News and insights • Posted on 28 October 2022

Insights from below deck: October 2022

The decline of JavaScript, changes to Google Search results, and multiple Instagram bio links are just some of the topics that have got the team talking this month. Here, we discuss the latest news from the digital marketing landscape and how we expect brands to leverage updates throughout November and beyond.

Move over Javascript, hello HTML!

Over the past decade, front-end technology has seen an incredible increase in JavaScript framework adoption by developers. But due to Google’s PageSpeed analytics negatively scoring JavaScript load on websites in more recent times, developers have looked to alternative solutions to improve these scores. The conclusion? Remove as much JavaScript from the front end as possible, and utilise HTML like the good old days.

Lately, the web development world has been taken by storm by new fledgling frameworks such as Astro, Marko and Qwik. By compiling components and routes down into pure HTML, PageSpeed scores have seen a sharp increase. The Bigger Boat’s developers have been hard at work keeping up-to-date behind the scenes with new technology, and plans are in place to offer them as options to our clients in the future.

John Bell, senior web developer

Google’s making changes to mobile Search results

Google has announced it’s rolling out significant changes to how people search on mobile. Site names will be added to mobile Search results so users can easily identify the corresponding website, and favicons have been given increased retail space. What’s more, Google aims to make information about paid content clearer by replacing the label for a Search ‘Ad’ to ‘Sponsored’. The new update is currently being rolled out for mobile app users, with desktop support coming soon. 

As these are relatively small updates, marketers shouldn’t see a significant change to SEO strategy. Saying that, to prevent Google from downranking your organic presence in search results, keep site details up-to-date and comply with Google’s favicon guidelines so that your favicon is supported.

Amy Taylor, digital marketing executive

Black Friday 2022: What European brands can expect

In its recent online event – Black Friday in 2022: What European brands can expect – Klaviyo revealed some hard-hitting stats on predicted consumer behaviour for the upcoming retail period. A whopping 95% of consumers say inflation will affect shopping habits, with 55% planning to buy fewer / less items this winter. Unsurprisingly, 73% of businesses say this has negatively affected them.

For these reasons, Black Friday could be more important than ever – especially as half of consumers say they’re waiting for items to go on sale before buying. In fact, 70% of consumers plan to buy something during Black Friday, with 44% of consumers claiming Black Friday is their biggest shopping day of the year. This means Black Friday now officially beats Boxing Day as the busiest day.

Price is still the biggest factor in a Black Friday sale, with brand trust coming second in importance. As a rule, more brands plan to increase marketing spend and product offerings, as well as doing more promotions as a result of inflation—so expect marketing to get more competitive in the coming months.

Danny Oliver, senior account manager

Instagram enabling multiple links in bio

Brands wanting to direct Instagram followers to different site links know the pain of either having to frequently update the bio, or use third-party tools like Linktree. And customising third-party link menus with branding or images often comes at a cost.

Now, Instagram is rolling out a profile update that allows traffic to be driven to multiple sites. Users with access can add several links to their Instagram bio, which include customisable titles. Brands will be able to customise each link with a call-to-action, or drive traffic to websites, the latest videos, news articles, event pages or podcasts. 

Grace Lenihan, senior account manager & social strategist

Twitter hashtag change could affect campaign reach

Twitter is experimenting with removing hashtag links, meaning they’d no longer be clickable –  instead showing up as plain text. Hashtags would only work when brands employ them as part of a promotion to create a branded hashtag, often accompanied by a custom branded emoji. 

Given the significance of the feature, users would no doubt be against the idea of reduced hashtag functionality and it seems an unlikely change. For the minute, this feature is still in the experimental stage, but it could be a way for Twitter to monetise reach through hashtags. If Twitter makes hashtags clickable solely through paid promotion, engagement would increase, but you might see reduced reach overall. It would also reduce hashtag spam – posts aiming to generate engagement by adding an excess of trending hashtags that are irrelevant to the actual content. 

Liam Hayward, digital marketing executive

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Written by Alice MacLaverty

Resident wordsmith Alice is dedicated to creating top-quality content that turns heads, builds audiences, gets clicks, and makes money.

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