The impact of mobile is clear.
More people than ever before are spending an increasing amount of time on their smartphones for everyday tasks. Smartphones have now become so ubiquitous that it’s hard to imagine how people managed without them. This massive shift in consumer behavior has fundamentally changed how we access information and purchase products.
Want to find out consumer ratings of a local business?
Want to really know if you’re getting the best deal?
Want to see what the latest movie times are?
All of these answers can be found in literally seconds with a quick search, something that was simply not possible before. But instant access online has an obvious side effect. Consumers now have higher expectations with regards to loading times. Data shows that nearly half of web users expect a page to load in 2 seconds or less. And most won’t hesitate to leave if it takes any longer than that.
It’s not surprising then that Google is pushing efforts for a faster mobile experience.
What is AMP or Accelerated Mobile Pages?
Google announced back in October the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) open source initiative to make mobile sites load even faster. Google announced earlier that it is starting to roll out AMP pages in mobile search:
“Now when you search for a story or topic on Google from a mobile device, webpages created using AMP will appear when relevant in the Top Stories section of the search results page. Any story you choose to read will load blazingly fast—and it’s easy to scroll through the article without it taking forever to load or jumping all around as you read.”
The initiative is part of a long term goal to make the mobile experience much faster.
Here is a screenshot that was recently posted on Twitter of the “AMP” tag:
So what differentiates AMP webpages?
What it Means in Terms of Search
AMP sounds great from an objective viewpoint.
But what does it mean in terms of search engine rankings?
Google rolled out a global update last year (dubbed Mobilegeddon) that made mobile-friendliness a ranking factor. Mobile-friendly sites that meet all criteria can expect to rank higher in mobile search than their non-mobile competitors. Given Google’s push for a faster and better mobile experience, it stands to reason that AMP sites would get a serious boost in the search results.
And also higher conversions.
One recent case study has found that mobile pages that are just one second faster have a 27% conversion rate increase. The same study also found that slow loading times result in higher bounce rates (web users leaving a site without visiting other pages). Pages that loaded in 2.4 seconds had a 12.8% bounce rate and those that loaded in 3.3 seconds had a 20% bounce rate.
The results are clear: Speed translates to more conversions.
Simply having a mobile-friendly site isn’t enough. Pages need to load quickly or businesses risking losing mobile users to faster competing sites.
Mobile is deeply woven into the fabric of everyday life. As more consumers browse the web from smartphones, mobile-friendliness and speed increasingly become important factors. Google is now beginning to implement changes in mobile search that highlight pages that are AMP optimized. Making the change sooner rather than later will help your business gain a serious competitive advantage.