It’s a (mobile) world of constant change.
While it may seem that our blog posts and posts on social are leaning a bit heavy on the mobile news side lately. That’s not by intention, it’s begin driven by the rapid can constant state of change due to the impact of mobile in the digital space.
We’ll be the first to admit that we don’t like “shiny objects” or chasing trends for the sake of chasing trends. However, the changes, or enhancements, seen in 2016 and reported here are not shiny objects or the latest trend. In fact, several of the changes and the topics reported in this post started a good while ago as first reported in some of our previous posts going back to April 2015 while other changes come out of the Google I/O events that takes place every May where a whole range of initiatives are announced by Google. Out of the last Google I/O event, several new terms were heard for the first time. Terms like AMP and progressive mobile apps.
Where to begin?
Let’s begin with some recent news and updates about AMP or Accelerated Mobile Pages. While you may not have heard of AMP before, you very well may be seeing it already in mobile searches that you do and not even realize it.
If you’re a business that has a website, I would have to urge you to familiarize yourself with AMP, or the AMP Project as it’s referred to in Google circles. Reality is, if your still talking about responsive design websites, you’re probably already running in the back of the pack at this point. But not to worry, we’re here to help you catch-up.
Without getting into much of the technical details of AMP or how it works, AMP is simply the latest effort by Google to make the mobile search and content consumption environment appealing to the user. AMP’s primary focus is to improve page load speeds since our attention span and patience on mobile is very short. Correct that, we have no patience when it comes to mobile, enter AMP. You can read more about AMP here.
Since AMP was announced at Google I/O, it’s been going through a constant process of roll-out. In the beginning of the AMP Project, larger publishers and news agencies were the first to be invited to use AMP as seen in this screen capture. (Notice the “AMP” notation in the search snippet below the link.)
Since AMP was mostly used by large content publishers and it was by invitation, we followed it but did not have any direct application for clients. Secondly, in the early phases of AMP, eCommerce was not a target application for an Accelerated Mobile Page. When Ebay began experimenting with AMP in June, it was a good sign that AMP would eventually expand into eCommerce. Well, that time is now upon us with some news items from this week.
What’s interesting is the timing of the expansion of AMP into mobile eCommerce this late in the year. There’s absolutely no doubt that mobile plays a very big role in eCommerce, but it’s going to be interesting to see how quickly site owners can respond to this expansion in time for the holiday season. I say this with a bit of sarcasm knowing that many site owners are still working on being mobile responsive and fewer yet have a strong mobile plan.
Nonetheless, here’s a late August post from the AMP team about getting started with AMP for eCommerce.
AMP’ed eCommerce and product pages are likely to improve the shoppers experience, but what has not been stated, to my knowledge, is that AMP pages are going to have an advantage over non-AMP pages in mobile search results. I say that because that’s the situation as I understand it at the moment. However, I would find it hard to believe that AMP pages wouldn’t have an advantage or get preferred placement in search mobile search results if the ultimate intent, by Google, was to offer users a better mobile experience by improving page load speeds. In addition, mobile page load times have been understood or assumed to be a ranking factor since 2015. So, Accelerated Mobile Pages + page load speed as a ranking factor? Seems hard to think that AMP pages won’t have a preferred position in mobile search results.
So there’s a quick introduction and some information about the AMP Project from Google.
You may remember the Mobilegeddon of April 2015 and maybe even Mobilegeddon Part Duex reported here this last May. As a part of Mobilegeddon, Google was
going to highlight websites that were mobile friendly in mobile search results using a notation in the search snippet. Now, these notations will stop showing as Google reports that 85% of websites have addressed this issue. Not sure what’s going on with the other 15%. But if you’ve not tested your site, you can use this free tool from Google to check your website https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/
Heading into the shopping season of 2016 and when thinking about your marketing initiatives for 2017, I can only urge you to put mobile in the forefront of your planning as mobile is only going to continue to impact all aspects of digital at a greater scale. Regardless of your business being B2C or B2B, mobile should be a consideration if not your first consideration.
We’d be happy to guide you through this process. We offer a strategy session that can help you navigate the complexities of digital marketing and prioritize some strategies with you.
The LTR Digital Sherpa