Almost all SEO experts are familiar with SEO analysis websites such as GTmetrix. This website updated its criteria after about 10 years after updating the central core of Google known as core web vitals on May 5, 2020. In the meantime, in addition to introducing the main criteria of Google’s core such as FCP, LCP and CLS, it also introduced other important criteria such as TTI or interactive time as one of the important criteria of the website that needs optimization on its website.

In this article, which is a comprehensive guide on the introduction, analysis and measurement method of TTI, I try to fully address this important measure and examine it from different angles.

What is Time to Interactive (TTI)?

Time to Interactive (TTI) is a performance metric that measures how long it takes a page to respond to user interactions. Basically, this measure shows how much time the website needs to process input and user requests. TTI is a kind of complement to another characteristic called Speed ​​Index. Focusing on the speed of displaying content visually, this measure examines the user experience in a way. But we need to consider interaction with our content in addition to visibility.

The difference between TTI and Speed ​​Index

There are many ways to determine page load times. Many of these methods, such as Time to first byte, are not accurate at all; Because the JavaScript of a site may be already loaded, but it is not yet ready to process the user’s request. For this reason, Time to interactive is used for the moment when the website is exactly available to the user, and speed index is used to consider the visible elements loaded on the page.

Just like Bounce Rate, which makes sense next to Time on site, TTI should also be checked with Speed ​​Index so that its results can be analyzed. Interactivity duration is one of the six important criteria that is reported in the fifth version of speed insight and also in the performance section of Google Lite.

Sources used for TTI measurement

  1. FCP metric
  2. JavaScript as well as the most clicked site elements available to the user.
  3. The response time of the site to the user

What does Time to Interactive measure?

TTI basically measures the time a page needs to respond and interact with the user; It means the time between FCP and the last displayed element. Meanwhile, TTI will show the time that your website is able to respond to the user’s request under any condition.

For example, we’ve all experienced situations where elements of a website are quickly visible, but nothing happens when we click on them. These scenarios are mostly created by third party scripts and will prevent the requested content from being displayed. This may frustrate your visitors and increase your bounce rate. Therefore, TTI optimization is very important to improve the user experience of the website, especially on mobile devices.

The TTI measure accounts for about 15% of the total performance score of your website, which indicates its relatively high importance.

TTI optimization

  • Preloading the main and important requests
  • Reduce the size of JavaScript files
  • Reduce JavaScript execution time
  • Remove unused JavaScript files
  • Reduce the number of requests
  • FCP optimization (direct effect on TTI)

Optimal score for TTI measurement

Color coding TTI (second)
green(fast) 0-3.8
orange(moderate) 3.9-7.3
red(slow) over 7.3

Important point: It should be said that TTI optimization depends on the type of site coding rather than the technical quality of the server. But it should be noted that TTI is measured almost between FCP and main-thread, so the more you optimize this criterion, naturally your TTI time will decrease.

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