Google is among an e-commerce business’s top five friends. The tech company is beneficial in bringing new consumers to online stores through searches and keywords. Now, Google has another method to capture user attention and compete with Facebook and Apple.
Accelerated Mobile Pages
Facebook released Instant Articles, an in-app publishing service, in May 2015, Smashing Magazine wrote. Soon after, Apple replaced its old Newsstand with Apple News, designed with a cleaner interface and better results than its predecessor. Google’s answer to these developments was to create Accelerated Mobile Pages.
Each of these three solutions act to improve the mobile browsing experience. As Smashing Magazine noted, third-party interference from tracking codes and ads greatly increases the time it takes a mobile page to load. Similarly, while responsive design makes pages more readable on mobile, websites using this technique often have a lot of code that only applies to desktop sites.
AMP, Apple News and Instant Articles reduce these loading times by streamlining webpages and therefore improving the mobile experience. However, while the latter two work through apps, AMP renders through mobile browsers or Android’s WebViews.
How e-commerce businesses can use AMP
As Practical Ecommerce wrote, Google places AMP pages in a carousel at the top of its search results on mobile. Content placed there will get more views than even the third listing on a search’s first page of results. This is great for news articles, but online retailers shouldn’t be discouraged. Their SERP rankings and visibility should stay the same, and the AMP project is expected to add e-commerce in the future.
Currently, news is the only type of content AMP supports. However, Practical Ecommerce noted Google is vague regarding its definition of the term and offers video, recipes, articles and reviews as examples. Online stores should capitalize on the article aspect to make the best of AMP, but they must also realize Google’s ambiguous definition does have a few limits. A Web page describing a sale or promotion is not an article no matter how much text it holds, Practical E-commerce said. However, long-form content such as that on a blog fits the description. Blogs contain features like tutorials, lifestyle columns, trend reports and tips. These read more like traditional newspaper articles than advertisements. Therefore, while a promotion for spring dress doesn’t count as an article, a blog post describing how to accessorize said dress certainly does.
Essentially, online retailers should write in a way that benefits consumers. Articles can’t just promote products and drive sales – the content has to give shoppers information they want on their terms. This means AMP is essentially an engagement tool able to bring customers to a business’s website. Once they’ve read through the article that brought them to the site, they’re more likely to browse around and submit online payments.
While proper e-commerce support is expected to come down the line, businesses can already capitalize on AMP to capture their target market. Writing engaging, informative content that goes beyond promotion draws new consumers to a brand’s website.
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