We’ve been excitedly covering Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages project from its announcement to its release to its iOS debut. Google’s pursuit to make the mobile web faster and easier-to-use has been delighting mobile users and rewarding news publishers who adopt the framework. But the elephant in the room for content marketers has always been the question of how AMP will benefit publishers outside of the news industry.
We might finally have our answer – last weekend, eBay became the first major non-news site to begin widely appearing in AMP results. It looks like this might be the sign content marketers have been waiting for, and if you aren’t up to speed on what AMP offers, and how you can use it, now’s the time to catch up.
Not just a beta test: Browsing in AMP is the future
eBay is not just testing AMP out – they already have about 8 million pages live using the format. And it’s helping. The online auction giant launched AMPs because mobile web is their fastest growing sector, and according to VentureBeat, they now even plan to borrow and migrate elements from the AMP layout to their desktop and app experiences.
Of all the friction in the browsing, reading and converting processes, the easiest barriers to avoid should be the most obvious, and the most human: stubby thumbs, glazed-over eyes and slow-load boredom. That’s where AMP will come in – not just for eBay, but for all other sites, from B2C stores to company blogs to B2B services.
Compare the slickness and simplicity of the AMP-enabled page on the left with the clunkiness of the traditional mobile site on the right. They both contain essentially the same information, but the AMP page is much easier to navigate – especially on a smaller screen.
Other brands will (and should) follow eBay
AMP’s layout is simply a reflection of what your users already respond well to in a website. Its principles are natural. As eBay’s Tech Blog put it: “One of the good things about AMP is that at the end of the day it is a bunch of best practices for building mobile web pages… This made our approach towards AMP more organic, rather than a forced function.”
Mobile use is not just growing among eBay customers, but among people across the globe. More than half of all searches take place on mobile, and according to Business Insider, 45 percent of all e-commerce will happen on mobile by 2020.
Speed is crucial for driving traffic & making a sale
The auction site’s confident leap into the world of the accelerated mobile experience proves that fast-loading, neatly formatted, easy-to-use content is the best way to drive conversions and sales. Not only does Google penalize slow pages, but according to JeffBullas.com, one added second of load time can decrease traffic by 11 percent, and four seconds of load time can cause 25 percent of users to jump ship.
Site performance and speed are such high priorities for users, it is no surprise that both competition and adapted uses of the format have arisen. Facebook and Apple have their own versions of fast-loading formats, and each are working to expand the potential uses.
Google makes the rules, and you need to adopt them
Not only is mobile use growing, but Google wants it to continue trending upward. Currently, AMP is in the featured box in a mobile Google SERP, and the only way for your content to be in that box is for it to be AMP optimized. The format has already expanded to Google News and the iOS Google app, and recipes are also starting to show up as AMPs.
The best way to find success with Google is to understand exactly how they think – this is becoming one of my favorite mantras. In this case, that means using the product that they are rewarding and featuring in search results. In fact, Google’s advice for AMP has been quite clear: At SMX Seattle in June, Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst Gary Illyes flat out advised us to “pay attention to AMP. It’s going to be really big.”
AMP is no longer just for National Geographic or The New York Times. It’s time for your brand to start testing the waters along with eBay. We see now that Google allows, and encourages, non-news brands from getting in on AMP, so dive in and see how you can optimize your site.