Time to first byte (TTFB).

Have visitors benefit from a fast website? Among other things, a good time to first byte is then very important. What is time to first byte and what role does it play in a Web site’s search engine optimization? You can read all the important information here!

What is time to first byte?

Time to first byte (TTFB) is the time it takes for a Web site to receive an initial response from a Web page. It is therefore a good way to measure the speed of a Web site: the lower the TTFB, the better.

The operation of TTFB

When someone opens your website or clicks through to a page, they should do so as quickly as possible. If it takes too long to load, a visitor often quits. Besides being bad for your website traffic, this also makes your website a lot less attractive to appear at the top of search results.

The time to first byte is a clever way to get an indication of website speed. It indicates how much time elapses before the first byte (response) of a Web page occurs.

The impact of time to first byte on SEO

The impact of time to first byte on SEO is not yet fully understood. However, the speed of a Web site is a factor in determining search results. On the other hand, Google also indicates that TTFB itself is not a direct factor in ranking. It does give an indication about the speed of a website, but does not itself have a direct impact on the SEO of a website or page.

My advice

A slow website has more impact than you think. Visitors are less likely to click through on a website and thus much less likely to make a purchase. So a long load time has the potential to cut conversion in half!

We recommend optimizing website speed as much as possible. Time to first byte is not the way to measure website speed: it is only an indication, as there are many other factors that determine speed. It does make sense to measure the TTFB, one way to do this is through the browser or through a special tool.

The most complete book on website speed

I’ve written so much about speeding up websites and everything involved that I like to divide it into different sections; general, tools, speed improvement points and tips. Feel free to see and consult all the links below to learn more about tools and tips for speeding up your website.

General

Tools

Verbter points for speed

General tips

Senior SEO-specialist

Ralf van Veen

Senior SEO-specialist
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I have been working for 10 years as an independent SEO specialist for companies (in the Netherlands and abroad) that want to rank higher in Google in a sustainable manner. During this period I have consulted A-brands, set up large-scale international SEO campaigns and coached global development teams in the field of search engine optimization.

With this broad experience within SEO, I have developed the SEO course and helped hundreds of companies with improved findability in Google in a sustainable and transparent way. For this you can consult my portfolio, references and collaborations.

This article was originally published on 27 March 2024. The last update of this article was on 27 March 2024. The content of this page was written and approved by Ralf van Veen. Learn more about the creation of my articles in my editorial guidelines.