AMP Up Your Landing Pages: How to Leverage Google’s Best-Kept Secret

“Time is money” has never been a truer turn of phrase. If your landing pages are taking more than a few seconds to load, you’re losing over half of your visitors before they have a chance to learn about your firm’s services. In fact, 53 percent of users will abandon a site that doesn’t load within three seconds. Despite that sobering statistic, the average time it takes for a mobile landing page to load is 22 seconds.

How do your landing pages stack up? Load time must be a priority if you want to reach and engage users. As if losing half your visitors wasn’t bad enough, slow load time means you are wasting money on your Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaign. You’re paying for clicks, but never reaping the rewards of converting visitors because they bounce back too quickly. Consider these stats from Forbes concerning bounce rate:

  • Bounce rate increases by 32 percent when load time goes from one second to three.
  • A six-second load time bumps bounce rate by 106 percent.
  • A 10-second load time equals a 132 percent increase in bounce rate.

Increase the ROI of your PPC campaign by creating landing pages that load instantaneously. Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages Project (AMP) was designed to solve the problem of sluggish mobile pages. Here’s how you can leverage Google’s best-kept secret.

What is AMP?

Simply put, Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages offers website publishing technology that allows you to create mobile web pages that load almost instantly. Best of all, the technology that powers this marketing tool is open sourced, so it’s free to anyone.

To use Google AMP, you’ll create an alternate version of your website that uses AMP HTML, AMP JS, and AMP Cache. Standardizing your coding and retrieving documents from one, centralized location using this technology gives you the ability to make websites loader faster. Simply put, using AMP allows you to create a simplified version of your webpage that removes features that might be slowing load time.

Speeding Things Up


That all sounds great, but how does it work?

AMP HTML

First, you must develop your website using a narrow set of technologies. For example, most JavaScript is not allowed since it drastically slows load time. Developers use AMP HTML, which is HTML with some restrictions. Those restrictions optimize your code to allow faster load times. AMP HTML makes it easy to optimize common patterns. While you can still use some HTML tags, frequently used tags have been replaced with AMP-specific tags. For example, one of the biggest problems with loading mobile sites is dealing with browsers that don’t support your coding and won’t display correctly. The “amp-img” tag ensures your page loads quickly and in full screen to provide the best possible user experience.

AMP JS

The second way AMP speeds up your load time is through the use of the AMP JS (JavaScript) library. Wait. You are thinking, “I thought JavaScript slows down load time.” You’re right, but we said “most JavaScript is not allowed.” AMP does forbid all JavaScript code from external sources. However, you can use code that’s been approved for use from the AMP JS library. The AMP JS library contains all the development tools you need to build your AMP site. It automatically implements AMP best practices, manages resources, gives you AMP tags, and ultimately loads your page faster.

AMP Cache

AMP Cache is the third critical component to the success of Google AMP. All valid AMP documents run through AMP Cache, which is a proxy-based content delivery network. That means Google is loading pages from its own servers when your visitors click on your page from a Google search. So, all your JS library files and all images load from the same place, optimizing load time. If someone in Europe clicks on your page from a mobile device, they don’t have to wait for the request to be sent to servers at your headquarters. Instead, Google uses its servers all around the world to store pre-rendered pages and update the content every time you update your AMP page. AMP Cache also has a validation process to guarantee the page will work.

AMP = Faster Load Times = Increased Ad ROI  

“Two seconds is the threshold for e-commerce website acceptability. At Google, we aim for under a half second,” said Maile Ohye, Developer Programs Tech Lead at Google. Two seconds? Is that really necessary? Yes. Research from Kissmetrics found that 47 percent of visitors expect a website to load in less than two seconds, and 40 percent will leave a website if it takes more than three seconds to load. Here are five ways increasing your load times will bump your ad ROI.

1. Get More Conversions

This one is a no-brainer. If your site loads faster, users will stay there and engage, which will result in more conversions. You’ll get more bang for your buck from your PPC ads since more users will stick around when they click on your ad.

2. Increase Your Quality Score

Cost per click (CPC) is an important metric to determine the ROI of our PPC campaign. You can significantly drop your CPCs by improving your Google quality score. Google assigns a quality score between one and 10 based on the quality of your campaign and whether or not your clicks direct visitors to relevant landing pages. Quality improves based on the relevancy of your keywords, ad copy and the destination landing page. That means if your page loads slowly and the user leaves quickly, your quality score goes down. In turn, quality goes up when users hang around and engage with your site. As your quality goes up, Google rewards advertisers it perceives as running “high quality ad campaigns” with more visibility.

3. Lower Your Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is a metric that measures how many people click on your site, but do nothing else or immediately click “back.” They do not engage at all or click on anything. So, if one of your PPC ads gets clicked on and then the landing page takes too long to load, causing the user to immediately click back, that’s a bounce. This bad for two reasons. First, if they aren’t sticking around, you are not converting them. You just wasted money on their “click” and your CPC rate is going to increase. Second, Google is measuring your bounce rate and lowering your quality score based on it. A low quality score means you won’t rank high in search engine results.

4. Simplify Development

ROI involves everything you’ve invested in a project compared to what you get back. That includes time, staff and other resources. AMP is simple to implement, based on basic HTML, and uses the AMP JS library to provide all the resources your developer needs. While improving your mobile user experience, you are also increasing the productivity of your web development team. The lower your investment, the greater your return.

5. Gain a Competitive Edge

If your competitors have slow loading pages, their visitors are going to click back immediately. Their conversions are now yours for the taking. Your quick-loading landing pages separate you from your competitors. Customers will return because they had a great experience. More customers equals a greater return on your investment.

piggy bank contemplating upward growth chart of conversion after using AMP pages

Tips to Create and Validate AMP Pages

Whether you are a solo attorney or a bustling firm of 50+ employees, AMP is easy to implement and maintain. To use AMP, you must create an alternate version of your website that conforms to the coding specifications we talked about in the first section. Your AMP-optimized site will have a separate address from your original site. Many CMS platforms, including WordPress, make it very easy by including plugins that automatically create your alternate site version. Here are some tips to keep in mind when developing your AMP pages.

Selective AMP-ing

Your entire site doesn’t have to be AMP. Think about the pages your visitors will land on from search results or through your PPC campaign. You could start with static content pages since dynamic, interactive content doesn’t transfer to AMP easily.

Explore AMP Features

Just because you are using a restricted form of HTML and JavaScript doesn’t mean your mobile pages have to look outdated and boring. Explore the many AMP features that are available. For example, the AMP-carousel feature allows you to display multiple pieces of content that appear in a continuous strip. Try this or other eye-catching features on high-traffic pages, such as your homepage.

Use Engaging Designs

Remember, bounce rate and quality are measured by how visitors engage with your content. Use AMP features that encourage them to explore. For example, if you are a family law attorney, someone may land on your homepage because they clicked on an ad after searching for “child custody.” Display a list of your recent blog posts associated with child custody by using the AMP-mustache template.

Track the Metrics

AMP has its own analytics that can be used independently or integrated with Google Analytics or another third-party platform. The <amp-analytics> tag will help you determine which pages and design are resulting in the most engagement. Increase conversions by tweaking your messaging based on content that gets the most engagement. Remember, web design is a dynamic project. You should always be changing and improving.

Easily Validate

AMP makes it easy to ensure you’ve got it right. Once you’ve created an accelerated mobile page, you can automatically validate it with an easy-to-use Chrome extension. The validator checks to see if the page in question is an AMP page. The extension icon will turn green if the page passes and red if it does not. Any errors or warnings will display under the extension icon. If the page you tried to validate was not an AMP page, but there is one available, the extension icon will be blue. You can click on it to automatically load the AMP version of the page. You can also use Chrome dev-tools to verify external resources, such as images and videos.

How To Develop an AMP Strategy for Your Firm

Research shows that 52.2 percent of website traffic came from mobile devices in 2018. That’s an increase of 500 percent over 2012 numbers. According to the National Law Review, 31 percent of all law firm website traffic comes from a mobile search. Ensuring that your site is mobile-friendly has never been more important. A successful AMP strategy will help you do just that. However, a mobile-friendly page is just part of the equation. Your strategy shouldn’t be about getting a visitor to your landing page, but keeping them there. To decrease your CPCs, you must be converting your visitors. To do that, optimize your AMP landing page for conversion. Here’s how:

Anticipate the Needs of Your Visitors

Think about the visitor’s goal and turn that into your headline. If your firm has multiple specialties, design multiple landing pages. This helps you target specific visitors and optimize for different keywords, which is especially effective for your PPC campaign.

Clear the Clutter

Have a user-friendly design that helps your visitors focus on whatever information is driving them through the digital funnel. Use images sparingly. In fact, many designers use one, simple “hero shot.”

Write Quality Content

Copy for your landing page must be easily digestible. Break it up with bullet points or other stylistic elements. Have an attention-getting headline. For example, instead of “Personal Injury Attorney,” try “3,000 Cases Won. Yours is Next.”

Include a Call-to-Action

Keep it simple. Make it stand out. Don’t make the user think too much. Call us. Download our ebook. Get a free consultation. Or, talk to our team. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s easy to find on your landing page.

Real Results, Real Fast

Does an AMP strategy yield results? Here’s just one well-known example. The Washington Post saw an 88 percent improvement in load times when they switched to accelerated mobile pages. They saw a 23 percent increase in mobile users who returned to read more content within a seven-day period. Big online players, such as eBay and Pinterest are using AMP, and WordPress is enabling tens of millions of sites they host to use it. Implement your AMP strategy, speed up your page load speed and yield greater ROI.

Ready to get started, but not sure how? Get in touch and let Digital Rain take the guesswork out of your advertising efforts.

By | 2019-03-03T07:42:16-04:00 February 4th, 2019|Landing Pages|

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