Article

Ghia Marnewick
Ghia Marnewick 28 July 2022

First Input Delay: Boost Conversions by Providing Superior UX

To ensure the best possible online user experience, Google has developed Core Web Vitals. These guidelines provide content marketers with guidance on how to deliver the best possible user experience possible.

Several tools have been developed to assist with this process and measure the success of the implementation, one of them being first input delay. We’ll discuss this content in more detail below.

What is First Input Delay?

Have you ever given thought to how long it takes for your website to load after the initial click? This is the first input delay. It’s all about how the browser responds to the click of a button and is measured in milliseconds. This metric is only used to measure the initial loading time and not the ability to zoom or scroll.

There are so many things that can contribute to the first input delay, the most obvious culprit often being complex JavaScript. While most modern devices are able to cope with complex scripts, older devices may experience difficulties and longer delays.

Of course, the longer a page or site takes to load, the more off-putting it is to the user. For a good user experience, you need to pay close attention to your first input delay to create a truly accessible website.

What Causes First Input Delay?

A delay after the first input arises when the web browser needs to execute blocking operations, parsing scripts, and downloading assets. As a result, the site appears to be unresponsive and lagging.

This is the last thing you want a customer to experience as it will more than likely result in them closing the tab or browser. The first input delay measures this period of unresponsiveness but doesn’t consider the event handlers in the process.

This metric is incredibly important not only for the customer experience but for your Google ranking as well. Google will consider your first input delay when ranking your page, so even if you have created the most engaging, alluring content, if your loading time is too long, it will negatively impact your ranking.

What is an Ideal First Input Delay?

Now, it would be silly to think that you would never have a first input delay, it’s just one of those things that comes with loading a website. The ideal first input delay is anything under 100ms.

An input delay of between 100 and 300ms requires attention and could use improvement, while anything above 300ms is deemed to be poor. You can check first input delay threshold by going into PageSpeed Insights.

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It is worth noting that all tasks associated with the initial input are not measured by the first input delay threshold. This means that even if you have a threshold of 100ms, excessive tasks can impact the loading time.

Different Ways to Optimize First Input Delay

With the knowledge of what first input delay is on your side, you can now begin to look at how to improve first input delay.

1. Prioritize third-party scripts

If their party scripts are not essential, you can choose to remove or delay them. This will give your own scripts the chance to load properly before third-party scripts take over.

2. Unless it’s urgent let it idle

Use idle periods to run the code until the resource is required.

3. Reduce CSS

Many often believe that JavaScript is to blame for poor first input delays, but another culprit can be CSS that ends up blocking the main thread. Reducing the CSS will reduce the number of bytes that needed to be downloaded while loading.

4. Utilize web workers

This helpful tool is able to run background scripts without impacting the main thread. We recommend moving non-UI operations to the background to speed up the loading time.

5. Reduce size and simplify code

Remove any unnecessary code components such as line breaks, whitespace, or comments. You can also compress and rewrite the file for easier loading.

Don’t Lose Customers Due to a Poor First Input Delay

We all know how frustrating it can be to try and load a website, only to have the page take ages to load. We also know that when this happens, we’re quick to close the tab or move on to a different site.

When it comes to improving your website’s UX, consider how you react to certain online events. This is a great starting point when it comes to optimizing your site. By improving your first input delay, you can overcome the first hurdle when it comes to boosting your site’s ranking.

This blog post is written by Ghia Marnewick, She is a creative content writer for Aumcore, a digital marketing agency that specializes in SEO and creative content marketing services. She is passionate about finding new ways of sharing information with the world.

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