Digital Dash: Google site speed study & more

1. Why a slow website will kill your conversions, by Google

If your job involves websites in any shape or form, there’s one fact you can’t escape: people are impatient as hell.

It’s hard to believe some of the same guys and gals who used to wait a whole day for a song to download now can’t cope with a single second of buffering. But it’s true.

Super fast internet has turned us all into spoiled brats where loading speed is concerned. And nowhere is that more obvious than on websites.

A recently updated study from Google proves, in no uncertain terms, just how important site speed is. It looked at 11 million mobile ads’ landing pages, spanning 213 countries.

Cast your eyes over this:

Photo: Google

Since first reporting on this in 2017, Google found that by 2018 the average time taken to fully load a mobile landing page dropped by 7 seconds – which is great. But unfortunately this still equates to about 15 seconds loading time, which is way low when you consider 53% of mobile site visitors leave a page that takes longer than 3 seconds to load.

If you needed any further evidence of how important site speed is, just think about this for a minute (data from Quick Sprout):

A 1 second delay in loading time results in:

  • 16% decrease in customer satisfaction
  • 11% fewer page views
  • 7% loss in conversions

To put it into perspective, Amazon says just 1 second of load lag time would cost them $1.6 billion in sales each year.


2. Pinterest announces bumper shopping update, plus adds 4 new ad countries

Pinterest is giving users more spaces to shop, and therefore gifting brands tons more sales opportunities.

The updates are designed to get retailers in front of customers looking for related products, and give Pinners more access to items that match their unique style and tastes.

This could be a big move. Out of all the social platforms, Pinterest users are typically the most ready to shop. Adding features to capitalise on this is great news for brands.

Here’s a breakdown of what’s coming:

Shop by brand: clicking “more from [brand]” beneath a Product Pin will lead you to a dedicated catalogue

Photo: Pinterest

Personalised shopping recommendations: alongside style, home, beauty and DIY boards, you’ll see a “more ideas” option that will surface a load of in-stock suggestions related to what you’ve been saving

Catalogs: you can upload your full product catalogue to Pinterest and easily use this for dynamic Product Pins

Shopping Ads: now available as self-serve through Ads Manager

Shopping search: shoppable pins will now appear on the top of home feed when searching products

This week, Pinterest also announced it’s (finally) expanding advertising to more countries. First in line are: Germany, Austria, Spain and Italy.


3. Game-changer? Instagram will soon let you publish influencer posts as ads

Okay. This is a big deal.

As revealed by AdAge, Instagram is developing a new ad unit called “branded content ads”, which will let you promote posts published to influencer pages in the same way you would normal ads, provided you’re officially collaborating with them of course.

Here’s why this is so exciting.

Typically when you work with an influencer, they publish a post to their page that’s mainly seen by their audience.

Of course you can then take the content, publish it to your page too and advertise that way, but this creates another step in the process.

Which is why it’s so cool that very soon, all brands will be able to promote an influencer’s post in the same way you would any other ad.

This means more opportunities to maximise the collaboration, and increased visibility to targeted audiences under your control.

This is an extension of Instagram’s branded content tagging system, which labels influencer content with “Paid partnership” tags.

Photo: Social Media Today


4. Facebook’s “Clear History” tool set for rollout, good news or bad news?

We knew it was coming and now it’s (nearly) here.

Facebook is set to roll out a Clear History tool, which lets users erase all data collected on them from third party apps and websites.

Due to go live later this year, Clear History might sound like an important step forward for a company that’s had more than its fair share of data scandals, but the bigger picture is far more complex.

Users might not appreciate the value targeted ads bring. If you asked them, many may say they find it creepy and don’t like it. But if you removed all relevance from the ads they see, would that really be better? Probably not.

Facebook collects a mountain of data from user behaviour both on the site itself and outside it. As mentioned, this first manifestation of Clear History will relate to data from the latter, third party websites and apps.

This could – potentially – hit advertisers hard. If enough people use this, custom audiences and general targeting could be affected.

Be careful what you wish for, users.


5. Snapchat goes more multi-lingual, conducts beta test in 8 new languages

Snapchat is making a major play for the Asian market by launching a beta test with 8 new languages – 5 of which are widely spoken in India.

As you can see in the below Tweet from The Next Web’s Matt Navara, the full line-up of languages added to the roster are:

  • Hindi
  • Marathi
  • Gujarati
  • Punjab
  • Filipino
  • Vietnamese
  • Urdu
  • Malay

What makes this kind of controversial is a reported comment from Snap Inc CEO Evan Spiegel back in 2017, where he allegedly snubbed “poor countries like India”, suggesting he wasn’t interested in growing Snapchat there.

It’s important to note that Evan has since denied saying this.

In any event, the addition of the new languages is a sure sign that Snapchat is on a mission to improve its global reach.