What’s next for the mobile web?

What’s next for the mobile web?

Most publishers already realize that the vast majority of content consumption takes place, and will continue to take place, on mobile. But what a lot of us don't realize is that while app traffic is growing like crazy, so is traffic on the mobile web.

In fact, the mobile web makes up a significant portion of all mobile traffic on Google Ad Manager. If publishers and advertisers think of the mobile web as simply an “add-on,” they might be ignoring a big opportunity.

Google Ad Manager

The best way for publishers to grow their business on the mobile web is to:

  1. Deliver fast-loading and engaging content experiences, and
  2. Deliver fast-loading and engaging ad experiences

A fast mobile site is the quickest way to connect with your audience. 53% of users will abandon a mobile site if it takes longer than three seconds to load. Meanwhile, the average web page still takes 19 seconds to load over a 3G connection.2 Put another way, half of users are abandoning a site before the page even loads.

When we compared average, slow-loading sites with similar ones that load in five seconds, the results are promising. Faster sites have 25% higher ad viewability, 35% lower bounce rates, and users spend 70% more time per session. While other factors play into these results, the faster publisher sites also made two times more in advertising revenue. Basically, speed equals revenue.

To meet users’ needs, we helped launch the open-source Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project to help publishers and advertising platforms deliver faster experiences on the mobile web. Since its launch two years ago, over 4 billion AMP pages have been published, with an average load time of under one second when served from Google Search. And the ads are performing better as well: 70% of Ad Manager publishers are getting higher CPMs on AMP pages than on non-AMP pages.3

Google Ad Manager

Google also supports Progressive Web Apps (PWAs), a set of advanced mobile technologies that helps developers deliver an engaging app-like experience on the mobile web without requiring an app-store download. PWAs support functionality such as in-app notifications and payments, and they are designed to work on any mobile platform. Publishers such as Forbes are seeing great results — after launching their PWA, the company saw a 43% increase in sessions per user, and their duration per session doubled.

When improving web experience, it’s important to address both content and ads. Many users think that today’s ad experiences don’t cut it. In fact, 69% of people who installed ad blockers said they were motivated by annoying or intrusive ads.4

In response, we’ve invested in better ad formats like programmatic native ads on Ad Manager. We’ve found that users are more than twice as likely to click on a native ad versus a traditional display ad. And when users are more engaged, publishers and advertisers see better results. When done well, native ads lead to conversion rates 1.5 times those of banners.5 Native ads are more relevant and engaging to the viewer, especially when they’re contextually aligned with the surrounding content.

Google Ad Manager

But no matter how engaging your ad experience is, load time comes first. Our AMP Ads Initiative is an open-source project that applies the AMP framework to building and serving ads on the web. Our early tests indicate that AMP Ads load up to five seconds faster than non-AMP ads.6 And as of today, we are already automatically converting a majority of ads shown on AMP pages across the Google Display Network to AMP Ads.

In addition to bringing the speed of AMP to the Google Display Network, we also want to ensure that publishers can offer fast-loading ads in Google Ad Manager. As of today, AMP Ads are available in beta in the native and custom creative fields, as well as the Ad Manager 360. We’re also working hard on bringing the speed and performance of AMP Ads to Display & Video 360 and Campaign Manager early next year.

In the end, we believe in designing content specifically for a mobile web experience. Using AMP and Progressive Web Apps helps deliver a fast, secure, and engaging mobile web experience without requiring users to download apps to their devices. Also, we want to be sure that ad experiences are exceeding customer expectations wherever they are, on any device. You can begin using native ads and AMP Ads on Google Ad Manager for ads that are engaging, relevant, and fast — a win-win for users and advertisers.

Most importantly, we want to build for speed at every turn by getting in front of users with fast-loading and compelling experiences. Otherwise, we might get left behind.

  1. comScore, “The 2016 U.S. Mobile App Report”, September 2016

  2. Google Ad Manager, “The Need for Mobile Speed”, September 2016

  3. Google Ad Manager, Internal Data, April 2017

  4. Coalition for Better Ads, August 2017

  5. Google Ad Manager, Internal Data, July 2017

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