Through Google’s promotion, Accelerated Mobile Pages became a hot buzzword in the programming community last year. For many companies, the possibility of switching over to AMPs for better mobile performance seemed too far out of reach or implausible for their current brand and budget. However, this is starting to change. More companies are testing AMPs and noticing significant results. Here’s what you need to know about this mobile format and why it might be right for your business.
What is AMP and Why Do We Love It?
AMP is a form of minimalist open source framework for brands to quickly load key information on mobile devices to give customers the information they need immediately.
Cumbersome additions to websites slow them down. Strange code, dozens of tags, bulky images and large videos can all prevent a website from loading. During this time, your customer is growing increasingly impatient until they bounce. When brands switch to the AMP model, they have the opportunity to modify their code to load significantly faster, creating a better mobile experience without investing in pricey and time-consuming website redesigns and optimizations.
AMPs have been an integrated part of Google since February 2016, and the search engine by far has the largest AMP cache. Pages that utilize AMP code receive a special designation in search results so customers know the link will load quickly and have a positive mobile experience, and Google tends to favor AMPs over other pages, even though AMP-designed links will not receive a rankings boost.
Over the past year, brands have become increasingly familiar with the format and have started applying the code to their sites. The beta testing period to utilize this product as an early adopter has past, and websites that don’t at least consider AMP HTML as an option for their mobile experience run the risk of falling behind in their search rankings and market share.
Case Study: Shoe Retailer Dramatically Increases Sessions
Brandify recently shared the success story of one shoe retailer that wanted to boost its sales ahead of back-to-school season. The end of summer and early fall are peak sales times for shoes retailers. Not only do kids buy new school shoes, but parents also often pick up a pair of boots for themselves as the weather gets cool, which tend to have higher tickets than flats and sandals that are bought in the summer.
This retailer to simplified its website and made the pages AMP-friendly. The website needed to increase its overall rankings on Google to drive in-store sales to its 500 locations, while improving customer online performance to promote the commerce end. The team was optimistic going in, but the results were still shocking.
The Strategy: Simplify the Existing Website
The first step to improve the mobile-friendliness of the shoe retailer was to simplify the existing website. This aligned with the client’s goals and existing design, which already utilized a very clean motif.
AMPs were originally preferred by blogs and news websites that often featured image and video content as compliments to the main copy. When these additions were removed, site visitors would still have the main content. However, eCommerce pages and retail brands are often image-heavy, as customers want to clearly see the products they’re buying. It wasn’t until eBay launched 8 million AMPs last year that online vendors started considering this format as a serious option.
The designers also worked to simplify and optimize the website’s 500 location pages. The goal was to increase local SEO traffic to drive customers into their brick and mortar stores directly, or as an alternative to try on shoes that they found online.
The Results: Immediate
When the team compared the results of the first 20 days after the AMP launch to the 20 days leading up to the launch, there was no contest. There was a 32 percent increase in sessions period-over-period and a 45 percent increase year-over-year. Customer actions also increase by almost 10 percent period-over-period and more than 20 percent year-over-year.
These results prove two things: more customers arrived at the website because of the AMP changes, and they stayed longer. The increase in customer interactions proves that the increased traffic brought to the AMP pages was happy with the mobile experience wanted to keep engaging with the website.
Customers Demand Better Mobile Experiences
Statistics about mobile usage were novel years ago, when marketers were still excited about the idea that someday there would be more mobile traffic than desktop usage. Businesses have known this switch was coming for at least five years and even more brands have been living a mobile-favored reality since at least 2015.
However, for many companies, the mobile experience hasn’t improved. Conversion rates are still low, customers are still unhappy, and brands are still reliant on site visitors switching from mobile to desktop to complete their purchases.
Consider this data presented on the Impact blog: 61 percent of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site if it doesn’t load and 40 percent of users would visit a competitor’s site instead. Furthermore, 83 percent of users believe that a seamless mobile experience is important for a company.
Despite the fact that customers are demanding better mobile experiences and seamless websites, only 71 percent of companies believe mobile marketing is core to their business and only 68 percent of companies have integrated mobile into their overall marketing strategy.
There are two types of companies: those who are moving with their customers to create a mobile experience that they want, and those who will spend the next decade chasing after their audiences and competition with poor mobile websites.
AMPs aren’t right for every brand and website. However, the number of industries and businesses sizes that could take advantage of this tool is increasing rapidly. Companies should at least consider tapping into Accelerated Mobile Pages to better improve their mobile performance and increase their traffic levels. If the success of your brand making the change even comes close to these results then your business could benefit significantly.