the length of time it takes for the browser to open a web page. You can also find out the size of the file downloaded by the browser. The larger the file size, the slower the process of loading a website becomes.

Another way to test website speed is to use a third-party tool like Page Speed ​​Test from cmlabs.

That's a guide on how to inspect elements that you can apply to various browsers and also on smartphones. Hopefully, with this guide you can understand how to inspect elements to help the website development process or improve SEO performance.

If you want to improve the SEO performance of your business website, try using an SEO consulting service that can help you implement SEO best practices.

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