Why Companies Are Increasingly Turning To Google's AMP - USM Interactive

Why Companies Are Increasingly Turning To Google’s AMP

May 15, 2018 by Dave Saraceno

Google wants websites to load fast and be portable like the online content you get from Facebook Instant Articles or Apple News Format. That’s why it created a stripped-down way to publish mobile pages. It calls this format AMP, short for Accelerated Mobile Pages.

AMPs are squeaky clean because Google removed media embeds, interactive scripts, and ad-tracking code from them. AMP pages load selectively, and they offer a free caching service to speed up delivery.

An AMP page loads four times faster,” said Google news head Richard Gingras, “and uses 10 times less data compared to a non-AMP page.”

The benefit to readers? They can see the page quickly – up to 88% faster than traditional mobile stories.

The result? They are 23% more likely to revisit the same site within one week.

Google mobile is training users to expect a fast and clean experience, and those users turn to sites that deliver what they expect. Brands are either using AMP or falling behind.

 

What is AMP exactly?

AMP (Accelerated Mobile Page) emerged from a joint project by Google and Twitter to generate faster mobile pages. As Will Critchlow and Tom Anthony of Distilled put it, “It’s basically a stripped-down form of HTML, a diet HTML if you will.”

 

What does AMP do?

AMP allows users to download large, content-heavy, or poorly optimized websites on their mobile devices at a lickety-split pace. Once, people had to download an entire website to their iPhone, but today’s mobile-loving web users can grab the most important content without having to wait for a pixelated site to come up line by line on the screen.

 

Who likes AMP?

The general public has taken to AMP with enthusiasm. Despite generating some initial controversy among internet mavens who said AMP was a way to keep the internet under Google’s thumb, ordinary readers are embracing the format.  

Content publishers love it, too, since readers are 30% more likely to leave a site that doesn’t load within three seconds.

Young adult readers especially appreciate AMP since they are heavy mobile users. Millennials love mobile. They love it so much they spend 223 minutes a day on their handheld devices. They expect their mobile pages to be fast, informative, and accessible.

 

How does AMP work?

According to Garenne Bigby of Dynomapper, “AMP…is a combination of a series of elements used to optimize the page.” It allows asynchronous JavaScript that’s custom designed with AMP elements. The AMP disconnects document layout from resource layout so the page layout downloads before any resources. It also forbids extension mechanisms from blocking page rendering, and it keeps only the styles that stay inline.

From a design perspective, you want to make sure the AMP’s webfont is optimized for mobile performance and that its geometry fits within appropriate parameters. Keep in mind that AMP does not allow forms. So it’s not the way to build your email list or capture other personal data.

 

What are the pros and cons of using AMP for your brand’s pages?

Pros:

  • Increased visibility
  • Lower bounce rates
  • Higher organic rankings thanks to faster load times
  • More returning visitors
  • Improved conversion rates
  • Better mobile experience for your customers
  • Lower cart abandonment rates

Cons:

  • Tracking and advertising are more difficult
  • Move to AMP takes time
  • Reduced ad revenue
  • Restricted functionality
  • You can’t collect addresses for email marketing

 

AMP: What’s in it for your brand?

You’ll get more views and greater engagement with AMP. People will actually read your mobile content from beginning to end. You can reduce the chances that a malware-ridden ad on your site will infect your customer’s device. And you’ll provide an online experience your customers can enjoy and recommend to their friends.

Is AMP worth it? Absolutely. It’s the next logical step in interactive digital advertising. AMP equips you with the ability to provide the experience your customers want at a price a small or mid-size brand can afford.

Michelle Robbins at Search Engine Land believes we will be able to implement – and benefit from – AMP features without having to adopt the framework. She’s probably right. But don’t wait for that day. Your competitors are moving to AMP now!

AMP pages can be a very effective way to get more mobile traffic and get ahead of competition. For more information about launching Accelerated Mobile Pages programmatically for your site, contact Dave Saraceno today!