Published October 2017
Most publishers already realize 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 accounts for a significant portion of all mobile traffic on DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP). Publishers and advertisers who still think of the mobile web as an “add-on” are ignoring a growing opportunity at their peril.
So what's the best way for publishers to grow their business on the mobile web? The steps are pretty clear:
- Deliver fast-loading and engaging content experiences, and
- 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 3 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 your site before the page even loads.
When we compared those average, slow-loading publisher sites with similar sites that load in five seconds, the results are promising — the 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 2x more in advertising revenue. The lesson? Speed equals revenue.
That’s why two years ago 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 launch, 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 perform better as well: 70% of AdX publishers are getting higher CPM’s on AMP pages than non-AMP pages.3
Google also supports Progressive Web Apps (PWAs), a set of advanced mobile technologies that help 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 are designed to work on any mobile platform. Many of our publisher partners are seeing great results with Progressive Web Apps. In fact, after launching their PWA, Forbes saw a 43% increase in sessions per user and their duration per session doubled.
But you can’t improve your web experience without addressing both content and ads. Users are saying loud and clear 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 It’s safe to say that users are not happy with today’s ad experiences.
That’s why we’ve invested in better ad formats like programmatic native ads on DoubleClick. 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. In fact, when done well, we’ve seen native conversion rates 1.5x those of banners.5 Why? Because native ads are both relevant and engaging to the viewer, especially when they’re contextually aligned with the surrounding content.
But no matter how engaging your ad experience is, what purpose does it serve if it never loads? That’s why we’ve also helped launch the AMP Ads Initiative, 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 5 seconds faster than the 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 our publisher partners can offer fast-loading ads in DFP. As of today, AMP Ads are available in beta in the DFP Native and Custom Creative fields, as well as the DoubleClick Ad Exchange. We’re also working hard on bringing the speed and performance of AMP Ads to DoubleClick Bid Manager (DBM) and DoubleClick Creative Manager early next year.
So, what are the big takeaways here?
First, design your content specifically for a mobile web experience. Use AMP and Progressive Web Apps to deliver a fast, secure, and engaging mobile web experience without requiring users to download apps to their devices.
Next, change the way you think about building and serving ads on the web. Ensure your ad experiences are exceeding customer expectations wherever they are, across any device. Leverage native ads and AMP Ads on DoubleClick to ensure your ads are engaging, relevant and fast — a win-win for users and advertisers.
Finally — and most importantly — build for speed at every turn. Get in front of your users with fast-loading and compelling experiences, otherwise you’ll get left behind.