It’s been already a couple of years since mobile web browsing officially passed desktop traffic in volume. If you’re not targeting and optimizing your ads and landing pages for mobile devices by now, you definitely have a lot of catch up to do.
If there’s a company that knows very well browsing habits and trends, that’s Google. Already in 2009, Google announced that page speed would be a ranking factor (albeit a minor one) for desktop traffic. Back then, mobile browsing was not as relevant as it is today. However, according to Google’s blog post earlier this year, “Although speed has been used in ranking for some time, that signal was focused on desktop searches… Starting in July 2018, page speed will be a ranking factor for mobile searches.” It can’t be any more clear than that. Mobile speed now matters!
Google also says that the intent behind a query is still a “very strong signal,” and that a slow page may still rank if it has relevant content. In addition, The Speed Update will have the greatest negative impact on pages that deliver the slowest experience to users compared to their competitors in the SERPs. In other words, if you have a website with a display of high resolution pictures of your artwork, although it will take time to load, it wouldn’t affect your ranking much as long as your competitors’ websites are loading at about the same speed.
When it comes to digital marketing campaigns, page speed really matters. When your visitors click on your ad from their mobile device and are taken to your designated landing page, you will want to make sure that your page is optimized for mobile as much as possible. For this reason, Google is recommending the implementation of AMP for your most relevant campaign landing pages.
Making the Switch to AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is an open source initiative that allows you to create web pages that load quickly on mobile browsers. To help provide a better mobile user experience, you can create AMP versions of the entire website or your most visited landing pages.
Because AMP pages load faster than all but the most highly optimized HTML pages, it is a very practical solution for mobile searches. AMP reduces the amount of time between when someone clicks your ad and when they see your landing page. In general, faster load times reduce abandonment and bounce rates, which can increase conversions and improve your overall ad performance. Learn more about latency impact.
Once your AMP pages are created for the LPs that you’re sending your ad traffic, you can treat it like you would any other mobile landing page. To route users to your landing page, enter the AMP page URL into the Mobile URL field of your ads or in the Mobile URL field of your keywords. Then when a mobile user clicks your ad, they’ll be sent to your AMP landing page.
Design vs Speed
When it comes to creating your AMPs, it’s best to think about intent. Search engine users enter mobile search queries differently than they enter desktop queries. Typically, mobile queries are shorter, are more conversational and in a growing trend, are also voice searches. The common denominator of all mobile searches is speed. With a mobile device, we’re always on the go and we need quick searches and almost instant results. Speed and simplicity take over fancy designs that you may expect to see on your desktop computer.
Landing Page Speed vs Quality Score
Although you don’t need AMP to create super-fast mobile pages, it’s still recommended to use AMP to cut your load time in half. When it comes to your Google Ads campaign, your Quality Score (QS) is directly related to the User Experience. In other words, how quickly your LP provides a useful experience to potential visitors. Only in this case, content is not the only factor and now your page load speed is also coming into consideration.
Google doesn’t screw around. If your campaign LP doesn’t load quickly and provide useful information to the user based on his or her search queries, you’re going to suffer in two ways: pay higher costs and/or ads that are not being served at all
Google Ads has a few suggestions as far as ways to improve your LP relevancy as it relates to your quality score. What makes a good landing page? Common best practices for page design include few key elements:
- Compelling headline – Create a striking headline that is relevant to your PPC keyword and compels prospective clients to remain on the page to fulfill your desired action.
- Concise, targeted copy – The content of your page should clearly communicate your offering, and speak directly to the keywords associated with that ad group. Use bulleted lists to prevent copy from becoming too lengthy or overwhelming.
- Eye-catching, clickable call-to-action (CTA) – Make sure your CTA button stands out visually, appears clickable and uses short, gain-focused text.
- Attractive overall design– Landing pages should be clean and uncluttered, which conveys both trustworthiness and professionalism to prospective Design should also be consistent with your brand in order to prevent a disjointed browsing experience for visitors.
- Decrease load time – Consider using AMP pages or ensure, through whatever means, that your landing pages load quickly on all devices/browsers.
When it comes to digital marketing, when Google speaks, everyone listens. With more than half of the internet traffic coming now from mobile devices, whether it be traditional typed in queries or voice searches, simplicity and fast results matter. It is now more critical than ever to make sure that you’re optimizing your designs for mobile searches, considering landing page speed and load time as two of the most critical factors. Content and relevance are still very important, but are no longer the only factors for your ad rank or even organic page rank. From both the SEO and the SEM perspective, it is important to consider making the switch to AMP, think thoroughly about intent, and keep an eye on your Analytics reports to make any adjustments along the way.
Thank you for reading. Until next time, this is Manuel Gil del Real (MGR)
Sources: Google, WordStream
Photo by Guilherme Stecanella on Unsplash