AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages, and it is an open source platform that allows content to be delivered almost instantaneously, with the goal of creating the smoothest, seamless experience for the viewer. AMP format pages are in essence stripped down versions of your existing mobile pages, allowing a focus on the most relevant content and removing anything else that could distract, such as your ads, comprehensive navigation and so on.
By removing that additional code, and just focusing on the essential content, the page is much more responsive, and that is how that instant content delivery is achieved. The reasoning behind this is that such seamless content delivery is beneficial to the audience, giving them an exceptional experience and easily consumed content that both keeps the existing audience engaged, and also provides an exceptional environment for attracting new customers. But is this really true?
AMP and Audience Engagement
If we think about how we use the web today, it is very different from how we used it as little as 5 years ago. Then, the majority of web browsing was using a laptop or PC of some kind, at our desks at home or at work. Today, we look for information on the go, wherever we are through connected mobile devices. That may be catching a news item while waiting for the train, sitting on a bench or on the way to a meeting.
Not only has mobile internet use gone up, but people are using it for shorter, but more frequent activities. That means they expect to get their information quickly, the days of waiting for content to load is long gone. Delays cause disengagement, but the converse is also true.
That seamless delivery of value-added content adds to engagement. Loading much faster than a traditional mobile page, and optimized for the small screen, AMP-based content gives your audience the experience they are looking for. The content they want, quickly, and with no distractions.
In both speed and clarity, without extraneous ads and other content, AMP based content delivery is a more engaging way to consume media, and that is reflected in your audience.
AMP Aids Discovery
AMP pages can also have a positive impact on search rankings, because faster load times are part of Google’s complex search algorithms, and they also have the added benefit of reducing bounce rates. That is, because the content is available so quickly, fewer people get impatient waiting for things to load and go back to the search results. That is also a metric that is included in search result performance.
Overall then, the combined effects of AMP pages can result in higher placement in search results, making content more discoverable for potential new customers. That is not just a one-off effect either, because of added engagement, new customers contribute to usage analytics positively, and that itself boosts performance within search engine algorithms, so as your audience grows, it also as a by-product becomes more discoverable, attracting yet more new customers.
AMP is also a platform that is built for the future, with a newly launched initiative that sees Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) being used to disseminate AMP stories, allowing the search of video content that is displayed via AMP. As before, this offers another way to reach a new audience and potential customers, and is integrated into mobile search, so that relevant AMP delivered videos will be highlighted in search results carried out on the mobile platform.
It is clear that the improved user experience of AMP based web content is beneficial to all, if the experience is better, your audience is more engaged, but there are increased benefits elsewhere too that are not so obvious. Through improved search performance, either the existing search algorithm or the A.I. content search that Google are now rolling out, AMP also allows your content to reach a broader audience too.
Of course, all this is not without downsides, because it is by necessity a stripped back experience, the pages lack the ads and user functionality you may wish to offer elsewhere, and they are only viewable on mobile devices. However, even with that, the benefits are well worth using AMP within any content delivery strategy, but it should not be the only option if you wish to maximize reach.