It’s no secret that mobile marketing and having a strong mobile presence is important for businesses. No matter what industry or what size company, there is no denying the fact that more and more and people are utilizing mobile for search (and if you don’t believe me, check out this post we wrote covering some of the most staggering mobile statistics). However, what sometimes companies do tend to forget is that with mobile comes the need for speed. Mobile consumers want things fast, and not all companies have been able to make that happen. If a webpage takes too long to load, especially on mobile, you’re going to lose those searchers.
So what’s the solution? Of course there are great tools out there like Google’s PageSpeed Insights Tool that can help give you tips on where your load time needs to improve and what you need to do to get it there; however this doesn’t change the fact that rich content—videos, graphics, animations, etc.—naturally slows down your website. It was therefore up to Google to create a solution for this problem on their search engine, and they did that with the introduction of Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMP.
What are AMPs, or Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages?
As discussed above, AMPs help improve the speed of mobile pages; particularly those that want to include rich content like graphics and videos. While it’s true that you can currently offer video, the problem was that it would take too long to load and then people would click off of the mobile page. According to the AMP website, there is a 58% drop off for pages that take 10 seconds to load.
AMPs make sure that the same code works across all devices so that no matter what device a consumer is using they are able to see all content almost instantly. The official announcement for AMPs on October 7 of last year, 2015, added,
The project relies on AMP HTML, a new open framework built entirely out of existing web technologies, which allows websites to build lightweight webpages. Over time we anticipate that other Google products such as Google News will also integrate AMP HTML pages.
It’s also worth noting that AMP HTML is built on existing web technologies, not a template based system. This means that as a publisher you can host your own content and you have some flexibility when it comes to your architecture and structure. Pages are published to your site like normal; they are just accelerated via caches created by Google. You also have full support from Google Analytics. Below is a screenshot example of a few webpages. You’ll see what an AMP result looks like on the left, and what it looks like on Android when it’s not a part of Google’s AMP HTML:
Some of the first publishers involved in the new AMP open framework are Twitter, WordPress.com, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Adobe Analytics, but it is now available to all publishers (more on this in the last section).
6 Affects AMP Can Have on Your Business
- User experience will improve. This is not only because things load quickly, but businesses will be more able to publish rich content.
- Your traffic will improve. If mobile pages are loading fast then, in theory, that will decrease the urge for users to click off the page.
- You’ll have a stronger and larger reach. You can distribute content quickly all around the world because of Google’s new approach to high performance global caching. Because publishers are able to host their own content, this is a crucial feature for businesses. The cache servers can be used by anyone, free of charge.
- Your advertising won’t change. You will still maintain your choice of ad networks using AMP HTML, and the project will help make sure that the ads all comply with these new speed wishes.
- Organic results are now pushed below the fold. The AMP module will appear at the top of a SERP, which means that even if you have a number one ranking in organic, your result will be pushed down if you don’t opt-in to AMP.
- Traffic will increase for short-tail terms. According to a Search Engine Watch article, short tail terms are where the AMP module is most likely to be activated. You will therefore see improvements in traffic for these terms if you’ve opted into AMP.
To get started with AMP pages, visit the official AMP Project website for technical introductions, a tutorial to learn how to create a basic AMP HTML page and then get it ready for publication, or even take a look at some sample AMP HTML code.
If you run a small website, it could be as easy installing the AMP plugin to your WordPress website. Large websites will have to integrate the framework into their current management technology, so it’s a good idea to visit the AMP Project website to learn the specifics.
In the end, there isn’t much of a reason why you wouldn’t want to get involved in AMPs (but a few reasons you may want to opt out are outlined here). Give them a try and let us know what data you’ve found and changes you’ve seen in the comment section below.