Loading Times: Why Your Customers/Consumers Won’t Wait.

The internet is a crowded place. Ads pop up from every direction, searches yield millions of results, and everyone is constantly trying to tell you what you need and why. So now more than ever, getting the attention of users is increasingly difficult—and important—for businesses to be successful.

The Challenge for Online Advertisers

Advertisers face a series of challenges when trying to serve engaging, action-driven ads that achieve their campaign goals. Through our experience, we’ve found that one of the biggest challenges—if not the biggest—is time. Countless studies and research have indicated just how much time advertisers really have to get a message to a final user before losing them completely. For display ads, data shows that on average, users give image-based ads 5-7 seconds of their time, and just about 12-14 seconds for video ads.

So what does this mean for you as an advertiser? Simple. You have less than 7 seconds to deliver the right message and generate engagement from your audience. Here at Assemble, there are a variety of technical strategies that we utilize to stay within those numbers and give your ads the best chance of achieving your campaign goals.

While banners can specifically be designed to concentrate on those first few seconds, there are also technical elements within each ad that can maximize its efficiency. The two most important: Asset Optimization and Loading Times. Because if your ad is spending most of that valuable time [5-7 seconds] just to load, you’ve already lost your audience.

1. Asset Optimization

The unfortunate truth about online banner ads is that a large chunk of them are unnecessarily overweight. In fact, most data indicates this chunk counts for 40% of all online advertising.

With KB-weight being such an important element in terms of engagement times—the heavier a banner, the longer it takes for it to load and be displayed—our team has established a series of standardized processes that allow us to get the most quality out of the lightest image files.

By having the right people optimize your images, you can maximize the amount of KB-weight you can start taking out of a banner. For example, both sizes below come from the same banner; except the one on the left contains untouched images, while the one on the right utilizes our asset optimization processes.

Not OptimizedOptimized

That’s right. This example shows a 56% reduction in both the total and compressed sizes. And as most online advertising platforms will actually use the compressed size for their calculations, this means we have now turned this creative from being 409kb to just 181kb.

2. Loading Times

In addition to image optimization, we can also implement polite loading. We use this technique in about 98% of our ads because it allows us to load the vital items we need to run the banner first, and then continue to load the rest of the secondary elements as the banner plays.

It may sound simple, but its impact on load times is huge. Through this process, we can load all the code the banner needs to play first—such as the vital javascript items—and then “politely” continue to load item-by-item, as the user gets to them.

Through a polite loading implementation of the same banner with optimized images from the previous example, we can prioritize the very first elements to load this includes just the code and the images for the first frame, so that the user can start seeing the banner right away.

On the left, you’ll see the image-optimized banner we saw above, and on the right, you will see the loading values with polite loading implementations.

Total SizeInitial load

With precise techniques, this process has an even bigger impact on loading times, dropping the weight from 181kb to 15kb for a weight reduction of almost 92%. So from the original weight of the creative asset (409kb), we ended up reducing the initial load a total of 96.4%!

Winning the Waiting Game/No More Waiting Game

To put this all into perspective, listen to this: in 2019, the average internet connection in the US is about 96mb. As a worst-case-scenario, we’ll say it’s 25% slower, or 72mb, which means the average US user can download roughly 9216kb per second. Considering this data, the newly modified creative should take just 0.0015 seconds before it starts playing.

With the right optimization processes and data loading techniques, Assemble can produce ads that take less than a hundredth of a second to load. As a result, you can essentially utilize the entire 5-7 seconds that your audience is engaged to deliver your message and drive results. To learn more about how we can optimize your assets and minimize load times, chat with our experts today.