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Can this new open source technology improve customer conversions from your bank’s mobile site?

The average mobile page loads in 19 seconds: An eternity if you’re a potential customer looking for quick information. In fact, most users abandon a website after only three seconds of waiting.

The speed at which your bank’s mobile site loads can cost you—both website visitors and potential customer conversions. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs) may help solve this common (and costly) pain point. A new solution recently created by Google engineers as an open source project, AMPs can load content on mobile devices almost instantly. By bringing important information to the forefront and improving the overall user experience, AMPs can strengthen online conversion rates for your financial institution.

Mobile use by consumers is rapidly growing.

Just in the past five years, the ways that Americans access the Internet have changed greatly. Desktops and laptops have taken a backseat to smartphones, tablets, phablets, and other mobile devices for web browsing and content consumption. In fact, a mobile device is the only way more than 31 million Americans access the web—a number that’s expected to grow to 41 million by 2020.

As mobile devices continue to become more sophisticated and pervasive, a mobile-first way of thinking is integral from a competitive standpoint. Banks that treat the desktop experience as the first online interaction for potential customers are misaligned with current web user behavior and trends.

With the uncontested rise in popularity of mobile-based web browsing, a glaring issue remains: How to best deliver content to users on mobile devices? A bank’s mobile-friendly website with a swift responsive design still might not be enough to attract and retain potential customers looking for banking information and products.

That’s where AMPs come in. AMPs seek to minimize user frustration by presenting pared-down web pages without pop-ups, videos, side menus, forms, or other add-ons, which muddle the experience.

AMP is a great fit for financial services.

While the AMP format has been readily adopted by traditional content publishers, it’s also a natural fit for the financial industry.

The first step in analyzing your current website is to ask: Which pages, featuring static, evergreen content, are most frequented by potential and existing customers? This question can be best answered through the analytics program you use to track actions on your website.

With AMP-ready content identified, task your web development team, whether in-house or external, to create AMP versions of those pages—which may take them a little more time—or to create an entire website based on AMP technology. Popular banking content may include rates, account details or financial education information.

Remember, the primary objective of these pages is to be fast-loading, not to offer the traditional full desktop experience. AMPs typically have a streamlined look and feel compared to their desktop counterparts without custom site styling, such as sidebars and widgets. Other key features—including forms and video—remain intact.

The cascading benefits of acceleration.

Utilizing AMPs for your website leads to other benefits, including higher search engine rankings and more potential customer conversions on your site. AMPs are showcased above the standard search results, with a distinctive “AMP” icon that dominates the top of the mobile viewport. They’re the first results search engine users see—and are, therefore, more likely to click on (rather than scrolling down the page).

This means more visitors, a better user experience, and a higher likelihood that a visitor will take action, whether it’s a phone call about applying for a mortgage, a completed credit card application or a request for more information.

Bank websites that implement AMPs now can get a jump-start on competitors who are slow to adopt this new web-browsing format. Create AMPs of your bank’s most frequently consumed content—and turn casual browsers into loyal customers.

(This article originally appeared in the January 2017 issue of ABA Bank Marketing and is reprinted here with permission.)

Eva LaMere
Known for her boundless energy and relentless pursuit of perfection, Eva believes the client relationship is paramount. Her inability to be 100% satisfied is contagious (well, almost...).

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