As we work to help publishers future-proof their business, solving ad-related Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) issues is a huge priority. Since CLS is one of three Core Web Vitals Google announced can impact a page’s ranking on search results pages, we wanted to make sure our publishers had an easy, scalable solution for ad-related CLS issues on their sites.
A few weeks ago, we announced that our best-in-class engineering team had come up with the solution: an innovative, first-to-market option in the AdThrive Ads WordPress plugin that solves ad-related CLS issues.
Bringing ad spacing decision-making directly onto the page (instead of using a third-party request), the plugin’s “CLS Optimization” setting removes reliance on connection speed in order to resolve CLS issues. And it helps our publishers maintain the highest possible revenue!
Since launching the updated plugin on April 7, we’re proud to report that publishers of all verticals, pageviews, and site designs are seeing dramatic improvements in their ad-related CLS score.
Whether they started out with minimal issues or had CLS scores in the “poor” range (0.25 and above), turning on the plugin option helped improve their scores. With the launch of Google Chrome 90 (which resolved some Chrome CLS measurement issues), those scores have improved even further.
Here’s how three publishers in the AdThrive community are seeing great results from the new plugin option — plus, they’re sharing insights on other improvements they’ve been making for CLS as well!
Love and Lemons
Vegetarian food site Love and Lemons had a CLS score that hovered around 0.7 at the beginning of April. On April 14, the CLS score fell to 0.1, and when Google Chrome 90 was released, the score fell further to .06, even better than Google’s “good” threshold.
How did they do it?
Publishers Jack Mathews and Jeanine Donofrio turned on the AdThrive plugin’s CLS Optimization option and did extensive troubleshooting to resolve layout shifts that weren’t related to ads.
“Between those two things, I was able to then narrow down what the issues were specific to our website,” Jack told us.
With ad-related CLS out of the way, Jack was able to fix site-specific CLS issues. Using the Performance tab of Chrome WebTools in an incognito window, Jack dialed in site-specific opportunities, including using proper font preloading mixed with font-display attributes for the site’s custom web fonts and fixing an issue with the site’s “share” plugin where its delay in loading caused a CLS reflow.
His best advice, though?
Hire out CLS optimizations if you can!
In a matter of days, Gamer Empire (a site that provides guides, news, and updates on popular games) saw its CLS score drop from above 1.0 to under 0.1.
How did he do it?
Tim Stadel Clausen, the site’s owner, said CLS was a focus for him and he did a number of things in early April to prepare for Google’s focus on Web Vitals, including enabling the AdThrive plugin CLS option. He also streamlined his own infrastructure, transferring hosting from shared servers to a dedicated server, setting up a CDN (Cloudflare), and removing plugins that were no longer in use.
“In terms of plugin settings, I enabled all the settings that would improve my site speed in some way.”
The Woks of Life
The family-run food and culture site The Woks of Life saw similarly impressive CLS score improvements after turning on the AdThrive plugin option.
How did they do it?
The Leung family launched a complete redesign in October 2020, focused on improving user experience. Even with this solid foundation in place, the site’s CLS score was still hovering around 1.0 in early April.
After activating the AdThrive plugin option, however, the CLS score dropped to around 0.2, and then, with the release of Google Chrome 90, to below 0.08 — showing the impact that improving ad-related CLS can have on a site’s overall performance!
These are just a few of the many sites that are experiencing massive improvements in their CLS scores thanks to our innovative new solution!
Since CLS scores are made up of ad-related and non-ad-related issues, it’s important to address both. The AdThrive plugin can handle the former, and our wealth of Core Web Vitals resources can put you in a great position to handle the latter or find the right experts to help.