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Lazy Loading Ads: Does it Work, and Should You Use It?

Publishers are continually looking for ways to optimize the performance of their ads and site experience. You can use many different tactics, but it’s always vital to understand the impact on your revenue, viewability rate, and overall performance. One strategy that’s been gaining increasing popularity is lazy loading. By delaying ad delivery, publishers hope to improve user experience while boosting revenue generation.

In this article, we’ll go over:

  • What lazy loading is and how it works.
  • Which ads will benefit from lazy loading.
  • The advantages and disadvantages of the tactic.

Is lazy loading the right strategy for you? Let’s find out.

What is Lazy Loading?

When you visit a website, the entire page will be rendered and delivered to your browser. That means that every script will be run, images and content will be loaded, and ads will be delivered simultaneously. Unfortunately, that also means that the page can end up loading slowly, providing a poor user experience and resulting in a higher bounce rate.

Lazy loading is meant to be the answer to this problem. In short, it means that certain elements won’t load until they’re actually within the user’s viewport. This allows the page to load faster by using placeholder content and empty containers. Only once the container enters the user’s view is the ad loaded and delivered.

There are a few tradeoffs to lazy loading ads, so it’s always recommended to do extensive testing, determining the impact on your engagement, KPIs, and revenue before site-wide implementation.

Where Should You Use Lazy Loading

Ideally, you should only use lazy loading on ads below the fold. Utilizing the tactic helps to reduce latency and CPU consumption, coming into view only when they enter the user’s viewport. Essentially, it means that your website will load faster, providing visitors with a better overall experience.

Source: Marketing Tracer 

At rev•amp, we’ve found that it’s a good idea to start by lazy loading ads on a few particular pages to test the performance. Doing so will also give you an idea of how it’ll impact your revenue and user experience.

Why You Should Lazy Load Your Ads: The Benefits

Several advantages come with implementing lazy loading on your site. If you’re a publisher, here are two of the most significant benefits you can expect once you’ve implemented the tactic.

The Positive Impact on Viewability and Revenue

Many advertisers are emphasizing the importance of ad viewability over impressions. Sometimes called the “actual number of impressions,” or viewable impressions, viewability measures how much of an ad is visible and how long it remains that way.

With lazy loading, ads won’t be delivered unless they’re within the user’s viewport. That increases your viewability rate while also reducing the number of false impressions. In turn, your inventory may become more appealing to advertisers, particularly those that prioritize viewability over CPM.

While you may see a drop in revenue in the short term, advertisers may be inclined to bid higher for your ad inventory when they see your excellent viewability rate. As your ad space becomes more valuable, you’ll earn more revenue from these higher bids.

Improved User Experience

There’s no denying that ads can be incredibly resource-intensive. Simultaneously loading the scripts for all the ads on a page can affect the speed of your site and the user experience. Through lazy loading, you can reduce the load while giving your visitors a better browsing journey.

The added benefit is improved SEO. The Google algorithm favors pages that load quickly, allowing you the opportunity to gain a better page rank in search.

Understand The Drawbacks

You may be thinking that lazy loading is a quick and simple way to improve user experience, revenue generation, and site speed. However, a few key drawbacks come with lazy loading your ads, and it’s critical to understand these before you implement the tactic.

The Negative Impact on Viewability and Revenue

While lazy loading can positively impact viewability and revenue, there are a few negative consequences to consider as well.

When you use this tactic, users may scroll past your ads before they get the chance to load, costing you valuable revenue. Additionally, viewability rate isn’t prioritized by all advertisers yet. Implementing lazy loading typically reduces your revenue generation at first since ads are only rendered when necessary.

Consider carefully whether your current revenue streams can withstand that initial impact; if it can, only use lazy loading on ads below the fold to keep your viewability rate up and minimize the drop in income.

Coding and Implementation

Testing your ads and implementing the lazy load script can be challenging, particularly if you’re working independently or with a part-time, outsourced development team. If you’re set on executing the strategy, it’s best to work with a skilled monetization partner who can install the scripts, test the impact on ad performance, and optimize it for best results.

Our rev•amp team allows us to give our users a significant head start. We know how to identify ads that are the best fit for lazy loading and use best practices to reduce the impact on your viewability and revenue while boosting performance.

Conclusion

The goal of any monetization strategy is to improve your revenue. However, creating a stable revenue stream means continual ad optimization and close monitoring of KPIs like viewability rate and CPMs while providing users with an excellent experience. By implementing lazy loading correctly, you can boost your site’s performance while also enhancing your viewability and increasing the value of your inventory.

Richard is the Adtech Product Lead at Softonic. As Adtech Product Lead, Richard is responsible for improving overall revenue and ad performance for all our properties, including rev•amp, Softonic’s new publisher monetization platform. Within rev•amp Richard oversees development for the rev•amp monetization stack, both innovations and the improvement of existing technologies.
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