PWA or AMP? Why Not Both?

This is an excerpt from AdMonsters Playbook: Mastering the Mobile Web, brought to you with the support of Marfeel. Download the full report here.

We can’t even begin to talk about mobile web monetization without highlighting the importance of providing a quality user experience that enables optimum user engagement. The mobile web has long been viewed as providing a far more inferior user experience with slow-loading pages and poorly positioned and obtrusive ads. At least that’s how it was in the days before Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) and Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), two technologies developed to deliver faster, richer mobile experiences to users while saving publishers time and money in developing for different devices or browsers.

Flying With PWAs

Introduced in 2015, PWAs function like native apps—users can easily add them to their mobile homescreens—while also featuring aspects of responsive websites. PWAs allow for:

  • push messaging;
  • swiping features;
  • discoverability;
  • shareability; and
  • offline access.

More importantly, PWAs are lightweight and load instantly while also displaying seamlessly across devices, with reduced ad latency. Even users with older phones or slower connections will be rewarded with great experiences. And since pages are served through SSL, there are SEO advantages, as well as built-in brand safety and security features.

A 2017 case study of Pinterest’s move to PWA, revealed astounding increases across the board over their old mobile site—40% in time spent, 50% in ad clickthroughs, and 60% in core engagements. Pinterest reduced the time to interaction from 23 seconds to 5.6 seconds.

Many experts believe PWAs are the definitive future of the mobile web. Back in 2017, Gartner predicted that by 2020 PWAs will account for 50% of all general-purpose consumer-facing mobile apps as PWAs are supported across the four major browsers—Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge.

AMP Yourself Up!

AMP is an open-source HTML framework that optimizes web pages, enabling them to be cached so they load much faster. The framework helps make websites more mobile- and user-friendly by stripping down a great deal of code bloat, delivering a no-frills experience that emphasizes site content. Google prioritizes AMP pages in mobile search results—however, this can drive traffic away from publishers’ completely owned and operated mobile websites.

Early on AMP presented challenges for publishers as a limited number of demand sources were integrated and ad formats were restricted to standardized units. The key to AMP is mastering its monetization, something that is possible with unlimited bidders in a server-side integration (more on that later).

  • In 2018, AMP made it easy to implement a header bidding wrapper for monetizing AMP traffic and the platform is currently supported by all major SSPs and exchanges.
  • AMP also supports a growing range of ad formats, including video ads, native, sticky ads, carousels, and lightboxes.
  • For publishers who rely more on subscription revenue than advertising revenue, the ability to integrate paywalls is also an option.
  • To receive the full benefit of AMP, which includes optimized ads and increased engagement, publishers need to adopt the AMP for Ads framework and take advantage of all the available ad tools.

Best of Both Worlds

Though it requires more dev work, combining PWA and AMP into a single mobile web delivery solution offers publishers the best capabilities in creating first-class, super speedy and engaging mobile websites. And you know what that means: more page views and more revenue. Many publishers report significantly increasing pageviews (some doubling overnight) and raising programmatic revenue by 10% and average revenue per user by 10% – 20%.

There’s no question that the first step you should take in optimizing your mobile web performance is delivering better site experiences through a combined PWA and AMP structure.

AdMonsters Playbook: Mastering the Mobile Web has a gameplan for maximizing your mobile web performance now before 5G shakes up the arena, but you’ll need your house in order for the chance that’s coming.

Download your copy of the Mastering the Mobile Web playbook now!