Competitive Analysis

Company: The Economist Group

Objective: Determine AMP page value and best practices

An AMP page (Accelerated Mobile Page) is a near instant loaded page for mobile browsers. Our goal was to validate that it was worth building, and at low cost and effort.


  • Identified 40+ competitors who had AMP pages by searching google.
  • Determine conversion model from AMP page to paywall (user flow)
  • Assess amp landscape for potential risks or advantages
  • Provide best practices and UX recommendations


  • Non-subscribers who search google for news on their mobile device(key terms: brexit, trump)

Check out the prototype here!

Conversion Funnel 

As research lead I wanted to understand the landscape of amp pages and how they were viewed. The goal was to go broad to see how google served up search results and prioritized amp. Amp pages immediately surfaced at the top of the results and were also prioritized in top stories. By not having an amp page the visibility of relevant articles drops significantly and users or potential subscribers


  • Majority of news outlets and other media have amp pages.
  • Of the amp pages only some hide premium content behind paywall.
  • Of the ones with paywall, only one has a benefit to registering. (free premium article)

User Flow

Analysis and Best Practices

I did a deep dive to understand how our competitors structured their pages. I also wanted to analyze the logic behind paywall triggering, number of free articles, and structure of amp pages in comparison to normal mobile web pages.

AMP page anatomy

After looking at 43 competitors we noticed patterns emerge in each AMP page. Here is a the breakdown of components and features found in these pages. 

  • Headers/ Footers (stripped down)
  • Ads
  • Images/video 1-3 (embedded)
  • Share Icons
  • Article body
  • Content links to mobile articles

The AMP article has CTAs that will push users to the mobile content where the metering is triggered. Our goal was to get users to see value in The Economist content so that they would be more likely to subscribe.

Risks and Recommendations

Potential risks

  • Traffic loss - Not appearing on “top stories” widget of search results and losing significant visibilty.
  • High bounce rate - As instant loading becomes the norm, users are less likely to wait for even reasonable load times


  • Remove navigation from header

  • Reduce number of image/ads

  • Keep share icons (end of article)

  • Reduce the amount of content links at end of article

  • Reduce footer link to essentials

  • Fullscreen paywall with same rules

Value Proposition

The AMP version of the mobile pages is virtually the same in look and feel. We can maintain the same reading experience while optimizing the page load time and create more visibilty for non subscribers and new users who are unfamiliar with Economist content.

Check out the prototype here!