22 Aug AMPing up mobile page load speed…
The attention of web users is hard enough to grab on a desktop display, and now as mobile web overtakes desktop as the most common user interface, the attention of the mobile user has to be taken into account.
The processing power of a mobile device is much less than a laptop or desktop computer but more and more frequently people use their mobiles and tablets for information. Every time a webpage takes too long to load and the user bounces from the webpage, that site loses a visitor, the advertisers lose an impression and everyone loses the opportunity to earn any money.
The good folks over at Google HQ realised this was an issue for everyone on the web – most of all the user who expects fast, reliable content anytime on any device. After discussion with content providers, publishers and companies, Google announced an open-source project called ‘Accelerated Mobile Pages’ or AMP. The aim was to streamline UX across the web, and especially on content rich pages with video, graphics advertising.
The importance of this functionality is paramount on pages like BBC breaking news, or the live commentary of a sports game. When news and information is updated in real-time across a multitude of devices, the framework for that delivery has to be robust enough that no user is disadvantaged and no updates are delayed.
Google released an official blog introducing the AMP changes that can be found here, AMP also have an extensive FAQ section on their website which covers a lot of information about purpose and implementation. To give you an idea of scope, the companies below are just a handful that listed as publishers of AMP.
So how will this impact digital marketing and online advertising?
A report from Google/SOASTA found that 40% of consumers will leave a page if it doesn’t load within 3 seconds, but it also found that in July the average retail site in the US loaded in 6.9 seconds. This friction between service and user expectation only hurts digital advertising and online business. The report continues with two key findings regarding conversion rates on mobile pages; the more elements on a page, and the number of images present. Google define pages like this as ‘heavy’, leading to cumbersome load times and a slow user experience, it was found that sessions with converting users had 38% fewer images that those non-converters.
The full google report can be found here, and continues with a section on bounce rate factors and another with action points for the mobile marketer.