Lazy loading is a strategy used in web development to delay the loading of non-essential resources, such as images, scripts, and ads, until they’re actually needed — meaning the essentials that the user sees first load much faster! Google images is the most obvious example of this, where blank placeholders are used until you scroll down far enough.
Since the introduction of lazy loading in mid-2020, native image lazy loading has been adopted by 27% of websites and shows no signs of slowing down. Read on as we get into the pros and cons of lazy loading, as well as what it means for publishers, ads, and monetization.
The many uses and benefits of lazy loading
Don’t be fooled by the name — lazy loading has the power to optimize your website with the speed required to keep today’s audiences engaged. Here are the key benefits you need to know:
- Increased publisher revenue - The big one. Publishers using lazy loading will generally see improved revenue over time.
- Faster page loading - A better user experience results in users that are more likely to stay on a site, and return to the site later.
- Reduced bounce rates - Quicker loading means users are less likely to leave the site before engaging with your content.
- Save on hosting costs - Lazy loading can save bandwidth and result in reduced costs for you, as the site owner, due to less content being loaded.
- Improved SEO - Search engines love sites that load fast. More organic traffic = more ad revenue!
- Mobile optimization - Lazy loading is particularly helpful for mobile users, as it conserves data usage and speeds up loading for slower, less reliable connections.
The potential drawbacks of lazy loading
While the downsides of lazy loading are minor and few, it is important to show both sides. Here are the potential cons to consider before implementing:
- Browser compatibility - Some older browsers may not fully support lazy loading, leading to potential compatibility issues and a sub-par experience for some users.
- Website complexity - Implementing lazy loading can lead to an increase in complex website maintenance to ensure proper continued functionality. Implementing may also require testing to ensure seamless operation across browsers and devices.
- Unpredictable UX - Lazy loading can occasionally make it difficult to predict when different website elements will load, potentially affecting the user experience in unexpected ways such as the dreaded content ‘jump’.
The bottom line: how does it impact monetisation?
A smoother loading experience directly translates into increased ad visibility and user engagement. This results in better traffic and monetization for publishers, and higher conversion rates and ROI for advertisers.
How does Venatus fit into all this? In order to achieve 80% viewability for our publishers, we believe that quality of ads is far more important than quantity — and lazy loading is a key tool in ensuring a high-quality, user-centric experience. Better viewability for publishers translates to great KPI results for advertisers. It’s a win-win!
If you are interested in implementing lazy loading on your site, or simply want to learn more about boosting ad revenue, get in touch today!