As the consumption of content on mobile devices grows day by day, so are the expectations for the experience. Users are excited about the magnitude of content available in their hands anywhere, anytime. But they are frustrated with the speed, or lack thereof, on their device of choice. In our fast paced lives, mobile experience is not fast enough, especially when sites are loaded with rich content like video and animations. Users want content fast and smooth just the way they have been used to on the desktop and TV. Who is to blame them? Most sites were designed for the dear old computer era.
This post is the third in a three-part series about optimizing your site for mobile. In the previous posts, we looked at how you can benefit from configuring Ooyala Player for Facebook Instant Articles and a case study of how PGATour has implemented this.
Let’s take a look at Google AMP now.
While smartphones are evolving rapidly, it is still not a realistic expectation for cellular networks and processors to be on-par with broadband connections on larger devices. Google noticed a stark contrast in their search results based on how much time a search result took to load on a mobile device. The found users bounced back to alternate results due to pages loading slowly on mobile. To circumvent this, Google built a common framework to make websites more mobile-friendly. The outcome of that effort is the Accelerated Mobile Pages project, or AMP.
What is Google AMP?
AMP is a free, open-source framework that allows you to create fast and responsive mobile pages. Essentially, it’s lightweight HTML that speeds up load times for mobile pages, even when they have rich content like graphics, video and audio files.
- More Responsive: According to Google, sites designed with AMP load four times faster.
- Improved retention: Most users move on from a site after three seconds if the content doesn't load quickly. Faster load times help retain users.
- Higher CTR rates: Sites designed with AMP are highlighted on a special carousel on Google’s search engine results page (SERP) leading to higher click throughs.
- Better site ranking: Faster pages are organically ranked higher
There are impressive results from publishers that have AMP(ed) so far, they also claim higher ad performance.
Optimize playback experience with Ooyala Player
To optimize your playback experience, you can now embed Ooyala Player on a website designed with AMP, and have the embedded player also AMP-optimized. Ooyala’s AMP Player is a fully-customizable lightweight and modular HTML5 player that loads fast on mobile devices. You can get additional performance boost by embedding with AMP. To see if the Ooyala AMP player fits your needs and to get started, go here.
Google AMP and Facebook Instant Articles have their own naysayers as well. For publishers already optimizing for mobile and speed (i.e. using CDNs, programmatically removing plugins for mobile traffic, etc), AMP doesn’t add much value. In addition, there have been reports of negative ad revenue impacts related to limitations of supported ad types with AMP. And for Facebook, you probably prefer traffic to leave Facebook and go to your site - unless incentivized otherwise by Facebook. What strategy is best for you is very much a brand-specific decision - we simply endeavor to have the options to make the right choice for your own mobile strategy.