Developments Focused on Speed See Playbuzz Cut Content Load Time by 28%

Backed by Disney, Playbuzz is a leading storytelling platform used by premium publishers and brands worldwide to author, distribute and monetise interactive editorial and commercial content and drive audience engagement. With the aim of improving the content consumption experience for users, Playbuzz set out to minimise load times and reduce bounce rates.

About Playbuzz
Storytelling platform used by premium publishers and brands worldwide
Founded in 2012
Headquarters in Tel Aviv, Israel
www.playbuzz.com
Goals
Improving content consumption experience for users
Minimise loading times
Reduce bounce rates
Approach
Ran PageSpeed Insights and Lighthouse audits
Decreased size of assets
Leveraged browser cache
Reduced number of network requests
Revised order of asset loading
Introduced SEO-friendly iFrame
Results
Reduced time to render content embedded in partners’ pages by approximately 28%
Cut bounce rate by 38% on mobile and by 42% on desktop
Minimised bandwidth requirements
Produced 30% savings in serving costs
Decreased time to appear in Google’s search results by 40%
Increased Google referral page loads traffic by 770%

Playbuzz saw that content load speeds both on mobile and on desktop should be reduced, and believed this was especially important when their content was embedded on partners’ websites. To address the challenge, the Playbuzz team used both PageSpeed Insights and a Lighthouse audit to derive recommended improvements.

Their subsequent development work involved the implementation of a host of best practices. “We started with a service that served the page on which the item is embedded, continued to create a brand new JavaScript SDK to be embedded on partners’ pages, removed parts of the code that were not in use and, finally, decreased the size of the assets”, explains Playbuzz R&D Team Lead, Nati Levi. “We also dramatically reduced the number of network requests we make by bundling code and CSS, optimised the images by reducing image sizes and implemented a CDN cache on all of our assets.”

On the client side, the team carefully planned the order in which assets should load, moving essential above-the-fold assets to the top and less essential items to the bottom. They also changed their embedding technology from a standard iFrame to an SEO-friendly iFrame, which translated to better search results indexing, more views, more users and better monetisation. For example, the time for appearance in Google’s search results decreased by 40% and the Google referral page loads traffic increased by 770%.

“Our users have a better viewing experience, our publisher partners enjoy more users exposed to their content and our advertisers are able to reach more readers with higher viewability rates.”

– Aya Mironi, Partner and Commercial Marketing Director, Playbuzz

Three months after the developments, the results showed roughly a 25% drop in the time required to render a Playbuzz item embedded in a partner page. After further improvements, the drop stabilised at 28%. “This was a significant win for us, as it impacted our entire business”, Nati says. “Our users have a much better viewing and reading experience. Our partner publishers enjoy more users who are being exposed to their content and our advertisers are able to reach more of our readers with much higher viewability rates”, explains Partner and Commercial Marketing Director Aya Mironi.

Playbuzz also managed to cut the bounce rate significantly – by 38% on mobile and by 42% on desktop. And by reducing the size of assets and images, they managed to reduce the bandwidth requirements of their application from 2.3MB to 1.5MB, so users consume less data when viewing Playbuzz items. This change resulted in up to 30% savings in page serving costs.

“Thanks to our partnership with Google and their ongoing support we’re able to provide much better results to our partners”, says Tom Pachys Playbuzz’s co-founder and COO. Looking ahead, the Playbuzz team is focused on keeping page load time top of mind in their future developments.

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