At AMP’s (Accelerated Mobile Pages) conference on March 7, Google announced that China’s premier search engines, Baidu and Sogou, as well as Yahoo Japan will adopt AMP’s platform. Just last year, Google began backing the AMP Project. Since then, Google and other developers cultivated AMP so it is now used on over a billion webpages. A growing list of major publishers have adopted AMP, such as Bing, eBay, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr, WordPress, Eventbrite, TripAdvisor, Disney, and others.
For AMP basics, check out our blog post on “What You Need to Know About AMP.”
Now let’s discuss why this conference was a big deal.
What Happened at AMP’s 2017 Conference?
The conference’s speakers ranged from Google Project AMP Project Leads, to engineers from Pinterest, Ebay, and Buzzfeed, to more Google Project Leads, the Vice President of WeGo, and others. The presenters each shared their experiences using AMP, both successfully and having faced challenges.
Google’s engineers primarily used the conference to unveil new strings of code that will make AMP more interactive. Because AMP exists to improve the loading time of mobile webpages, it has a minimalistic coding structure, which functionally limits what developers can create. Google has ideas to change this without compromising AMP’s speed.
Bright Future for E-Commerce AMP
“Our Market is 70% Mobile,” said WeGo’s Vice President Honey Mittal, as he demonstrated how flaky internet in some parts of the world affect his business. His travel-booking company revamped its landing pages with AMP, and found that AMP improved conversions by 95%. It additionally improved organic searches by 12% and reduced cost-per-click by 19%.
Until this year’s conference, AMP almost seemed like an impossibility for e-commerce sites, which depend on interactive webpages. After innovative presentations from eBay, WeGo, and Eventbrite, to name a few, it’s clear that e-commerce AMP is both feasible and vital for digital marketing.
“With AMP,” said Mittal, “We got our website to feel like an app.” WeGo additionally demonstrated that before AMP, its page would load in 12 seconds. With AMP it was under 3. While WeGo did have to make sacrifices in user experience as it designed its AMP pages, such as the inclusion of autocomplete search forms and cultural calendars, Mittal ultimately noted that the gains in loading time were worth it.
eBay’s Senthil Padmanabhan discussed how it made its pages AMP accessible. “eBay shares 85% of its code between AMP and non-AMP,” he said, explaining that this helped to streamline the developers build process.
Padmanabhan emphasized the need for AMP to improve its analytics for e-commerce sites, as eBay could not track some of the site-visits that it wanted to. Instead of waiting for Google to produce a solution, eBay created its own way for e-commerce sites to track data for individual elements on a page: <amp-analytics type=”XYZ”>
What Are the Hacks for AMP?
Google engineers and other developers presented redesigned AMP tools to improve user-interactivity and develop e-commerce AMP.
- AMP Start: Announced by Google at the conference, AMP Start is a selection of quick-start coding templates for great-looking AMPs. The templates allow custom CSS styling for branding, and ultimately help developers start AMP webpages.
- Amp Analytics: eBay’s hack to track individual elements on a page: <amp-analytics type=”XYZ”>
- Parallax: Google’s program that creates scrolling effects to increase interactivity. Parallax allows for scrolling on navigation bars, text overlay on images, and layering of scrolling speed to create 3D scenes with images.
- AMP Bind: Google’s focus for the conference, which allows users to click something on a page and change what it looks like: I.e, changing the color, quantity, or size of an image–very similar to how people shop online…
Le Wei of Upperquad noted that “AMP does not have to be just a content delivery format.” As Upperquad was challenged to design an entire website using AMP, Wei found that amp-accordion can be used to expand and collapse sections in AMP, as well as toggling social media and language buttons.
Wei additionally found that because AMP limits CSS code size to <50kb, at some point, developers will need to shrink their code. She recommended that to keep size down, developers can split css per page and separate it into different classes.
Optimizing Your AMP
“AMP is 4x faster and uses 8x less data,” according to a Pinterest study. AMP is far from perfect, but the bottom line is that AMP is fast, gaining global momentum, and Google continues to prioritize fast pages in its SERPs. Additionally, Google will continue to display AMP pages in a carousel at the top of its SERPs, meaning that AMP will still outperform SEO exclusively.
This means that there are huge opportunities to develop AMP webpages that are highly optimized for SEO and simultaneously conduct paid-search campaigns. Now that AMP can tailor to e-commerce AND publishing pages, digital marketers need to consider its user experience pros and cons and AMP’s impact on SEO. Furthermore, because AMP combines a creative optimization of HTML and strategic content, marketers must consider how writers and web developers can work together to create the best mobile marketing result.