53% of mobile site visitors leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load (according to Google). According to a 2017 Akamai study, even a 100-millisecond delay in website load time can hurt conversion rates by 7 percent. For a business, an extra second of mobile loading time can mean the difference between a great quarter and trouble.
That’s why Google introduced a little something you’ve probably heard of, way back in 2016: Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).
Read More: Google AMP for Gmail: A Marketer’s View
What is AMP?
Have you ever noticed the little lightning bolt next to a mobile search result? That’s an indicator of an AMP web page. AMP-enabled pages are lightweight mobile web pages that load almost instantaneously for users.
AMP was initially intended for publishers and other frequent content producers, but more and more industries are seeing the benefits of AMP.
AMP offers an improved user experience on mobile, which can mean improved click-through rates and decreased bounce rates. As more and more of people’s web activities make the jump from desktop to mobile, users expect better and better experiences, especially when it comes to speed.
Although AMP is not an official Google ranking factor, AMP results can also help improve your search ranking. That’s because AMP results are prioritized by Google and are presented on their own carousel at the very top of search engine results pages.
Why Should You Care About AMP?
To put a long story short, you should care because AMP gives your customers a better experience when they are consuming your content. And, to put it bluntly, that user experience is what Google cares about. Leveraging AMP is a great way to make sure your content gets to the top of the results page and gives your customers a positive experience when dealing with your brand. Win-win!
And in case you weren’t convinced that AMP has become an important piece of the Google puzzle, Google has continued to iterate on the idea. In 2018, they introduced a new way to use AMP: stories. The AMP story format provides publishers with rich media storytelling options designed for mobile — AMP stories are seen as Google’s answer to Snapchat and Instagram stories.
Shortly following the introduction of AMP stories, Google doubled down on AMP stories and expanded them into search results, initially around celebrities and athletes. This provided potential new avenues for advertisers and publishers alike.
In late 2018, Google also released an official AMP plugin for WordPress. This plugin aims to make it easy for users of the most popular CMS to build AMP pages — delivering a lightning-fast experience for mobile searchers. It seems clear that Google wants to spread the AMP experience and is committed to making AMP accessible to all web builders.
What Do You Need to Know About It in 2019?
In addition to keeping your audience happy, there’s a couple of key things you should understand about how AMP might affect your brand’s approach to the mobile web.
As customers connect faster with your AMP content, they also are more likely to convert: load time is a significant factor in the conversion equation. Conversion on mobile requires even more responsiveness and UX consideration than on desktop, and AMP helps provide a better entrance to your digital sales funnel on mobile.
By investing in AMP page development, you are putting yourself on an even playing field with other publications. Being featured in the carousel at the top of the search engines result page is critical for driving traffic to blog posts and reaching new customers. Some businesses are building AMP landing pages to empower mobile lead generation.
To reach the omnichannel, digitally savvy customer of 2019, speed and ease are more of a necessity than ever, and AMP isn’t going anywhere. On the contrary, it will continue to provide new opportunities for brands to engage with users and attract new customers through organic search.