Last year, Google launched its Accelerated Mobile Pages project—or AMP. Essentially an open-source, user-friendly development framework, AMP lets you create customized, fast-loading web pages specifically for mobile devices.
As seen in the image below, AMPs have been compared to Facebook Instant Articles for their clean design.
AMP expanded into landing pages and AdWords, allowing users to create lightning-fast landing pages that boost conversions and better the user experience.
But why is AMP even necessary? Is there some reason we can’t just go about landing page creation like we always have?
The answer lies in the speed of those landing pages or, rather, the lack thereof.
The Page Load Problem
Nobody likes to sit around and wait on a website to load—especially not on our phones. In the midst of a meeting, on the subway or walking down the street, we don’t have the time—nor the patience—to wait endlessly for a page to load. We’ve got things to do. People to see. Other stuff on our mind.
But slow-loading pages are more than just a mere annoyance. In fact, according to data from Google, 40 percent of users will actually leave a site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.
And you know what? Most sites don’t even touch that type of speed.
“A slow site can have big impacts on SEO rankings. From a paid search angle, a slow mobile site could have a negative influence on bounce rate,” says Erick Smith, Lead Retail Search Manager at CPC Strategy.
The average U.S. retail site takes nearly 7 full seconds to load, according to Google’s data—more than twice the time most users are willing to wait.
Think about that in terms of your advertising: If you’re spending money on an ad, but that ad drives people to a slow-to-load landing page, is that ad effective at all? Is money being put to good use? Are you maximizing your potential conversions? Not at all.
In a nutshell: Solving this page-loading problem is tantamount to creating high-converting, high-ROI ads—particularly as mobile usage continues to climb.
How AMP Can Help
AMP was created to better—and more quickly—serve mobile users. It allows developers to create simple, lightweight pages that load fast and without delay, and according to Google’s testing, so far the project’s working.
Most currently live AMP pages load in under 1 second, on average—well below the average time a user will wait around.
So how does AMP work exactly?
Essentially, AMP pre-connects to and pre-fetches the landing page, which eliminates any lag time between the user’s click and the site’s load.
It makes the experience more seamless for the user, and it cuts down on frustrating, glitchy and data-eating sites that often turn potential customers—and their business—away for good.
Additional Benefits of AMP
Though the faster page loads are certainly a benefit on their own, they also lend themselves to a few other perks as well.
1. Better Google Rankings:
For one, speed is a major factor in Google’s search rankings so, in theory, the faster your pages load, the better you’ll rank in organic search results.
2. Better User Experience:
Faster-loading pages also mean a better user experience, and that likely means better conversion rates, lower bounce rates, more time spent on your site, more repeat visits/business and, in the long term, a better reputation with customers on the whole.
3. Top of the Search Results:
AMP pages also display at the top of search results by default (along with a little lightning bold icon), so even on just one-off landing pages, they can give you a big boost in visibility and name recognition.
4. Lower Cost Per Click:
There’s also a serious benefit for advertisers. One can assume that because Google AMP Ads have better click-through rates (thanks to prime default placement), they also have a higher quality score and, subsequently, lower cost per clicks.
Ultimately, that means a better ROI and more returns for the same amount of ad spend.
The Potential of AMPs
It’s easy to consider the possibilities of AMP—but what about the proof? So far, only a handful of publishers have actually tested the project out, but the results are pretty astounding.
Load times for The Washington Post improved by 88% through AMP, and its return mobile visits jumped by 23% as a result.
NoBroker, a national logistics provider, saw its bounce rate plummet by 18%, while its pages per session rose 10%.
Want to test an AMP page yourself? Check out this link to one of Google’s AMP demos on your smartphone.
Since the release of AMPs in October 2015, most of the North American sites currently using AMP are news-based publishers:
- Google News
- CBS News
- Time Inc.
- The New York Post
- See the comprehensive list of AMP users here.
But it’s only the beginning, too. Google has announced it plans to continue expanding the AMP project over the coming years. Only time will tell what possibilities lie ahead.
To learn more about Google AMP Ads and landing pages, email [email protected].