We continue our list of 10 digital trends we see impacting our clients’ business during the coming year.
If you haven’t read the first post in the series we recommend you start here: Countdown 10 Digital Trends to Watch in 2017 – #10
4) The Acceleration of Google AMPs
Throughout 2016, Google has been gradually rolling out their Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project to the search engine results pages (SERPs) on mobile devices, and they have been slowly influencing user engagement. AMPs are webpages specifically built without any of the traditionally cumbersome elements that cause longer load times, and are labeled with a lightning bolt on SERPs. When introduced in February of 2016, AMPs were primarily utilized in the carousel at the top of mobile SERPs for news articles that users could easily select and load in a fraction of the time as traditional organic listings. Since then, millions of publishers have adopted Google’s new page format and AMPs are now being ranked with organic listings. Google is not yet giving AMPs special treatment for ranking purposes, but the rapidly increasing levels of user engagement may soon influence Google to pressure publishers to join the effort.
Advertisers should be aware that although AMP pages directly affect Google’s search interface, they can also impact where mobile banners ads appear. Campaigns targeting news-related content, which is likely to have an AMP page that users are directed to, might miss out on appearing along highly viewed content. As a part of the AMP project’s effort to cut down on load times, only certain ad types are compatible with these slimmed-down webpages. Therefore, advertisers should be made aware of the necessary creative procedure to ensure that their ads can be seen by mobile users across all potential sites.
Additionally, businesses concerned about surfers leaving their pages due to slow load times should consider building AMP versions of their most important landing pages. The hope is that those who choose to create an Accelerated Mobile Page see vast improvements in page loading time, and therefore more site interactions and conversions. Google has set the stage for industry standards in the past, so it is crucial that digital-savvy businesses stay aware of how AMPs will affect advertising and site traffic moving forward.