Google pushes many features, tools and technologies onto markerers—not all of them are valuable. We’re left wondering whether the latest update is going to help—or hurt—our marketing efforts.
Google’s latest—Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)—is one of the more controversial initiatives that has begun to prove itself over the past few years.
AMP-powered websites get incredible load speed even if they are “weighed down” with rich content like infographics and PDFs. It also streamlines your mobile site, forcing attention on the most important aspects of the page. Basically, Google AMP puts a supercharger on WordPress sites, allowing them to load more quickly and possibly create more visibility for themselves within search rankings.
AMP isn’t right for everyone. However, digital advertisers who are looking for increased efficiency and visibility should learn its basics and make an informed decision about its use.
First of all, AMP is a Google product. You can bet that Google prioritizes websites that use its add-ons, pushing them up in search rankings and giving them more exposure. This happens regardless of the speed boost because Google actually produces an “AMP cluster” that puts AMP pages into a revolving carousel that moves around the most visible part of the search results page. Google also prioritizes AMP pages within mobile search results. They are marked with a lightning bolt and small grey circle so that people know they are moving to a site that Google likes, and a site that will move at the speed of commerce.
Despite these advantages, AMP has yet to really hit the mainstream. There are only around 650K domains that use Google AMP, even with Google saying directly, “AMP is important and webmasters should do it.”
Google wants sites that are moving fast and keeping up. This is especially important when the competition is somehow finding ways to keep people from using search engine tech to find content. Facebook has Instant Articles, Apple has Apple News – and they both do a great job in publishing content, loading quickly and moving audiences to sites they prioritize.
Google AMP is, first and foremost, an answer to these two initiatives. AMP has the added capability to embed ads into the content, serving up quite a tasty incentive for publishers who are looking to get a more immediate return on their online investments. Creators get their content served on pages that load lightning fast, are certified as a priority and triple checked for relevance. The two million sites that are on the Google Display Network are doing a little dance every time AMP appears in the marketing blogosphere.
Beating Ad Blockers
Google also gives advertisers an incentive to move to AMP as a solution to ad blockers. Ad blockers are mainstream now, and they work a little too well. One of the latest studies puts the number of people using ad blockers at 16%, but that number is probably far higher among the incredibly savvy, young consumers who actually serve as the target market for big-time publishers.
Apple actually supports an ad blocker officially in its iOS 9/Safari system. AMP is the appropriate response, as Google would otherwise be left out in the cold, especially in the mobile world. AOL, OpenX, AdSense, Outbrain, and DoubleClick are a few of the major ad platforms that work within AMP.
What does this mean for you if you are looking to serve content? You can actually still use direct salesmanship with the backing of a genuine platform!
Why Google AMP is Necessary for Your Brand
- The ability to feature rich content without giving up site speed
- A streamlined version of your mobile site that focuses attention on its most important aspects
- Simplified social sharing
- Improved server performance
- Increases Google site ranking
- Additional analytics with the precision of Google data
If you think about it, if you aren’t delivering the fastest mobile pages to your users, you can actually hurt your brand—particularly with mobile users. Slow page load times, difficult—if not impossible—social sharing, and decreased Google ranking are all possibilities as more sites adopt AMP over time.
AMP for WordPress is getting easier than ever to implement. Your web team should be able to quickly download the app, look over one of the simple tutorials, and start building with the page builder. Create and tag your content, do a few edits in your Schema markup and get indexed. Congratulations – you are now on the path to increased visibility and speed.
The Real Deal
If you want to get in the game, you have to play ball. Let’s be real – Google owns the court (and paid for the ball). Google AMP is quickly becoming a necessary part of websites that really want to compete in the mobile space.
You can bet that your competition will be jumping all over the opportunity to have their content seen more readily and with greater frequency than the average advertiser. You are taking a bribe when you implement AMP. However, it’s a bribe that is to your undeniable benefit. If you don’t take it, then you may lose out on business that you never even knew that you had.
Interested in increasing your visibility to mobile users? Contact us today to learn how we can help you determine if Google’s AMP is the right choice for you.