How to optimize your ad speed
In case you needed another reason to worry about page latency, Google and Facebook are becoming more strict about page loading time, particularly on mobile. They know that twenty first century consumers expect instant gratification.
Ads are often said to contribute to page latency, so we wanted to share our insights on this. The good news is that fixing any problems can increase page views and boost earnings.
Here’s how we see it. Ads can slow down your page loading time. But they shouldn’t slow it down too much. It is possible to serve multiple ads and preserve the user experience! Here’s how to keep your users, your bank balance, and Google happy.
The best solution: asynchronous ad code
Using asynchronous tags is by far the single, best thing you can do to avoid latency. This way, ads load independently from the other elements on the page and the page content will be visible sooner to the user. This is especially important if you are using passbacks, which add another step to the process of filling the ad placements.
At FirstImpression.io, we always use an asynchronous tag with publishers so that our ads load separately to the page content and other ad placements. Most good demand partners will offer you this option. Quite simply, it’s best for the user experience.
What if your demand partner doesn’t provide asynchronous tags?
There are still a few demand partners who don’t give publishers the option to use asynchronous tags. If you enjoy working with them and want to keep your existing advertising setup, then your best bet is to put the synchronous ad tags in an iFrame. This way, you ensure that your ad placements load independently from the page content. However, be aware that this method can have a negative impact on the revenue that the tag generates. You’ll need to test this carefully.
What about header bidding?
Header bidding is not an asynchronous process. So it makes sense that the most common complaint about it is that it can increase page latency and slow down your website. We know that lots of publishers are fans of header bidding though, because it does have its advantages, and some of our own clients use header bidders with their other advertising partners. If you choose to do this, invest in doing it right. You’ll need an experienced team of ad ops professionals and developers.
One option for reducing latency is to implement header bidding wrappers with timeout settings. What this does is limit the time that SSPs and demand partners have to make a bid. Another option for larger publishers is to go server-to-server – you can read more about server-to-server here.