Understanding Google’s AMP, a Year Later

Google released AMP, Accelerated Mobile Pages, in 2015 to help speed up websites for mobile users and create a faster and improved overall mobile search experience. A year later and several businesses still have no idea what AMP is and why they need it for their mobile websites.

The big boys like Ebay, Reddit, and Buzzfeed have all jumped on the AMP train optimizing millions of pages with AMP, but many agencies and mid- to small-sized businesses are still unaware of it’s importance.

So, let’s tear apart AMP and really see if and why it may be worth the headache for your business or client to take on and implement AMP.

What is AMP?

Google defines AMP as a way to build web pages for static content that renders fast. Translation: AMP is an open sourced project designed to make web pages load instantly on mobile.

Google says 53%of users will leave a site if it doesn’t load within three seconds or less. Load time is clearly an important factor in website visits and bounce rates. Even worse, decreased website visitors means decreased conversions, data, and ultimately ROI. Clearly, businesses can’t afford to not have a fast performing mobile website anymore.

Regardless of the mobile responsive theme you or your web developer installed, a website still needs more mobile optimization to increase load times. And by more, I mean AMP.

For the Washington Post, AMP increased their mobile search users who returned to their website within 7 days by 23%. Slate received a 44% increase in monthly unique visitors and a 73% increase in visits per monthly unique visitor after installing AMP. Publishers are seeing results, and users are having a better mobile experience using AMP.

The Lightning Bolt

The lightning bolt is Google’s way of telling users that a website is AMP’d up. If you haven’t already, you’ll start to notice on mobile search results that websites with AMP have a small lightning bolt icon next to them. This is not only to encourage, but to explain to a user that choosing this search result over another will at least provide you with a fast loading experience.


What About Advertising on Mobile? Does AMP Affect Ads?

So far, the stats prove that AMP is drastically improving mobile advertising performance and revenues. It only makes sense though that a faster loading web page would have better ad performance results than a slower loading page.

DoubleClick performed a study earlier this year comparing ad performance of AMP’d pages against websites that haven’t been optimized with AMP. The results speak for themselves:

  • 80%+ of the publishers realized higher view-ability rates
  • 90%+ of the publishers drove greater engagement with higher CTRs
  • The majority of the publishers saw higher eCPMs (Impact and proportion of lift varies by region and how optimized the non-AMP sites are)

Aside from performance improvement, having AMP has got to be a bit more attractive of a selling point when trying to sell ad space to advertisers. An AMP’d website is one ahead of the times and is generally going to get more visitors based on performance. More visitors equals more advertisement exposure, clicks, revenue, and the ability to be picky when choosing which ads to display on your website.

What Types of Businesses Should Care About AMP?

Ultimately, all industries should care about AMP.The data above doesn’t lie. Every business that has an online presence should look into integrating AMP with their website. Google created AMP to deliver fast loading websites to mobile users, primarily for publishers and eCommerce, but load speed is relevant to any business.

Many eCommerce companies like Ebay are already benefiting from AMP and have taken the dauntingly heavy task of implementing it for their product pages. Ebay has AMP’d up 15 million product category pages so far.

Regardless of if your business lies in the “publisher” category, the “eCommerce” or “none of the above”, as long as your website receives mobile traffic it should look into AMP. When Google releases changes like this, they do so for good reason and usually encourage industries across the board to implement (aka Mobilegeddon).

If it were me, I would start contacting your web developer and/or your clients now and look into what it would take to get their websites AMP’d, before the competition optimizes first.

What do you think of AMP and are you going to integrate it into your mobile SEO strategy? Comment below with your thoughts!

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