Dr. Dave Chaffey talks AMP pages - are they relevant for your marketing strategy? Find out more.
A couple of years ago when these launched, the answer would probably have been a resounding ‘no’, since Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) were targeted initially at publishers serving content within Google News to users on smartphones.
The aim for Google, as often is the case, was to improve experience for their users, by improving speed of content serving. The latest page serving speeds from Google show that although Google recommends a sub-two second download speed, many pages download far slower than this.
AMP increased in relevance for all businesses from August 2016, when Google announced that these faster loading page formats would appear in all search results, not just News results, and so they have become more relevant for all businesses beyond publishers for who they were most relevant initially. Bing has also supported AMP since 2016.
So, it’s worth reviewing AMP potential in your sector including their impact on lead generation, since pop-ups aren’t permitted on smartphone by Google, so using the novel AMP features is an option as shown in the example from Smart Insights below. It shows our AMP page on the left with a lightning symbol in mobile SERPs and the served page with an engagement lead-generation offer on the right, which has to be used rather than a pop-up.
On Smart Insights we found that growth of AMP visits grew rapidly from zero to tens of thousands of visits per month, and currently are averaging around 3 thousand visits a day, which is significant for a B2B site where only around 10 percent of visits are on smartphone.
If you’re looking to see how important AMP pages are for your site you can see in analytics by filtering on pages containing ‘/amp/’. Their success is perhaps because Google gives them more visual prominence in the SERPs pages although it has said there isn’t a specific ranking factor applied.
You can see the importance that Google attached to AMP, since David Besbris who is the VP of Google Search, is also the AMP Project Lead. He said in a recent article summarising adoption of AMP as ‘user-first webpages’ that:
“In two years, we’ve seen the project grow from a few launch partners to over 25 million website domains that have published more than 4 billion AMP pages. And not only has the number of pages built with AMP grown, their speed has too. The median time it takes an AMP page to load from Google search is less than half a second.”
He contrasts the ½ second figure with a benchmark statistic that 53% of mobile site visits are abandoned if pages take longer than 3 seconds to load although site abandons are natural regardless of load time. AMP have also been recommended by other Google commentators like John Mueller or Gary Illyes when they are speaking at conferences or in webmaster hangouts, so they’re worth considering seriously.
Traditionally, AMP has been most important for news and blog pages, yet they are now relevant for most sites. This is particularly the case if content marketing is important to you, you have a consumer audience with a high percentage of page visits and your blog content can be served as AMP.
A word of warning though, since these pages are served by Google and not your site, they are more limited in ongoing customer journeys to conversion and could potentially convert at a lower rate than mobile optimised pages unless you address this. That is our experience at Smart Insights.
So why do ‘just’ 25 million sites feature AMP and why aren’t they used on more websites? Bebris quotes research showing that AMP leads to a 10% increase in website traffic with a 2x increase in time spent on page. For ecommerce websites using AMP, the study also found a 20% increase in sales conversions compared to non-AMP pages.
So, while we wait to learn more about Google’s rollout of Mobile-first web crawling and index in 2018, it could be worth looking at the use of AMP within your sector. Perhaps it can give you an edge? Learn more on how to implement them technically via the AMP developer pages. If you use WordPress or another CMS, it’s likely there is a plug-in/add-on to ease implementation.