One question we often hear from publishers is, “How can I speed up my ads?”
More than ever, it’s important that your ads load quickly. Site speed is equally important for readers and SEO, as sites with fast load time see more conversions and rank higher.
In light of this, we’ve assembled the following tips to make sure your ads are loading lightning fast.
1. Use Asynchronous Tags
An easy first step is to make sure your tags are asynchronous. Asynchronous means the tags load independently of the page, which is optimal for fast page speed.
The way to ensure your ads are asynchronous is to pull the correct code from your ad partner’s dashboard. For example, in Meridian you can toggle between asynchronous and synchronous in the ‘Edit Ad Tags’ dashboard.
To learn more about the difference between asynchronous and synchronous tags, see this article.
2. Avoid Ad Clutter
Don’t bog down your page with too many ads. A good rule of thumb is to use no more than five ads per page.
Plus, having too many ads on the page can hurt your ad performance. Advertisers won’t pay as much to bid on the same inventory, so you may have better performance with fewer ads.
3. Test Partners Before Trafficking Ads
It’s important to test each of your ad partners before trafficking their ads. Use a test page to vet each ad partner’s ads before sending a significant amount of requests.
Here’s how you can create a test page for ad tags.
4. Avoid Unnecessary Ad Code
5. Resize your Images
Too-large images can negatively affect your page load time. Size your images to no more than 100k in size. We recommend exporting images at around 800 pixels.
6. Use Strict Rich Media File Size and Format Guidelines
Rich media such as videos can also slow down your site. When using rich media, here are some example guidelines you could try:
- Rich media swf files must be under 300k in size
- Use video files that are no bigger than two GB, with a Video Frame Rate of 30 fps (29.97) and Video Aspect Ratio of 4:3
- Use video formats such as Windows .AVI and QuickTime, MOV
- Don’t use auto-audio ads. Audio must start with a clearly labeled, user-initiated click, and include a Progress Bar and Play, Stop/Pause, Mute/Unmute buttons.
7. Use Only Accepted File Types
Some file types are faster than others. The file types that won’t hurt your page speed are the following:
- GIF/Animated GIF, JPG
- Flash, Rich Media
Still struggling with page load time? A/B Test all of your ad partners.
Your next best step is a partner audit. To conduct a partner audit, turn one of your ad partner’s line items off for several hours during a high-traffic time of day. Don’t forget to notify your representative before conducting the test!
To expedite troubleshooting on both your and the partner’s end, be sure to capture as many details as possible including screenshots of the actual creative banner, inspect-element details, Java console and http request and response details (e.g. Chrome devtools->network tab view).
Once you have concluded that the partner in question is not responsible for the site lag, continue to test the rest of your partners until you find the culprit.