AMP pages feature a lightning-bolt badge, which is displayed to users in organic search results. The badge identifies and distinguishes fast-performing pages — a total SEO carrot from Google. But do users recognize the correlation that the AMP badge is a symbol of greater performance? We investigated Click-Through Rate (CTR) by position to investigate the impact of the AMP badge on user behavior.
Since WompMobile started building AMP pages — now surpassing 40-million pages — we’ve worked to highlight what kind of performance improvements we see. We’ve investigated positional improvements, query set growth, and even worked with Stone Temple on a comprehensive study of AMP performance.
We’ve measured clear improvements in most metrics — and while we saw CTR improvements — we weren’t sure if it was due to better position or other factors. So, rather than look at an aggregate shift in CTR or match against queries before and after launch, we decided to look at CTR by position. That is, will an AMP page at position 1 have a better CTR than a non-AMP at position 1.
Users recognize the AMP Badge and click on AMP pages 11% more often.
We combined client-query performance, isolating AMP and non-AMP performance, and broke down the average CTR for each position in Google Search, up to 12. This covers 4.5 million queries spanning 54 clients from publishers and retailers to everything in between. We found that, for top positions, AMP provided a significant CTR boost over non-AMP.
Some additional things we noticed:
- Position 1 for AMP had, on average, a 11% boost in CTR compared to non-AMP
- For positions 1-7, 60-88% of clients saw a better AMP CTR than non-AMP
- For positions 8-12, half of our clients saw a better AMP CTR than non-AMP
- For positions 8-12, there was minimal difference between AMP and non-AMP CTR
Cool chart. What does this mean?
The jump in CTR for an AMP page is likely due to the AMP lightning-bolt icon being a strong identifier of fast-page performance for searchers. That is, when given the choice between an unknown mobile experience and a known fast experience, users will choose speed. In short, brand awareness of the AMP badge has grown and users reward fast, great mobile experiences by clicking on these sites more often.,
AMP CTRs for positions 8-12 being closely aligned with non-AMP made sense. When a user makes a search on Google, everything on page one is given an impression. If the user finds the right result in positions 1-5, they likely won’t even see those bottom results, but they’ll still receive an impression.
We have seen cases were the average CTR will go down after launching AMP, while total clicks increase. This is caused by AMP is surfacing on new keywords, in a lower position on page one. Those new keywords lower the average masking the improvements from top-ranked keywords.
Using the Search Console API, we downloaded full query sets for 30 days before and after AMP launch. We then bucketed queries into positional ranges:
|Low Range||High Range||Position|
From the bucketed data, we summed ranges and divided clicks by impressions to get the CTR per position, per client. Then we averaged those values. This meant each site was weighted equally, so a small retailer getting a few thousand clicks a month has the same impact on the average as a massive publisher getting millions of clicks a week.
As we gathered and calculated the data, we attempted different weighing methods to eliminate potential outlier effects. For the most part, the graphs all ended up tracking closely, with AMP outperforming non-AMP by a significant margin for positions 1-4. We attempted other methods to normalize the data, and found similar results for each method.
Here is a table version of the chart above.
|Position||Pre-AMP CTR||AMP CTR||Non-AMP CTR|