What are Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) & Why Should You Have Them?
Smartphones and tablets have revolutionized the way we access information. About 80% of internet users now own a smartphone and 48% of consumers start mobile research with a search engine. If that’s not enough of a reason to focus your brand on mobile optimization, the fact that 91% of mobile users say access to content is very important should be. Your mobile site should make it as easy as possible for your potential customers to access your content. That’s where Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) come into play.
AMP is a Google-backed open source initiative designed to dramatically improve the performance of the mobile web. It was built to minimize the long load time of web pages and subsequently improve the user experience and increase revenue for publishers at the same time. Web pages with rich content such as video, animations and graphics now work alongside smart ads to load instantaneously. It’s a game changer for big publishers and small-time guys alike. And because 83% of mobile users demand a seamless experience across all devices, AMP pages rely on a new open HTML framework built entirely out of existing web technologies. It’s the same code that works across multiple platforms and devices so regardless of the type of phone, tablet or mobile device you’re using, users see content in lightweight web pages at lightning speed.
How does AMP work?
Accelerated Mobile Pages are just like any other HTML page but enhanced through various technical and architectural approaches that prioritize speed to provide a faster user experience. It’s essentially a framework built on 3 core components:
- AMP HTML – a subset of HTML with some custom tags and properties and many restrictions
- AMP CDN – a Content Delivery Network
Another important feature is the Google AMP Cache which caches AMP files in the cloud in order to reduce the time content takes to get to a user’s mobile device. By using this combined framework of limited technical functionality with a distribution system, content producers are making the content in AMP files available to be cached by third parties which allows publishers to remain in control of their content while delivering optimal delivery speed to users in various platforms.
Who is it for?
AMP is an open source framework available to all players in the ecosystem – publishers, consumer platforms and content creators. From big companies such as Twitter, Pinterest, WordPress.com, Chartbeat, Adobe and LinkedIn to much smaller companies, everyone can benefit from the AMP.
Why do I need them?
There are a few reasons why you should implement AMP. The first is speed. Nowadays, consumers demand a lot of information and they demand it now. Speed is such an integral part of a user flow that nearly 40% of users will abandon a web page if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. The numbers are even more difficult to fathom if you’re a retailer. An e-commerce website making $100,000 a day could potentially lose out on $2.5 million a year! A fast site not only means a better use experience and happy customer, but also a stronger ranking in Google.
It’s important to note that AMP pages in organic mobile search results do not receive an additional ranking boost. Because AMP pages by default are mobile friendly, they receive the same type of ranking. However, there are indirect ranking benefits. For one, if you have a mobile or desktop page and an AMP version, Google will automatically show the AMP version in a SERP. Second, Google is currently holding the AMP News carousel above-the-fold on mobile. As a result, any organic search results get pushed down. So if you’re not building AMP versions of your content, you’re most likely going to see a drop in clicks, impressions and user engagement. Third, as consumers become more and more knowledgeable and aware of AMPs, they will seek them out in their search results which could affect your clickthrough rates.
As a publisher or content creator, it’s important you keep up to date with Google features and product releases, especially as the world becomes more and more mobile-first dependent. Because 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing and 40% of which will visit a competitor’s site instead, it’s crucial you stay on top of the mobile game and capture your consumers before your competitor does.