If you don’t already know what Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages initiative – or AMP – is, then you should go read up as soon as possible. It’s already a contributing factor in mobile search results or SERPs and can make or break your presence on mobile platforms.
About 75% of US adults will use a smartphone sometime this year, while users spend on average 10 percent of their time – about 20 minutes per day – on mobile devices and social media.
As Ron Burgundy said, it’s “kind of a big deal,” and only continues to grow every day. So, mobile matters and AMP is streamlined for mobile devices.
But how will this initiative and its related elements factor into your marketing performance? Are the benefits worth all the work it takes to develop an AMP-friendly site? Will your current marketing strategies need to change, and will old strategies still perform just as well?
How will Google’s AMP influence your marketing?
What Is the Core Focus of AMP and Online Marketing?
AMP exists for one purpose and one purpose only. To improve performance on mobile and standardize the experience across the entire web.
It doesn’t take a genius to see that without AMP, mobile experiences are a veritable trove of random encounters. One mobile version of a site may be severely outdated and look terrible. Another site may not even have a mobile optimized variant. Yet, more sites may prioritize looks, causing them to load excruciatingly slow on mobile, thanks to elements like high-resolution images, unoptimized layouts, and more.
Google recognized this problem and came up with the AMP initiative to improve everyone’s mobile browsing experience. More importantly, the initiative will help improve publisher and reader relationships, hopefully boosting content creators traffic – and everything that goes hand-in-hand with that.
To make a long story short, improved performance and page loading speeds will translate to higher traffic, less frustrated visitors, more shares, and ultimately more ad views and revenue.
But we might as well be spewing nonsense here. None of this explains how AMP is going to affect marketing strategies going forward.
1) AMP Content Will Be Prioritized in SERPs
Google did promise that AMP will have almost no effect on your SEO and related rankings. So, the standard search results that appear on a Google page aren’t changing. But that doesn’t really matter on mobile because AMP-enabled content will appear above the fold, before any search results are even listed.
On mobile, AMP content appears in a top-seated carousel that can be quickly swiped through. AMP content takes priority and essentially gets special treatment because it is displayed before even the number one result listing.
It’s imperative you understand this is mobile-only for now, but it’s still an important change nonetheless.
2) Paid Search Impressions Will Probably Increase
AMP hasn’t really been around long enough to gauge how all of this is going to affect paid search impressions, at least over time. But due to the nature of AMP content, and how the new carousel works, it’s highly probable that impressions will see a slight increase.
Mobile users will commonly swipe through the top AMP results and navigate back to the SERP to see what other results exist. Sure, the lazy – or super busy – ones might settle with just AMP, but that’s not the focus here.
Ultimately, this pattern should boost paid search impressions.
75% of US adults will use a smartphone sometime this year.
3) Forms Are Disabled in AMP
Because of how AMP code is designed many of the more advanced functions that you can use and deploy on a full site are unavailable – like forms. Until the Google team updates the platform to include some type of form or poll system, you’re going to have to do without it.
That means mobile users may not be able to participate in certain areas of your site.
5) Your HTML Must Be Immaculate
There’s a validation tool that you can use for AMP code to make sure all the HTML is clean and error-free. Use it. Your HTML must be immaculate or Google won’t even crawl your AMP site and add it to the cache. In a nutshell that means your AMP site won’t be available to visitors.
6) Ads and Revenue Will Change
It’s difficult to say how, but ads and the revenue generated on mobile pages will be affected. Most likely revenue will decrease a little, or maybe it won’t.
Publishers and content creators that deliver high-bandwidth, high-resolution ads will certainly find their monetization strategy forced into a change.
There are ad partners being brought into the fold like Outbrain, AdSense, DoubleClick, and others. But right now, there’s just no telling how this will play out in the long term.
Does that mean you should shy away from adopting AMP? No, not necessarily, but you’ll need to assess how your content and site will be affected.
7) You May Lose Domain Authority
Links that direct to AMP content don’t link to a publisher’s domain name but to Google.com, instead. This is just the way that AMP works, and it’s part of what keeps the platform so speedy and clean. That also means that, by proxy, publisher’s will earn fewer links. And since domain authority is influenced by how well a website ranks in search engines – and link juice factors into that – your site may suffer.
8) AMP Only Applies to Publisher and “News” Type Sites, for Now
AMP only applies to – and speeds up – “news” and blog type sites that share text-based content. E-commerce platforms will find AMP much too restrictive, especially compared to performance which will be lacking. The only exception being e-commerce – or related sites – that focus on blogs, news, and content first and foremost, and products or services second.
How Will Google’s AMP Influence Your Brand?
So, there you have it. There are many ways – and surely more will appear – that Google’s AMP influence will be felt on your marketing strategies and efforts. But for now, at least, these are the most relevant.
After reading this, what are your thoughts on the matter? Is AMP right for you and your brand, or are you going to wait to implement it?