October 17, 2016 | Rachel Vaughn

What Marketers Need to Know about Google AMP

In a noisy marketplace, it’s easy for your message to get lost in the din. Simply going bigger and louder on your ads and marketing may be a tactic that works for some brands, but that can also waste a lot of energy, time, and money with little to show for it. For companies that don’t have the resources to spend on the digital equivalent of an indiscriminate brush fire, your web design and inbound marketing strategy must be fine-tuned to draw readers, shares, and customers.

(And when you opt for the latter, your methods don’t get compared to the rapid, uncontrolled burning of ground vegetation. Because no matter how popular your brand is, arson is a tough reputation to shed.)

Understanding your buyer persona and the online landscape will help you to better target your efforts for the best return on investment. Using the right tools, likewise, will help your marketing and advertising get the attention it deserves. According to a recent Google AdWords blog post, more searches take place on mobile devices than on standard desktops. That’s why Google AMP could be a powerful solution for you to reach more customers.

What Is Google AMP?

Google, in this case, refers to the internet megalith known as your favorite search engine and creators of your second-favorite smartphone operating system. And AMP refers to the Accelerated Mobile Pages project created to load webpages more quickly on mobile devices.

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The goal of AMP is to improve the performance of mobile pages for a more seamless, more convenient user experience that also improves mobile site performance across the web.

Similar to Facebook Live Articles, which lets you read in-app, AMP goes further by enabling embedding of pages onto other social media, like Pinterest and Twitter. Following that, AMP allows these sites to pick up on the speed of the content, noting how quickly it is shared. The more quickly articles can be read, the more likely readers are to stick around and interact with even more of your content.

How Does It Work?

Google AMP is open source and uses already existing web technologies. Per the AMP Project site, there is “no complicated build process” and it works “the same as an HTML page with a few restrictions and extras.” This can reduce the necessity of building custom applications and products.

Creating pages optimized for AMP doesn’t require many more steps beyond building a normal HTML webpage. The largest difference is that rather than standard tags, you must use AMP-specific tags. The <img> tag, for instance, then becomes the <amp-img> tag. Every AMP document includes access to the AMP JS library for adding and validating important rules in mockup, so your developer can save time and ensure page performance. This results in mobile pages that appear to load instantly.

Built-in width and height restrictions allow AMP JS to predict what the page will look like ahead of time and prepare a layout in advance. Your resources and assets load faster, along with rendering. AMP also keeps the valuable main content “above the fold,” loading the important material higher to prioritize user search. When your developers can create high impact mobile pages quickly and your readers can immediately access the content they want at a touch, your numbers benefit.

Should You AMP Up Your Content?

As great as it sounds, Google AMP does have the drawback of potentially keeping visitors from reaching your site on their own. Where much of the convenience involved makes them more likely to engage with your articles through mobile, it also works to keep them planted on Google servers. When your content is shared, the link points back to Google rather than leading them to an outside site.

On the whole, however, the consensus seems to be that adopting AMP is a no-brainer. Producing compatible content may post some added inconvenience, especially if you have to build HTML pages for both web and mobile – along with Facebook Instant Articles, and Google AMP – but it can drastically improve your standing on intent-based searches.

To take advantage of this tool and increase your chances of being seen in Google searches, make sure your content is AMP-optimized. When your webpages are built compatibly with AMP, new stories get a boost to the top of Google mobile search pages. Readers will see this and be more likely to click on these articles, as they will appear to be the most current and pertinent to their search.

For marketers, Google AMP can be a highly effective tool to not only keep, but gain ground in a crowded digital space. To learn other ways you can improve your inbound marketing and convert visitors, contact us to set up a consultation or check out our downloadable resources for more tips.

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Rachel Vaughn

Rachel Vaughn

As the content marketing manager for VIEO Design, Rachel Vaughn brought serious research chops and boatloads of personality to everything she wrote for VIEO and our clients. She recently relocated to Seattle on new adventures!

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