Building and maintaining a website with great user experience is key for growing an audience. AMP is a web component framework designed to make it easy for publishers to maintain consistently performant sites over time. Because AMP pages are designed to load almost instantly, they provide a great user experience which can help publishers reach a wider audience.
Additionally, we found that leveraging AMP along with a Google News Sitemap helps amplify the discovery of breaking local news.
AMP + Google News Sitemap Impact Breaking Stories
Despite a fairly advanced revenue strategy and a commitment to producing high-quality content, Long Beach Post was lagging behind competitors when it came to generating traffic for breaking news stories, especially on mobile. The Long Beach Press-Telegram, as well as several Los Angeles news outlets were serving their stories with AMP, while Long Beach Post was serving standard mobile pages with lower page speed. Search engines have prioritized faster pages in search results to ensure a better user experience for readers — which can correlate to increased visibility in search results, including the Top Stories carousel, where Long Beach Post was lacking visibility. This led to competitors’ breaking news stories receiving priority while the Post’s stories received much of their traffic the day after breaking.
Since delivering timely news is critical to their success with their local audience, Long Beach Post decided to implement AMP markup and insert AMP ads onto their news content. In order to further expedite the indexing of their news content, Long Beach Post created a news sitemap and submitted it to Google Search Console.
Now with news content being crawled and indexed more quickly, visibility in the mobile Top Stories carousel, greatly improved page speed, and a new revenue stream, Long Beach saw the following results after implementing AMP and their news sitemap:
• A 30% increase in mobile clicks from Google Search, including an 18% increase in mobile impressions, improving their CTR from 3.7% to 4.1% when compared to the previous period.
• Up to 92% more* mobile organic traffic on mobile in a single day than their next best performing story in the site’s history.
• The top three highest performing stories from mobile Google organic search in the site’s history.
• A 322% increase in mobile rich results impressions in Google search over the first 6 months, which have a 2.1% higher CTR than non-rich results.
• $216 in average monthly ad revenue from AMP ads channeled through inventory in both direct-sold and programmatic ads as a back-fill. This was boosted by the new traffic.
Case Study | Long Beach Post
Increase in Clicks from Google Mobile Web Search
Our analysis found a direct correlation between implementing AMP and the news sitemap with Long Beach Post’s increase in organic search traffic. Implementing these tactics led to increased page speed for their content, which then resulted in an increase traffic for the Post’s breaking news stories via improved visibility in rich search results.
Implementing AMP pages also improved the user experience for the Post’s mobile users due to the increase in loading speed and streamlined format. AMP provides guardrails to help avoid poor user experiences, making it easier for users to quickly access and consume content. The additional benefit to the publisher was that a simple implementation of AMP was far less work to launch then a series of technical page speed-focused improvements on their existing site.
However, as with most website integrations, implementing AMP requires regular monitoring through Google Search Console’s AMP section. As Google’s criteria for search rankings evolve, new third-party integrations or markup additions should always be fully reviewed to ensure that disallowed scripts do not reduce or break functionality and hinder visibility and traffic.
• Official AMP Plugin for WordPress
• AMP Websites Guides & Tutorials for Implementation
• Create a Google News Sitemap
• Google’s Guide to AMP Pages and Monetization
• Official AMP Documentation on Monetizing Your AMP Page with Ads