​A new report shows that online retailers aren't proactively maintaining site speed, despite its direct impact on profit margins.

​User experience is becoming an important aspect of SEO, sparking some industry folk to rename the practice search experience optimization (SXO). Brafton recommends conducting regular site audits to understand how to improve SEO content strategies, especially when it comes to load time. Studies suggest that a one-second delay in site speed can lead to a 7 percent decline in website conversions.

While most webmasters understand site speed is essential for turning a profit with internet marketing, a new report from Radware shows companies continue to drop the ball. Data shows that the median page took 6.79 seconds to load in Spring 2012, but dropped to 7.72 seconds this summer.

To put site speed into perspective, among the top 500 leading retail sites, Ikea had the fastest full load time at 1.85 seconds. Companies with websites loading more toward the 7-second mark may be leaving money on the table, and must aggressively improve user experience. With consumers using mobile phones more often than ever before to reach desired sites, load time will play an even more critical role, so taking a proactive approach to amend errors now will results in higher conversion rates tomorrow.

Ted Karczewski is an Executive Communications Associate at Brafton. He works to develop his own voice and apply his passions to the evolving world of SEO and content marketing, but he doesn't shy away from writing for fun. After graduating from Suffolk University, Ted used his Communications degree to test out Sports Journalism before Marketing at Brafton.