Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) can help content creators and advertisers reduce bounce rates and increase conversions with fast-loading pages. But what is Google AMP exactly, and how can small and midsize businesses leverage the technology?
In this post, we'll give you an overview of the AMP Project and actionable tips on how you can improve your digital marketing strategy for mobile.
Prioritizing Page Speed
Page speed is just one factor on a long checklist of items digital marketers need to consider when optimizing a site for search. But it's one you shouldn't overlook — your customers' time is precious and even a few seconds can mean the difference between a bounce and a lead.
According to Google, bounce rates skyrocket by 90 percent when a page load time increases from one second to five seconds.
On top of that, more and more customers are turning to smartphones and tablets to do their research online, so developing your site requires streamlined design and coding to ensure your pages load quickly even on hand-held devices.
Google reports that 89 percent of users will recommend a brand based on a positive mobile experience. Optimizing for mobile won't just increase the odds that your visitors become customers — it could also turn them into referrers.
Now, let's talk about one of the best resources available to digital marketers and web developers that can ensure a fast, high-quality mobile experience.
What is Google AMP?
The project referred to colloquially as AMP is an open-source initiative backed by big players like Google and Twitter. Essentially, it's a library of resources that allows developers to create pages with stripped-down HTML so they load almost instantly.
The various components of Accelerated Mobile Pages include:
- AMP HTML with special tagging that improves page-speed performance and makes your pages discoverable
- The AMP JS library that catalogs best practices and all available resources
- The Google AMP Cache, a content delivery network that finds, caches and improves the performance of pages.
Search Engine Journal explained that AMPs are a bare-bones version of your site meant to serve static pages, whether it's a great blog post, ad landing page, video, photo gallery or a form to collect leads.
They load quickly and Google indexes them immediately, though they are separate entities from your website — that's one of the big differences between AMPs and responsive design. The former gives you a lightweight version of your web pages served from Google's cache, while the latter allows you to build a website that adapts to the device your viewers are using.
Despite not being part of your site, AMP confirmed that you can still see their analytics data to track page performance. Your developers should be aware that these pages need a canonical tag to avoid duplicate content issues if the content is also hosted on your main URL.
Be sure to check out all the resources offered by the AMP Project. Much like Google, it provides an extensive library of training and reference materials to help you create user-friendly mobile pages.
How Can SMBs Leverage the Initiative?
Google AMP is accessible to all publishers, advertisers and e-commerce sites. For businesses that use AdWords, the project allows you to serve landing pages at lightning speed, while Google automatically converts display ads to AMP on the Google Display Network. According to Search Engine Land, they load up to five seconds faster than standard ads.
Businesses and publishers can utilize the AMP Project to create user-friendly pages that support dynamic content, checkouts and payments, personalization, log-ins and A/B testing. Additionally, your developers can customize your pages with amp-iframe, which allows you to embed content and integrate chat apps, maps and other features.
If you're short on developers or resources, you'll be glad to know that there are AMP plug-ins available for WordPress, Drupal and Joomla. These add-ons to your content management system allow you to easily create AMPs with minimal help from your tech team, making for easy training and implementation.
For SMBs that want to get the most out of their digital marketing dollars, leveraging resources like AMP should be a no-brainer. State of Digital has reported on several success stories that show just how much impact those load-time seconds can have on a customer's experience. Businesses have reported more impressions, higher click-through rates, increased traffic and better leads with AMPs.
Before deciding whether to put in the work, make sure you'll be able to do it right. If your in-house team is strapped for resources or your current agency lacks the experience to improve your mobile performance, consider working with a team of experts that plan, execute and measure your strategy for you. The world of digital is ever-evolving and shows no signs of slowing down, so get ahead of the trends by working with the best in the business.