Introduced in 2016 as Google’s response to other mobile publishing platforms like Apple News and Facebook Instant Articles, Google’s AMP (short for Accelerated Mobile Pages) began to spark interest amongst online retailers across industries.
In hospitality, some website developers have been trying to convince hoteliers that they need to have AMP version of their website.
What is Google AMP? It is an open platform with the sole objective to help publishers create mobile content (articles and commentary, quick opinion postings, etc.) that download fast on mobile and other devices.
AMPs are characterized with stripped down mostly textual content and simple, no-clutter page layouts, and are hosted by Google, which at least in theory ensures fast downloads. Google has restrictions on what type of content can be included on AMPs, utilizes special HTML and coding, and allows only very basic styling (read: Design) of the page.
What should hoteliers do about Google AMPs?
It is immediately clear that AMP pages feature simple, textual/blog-like page layout with stripped-down content. Obviously, the mere objective of the hotel website as the main “digital face” of the hotel and its product and services, and the main direct booking source for the property, goes beyond what an AMP layout can offer.
Today’s hotel planning and booking customer journey is becoming increasingly complex in this multi-device, multi-channel and multi-touch point environment we operate in. On average, the travel consumer goes through 19 different touchpoints before making booking (Google Research). Each one of these touchpoints presents an opportunity for the hotel to build a brand connection, influence intent, and be there for every step of the way. Nine out of ten people are “cross-device” Internet browsers and researchers, using multiple devices sequentially (mobile, desktop, laptop, tablet, wearable devices, etc.) and moving from one device to another at different times.