Everything You Need to Know About AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)
Often times you come across a symbol just beside your search results whenever you run a cursory search on your mobile phone. Ever wondered what that is or should your site even have it? Well, that my friend is an AMP or Accelerated Mobile Pages.
What is AMP?
For those of you who are unfamiliar, AMP is an open-source project from Google that helps facilitate the creation of really fast-loading mobile pages. Though this program was initiated by Google, it is not owned by Google but share a wide range of supporters such as Bing, Pinterest, Twitter etc.
How AMP works?
AMP usually works by stripping away a large portion of the webpage’s original content (that is being searched by the user) in order to optimize the page for mobile viewing. As a result, there is literally no time gap between jumping from the search page to the webpage. It is because of these similarities in the working process that some even claim that AMP is a direct response to Facebook’s instant articles from Google for providing its followers a platform to read articles quickly without leaving the Facebook page.
What can AMP do for your business?
Have you ever tried loading your site on mobile? What a silly question, of course, you have but are you really happy with the loading speed? My guess is, you aren’t. And why would you? Loading a site on desktop takes an ample amount of time even with a fast internet connection but loading a site in mobile on simple data plans? I know, it drives me crazy too.
So, now you know why AMP is important for your business website, still not sure? Maybe this will help you convince.
- It’s super-fast, though it may force you to delete certain codes along with implementing some specific development practices to help you achieve that speed.
- We all know how the speed of a site helps in determining the ranking factor, so if your pages are AMP-lified, they have a much better chance of ranking higher in Google mobile search results. It will go a long way in improving the SEO efforts of a website.
- If your site loads faster than the competitors’, visitors are more likely to come often to your site along with prolonging their stays and leaving you with a better chance to make the sale.
- Even the major non-Google sites such as Bing, twitter etc. are starting to show AMP version of pages in their search results whenever available.
Since we are talking about AMPs in general, it would be wrong to mention only its benefits without referring to its drawbacks, however few they may be.
- AMP projects support ads too though it is not at all advisable to implement ads on AMP run pages as it will severely limit the potential to bring in revenue.
- AMP also supports Google Analytics but implementing it on AMP run pages requires a different tag which, in turn, takes a lot of time to collect and analyze data.
AMP-lifying your website will require you to develop a new mobile theme for that site, if not, at least make your existing theme AMP-compatible.
There’s another major drawback to integrating an AMP strategy, as you know it requires you to strip down the HTML, further affecting the styling and the webmaster’s ability to incorporate branding into the web pages and as a result, can make your AMP pages look ugly, I mean really ugly.
But the important thing is, if you possess the time and resources to properly implement AMP strategy (including setting up attribution and customizing it correctly), then there is simply no reason left not to go on with it.
What to expect from AMP in 2018?
As we move further into 2018, Google too has been slowly and steadily furthering and expanding the reach of AMP. Where earlier, it was only restricted to recipe articles, news, how-to content, posts etc., nowadays, apart from superfast loading speed, lighter and faster versions of ads are available (all thanks to the integration of AMP into ad formats). But that’s not all, let’s see what 2018 has brought for us-
- Google has integrated ‘AMP stories’ (fancy way of storytelling keeping mobile in mind) into SERP (Search Engine Result Pages).
- Now, traffic from AMP pages can be displayed as ‘organic search traffic’ in analytics tool, rather than referral traffic, as in past.
- As I mentioned earlier, AMP pages, though fast, were often ugly looking but with the help of new customization options and some added functionality, pages look a lot better.
- Google is also working on displaying publisher’s URL instead of Google’s URL in the search results.
- Google has also introduced AMP framework for email which will be available to all users by the end of this year.
Ok, that was everything you need to know about AMP and whether or not its suitable for your site. But remember what I said earlier, if you have the time and resources, then there’s simply no reason left not to do it. Also, it may not be around forever but as long as it is, it only makes perfect sense to reap the benefits it has to offer while you still can.