Despite their reputation, it turns out most of us are comfortable with ads. What do we hate?  Slow page load speed. If you don't believe us, just ask...well, all of the stats.

As long as ads are relevant and optimized, most people don't mind them as part of their web browsing or mobile experience. But the effects of slow page load speeds can be devastating. Take one guess at the conversion rate of an ad that no one sees because they click away from a site before the ad even loads.

To put it simply: page load speed is a big deal.

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Why Page Load Time Matters

Page load speed is the time it takes for a web page to load in a browser. Faster page load times result in better user experiences. Studies have shown that users are less likely to bounce from a website if the page load speed is faster. They are also more likely to return to a site that they had a good experience with. 

Fast page load times can also have a positive impact on a company's bottom line. Google has stated that they take page load speed into account when ranking websites in their search results. 

Overall, faster page load times can lead to higher conversion rates, as users are more likely to stay on a site and make a purchase if the pages load quickly. 

How Ads Impact Website Loading Speed

One thing that all on-page ads have in common is that they can impact the speed at which a webpage loads. This is because on-page ads typically involve additional files that need to be downloaded before the rest of the page can load. In some cases, this can add several seconds to the page load time or website speed. 

That's why it's very important to consider the impact of on-page ads when designing web pages. Otherwise, users may experience major delays when trying to access the content. They'll move on to another, faster-loading page before you can blink- which is coincidentally how fast your page should be loading in the first place.

Recommendations for Improving Page Load Speed

Before jumping into the ads themselves, as a publisher, you can make sure that you are covering the basic best practices for page speed.

  • Start with a good server. Whether hosting your own site or using a cloud hosting platform, invest in quality
  • Content Management System. Keep your CMS as clean as possible and reduce the number of plugins
  • Use a strong CDN. CDNs like Cloudflare to populate your website across many different serves for faster load times
  • Reduce 3rd party requests. Every 3rd party request slows down your website
  • Combine JavaScript calls into a single file. This ensures you're only making one 3rd party call to execute all JavaScript
  • Use server-side JavaScript. Don't make your browser process JavaScript when it doesn't have to
  • Optimize your images. Badly optimized images are a killer for page load speed. More on this below.
  • Use Google Tag Manager for analytics codes or tracking codes.
  • Cover the basics. Add an SSL certificate to your domain, add Google Analytics to your site, set up your domain in Google Search Console, and create a .xml sitemap file for your site

Optimizing Ads for Page Load Speed

When it comes to your ads' effects on page load speed, you can follow some basic best practices.

Image Optimization

Images in ads should follow all of the same conventions for optimizing other images on your website. There are several ways to optimize images, including using the proper file format, reducing file size, and using a content delivery network. The right file format is important because different types of images have different properties that affect load time. 

For example, JPEG files are smaller than PNG files and are best suited for photographs. PNG files, on the other hand, are better suited for graphics with fewer colors. 

Reducing file size is also big (or in this case, small). Images that are too large will take longer to load. One way to reduce file size is to compress the image without losing quality. Finally, website owners can use a content delivery network to improve load times by caching images on multiple servers around the world. 

As a publisher, you have little control over these things yourself, so you'll want to partner with ad providers who will manage these issues before they ever end up on your website.

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Loading Priority

If your page load speed is too slow, it might be because it isn't lazy enough.

Lazy loading is a technique that can be used to improve page load speed. When a page is loaded, all of the content is loaded at once. This can take some time, especially if the page contains a lot of images or other heavy content. 

With lazy loading, only the content that is visible on the screen is loaded initially. As the user scrolls down, more content is loaded. This ensures that the user only has to wait for the content they are interested in to be loaded, rather than waiting for the entire page to be loaded. 

Lazy loading can be used for both images and other types of content, such as videos and infographics. Implementing lazy loading can help to improve user experience by reducing waiting times and increasing the amount of visible content. It can also help to reduce bandwidth usage, which can be beneficial for both users and website owners.

Any ad monetization tools or technology you use should use lazy loading for ads that aren't in view.

Core Web Vitals: Effects on Page Load Speed

Core web vitals are a set of metrics that measure the quality of user experience on your website. They provide page speed insight including measurements of page load time, interactivity, and visual stability. 

At first glance, the phrases that make up your core web vitals can read a little like gibberish generated by a bad AI. But the concepts behind all three are fairly straightforward.

Largest Contentful Paint

When a web page is loaded, the browser renders the page content gradually. The largest contentful paint (LCP) metric measures how long it takes for the largest element on the page to load. 

There are a number of factors that can influence LCP, such as server response time, image size, and more. 

First Input Delay

First, input delay is the time from when a user first interacts with a page to when the browser is able to respond to that interaction. It's an important metric for measuring the responsiveness of a page and is used by Google to help determine search rankings. 

Cumulative Layout Shift

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) is a metric that measures how much the elements on a page move around while the page is loading. A low CLS score means that elements are locked in place, while a high CLS score indicates that elements are constantly shifting around as the page loads. 

How Playwire Increases Ad Revenue with Fast Page Load Speed

We've spent all this time stressing the importance of balancing ad revenue with fast page load speed. You're probably thinking, "Well, what is Playwire doing about all this?"

We're so glad you asked.

Building Skeletons

No, we're not doing anatomy lessons. Our developers build what we call "skeletons" to address issues with cumulative layout shifts, reserving space for ads as the page loads so that the page doesn't shift around once the ads are fully loaded. This makes pages look complete even before an ad is selected for auction.


Before an HTTP request is even sent, we use preconnect to set up an early connection with all required resources. By the time that request comes through, the initial setup process is already complete and the page loads at blazing speed. This improves LCP, which we've already discussed as an essential core web vital.

Delayed Mode & Minimized Render Blocking

Loading a site's main content quickly is essential, but we don't ever want that to come at the cost of ad impressions. That's why we created 'delayed mode,' a feature we build into scripts that delays the ad process until the perfect time to optimize publisher websites and load content first without ad interference.

You might be excited by all this information about boosting your page load speed. The reality is that page load speed is impacting your bottom line whether you care about it or not. The good news? You don't have to be passionate about the largest contentful paint or first input delay. At Playwire, we're passionate and experienced enough to help.

If you're ready to make your page load speed work for you and not against you, contact Playwire online today.

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