In 2015, mobile searches began outranking those performed on desktop, leading to the inception of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) by Google. AMP is an open-source initiative to deliver nearly-instant page loads for mobile search traffic. This technology, along with Progressive Web Apps (PWA) and Single Page Applications (SPA), is creating a faster and more reliable mobile-web for today’s impatient consumers. However, publishers seem to have adopted AMP at a higher rate than eCommerce websites, while PWAs/SPA see higher penetration among enterprise eCommerce companies.
Those who’ve adopted these cutting-edge frontends see SEO, traffic and conversion lifts, along with higher retention rates than those who have not. Back in 2017, Google released a study showing that AMP boosts search ranking and organic traffic rates for 85% of publishers who support the format. The same study found that eCommerce websites see a 20% increase in conversions on AMP pages compared to non-AMP pages.
In 2019, the search giant made site speed non-negotiable. First, Google’s Speed Update rolled out and strengthened the tie between site speed, ranking, and conversions even further. Now faster sites rank higher than their slower counterparts for comparable keywords. This has enabled smaller eCommerce websites to outrank the giants like Amazon and Williams-Sonoma, for key phrases. Soon, the search giant will add a ‘Badge of Shame’ to websites with historically slow load times, clearly indicating that a user can expect page delays the moment they click-through from search. The direction is clear, there is no longer any patience for slow loading websites in 2020.
Here are 10 case studies of publishers that have adopted AMP to increase their visibility and search traffic, keep visitors on their site for longer, and keep them coming back for more.
The New York Times
Established in 1851, The New York Times has become one of the world’s great publishers, delivering ground-breaking news with worldwide influence, everyday. The NY Times has continuously utilized technology to expand its circulation, from launching its first online edition in 1995 to publishing 50% of its articles in the AMP format in 2016.
The NY Times adopted AMP to enhance its content delivery and provide a better experience for readers. Participating as a collaborator in tech innovation for publishers and paving change for the future of rich storytelling were also guiding reasons for the publisher to invest in AMP.
The Washington Post
The Washington Post, established in 1877, was among the first partners to join Google’s AMP Project. Back in 2015, The Post was heavily focused on website speed and succeeded in cutting their desktop page loads by 85%. However, more than 60% of the publisher’s readers came in through a mobile device, so delivering news articles through the AMP HTML format became its new priority.
Since, The Washington Post publishes over 1,000 articles in AMP everyday. The publisher has seen impressive results, including first-loads from search averaging at 400ms, 88% reduction in page loads with AMP vs. the traditional mobile site, and retention rates increase by 23%.
One of the world’s most prestigious publishers, Condé Nast, owns 20 print and digital publications, including The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Vogue, Wired, etc. Implementing AMP was an easy decision for the mass media publication once it saw significant increases in search ranking and organic traffic on the first domain they added AMP support to, Vanity Fair. With AMP, Vanity Fair saw click-through from search nearly double and the domain’s average search rank raised 3.2 points.
Today, Condé Nast deploys AMP across 15 of its brands, including Wired and The New Yorker. In fact, AMP pages account for 79% of organic traffic on mobile and 36% of total mobile visits. Furthermore, the publications tech stack uses Node.js and React with server-side rendering to generate AMP for most websites, much-like how Layer0 generates automatic-AMP.
Hearst is one of the world’s largest media and information companies, owning 25 brands including Elle, Cosmopolitan, and Airbnb Magazine. In an effort to deliver a faster and more compelling user experience for readers, the Hearst engineering teams launched over 1M AMP pages.
The publisher saw a 83% reduction in total page load time with AMP. “We saw AMP as a perfect way to make mobile experiences as enjoyable as possible for users with fast-loading content and rich features,” said Phil Wiser, Chief Technology Officer.
GQ, an international monthly men's magazine founded in 1931, enhanced its mobile experience with AMP after discovering that the majority of traffic comes in from mobile. Before, mobile users were waiting seven seconds for pages to load, due to ad tags and features weighing down the site. After implementing AMP, GQ cut its page load time by 80% and reduced its calls to the server by 400%.
“If you can’t load pages fast enough, you can’t compete. Consumer expectations in a mobile-led world are extreme.” - Howard Mittman, VP and Publisher of GQ Magazine
CNBC, a world leader in business news and provider of real-time financial market coverage, delivers a faster mobile website with AMP support. By utilizing AMP, CNBC decreased the average mobile page load time by 4x, cutting loads from nearly 5s to 1.23s. Moreover, the business leader found a 22% increase in mobile retention.
“As we see our traffic from mobile devices increasing, it’s become paramount we provide the fastest experience we can for those users,” said Viktor Cea, Director of Content and Design.
Business Insider, the popular business publication, has leveraged AMP to quickly serve on-the-go content to its 328M monthly readers. The publication has always explored ways to deliver storytelling to best interact with mobile users, and with 60% of its traffic consumed on mobile, BI was encouraged to be among the many news publishers to partner with Google and find value in AMP technology.
The Guardian, a British daily newspaper founded in 1821 and one of the world's leading liberal voices, has successfully redesigned its mobile site for a better user experience with AMP. While a typical publisher sees 10-15% of its traffic come in from organic search, The Guardian sees 60% of mobile traffic come in as organic traffic, due to AMP’s nearly-instant page loads from search.
Vox Media, a digital media company with eight flagship brands including SB Nation, The Verge, Vox, and others, added AMP support to more than 95% of their site. With AMP, Vox Media has grown its search traffic year-over-year.
“It’s not really just about getting ranked higher in search, it’s about creating better experiences for users who come across Vox content anywhere they are.” - Head of Growth at Vox Media on AMP.
Though Twitter supports AMP in a different delivery method than sites previously mentioned, the microblogging and social networking service has facilitated the adoption of this modern frontend. Twitter has been delivering a fast, engaging user experience to its 126M daily users with its PWA since May 2017. Late 2017, the social giant began automatically discovering and displaying AMP versions of articles when links are tweeted, growing referrals to AMP traffic from less than 1% to 12%.
Without an instant website, you’re leaving money on the table. You risk visibility – and even if your site is found, today’s shoppers get frustrated with slow loads and go to a faster loading competitor. For this reason, cutting-edge frontends, like AMP, PWA and SPA are picking up speed and delivering the experiences that consumers crave.
We, at Layer0, sweat the small stuff, like milliseconds. And we are here to help. We have developed a platform that enables enterprise eCommerce websites load instantly, via a combination of cutting-edge technology. These instant websites have median page loads of 320ms (LCP), which is literally the blink of the eye. These speeds are achieved via portable frontends built for speed, along with auto AMP conversions and server-side rendering support to deliver sub-second page loads from any channel, and an intelligent CDN with +95% cache hit ratios for dynamic content at the edge.
Join industry leaders, the likes of Venus Fashion, ShopAKIRA, and 1-800 Flowers who earn big wins in terms of visibility, reach, and revenue on Layer0. Schedule a consultative conversation to see how we can help you gain a competitive advantage with an instant eCommerce website.