The AMP Buzz is Real: What Operators and Affiliates Need to Know

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Google’s AMP Project has been at the centre of significant hype for months now. While the project currently caters to newsfeeds and blogs, its open-source structure lends it to use across different web genres. So, what should iGaming operators and affiliates do with this new tool? Here is an overview of your iGaming AMP essentials: what it is, what it does, and how you can leverage it.

What are AMPs and how do they work?

AMP stands for accelerated mobile pages. Just like the name suggests, AMPs load faster for mobile devices than standard mobile web pages.

AMPs allow for a common technical core to be shared between pages. This means that individual pages’ code is slashed down to be simpler, more specific, and loaded from Google’s servers.  As a result, AMPs look different from regular mobile pages – cleaner and sparser.

One great characteristic of AMPs is that they load everything above the fold first, meaning that content your user is most likely to see first is prioritized. Further, because all static resources (like images and ads) have their sizing specified, the page can load around the space for the resource and your screen won’t resize as things continue to upload. This makes for a smoother, minimally obtrusive loading process.

What does this mean for players?

AMPs load four times faster than regular mobile pages and use eight times less data to do it. This helps reduce the urge for consumers to use ad blockers, because ads don’t hinder page loading for AMPs in the same way as they might on regular mobile pages. According to GlobalWebIndex, 70% of mobile users either currently block ads on their devices or are interested in doing so – improving user experience (UX) to make ad blockers less relevant is becoming increasingly important to maintaining a positive player experience.

What does this mean for publishers?

Faster loading and improved UX is critical for publishers for two reasons:
  1. Bounce rates are reduced. Mobile pages have an average bounce rate of 40% for 3 seconds of loading time, and after 10 seconds this rises to 58%.
  2. Faster loading leads to a better UX for users that stick around, leaving them more likely to make multiple clicks and stay onsite for longer.

By this point, the benefits of AMPs are clear for operators and affiliates: fast content, leading to faster reading, resulting in more consumption and greater action.1

What do operators and affiliates need to do?

In order to develop AMPs, publishers have to make significant coding changes; namely, adapting the HTML for current mobile pages to AMP HTML. The AMP project website has a wealth of information to help developers update and test their pages.

There are a number of specificities and limitations to AMP HTML that enable it to load content quickly. For example, developers have style restrictions and can’t use third-party JavaScript. However, the most important limitation of AMP HTML for those involved with affiliate marketing is that AMPs allow fewer links than regular mobile pages. While this makes for a cleaner UX, iGaming and affiliate marketers must take the opportunity to make more focused, effective CTAs in order to retain their pages’ conversion potential.

Do I have to?

Why wouldn’t you? If improving your players’ UX isn’t reason enough to get you on the AMP train, consider your website’s SEO. Search ranking is affected by the mobile friendliness of your page (anyone remember ‘Mobilegeddon’?) as well as load times. Both of these factors are improved by using AMPs, which leads us to believe that, yes, staying relevant means AMPing up!

How could AMPs fit into your web strategy? Get in touch or tell us in the comments below.