Getting Started with AMP, Accelerated Mobile PagesAMP Symbol

The Google-backed AMP Project was first introduced in 2015 to improve the performance of the mobile web.

The popularity of smartphones and tablets has changed the way consumers view content but with the huge variety of screen sizes of different devices, it has been a struggle to accurately display page content on different screens. The AMP project was brought about to solve this problem.

What is AMP?

AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Page, it speeds up the viewing process, so loading times are much quicker than pages which have been built using standard HTML (Hypertext Markup Language), a typical basis of web development.

How Do I Get AMP?

To take advantage of  accelerated mobile pages, your website needs to meet certain criteria set by Google. Once you’ve passed the criteria, your viewers will be able to access your web pages instantly via their mobiles. Your content will be specifically optimised for the mobile consumer.

To put in to perspective how much faster we mean, Jon Parise, Product Manager at Pinterest, commented, “In early tests, we found that AMP pages load four times faster and use eight times less data than traditional mobile-optimized pages”.

AMP is a ‘basic’ version of your site’s mobile pages; it displays the essential content and removes the elements that could potentially impact your page’s performance.

Why is AMP So Important?

There are more searches on mobile than on desktop, and over half of all web traffic comes from smartphones and tablets.

AMP ExampleChances are your audience are mobile users, and to maximise your publicity and effectiveness of your content, you need to be introducing AMP in to your business. According to HubSpot, your website needs to load in less than 1.5 seconds, so you don’t have a lot of time to play around with. AMP will get you closer to your goal of maximum of 1.5 second loading time.

Since accelerated mobile pages are all about improving the speed of your website, your SEO rankings will consequently improve, and you’ll be boosted up the ranks.

AMP pages have their own section on mobile SERP’s, just take a look at our example on the left. Accelerated mobile pages content typically appears close to the top of SERPS, search engine result pages, and can include imagery to grab attention.

Although not everyone knows about  accelerated mobile pages, they are indicated by a small icon with a lightning bolt (just below the company name), when users see the AMP logo they’ll be more likely to click on the article since it’ll load almost instantly.

The Advantages of Accelerated Mobile Pages

1. You’ll have a speedier website

As we’ve already mentioned, you’ll have no speed-sucking elements on your AMP, so mobile consumers can quickly access relevant information

2. Your SEO Ranking

It’s a win-win, faster loading times = better SEO ranking.

Checkout our blog posts about SEO to improve your ranking further;

3. Give Your Server a Break

AMP will reduce the strain on your server as Google will deliver the pages from its cache.

To learn all about caching, just check out yesterday’s blog post, “Beginner’s Guide to Caching Plugins for WordPress”

4. Feature in Google’s AMP Carousel

Give your content a visual-edge with Google’s AMP Carousel. Your content could appear in a display of multiple pages along a horizontal axis. Typically, this will include a title, when it was published and the company name. One things for sure, if your content appears on the carousel it’s a lot more attention grabbing that your standard title, link and meta description …

The Disadvantages of Accelerated Mobile Pages

As with anything technology related, there’s always a few downsides.

Do you want to depend on Google through cache? Your content is only AMP because it’s on Google’s server … you’re reliant on Google’s software.

Are you prepared to sacrifice easy-to-use Google Analytics? Although AMP is supported by Google Analytics, it can take a lot of time and expertise to replace a different tag (that you need) to collect and monitor data.

Do you really need AMP content? There’s plenty of other ways to cater to mobile consumers, like in our blog post, “7 Quick Tips for a Responsive Website”.

Should Your Business Use Accelerated Mobile Pages ?AMP Icon

AMP was initially a way to help news publishers, but it can still be useful for a range of different business types.

Anything from online clothing stores to bloggers can implement the AMP Project to increase their content awareness and cater to the mobile consumer by making their site mobile-friendly.

But, it might be beneficial to wait until you implement AMP. If you have a mobile-friendly site, you don’t necessarily need accelerated mobile pages to reach your target audience. AMP isn’t that commonly known, so there is still a chance if enough businesses aren’t implementing it, it could become failed technology.

In a blog post shared earlier this month, Malte Ubl, Tech Lead for the AMP Project at Google wrote, We now feel ready to take the next step and work to support more instant-loading content not based on AMP technology in areas of Google Search designed for this, like the Top Stories carousel.”

In a nutshell, it’s possible virtually any page could enjoy the benefits that AMP does; almost immediate loading, publicity on several platforms and a good placement on Google properties.

With this in mind, if you implement  accelerated mobile pages now your efforts could be wasted … especially if Google do go ahead and give all content the same privileges originally reserved for AMP. We’ll just have to see what happens.

Don’t Forget: Your Content Still Matters

Although faster loading times can lead to improved engagement, accelerated mobile pages are not magic. It doesn’t make your content more interesting or attention-keeping.

To help you kick-start your content, take a look at our previous blog posts;

Why not check out our Digital Marketing Terms Glossary?

About the author: 

Marie Harwood is a Digital Marketing Assistant at Different Gravy Digital, Hale, Cheshire.

Different Gravy Digital are a full service Digital Marketing Agency operating in the Hospitality & Leisure, Financial Services, Legal & Property sectors.  Products and services range from; 3D & 360° Tours, Website Design & Build, Social Media, Video Production, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Content Creation, Email Marketing, Online Feedback / Review Systems and Paid Advertising (Google, Bing and Social Media).

Contact Details:

0161 706 0004

120a Ashley Road, Hale, Altrincham, Cheshire, WA14 2UN