Everything You Need to Know About the AMP Project

In keeping with Google’s movement towards providing a friendlier user experience, the AMP project was created to get rid of mobile load times completely. While there have been changes to Google’s search engine algorithms in the past regarding mobile sites, this seems to take it to a new level, making it all but required to have an AMP-ready version to maintain high search engine ranking positions (SERPs).

What is AMP?

Simply put, the AMP version of your website is essentially a bare-bones framework that contains only the most important parts of what you have to offer. Google, along with many other observers, are convinced that the greatest opportunity for growth lies with mobile devices. In order to make the most out of this, websites need to be able to load quickly, even in areas that have less than optimal data coverage.

Will AMP Affect Your Website?

Google has made it clear that if your website loads slowly in a mobile browser, you are going to be penalized for it. Since AMP is at such an early stage in its development, implementing it on your site now could give you a leg-up on your competition. AMP results are at the top of search pages, meaning even if you have the top spot for a keyword, if you do not have AMP set up for your website, you will be below pages that do.

How Does AMP Work?

AMP works by using a specific type of code called AMP HTML which puts certain constraints on what can or cannot be published. Third-party Javascript code on your site will generally not load within an AMP page, since it can considerably increase loading times for someone on a mobile device. It is still possible to use third-party code on the AMP version of your site, but the code will need to fall in line with AMP guidelines. Major third-party developers such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram already have AMP-specific versions of their plug-ins so that they will continue to work on your website.

Implementing AMP on Your Website.

If your website runs on WordPress, there are a few plug-ins you can download straight from the dashboard that will do most of the work for you. One of the best, and most frequently updated, is the official Automattic/Wordpress AMP plugin, which can be found here. This plug-in creates an AMP version of all of your existing pages, which will then be indexed over the next few days.

For sites that do not run on WordPress, the process of creating AMP-compatible pages for existing content will require an overhaul of your CSS. This is something usually best left to a professional, since it can take a lot of time to do the right way.

Tracking with AMP.

Keeping track of your visitors through Google Analytics is fairly simple throughout the AMP version of your website, as you only need to add a bit of code to your pages. Other tracking programs may not work quite as easily, which is where professional help would usually come into play.

Importance of Mobile Marketing Continues to Grow

Not only is the use of mobile real-time bidding by publishers and buyers growing, but according to reports from 2012’s third quarter, mobile marketing is also on the rise. The amount spent on mobile marketing this year is an 80% increase compared to 2011 at $2.6 billion, forecasted by eMarketer, a market research firm. That’s just the U.S. Globally, $8 billion was spent on mobile marketing with that number predicted to jump in 2014 to $14.2 billion according to IDC, a market intelligence firm.

Due to consumers’ smartphone usage around the holidays, many companies will look to capitalize on it by increasing mobile marketing in the fourth quarter, according to Nexage. With this increase in marketing and advertising comes an increase of demand for RTB ads, up from the second to third quarter an incredible 70%.

According to Nexage, RTB is going to be an integral part of mobile marketing, as evidenced by a growing number of companies joining the bandwagon. Wes Biggs and others have said that close to 50% of their inventory came from RTB, and that was tied back to mobile marketing and advertising.

Furthermore, an increase from 8% in the first quarter and 21% in the second quarter of 2012, RTB ads made up 34% of all the impressions from its network in the third quarter, Adfonic reported. All these numbers indicate not only that RTB ads will continue to increase in terms of number of companies that use them, but that they will be used more often by those same companies. As a result, the importance of mobile marketing has grown exponentially since the advent of the smartphone.

Even with the increase in tablet users, 89% impressions still came from mobile phones during Q3 2012, compared to 11% from tablets, according to Adfonic. Even with Millennial Media’s different interpretation of the data, it still showed 74% of impressions coming from mobile phones, much higher than from any other device.

Much of the increase in mobile marketing can be attributed to the sheer number of smartphone users today compared to any other time in its history, with that number increasing all the time. In Q3 2012, according to CNET, more 427 million smartphones were sold worldwide. This doesn’t account for the millions of people who already owned smartphones when these figures were released. Each year, more and more people switch over or upgrade their phones to a smartphone, and that means an increase in data usage. For these reasons, companies have recognized just how important mobile marketing is to their business. Not only do they have to market and advertise online to desktop computers, but according to eMarketer, ad spending on mobile devices by 2017 will all be equal to that spent on desktops.

Therefore, a continued growth in mobile marketing can be expected. According to Digital Media and Entertainment for IDC program vice president Karsten Weide, in 2015 “there will be more users accessing the internet through a mobile device rather than a computer.”

Mobile Marketing Growth