Impact of Lazy Loading & Strategies to Optimize Website Performance

Updated on: January 4, 2024
Looking to boost your site's speed and ad revenue? Discover how lazy loading can be your game-changer. Dive in now!

Are you a publisher grappling with slow-loading web pages and dwindling ad revenue? If so, you’re not alone. In the fast-paced online environment, every second counts. Users are impatient, and a delay in loading can lead to lost opportunities. But we have a solution for you that can speed up your site without compromising on ad impressions: lazy loading.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the world of lazy loading. We’ll uncover what it is, how it works, and why it’s an essential tool for publishers. We’ll also provide practical insights on implementing lazy loading, backed by real-world statistics and simple explanations.

So, if you’re looking to boost your site’s performance and make the most of your ad inventory, you’re in the right place. Let’s get started!

What Is Lazy Loading?

Lazy loading is a technique in which specific assets of a webpage, such as images, videos, and scripts are loaded only when they are about to be displayed to the user, rather than loading all assets at once when the page initially loads.

Imagine you’re reading a lengthy article online. This technique ensures that the images and ads only appear as you scroll down. The page loads faster, and the ads are only loaded when they’re about to be viewed. It’s a win-win for both users and publishers.

Lazy Loading

Why should publishers care?

The stakes are high for publishers. Slow-loading ads can lead to poor user experience, lower viewability scores, and reduced revenue. Programmatic monetization, while lucrative, can be a double-edged sword if not managed properly. Lazy loading offers a way to enhance both user experience and revenue generation.

Exploring the Pros & Cons of Lazy Loading

Lazy loading has emerged as a powerful tool to enhance website performance, but like any technology, it comes with its own set of advantages and challenges. Let’s delve into the specific benefits and potential drawbacks of lazy loading.

Benefits of lazy loading

Lazy loading is more than just a technical tweak; it’s a strategic move with significant advantages:

  • Positive impact on viewability:
    • Increases viewability rate: By loading ads just as they’re about to be viewed, lazy loading ensures that more ads are seen by users, making your inventory more appealing to advertisers.
    • Higher cost per viewable impression: As viewability increases, advertisers recognize the value of your ad space, which can lead to higher costs per viewable impression. This is not just a short-term gain but an investment in the future of your ad strategy, as better viewability often translates to more competitive pricing for your viewable ad impressions.
  • Improved user experience (UX): Lazy loading enhances speed and performance, making browsing more enjoyable without compromising ad revenue.
  • SEO advantages: Search engines favor fast-loading pages. By improving load times, lazy loading can boost your site’s search rankings.

Challenges & Drawbacks

While the benefits are promising, it’s essential to recognize the potential challenges and risks associated with lazy loading.

Quick scrolling may miss ads: If users scroll quickly, ads may not load in time, leading to missed opportunities.
Expertise required for implementation: Proper implementation requires precision and understanding of how content is accessed and indexed by search engines. This includes maximizing benefits and minimizing risks. While this can be a complex process, solutions offered by Automatad simplify it by optimizing page load efficiency and viewer engagement, freeing up publishers to do what they excel at—creating compelling content for their audience.

  • Potential negative impact on SEO:
    • Invisibility to search engines and impact on page ranking: Improper implementation may cause search engines to overlook lazy-loaded content, affecting search visibility and leading to lower rankings in search results.
    • Challenges with mobile indexing: Incorrect lazy loading may cause issues with mobile indexing, further impacting SEO.

Lazy loading doesn’t guarantee success. Some publishers have seen significant improvements in revenue, while others have experienced a decrease. Careful planning, testing, and ongoing monitoring are crucial.

When to Implement Lazy Loading

Before diving into the technical details, assess whether your website needs lazy loading. Consider factors like the size of your site, the complexity of your content, and the user experience you aim to provide.

Understand the common resources for lazy loading

Lazy loading can be applied to various resources on your website. Here are some common ones for you:

  • JS files: As your website grows, split JS bundles, including vendor or third-party files, to enhance loading efficiency.
  • CSS files: Consider loading only the necessary style files for the viewable page rather than the entire website.
  • Images: Implement lazy loading for images that aren’t immediately visible, improving responsiveness.

Recognize the scenarios benefiting from lazy loading

Not all scenarios require lazy loading. Recognize where it can be most impactful:

  • Specific page requirements: If certain JS components or libraries are only needed on specific pages, lazy loading can be beneficial.
  • User interaction-dependent loading: Triggering lazy loading based on user actions ensures resources are loaded only when necessary.
  • State-dependent loading: Applying lazy loading at specific states, like after form submissions, can enhance user experience.

Testing the Need for Lazy Loading on Your Site

Evaluating whether your site can benefit from lazy loading is a crucial step before implementation. Google’s Lighthouse tool provides a comprehensive way to analyze your site’s potential for lazy loading. Here’s how to navigate this process:

Understanding Google’s Lighthouse tool

Lighthouse is an open-source, automated tool by Google that helps developers improve the quality of web pages. It audits performance, accessibility, progressive web apps, SEO, and more. For our purpose, we’ll focus on how it can assess the need for lazy loading.

Running a Lighthouse test for lazy loading:

  1. Access developer tools: Press Ctrl + Shift + i.
  2. Find the audits tab: Navigate and select ‘Audits.’
  3. Initiate the test: Click ‘Run audits’ with all five attributes checked.
  4. Review the report: Look for ‘Opportunities’ > ‘Defer offscreen images.’

Analyzing the results:

  • Potential load time reduction: The report will highlight how lazy loading can reduce your site’s load time.
  • Scope of implementation: Identify specific areas where lazy loading can be applied, such as images, JS bundles, or CSS files.

Making an informed decision:

  • Consider the insights: Utilize the Lighthouse findings to make an informed decision about implementing lazy loading.
  • Align with your Goals: Ensure that lazy loading aligns with your site’s performance goals and user experience objectives.

Guidelines for Implementing Lazy Loading

Identifying opportunities for lazy loading

To maximize the benefits of lazy loading, it’s crucial to know where to apply this technique. Here’s how you can make the most of it:

  • Below-the-fold images and ad units: Implement lazy loading in these areas as they are not immediately visible to users, enhancing the page’s responsiveness.
  • Different devices consideration: By tailoring lazy loading to mobile users, you can enhance the user experience and potentially increase mobile eCPM.
  • Geographical considerations: Adapt lazy loading according to internet speeds and user behavior across regions to ensure optimal performance, considering local internet infrastructure and browsing habits.

Integrating lazy loading with ad refresh

Lazy loading and ad refresh can be combined to create a more dynamic and engaging user experience. While lazy loading ensures that content (such as images or ads) is loaded only when it’s about to be viewed, ad refresh allows ads to reload at specific intervals or based on user actions. This combination keeps content fresh and engaging without overloading the page.

  • Enhancing viewability and engagement: By integrating lazy loading with ad refresh, you can ensure that ads are not only loaded at the right time but also kept fresh and relevant. This can enhance viewability and user engagement without annoying users.
  • Compliance with ad refresh policies: It’s essential to understand and comply with common advertiser policies regarding ad refresh. Collaborate with your advertising partners to align your strategy with industry standards.
  • Boost your revenue with the right solution: Looking to increase impressions and revenue without reducing inventory quality? Consider an ad refresh solution that ensures high viewability and in-view time, creating 30% new ad inventory and 50% new revenue. Contact us to learn more about this solution.

Methods for implementing lazy loading

Implementing lazy loading might seem complex, but with the right approach, it can be straightforward. Here’s a guide to help you choose the best method:

  • Using open source libraries: Libraries are collections of pre-written code that can be used to perform common tasks. In the context of lazy loading, several libraries like blazy.js, LazyLoad, yall.js, and lazy sizes are available to simplify the implementation. Each has unique features, so pick the one that suits your needs.
  • Custom implementation methods:
    • Lazy initialization: This method waits to load data until it’s needed, keeping objects “null” until called upon.
    • Virtual proxy: This approach uses a placeholder that has the same interface as the real object, loading the actual data only when required.
    • Ghost: This method partially loads an object, filling in the rest of the data when a specific property is accessed.
    • Value holder: This creates a generic object that manages the lazy loading process, handling the behavior as needed.
  • Manual implementation: If you prefer a hands-on approach, you can write JavaScript code to control lazy loading. This can be done by loading the content above the “fold” (the part of the webpage initially visible) based on the user’s position on the page. You can use plug-ins or write the script manually.

By understanding these methods, you can select the one that best fits your website’s needs and your technical comfort level.

Unlocking Success With Lazy Loading

Lazy loading is a strategic tool that offers publishers a pathway to a faster, more responsive website without compromising ad revenue. By understanding when and how to implement it, and carefully navigating its potential challenges, you can enhance user experience, optimize viewability, and unlock new opportunities. It’s an investment in both present performance and future success. Embrace lazy loading and take a proactive step towards elevating your online presence.

Interested in enhancing your ad performance?

While lazy loading is a powerful technique to boost your site’s performance, it’s just one piece of the puzzle. Automatad offers comprehensive ad management solutions that can help you optimize ad performance, increase viewability, and maximize revenue. With a focus on innovation and tailored strategies, Automatad is committed to helping publishers achieve their goals.

Discover Automatad’s Ad Management Solutions and take your ad performance to the next level.

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