How AMP Stories Can Transform Your Search Strategy

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By Patrice Meadows — Mar 6, 2018 11:00 AM

Aerial view of a laptop and notebook sitting on a table with the blog post title situated over it.

Search engine optimization, or SEO, has long been a critical element of any digital marketing strategy. In recent years, new types of Search have forced digital marketers to revisit how their brand approaches SEO. Two of the most notable changes in Search involves the use of mobile and video in search queries.

To date, SEO has been all about mastering keywords, publishing frequency, and securing backlinks from trusted sites. Now, marketers must continue to manage all of these while determining how to leverage mobile-friendly content to increase site rank on search engine results pages (SERPs). That is where AMP stories and Google come in.

What are AMP stories?

Before we explain how to use AMP stories to transform your search strategy, let’s define AMP stories.

Q: What are AMP stories?
A: Mobile-friendly ways to deliver content using short videos or slideshows

AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages, which basically means pages that load faster than they would otherwise. The ‘story’ part of the phrase references short, live or recorded, videos or slideshows. Stories started on Snapchat and quickly made their way to Instagram and Facebook. Now, stories, via AMP Story Search, are coming to Google.  

How will AMP Stories work on Google?

Google is delivering a new kind of search result that leverages AMP Stories. Instead of pages ranking solely based on the text, images, and/or videos they display, now all of these elements can be combined into single packaged stories that can better attract users.

Users start by initiating text or voice search query as they normally would. The results displayed will not only show articles, videos, and images that match their query, but also relevant AMP Stories.

Why will AMP stories work?

Trends suggest that video content will continue to dominate web traffic (on mobile and elsewhere) making AMP stories an attractive option for those looking to drive engagement.

According to the Google Developer blog, AMP Stories will allow publishers (and eventually organizations and individuals) to tell stories more effectively. Once it is rolled out completely, anyone can use Google’s tool to build their own AMP Stories to start driving traffic to their site.

The combination of video, text, image, and animation will likely be better at snagging users’ attention than plain text, static images, or traditional video. Google also prominently places story-based results at the top of SERPs to give these publishers an even better chance to reach audiences. This is the opportunity of AMP stories; becoming an early adopter to increase your chances of being discovered by new audiences.

Animated image showing AMP story

Image courtesy of Google Developer Blog

How can you use AMP Stories to transform your search strategy?

Since Google’s still using AMP Stories in a limited capacity, you and your team have time to determine how it fits into your content strategy. Every blog post, infographic, or video isn’t appropriate for the platform. Follow these three steps to determine which items are best-suited for AMP Stories.

  1. Use Google Analytics, or your favorite analytics platform, to identify top trends and high-performing content.
  2. Find clever ways to link your content to top trends or search terms using text, images, and video
  3. Storyboard your best resources until you find the right combination of content and multimedia elements to build an AMP story

Once Google releases publishing of AMP Stories to the masses, you can push your stories live and start to push more traffic to your mobile site. For now, you can get familiar with the technology and create test versions of AMP Stories as you explore how to incorporate them into your content strategy.

How do you leverage new technology to constantly improve your marketing efforts? Share your stories of success below or tweet us @hannon_hill.

Want to know more about SEO? Check out this blog post to learn more about underrated SEO strategies and how you can use them to improve your site’s rank in SERPs.