Facebook Tells Advertisers to Speed Up Their Websites
Page load time is going to directly impact advertising rates on Facebook as well as Google – it’s time to kick your website into gear.
Do you promote your business’s products, services and/or brand on Facebook? If so, you should make sure the website you are advertising loads quickly, because the social media giant recently announced plans to emphasize “speed” with advertisers’ ads.
Facebook wasn’t the first to push promoters to speed up their sites or get penalized by slow page speeds. Over the past couple of years Google has been warning website owners to pick up the pace or potentially suffer the consequences. Even more recently, accelerated mobile pages or (AMP) is becoming the standard to get content to load instantly anywhere.
Earlier this week, Facebook revealed that nearly half of users (40%) click the back button in their browser if a webpage takes three seconds or longer to load. Of course, this reduces the overall effectiveness of Facebook Ads, as users who click the back button in their browser aren’t taking action – and without action, you won’t be generating many sales.
To counter this growing problem, Facebook announced two major changes to its advertising platform, one of which is a new “pre-fetching” technology that automatically loads advertisers’ websites in Facebook’s mobile app browser before the user actually clicks the ad. As you may have guessed, the goal in doing so is to reduce load times, which should discourage users from clicking the back button in their browser. Instead of forcing users to load the advertiser’s website from scratch, Facebook’s pre-fetching technology will automatically load it before they click the ad.
Another major change coming to Facebook Ads is the use of website load time, network connections and “other factors” in ad prices and delivery. What does this mean exactly? We still don’t know how exactly load times will influence the performance of Facebook Ads, but the social media giant hinted that long load times could increase ad prices and ad delivery. Long story short, if your website takes longer than three seconds to load, there’s a very good chance you’ll be paying more and experiencing fewer impressions/clicks when compared to a competitor’s ad with a fast-loading website.
“People use Facebook to connect with businesses, find content and research and purchase products,” explained Matt Idema, Facebook’s VP of monetization product marketing. ”A lot of the time, those experiences depend on the mobile websites of our advertisers. What we’re seeing is businesses have yet to invest across the board in their mobile experiences as much as in their legacy desktop experiences. It’s really a problem we’re looking to work with the industry to help solve.”
There are dozens of ways to test your website’s load times, one of which is through Pingdom. This free-to-use tool will reveal average load time, page size, number of requests, and how your webpage compares to the rest of the Internet.