Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs) are web page files that are optimized for mobile display. These lightweight files download quickly to mobile devices, often giving mobile users a better landing page experience than typical web pages. The results are pages with better Quality Score and Ad Rank (for landing pages from Google Ads), and/or better Search Engine Rank. With the relative numbers of users accessing web pages from mobile devices nearing 75%, this one, often-overlooked tool should be considered in developing both websites and advertising strategies, especially for local businesses.

Consider a restaurant in a location where tourist traffic is important. The propensity for an end-user to be using a mobile device is very high, competition is fierce, and timing is everything. The end-user types “restaurants near me.” Having AMPs loaded increases the chance for the restaurant to land that customer because the ad or search result displays more prominently and loads faster – giving that user no reason to hit the back button because of slow page loading.

Shouldn’t my whole website, then, be created with AMPs? The answer is no. AMPs have restrictions that would negatively affect any business website. No forms are allowed on AMPs, Javascript is limited to a small number of Google-controlled scripts, and websites files and style sheet files have to be under a certain limit. Tracking can be done only through a subset of Google Analytics. AMPs also require validation from Google, leading to increased costs on the development end.

The benefits though, can’t be ignored. Higher Quality Score and Ad Rank for ads leads to lower cost-per-click; over the course of a campaign, that number may be significant. Faster page loads lead to better user experience and increase the likelihood of capturing a user. A higher search engine position for regular website pages leads to increased traffic. And, using AMPs either puts the business website on the same level as its competition if the competition is using AMPs, or increases the bar for the competition if they are not.

The most obvious choice in selecting pages to be converted to  AMPs is landing pages. Landing pages are pages on a website that are specifically created for users to land when they click an ad. Getting back to our restaurant scenario, a great landing page for the restaurant would have multiple calls to action, in order of timeliness and importance. A “Book a table” call to action could link to OpenTable, where the user could make a reservation. An “Order takeout” call to action could follow, linking to GrubHub. The third call to action could be “View our menu,” leading to the restaurant’s full website menu page. Each of these CTAs has value, but the value decreases down the page.

The game isn’t over once the users get to the landing page. Remember, the UX advantage here is speed. Having a call to action leading to a website page that takes forever to load is going to cost audience levels. This will lead, invariably, to increased bounce rate, and thus negate some or all of the AMP Quality Score and Ad Rank improvements. So, even if the second page isn’t an AMP, it should be built for speed as well.

As the level of mobile users continues to grow, the ability to get to those users becomes more important. AMPs were created as a way to increase mobile traffic in the days of 3G but the standard has been largely ignored as mobile speeds have increased over time. They should be an option in the development of any ad campaign, not for the speed, but for the placement benefits, Google gives them.

Need a faster, more efficient mobile experience for your website users, look no further, SUMMIT Web is here to help.  Schedule a Consultation to find out more about AMP, SEO, and SEM.