Fast is Better. MONETIZATION STRATEGY Tricks to Improve your Website’s Speed.
As a website owner you should be aware that speed is everything. Especially when it comes to monetization strategy. It doesn’t only stand for a better user experience, but also helps with SEO and monetization. Nowadays, instantaneous access to information is what the users expect. To achieve success in the publishing business without putting a heavy emphasis on loading speed, is close to impossible.
The ways to improve your page’s speed are endless. But they have instant impact on your monetization strategy and ad revenue. And for most of them you’re probably going to need assistance from a skilled developer and/or third parties. Probably, you have heard of optimizing code and assets, caching, minification etc. And while those are perfectly valid, it’s not where the story ends. All these activities should be rather considered maintenance work. Furthermore, what’s usually overlooked is how your monetization setup can affect your website’s performance. We, at PubGalaxy, have learned how to balance the scales over the years. Here, we’re going to share our top tips for boosting both web your property’s speed and your earnings.
Asynchronous ad loading
To load your pages quickly is important. Even more important than that is how fast users can start engaging with the page. That depends on how long it takes for the first available information on the page to appear on the user’s screen. If you have ads loading prior to any of the content, they can slow the process down significantly. You can avoid such issues with asynchronous loading. It is simply because these scripts don’t interrupt the processing of content. They run simultaneously right after they are triggered instead. This guarantees that users are not sitting around waiting for ads to load in order to access the information they’re looking for. And also that small errors don’t crash the entire page.
Asynchronous tags do come with certain limitations, but those present themselves so rarely that it’s not even worth mentioning. Thus, it’s really a no-brainer. When it comes to the ad tags that go on your page always use asynchronous ones. An important distinction to remember is that all passbacks are synchronous. That’s how it’s supposed to be and it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be using them. As long as there’s an asynchronous tag making the initial ad request the entire auction is always going to take place asynchronously.
No matter how sophisticated the technology you’re utilizing is, the server requests always add some latency to the page. It’s certainly become the case that almost all advertising processes and resources are facilitated externally. For the most part that’s unavoidable. While the benefits of ad servers are obvious, you should keep in mind that they aren’t completely harmless. More so, you shouldn’t be overusing them where it’s not really necessary. If you’re planning on running any house ads, PSAs or anything else that doesn’t require a large amount of control, you may want to consider hard-coding. The same can also be done for certain ad types and formats.
While on the subject, it’s also worth mentioning that multiple ad server hops also increase latency significantly. They may not affect the pace at which content is loading, but they make the delivery of ads a lot slower for sure. Often publishers are tempted to chain up server calls in a complex fashion to create custom setups and manage inventory more easily. Yet, most of the time that produces a negative effect. It doesn’t just slow things down, but also increases discrepancies by a large margin. Therefore, you should try to avoid subsequent ad server calls as much as possible.
In case you’re not familiar with the term, lazy loading is a way to deliver page elements no sooner than the time they need to be displayed. This technology is a great tool to ease the load upon initial engagement. Although, it can present some technical challenges when used with other features. You can use this method for any part of the page. Including ads if you wish to provide a smoother user experience. It can also help you worry less about viewability scores as ads are only rendered when they are in view.
Although situational, splitting articles into separate pages can also do wonders for your website’s speed. In some cases even for your profits. Websites with longer than average articles often suffer the fact that a lot of the content stays unutilized, while at the same time bringing an immense load for the browser to process. Splitting content into smaller fragments allows for the data to be more digestible, but also to display more ads. As you’re probably aware, most marketplaces enforce a limit on how many ad placements you can have per page. This means any content that exceeds the real estate which can be monetized is wasted. By using pagination, you can still produce comprehensive pieces in your respective vertical, while having them organized into compact segments that can be monetized effectively.
Header Bidding timeouts
If you’ve read anything on the subject of Header Bidding you’re probably aware of the concept and its importance. But it’s definitely worth mentioning it here as well. Header auctions are a terrific monetization asset but there’s always an underlying threat if they’re not configured properly. A drawback of the technology itself is that it can slow everything down. Generally speaking, allowing more time for the auction to complete creates more competition and therefore increases profits. However, it can also ruin the user experience. Publishers should be cautious when adjusting this and always look into their data before making a decision. If your website is rather on the slower end overall, then maybe being conservative when setting up the timeouts would be best.
Page speed is even more important on mobile devices due to bandwidth limitations. AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is currently the best way to secure it. The framework delivers a lightning fast version of your website at the expense of some styling. But its biggest benefit it how easy it is to implement. You can built AMP templates directly or simply convert your existing pages. Simply install a plugin for WordPress users. The technology is still evolving but so far it has been received quite well by the community. And it has helped many publishers to achieve their monetization goals.
For better or for worse, website speed dictates the monetization success to a large extent. Especially with Google’s ranking system that publishers find themselves constantly having to adapt to. To master the basics is easy. Yet, there are plenty of day-to-day jobs to be done, and it can be a little bit overwhelming. Whether or not you have a trusted developer to help you optimize your back-end, you’re most likely going to need someone in your corner with the same approach towards programmatic monetization.