Klick Health

Plugging Into AMP

Senior Director of Technology

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Mobile devices have changed consumer expectations, the demand for fast, mobile-optimized sites with quick load times ever increasing. Google's "Accelerated Mobiles Pages" (AMP) tries to address this need. But is AMP mandatory for an optimal user experience, and should pharma marketers embrace it? Let's find out!

What is AMP?

Google’s objective is to “promote enhanced distribution” so publishers can “take advantage of the open web’s potential for their content to appear everywhere quickly”.  In other words, engender maximum visibility and speed, especially important for mobile. 

The challenge is speed: Google reports that bounce rates can be as high as 58% for pages that take more than 10 seconds to load.  When a marketer pays big bucks for advertising, they don’t want to lose half their potential audience to poor performance.  The speed boost of AMP also helps with a website’s SEO, as Google puts weight on sites that are fast and mobile optimized.

To make mobile content accessible as quickly and consistently as possible, AMP is essentially HTML pages with a limited set of functionality used to build pages with only static content. The technical goal is to render these pages as quickly as possible on mobile devices, and also cache them in the cloud for further optimization. The price for speed is limitation in their ability to be dynamic and interactive.


“Rich Cards”

Another feature of AMP, and one particularly relevant for pharma marketers, is “Rich Cards.” These essentially force boxes of content in various locations, including directly under the search results, or at the bottom of mobile or desktop screens. They also allow website code to be structured to optimize mobile search results. Top stories on a search for “pokemon” show one of many examples as to how these work: 


Screen Shot 2016-08-26 at 9.52.29 AM




As pharma marketers know well, every page on a pharma website needs to be submitted to MRL. That typically requires two separate submissions: A full submission for desktop, and another full submission for mobile. Even responsive sites require special scrutiny for each “break point,” since MRL teams want to see every expression of the content. With AMP, marketers will also need to include the AMP version of the page, adding more complexity to the review process. 

In addition, Rich Cards are a great marketing tool for getting googlers’ immediate attention, but have insufficient size to display fair balance. These Rich cards are only 600 x 60px in size, and do not have the ability to enable scrolling Important Safety Information so displaying compliant content. Paid placements will therefore have to be limited to unbranded content, or what would be considered the “reminder ad” format, where a drug name could be mentioned, but without any indication to avoid claims. So exercise caution! 


AMP vs “Mobile-Optimized”

How does AMP compare to our current mobile-optimized sites?

Klick did an analysis, and found that most mobile-optimized sites were already more than 50% faster than other sites.  We also discovered that when you took away the data-intensive content (such as video), the “content-to-code” ratio was comparable to AMP sites — and so was the speed.

Since AMP sites already eliminate dynamic and interactive content, AMP might beg the question of its added benefit. But the capability is new, and the jury still out!


What Should Pharma Marketers Do?

High performing, mobile optimized websites have been a priority for Klick for years.  Our SEO experts are involved from day 1 in site planning, along with our developers who are obsessed with speed to ensure Klick delivers fast websites that are SEO optimized all around.

Klick will continue to monitor AMP and jump on building AMP content as soon as it makes sense for pharma.  When we do, we’ll start with pages that are landing pages for paid marketing efforts, where conversion must happen quickly and effortlessly. In the meantime we will continue to be speed-obsessed and deliver fast mobile optimized websites – ones that remain dynamic, interactive, and engaging.

Have any questions? Klick’s very own Tech Team is available, and Renata is happy to talk to you!


More About the Author

Renata Vaccaro

Renata is Senior Director of Technology at Klick Health, where she provides technical solutions to business problems while managing a team of developers. She has over 19 years experience in technology and is a high energy, dynamic, and hands-on leader.

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