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Your Shortcut to Lightning-Fast Speeds. AMP Landing Pages Come to Unbounce.

In 2019, more than half of all web pages will be loaded on smartphones. This means more prospects than ever before will connect to your business while on the go.

But it also means more of ‘em will connect while hurrying between appointments—or while fighting for a seat on public transit, or while struggling with spotty Wi-Fi at the local Starbucks. So they’ll have much less patience for your slow-loading web pages, no matter what you’re offering. (In fact, Google tells us that 53% of your potential mobile conversions are gone after the first three seconds of waiting. That ain’t long.)

Surely, then, you want to speed up your load times. Otherwise, you’ll end up spending money driving traffic to landing pages that are never even seen and don’t convert.

Exporo, an innovative real estate crowdfunding platform based out of Germany, jumped on the speed wagon early. They knew mobile speeds impacted their conversions, and they were very interested in using Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) to create engaging, faster-loading experiences. Backed by Google, AMP pages load in less than half a second—85% quicker than normal pages—so they’re a solid option for anyone looking for mobile performance.

In practice, though, the framework’s restrictive code seemed like a pain. Many companies like Exporo quickly realize that coding AMP pages from scratch isn’t going to be as efficient as they need—and will take up developer resources they can’t spare. We don’t blame ’em one bit for holding out: implementing AMP can be pretty tough.

According to Marcel Heymuth, Exporo’s Senior Performance Marketing Manager, being able to create AMP-ready experiences with Unbounce changed their mind:

Fast mobile pages are essential for good user experience, so when Unbounce announced that they were offering AMP we were thrilled! Now all of our landing page specialists can
build AMP pages quickly and easily without having to resort to IT resources!

If, like Exporo, you’ve been waiting for AMP to become more accessible and easier to test, consider this post to be your starting pistol. Because at Unbounce we’ve been working hard to make creating AMP landing pages as simple as possible. (Bang!)

Now you can easily drag and drop together AMP experiences

After a successful beta run, we’re excited to announce AMP landing pages are officially available on Premium or Enterprise Unbounce plans. Like, right now.

Using the drag-and-drop builder, you can now create near-instant experiences that dramatically shorten the time it takes for visitors to see your content. AMP landing pages can improve conversion rates (faster loads means less frustrated visitors), increase your Quality Scores in Google Ads, and ensure you’re not spending money on traffic that doesn’t see your content.

Not an Unbounce customer? Take the builder for a spin—and start creating AMP landing pages—with a 30-day free trial.

Say goodbye to complicated

We’re not gonna lie—while AMP has clear benefits, hand-coding AMP landing pages from scratch can be a pain in the butt. (I’d use stronger language here, but my mom’s a reader.) The AMP framework limits your HTML and JavaScript to only the essentials, and Google’s AMP Cache requires validation before it will ever serve up your pages. Ironically, this slows you down when you create these fast pages.

As Joe Savitch, Marketing Services Manager at Altos, puts it:

AMP is a powerful markup language… but it is also VERY precise. One validation error and poof… your page is worthless. In Unbounce you can focus on building a high-converting landing page, not learning a new markup language.

Given how many marketers told us they were hesitant to try AMP because of these technical hurdles, we wanted to make it easier. Whether or not you have a crack team of web developers behind you, Unbounce helps you get your marketing campaign AMP-ready sooner.

Now you needn’t wait for a developer to start creating AMP landing pages. You can fire up the builder and drag something together all by your lonesome. It’s not a bad way to secure better results. And there are some other benefits to doing it in Unbounce:

Customize as much, or as little, as you want

Unbounce features ready-to-go templates that let you create an AMP-validated landing page in minutes. If you’re already using Unbounce, you can even copy and paste page sections or elements from existing landing pages.

If you want to get fancy about it, though, you can also always add AMP-compatible HTML, CSS, or JavaScript. While the point of AMP is to be restrictive, we recognize that there are still scripts you’ll want to include or experiment with—which is why we didn’t set limits on what you can do with your AMP pages. If you can validate the page you want, then go ahead.

(But you probably shouldn’t go crazy here. These pages are intended to be simple so they load fast.)

A handy Zapier workaround

Some third-party integration scripts are not currently AMP compatible—we wish they were, frankly. If we could get every part of your marketing stack aboard the AMP train tomorrow, we would.

But our 1000+ integrations with Zapier provide a nice workaround. Using zaps, you can send leads from your built-in-Unbounce AMP pages to apps and tools like Mailchimp, Hubspot, Marketo, Campaign Monitor, and tons of others. In other words, you can ensure seamless lead management from your campaigns.

And Zapier also lets you add analytics and tracking to your AMP landing pages, which is much trickier if you’re coding these pages from scratch.

How to get started with AMP landing pages

If you’re an Unbounce customer, chances are good you know the drag-and-drop builder. (If not, start a free trial to check it out.) Once you’re in, creating your first AMP landing page is not a heck of a lot different than creating a standard landing page, popup, or sticky bar.

1. Select AMP in the Unbounce Builder

You can find AMP in the side panel. Select it, then click “Create New” to get started.

2. Choose a Template

Pick a ready-to-use template that you’ll customize to fit your brand. Or if you’ve got something entirely new in mind—you are no mere marketer, you’re an artiste, we feel ya—go for it. Just click “Start from Scratch” for a blank page.

3. Drag and Drop Together Your AMP Page

Add images, text, lead gen forms, and other elements to your AMP page using the simple drag-and-drop editor. Any images you add will be automatically optimized for performance.

4. Validate with Google

Once your page is ready, click the “Validate” button to check with Google that your landing page meets all the standards required by the AMP framework. Then publish.

Create Your AMP landing pages now

It’s 2019 and delivering the fastest possible page speeds is not optional. Your prospective customers are fresh out of patience, and Google is putting more and more pressure on marketers to get faster as a result. Though Accelerated Mobile Pages aren’t a magic bullet, for most us they’re an opportunity to get ahead of the pack. Create smoother, faster, more engaging landing pages for mobile devices.

But the proof is in the pudding, as they say, so why not see for yourself? If you’re on a Premium or Enterprise plan with Unbounce, AMP is available to you right now. (No, seriously. Check the builder. We think you’ll love it.)

And if you’ve yet to give AMP try, let alone with Unbounce, don’t be shy. We highly encourage you to start a free trial and drag and drop together your first AMP landing page. You can recreate an existing destination URL for one of your ad campaigns, for example, and compare the difference over the next month. Let us know what you think!

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About Daniel Rodgers

A lot of news that you will not see in the paper. A lot of technology that is coming out that will not see in the paper.

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5 SEO Mistakes Killing Your Content Performance and a Fix for Each

Common SEO Mistakes

Common SEO Mistakes

Even the most seasoned content marketers make mistakes. In the world of SEO-driven content, with constant algorithm tweaks and changing search patterns, it’s nearly unavoidable. However, those same mistakes can often lead to discoveries that enable even better content performance.

The key is being able to recognize those easy-to-fix SEO mistakes and address them. As a result, your content will become an optimized, integrated network of metaphorical highways, leading searchers to best-answer content in a strategic and purposeful way.

So, what are the most common SEO mistakes, and how can they be addressed? Below, I’ve singled out the ‘usual suspects’ along with guidance on how to fix them while setting yourself up for long-term SEO success.

SEO Mistake #1 - Choosing Target Keywords Based on Volume vs. Relevance

How Keywords Affect Content Marketers: Great content isn't great unless people see it. But when content marketers overemphasize high-volume keywords, they miss out on meaningful engagement.

It’s tempting to plug into your keyword research tool of choice and select keywords with the highest search volume as your focuses for new content. But if the content you’re creating doesn’t match the search intent for that high-volume keyword, it’s unlikely to perform to your expectations.

The Fix: Google it! All jokes aside, evaluating the first ten search results for your target keywords can help you understand what searchers are trying to find, and what supporting content you should provide to truly be the best answer for that query.

While you’re analyzing those top results, pay attention to key factors that will shape your content creation and promotion strategy:

  1. What type of information is NOT included in top content, but is topically related? This can help you inform how you differentiate your content.
  2. What’s the content demand for that keyword? For example, are mostly top of funnel blog posts ranking, or are you seeing mostly product or service pages?
  3. How many backlinks and referring domains are pointing to the top search results? This can help you understand how competitive the first page of results is, and whether or not ongoing link building should be part of your content promotion strategy.
  4. How long is the top-ranking content for that keyword? This will help you determine ideal content length for your own post.

SEO Mistake #2 - Targeting the Same Keyword with Multiple Pages or Posts

How Same-Topic Targeting Affects Content Marketers: Pressure to create comprehensive content on a topic can actually result in dilution within search.

The conventional wisdom that more is better doesn’t apply universally — especially when it comes to SEO-driven content. Creating multiple pieces of content that target the exact same keyword is a surefire way to stand in your own way of success. There’s enough competition out there for B2B marketers without having to compete with your own content.

For example, a B2B technology company that wants to rank for B2B software consulting should optimize their service page for that term based on what is currently being served in search results. But, if they also create a series of blogs or resources that are targeting that specific term, search engine bots will be confused about which page is the best answer for that query. This could result in none of the content appearing in the top 10 results, in favor of competing sites with a more clear ‘answer’ to that query.

The Fix: Determine which of your pages or posts is the best answer for that particular query by analyzing ranking and analytics data. Which post or page sees the greatest amount of engaged organic traffic for your target keyword, and most closely matches the associated search intent?

Once you’ve determined your target page, it’s time to evaluate the remaining content targeting that keyword. Look for opportunities to:

  1. Remove or prune low-value or outdated content. Is there a blog post full of stats from 2009 that’s hindering your priority page’s chances of ranking? It might be time to consider removing that post and implementing the proper redirects.
  2. Optimize existing content for related, but different, keyword targets. For example, if you have a priority post for Chocolate Chip Cookies, and another post that more closely relates to ‘Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies’, consider optimizing that post for the latter and implementing internal links back to your priority cookies post.
  3. Combine closely related content. For example, if you have several blog posts around your targeted keyword(s), consider combining those posts into a longer, more robust piece of content.

SEO Mistake #3 - Ignoring Internal Link Structure

How Internal Linking Affects Content Marketers: Links are like electricity on the web, lighting up content for people and search engines alike.

Content is discovered by links. Your site’s internal linking structure tells bots (and users) which pages are most important, and which pages are most relevant to specific keywords. If you link to several pages from the same anchor text, for example, there will be some confusion about which page is truly ‘about’ that topic. Other times, you could have pages or posts on your site that are orphaned, with no internal links directing users or bots their way. This can confuse your site users, search engine bots, and even your own team. Confusion is not a ranking factor!

The Fix: Make sure you develop and continue to update your site’s keyword map. It can be as simple as a spreadsheet that lists your page’s URL and associated target keyword(s). This keyword map will help you determine what anchor text should be used to link to your target pages.

Next, conduct a site audit to determine:

  1. If there are orphaned pages that need internal links
  2. If you are linking to multiple pages with the same keyword-rich anchor text
  3. Where there are opportunities to create additional supporting content
  4. Where you might have opportunities to reduce and prune existing supporting content

Next, you’re going to want to crawl your site to find any orphaned pages. Then, map those into your overall keyword strategy and implement internal links.

SEO Mistake #4 - Ignoring Data from Other Digital Tactics

How Marketing Data Affects Content Marketers: Inspiration often drives ideation for many content marketers, but data drives optimization for ideal content performance. Marketing performance data can provide both.

Any data you can collect about how your audience engages with your content has the potential to be an SEO gold mine. For example, analyzing the keywords from your paid search campaigns can give you insight into which keywords are your best converters, and what content best suits searchers for those terms. Social posts that get the greatest amount of engagement can tell you which topics your audience is most interested in. Ignoring data from your other marketing and sales channels means missing out on an opportunity to better engage your prospects.

The Fix: Meet with different teams or departments to find out what kind of content performs best on their channels. Look at the data each platform or channel provides and compare that with your site analytics data for a full picture. And, be sure to share your channel performance data with the rest of your marketing team. The more information available related to content and marketing performance, the better equipped you are to optimize.

SEO Mistake #5 - Giving Up

How Persistence Affects Content Marketers: Content performance in search is a long game and persistence is essential for success.

SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. Sometimes a lack of results can feel demoralizing, but giving up is simply not an option. You wouldn’t stop building your house just because the nearest lumber yard ran out of wood, right? You’d find another lumber yard and keep plugging along.

The Fix: Take a step back. Re-evaluate the search landscape, your competitor’s organic presence, and your site’s overall health. Being able to remove yourself from the frustration can help you find opportunities you may have missed and additional whitespace to tackle.

Next, seek out advice from other SEOs. Ask questions on social media, in specific groups or forums, or send a question to your favorite SEO blog. If budget permits, enlist the help of a consultant or SEO agency that can help you break through your roadblocks.

Finally, we have two big SEO bummers that are tougher to fix, but absolutely necessary to address.

Bonus SEO Mistake: Migrating Your Site with No SEO Plan

How Migrating Without a Plan Affects Content Marketers: A bad migration can effectively undo your hard work, reducing content visibility and creating more user friction.

If you listen closely, you can hear the sound of SEOs cringing around the globe. A botched site migration can wreak havoc on your organic positioning and torpedo your results. It can take months, even years to recuperate organic visibility to pre-migration levels.

The Fix: Always, always consult your in-house SEO team or SEO agency when you’re considering a website migration. Before you move forward, it’s imperative you have a plan for technical, on-page, and off-page factors.

If you’ve already migrated your site and have experienced a loss of organic traffic and rankings, start with a site audit. Check for the basics, like whether or not your site is being indexed, first. Then start to evaluate technical factors like broken links, crawl errors, and duplicate content.

When in doubt, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Recovering from a site migration is a challenge for even the best of SEOs, and sometimes those big challenges call for a little teamwork.

Bonus SEO Mistake: Not Optimizing for Mobile

How Not Optimizing for Mobile Affects Content Marketers: Even the greatest content can’t stand up to a bad mobile experience. Users will bounce, reducing engagement and sending negative signals to search engines.

Mobile accounts for about half of web traffic worldwide. Knowing this, in March 2018 Google started migrating sites to mobile-first indexing. Providing a seamless mobile experience is no longer optional, especially when you’re living in the wild world of search.

Sites that didn’t properly prepare for this can and will likely see some declines in organic search traffic and rankings as a result. And, as more sites follow mobile best practices, more users will notice and become frustrated by poor mobile experiences. This leads to declines in other pivotal ranking factors like on-page engagement. In short, if not properly addressed, a poor mobile experience can wreak havoc on your search visibility.

The Fix: The first thing to do is to conduct a mobile audit on your site. Understanding your site’s mobile performance is step one toward making improvements. Look for things like:

  1. Mobile site speed. A couple great tools for this are Google Page Speed Insights and Pingdom. These tools can tell you where to look for issues like slow-loading code, images that aren’t optimized, and other technical issues.
  2. Mobile experience. Visit your site on your phone. Ask someone who doesn’t use your site regularly to do the same. Record your experience, take notes on where you get stuck and why. Click on everything. Turn your phone into horizontal mode. Try to think of every single way a user could browse your site. And, don’t forget to try a site search on mobile.
  3. Look at mobile analytics. This will tell you key metrics like mobile bounce rate, mobile time on page and pages per session.

These steps will help you build a hypothesis to test against. Is your mobile bounce rate crazy high? Does your site take a long time to load? Is your time on page way out of line with desktop traffic? Then, use A/B testing to root out the discrepancy. Use these same metrics to test if the fix is working. Then, repeat with another element.

So, What Does This All Mean for You?

Ultimately, following SEO best practices as a content marketer can reduce performance-related headaches and set you up for long-term success.

For example, when Innovatech Labs decided it was time to make major changes to their website, they worked with our team at TopRank Marketing to implement a safe website transition strategy, minimizing their risk of reduced content visibility on Google. This assessment involved avoiding many of the big risks mentioned above, including linking, use of data and keyword research which allowed us to act quickly post-migration to combat organic traffic declines. The result? Double- and triple-digit increases in organic traffic (and increased conversions, too!).

A best-answer content strategy focused on creating content with the most relevance to their audience was the ticket to better marketing performance for a martech SaaS company. Working with the team at TopRank Marketing, long-tail and hyper-relevant keywords were researched for a comprehensive content strategy to help the brand content become the best answer for those queries. The “best answer” approach and topics were applied across organic and paid efforts. As a result, the volume of both paid and organic MQLs increased, leading to better content performance and spontaneous proclamations of love from the client’s sales team.

Fixing these big SEO mistakes aren’t only for short-term wins. Our longtime partner Antea Group USA has achieved amazing triple-digit growth over three years by avoiding these big mistakes and implementing an ongoing commitment to SEO-driven, best answer content.

As I mentioned earlier, even the most experienced content marketers can make these common SEO mistakes. But, with the right SEO strategy driven by diligent execution and monitoring of results, you can get back on track. The key is to be intentional about your site’s architecture, as well as the content you create, and to never, ever give up.

Still feeling stuck? Or maybe your team doesn’t have the resources to take on this battle alone? Check out our SEO services, tweet us your thoughts @toprank, or drop me a line in the comments. We are here to help!

The post 5 SEO Mistakes Killing Your Content Performance and a Fix for Each appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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