The best-kept AdWords secret: AMP your landing pages
Even though AdWords doesn’t officially support AMP yet, advertisers can still use the technology to serve faster landing pages. Columnist Frederick Vallaeys explains how implementing AMP can lead to big gains in conversion rates.
The best experiences are those where we don’t have to wait for stuff: receiving a one-hour delivery from Instacart, skipping the lines at Disney World with a FastPass, getting a response from our digital assistants like Alexa in less than a second.
Big, successful companies have figured out that “fast = more money,” and so they cater to consumers’ insatiable demand for instant gratification. By doing so, they build a strategic advantage and a stronger business.
Luckily, there are areas of business where we don’t need to invest millions to deliver more speed. In fact, we can leverage free, open-source projects like Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) from Google to make mobile web pages faster — and, as I’ll explain in this post, that can easily turn into a significant improvement in the bottom line.
And even though AdWords doesn’t seem to officially support AMP yet, advertisers can still use the technology to serve faster landing pages. That can lead to big gains in conversion rates and quality, and in turn help advertisers in a crowded field gain that all-important edge over the competition.
Google really cares about speed
From its earliest days, Google has painstakingly labored to make search results pages load so fast that users would get an answer before their minds could start to wander and start to think about something else. According to KissMetrics, Google once ran an experiment to show 30 search results instead of 10. The extra 500 milliseconds it took to load the page led to a 20 percent drop in usage.
Google is so serious about speed that there have even been cases where they showed no ads on the SERPs because the ad auction took too long. Rather than delaying the page from loading, they simply served it with no ads. They knew that the short-term revenue loss of a few clicks would be more than made up in the long run when happy users came back to do many more searches.
But as hard as Google works on making their own site really fast, they lose a lot of control as soon as the user clicks on a result and leaves Google. Despite efforts like preloading pages with the Google toolbar (which no longer exists), building a faster browser in Google Chrome and incentivizing fast load times by making them part of the Quality Score (QS) algorithm, the mobile web is often still a painfully slow place to visit.
But Google has a plan to fix that…