Mobile marketing AMPlification: Content, performance and measurement

What's the deal with Accelerated Mobile Pages, and how do they relate to micro-moments? Columnist Jim Yu discusses the connection and explains what brands need to know to stay ahead of the curve.

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The Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project was created  to improve the mobile web experience; pages built with AMP HTML load instantly on mobile devices, allowing publishers to quickly serve users in their moments of need.

Though originally created with publishers in mind, AMP has begun to spread to other types of sites as well. At the end of June, eBay announced that they had enabled AMP on eight million of their pages (They were the first major non-news site to do so). It has been widely anticipated that AMP capabilities will spread beyond news publishers, and this was a major step in this direction.

These developments mean that more brands need to pay attention. As AMP spreads, webmasters will need to optimize their content so that they can provide the desired high-speed responses to the micro-moments of their prospects.

Keeping mobile strategy in line with customer expectations

Customers expect pages to load quickly. Even as far back as 2009, Forrester found that around 40 percent of consumers would abandon a page that does not load in three seconds. And that was long before the age of ubiquitous smartphones!

Your mobile strategy needs to address the needs of these customers and create a mobile experience that will satisfy their content needs while also being fast.

AMP-enabled content can help brands meet customers during “micro-moments,” which occur when a person reflexively turns to an internet-capable device (typically a smartphone) for answers to fill an immediate need. These include I-want-to-know moments, I-want-to-go moments, I-want-to-do moments and I want-to-buy moments.

News stories, for example, serve the I-want-to-know moments. E-commerce sites (like eBay) serve consumers in the I-want-to-buy moments.

As AMP content expands, the needs of customers across the micro-moment spectrum will be met.

How to measure your mobile and AMP success

To remain competitive in mobile marketing, brands need to be able to measure how well they are helping prospects complete their desired actions. There are four key areas that you will want to examine: traffic, engagement, conversions and revenue.

  • Traffic: Track the number of people who view your content once you implement Accelerated Mobile Pages.
  • Engagement: Engagement will tell you how well you are able to attract the attention of your prospects, serve them and convince them that you are a brand worth investigating. It can also be helpful to look at the bounce rates, social shares and similar interactions with the content.
  • Conversions: Track the frequency and monetary value of the conversions, but also look at the devices that people are converting on, where they are physically located and the micro-moment category where they likely fall.
  • Revenue: Create charts that will show you how your sales, ROI and growth-related outcomes correlate with your AMP and micro-moment optimization efforts. Without looking at growth-related metrics, you may be missing the full picture of how your mobile is performing. You might miss mobile success if customers research on desktop and convert on mobile; it might be hard to see behavior that goes between one device and another.

Mobile marketing is now not just about the device — it is a lifestyle. It offers people a new way to access information and changes how they perform tasks, interact with brands and businesses, and even learn new information.

The result of this mobile revolution is that new frameworks will need to be built to properly manage the impact of mobile optimization efforts (such as AMP) on your ability to attract the on-the-go customer. This is likely to be a large experimentation trend through 2017 as the leading brands become more sophisticated in their ability to measure mobile progress and growth.

How can brands remain ahead with the growing importance of the micro-moment and AMP?

  1. Track and report on keyword trends and search engine results pages (SERPs) across different devices. Make sure you are familiar with the differences in keyword popularity between mobile and desktop, keeping micro-moment keywords in mind.
  2. Measure your brand’s actual position in the SERPs by device in Universal Search, taking into account images, videos, social, featured snippets and the local 3-pack.
  3. Measure local search performance by keywords and keyword groups across cities. An estimated 88 percent of smartphone owners and 84 percent of tablet owners use their devices to conduct local searches.
  4. Understand your brand’s mobile readiness with a mobile site audit. Mobile audits will let you know if your material is AMP-ready and if your pages are properly optimized for the mobile experience.
  5. Optimize and understand your actual mobile performance. You want to have a close look at your mobile performance using the criteria described above as a means of understanding your progress in the AMP and micro-moments area.
  6. Understand the competitive organic landscape for your brand across mobile devices. This is often overlooked by marketers, but it is a critical means of understanding how you perform compared to competitors.

AMP is helping brands provide faster, more efficient websites that get users the information they need quickly, answering their needs in the micro-moment.

As the capabilities of AMP begin to move beyond news sites, brands will need to pay attention to how they can use this new system to better serve their own mobile audience, growing their mobile visibility, conversions and revenue.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

Jim Yu
Jim Yu is the founder and CEO of BrightEdge, the leading enterprise content performance platform. He combines in-depth expertise in developing and marketing large on-demand software platforms with hands-on experience in advanced search, content and digital marketing practices.

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