Latency refers to how long a web page takes to load on a users browser.
Having a faster page load speed is important both from a ranking & user experience perspective, as faster sites perform better in search, as well as UX.
Optimizing Latency & Page Load Speed For SEO & User Experience
Webmasters should frequently be checking their page load speeds in order to ensure that they are able to be featured on the widest variety of Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
The faster a site can load, the more SERPs it can be featured on, as an end user’s connectivity issues that may change SERP layouts for them will have less of an impact on them.
Consider performing a search from your office on wifi, from your phone in the elevator & from the parking lot on your way to your car.
The same query may render a variety of different SERPs, and faster loading pages will always be considered for those rankings & layouts.
Tools such as WebPageTest.org & Google’s Page Speed Insights give webmasters & marketers a great way to measure how fast their pages load, as well as insights into how to further optimize & improve them.
Users also want faster sites as it enables them to consume more content & complete more actions without having to wait for long.
Slower sites are more likely to have traffic bounce to other sources as users become impatient with them.
Rankings are also impacted by this, as search engines want to give users the data they request as fast as possible, similar to having a conversation with another person.