Are my ads slowing down my site?

We know that site speed is incredibly important to our Raptive publishers. A faster site provides a better experience for your readers and engaged readers result in higher-paying ads!

Talking about site speed really comes down to two things:

    1. How do real-world readers perceive site speed?
    2. How can you measure the metrics that are helpful for real-world site speed?

Raptive ads load asynchronously, which means they have minimal impact on how quickly your content loads. Even after readers are accessing and interacting with your content, the ads may continue to load in the background.

Speed tests like GTmetrix and Google PageSpeed Insights load your page and record when different events happen in the browser. Then, they show you a report where you can see all the different page loading factors.

The "fully loaded" timer in a speed test only stops counting once EVERYTHING is finished, including things that load in the background and don’t affect the way your readers engage with the page, like ads and analytics events. As a result, looking at the "fully loaded time" in a speed test doesn’t give you an accurate picture of how your site is behaving for your readers.

Other speed metrics DO give you a good picture of how readers perceive your site speed.

We love Google’s focus on “user-centric” metrics like Start Render, First Contentful Paint, and Document Content Loaded. “User-centric” means these are measurements designed to give you a good idea of real-world reader experience, which should always be the most important focus for any site optimizations!

Google has written a really helpful resource with lots of details on user-centric metrics and why they're the crucial ones to focus on.

When your site does well with these user-centric timings, that means it probably provides readers with a great user experience and feels speedy to them.

For example, First Contentful Paint (FCP) measures when a user can first start to see content when the page loads. A fast FCP means your page feels faster to users. Users aren’t just faced with a blank screen — they can see that things are happening.

And the good news is that Raptive ads DON’T have a measurable effect on these vital, user-centric speed measurements.

There are lots of things you and your developer can do to improve your site for reader experience, as measured by these timings.

We have a great article filled with lots of tips on how to increase your site speed. If you are experiencing slow load times, start here and implement all of the suggestions that apply to you: How can I speed up my site?

Looking for even more details on site speed, SEO, and the impact of ads? You can find our blog post with tons of data analysis right here.
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