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AMP’d About Accelerated Mobile Pages

AMP’d About Accelerated Mobile Pages iMedia Editors

By Michael Bertini, Online Marketing Consultant and Search Strategist at iQuanti

You’ve heard about AMP, but its meaning perhaps alludes you. You’ve probably even seen the AMP stamp on your own mobile search results, but how can your business implement and leverage Google AMP to its fullest? What does implementing AMP mean in terms of cost and benefit? Is it just another complicated process, needing hours of development? Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about leveraging AMP for business.

What is AMP?

Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMP, is Google’s standardization of a mobile page’s structure to promote extremely quick load times. It provides a way to build a web page that features static content in a manner that loads expeditiously. The system is comprised of 3 main aspects:

  1. AMP HTML – a restrictive code to guarantee reliability
  2. AMP JS – to ensure speedy rendering
  3. Google AMP Cache - to serves up pages faster

What are the benefits of AMP?

Why should you leverage AMP over redesigning a desktop website into a mobile only site, or creating responsive pages or a fully responsive site? Firstly, having AMP is much more cost effective than redesigning pages or an entire site to load more quickly. Users do not necessarily require the same experience as desktop, and AMP provides the means to get the content they want quickly and efficiently. Additionally, developers are costly - especially ones that could get you speed benefits from cleaning up and reducing the amount of HTML needed to run a task.

Another benefit comes from a recent change to AMP: smart ads. This is a feature that allows you to monetize the page. Think about it this way… non-AMP pages take several seconds to load which causes users to bounce increasing your bounce rate. These users also never click the ads which means you lose free money. This is something that can be reduced simply by introducing AMP.

Lastly, we expect the AMP badge will lead to an improved CTR (Click-Through-Rate) as users begin to recognize these fast-loading offerings and the AMP logo.

All in all, these improvements will mean traffic due to a number of factors. Speed is a major factor in mobile ranking. When users abandon a page when it fails to load in 3 secs or less, there is no doubt you want to expedite delivery as much as Google does. Lightning fast page loads are essential to successful mobile presence. If the user can’t get the information they want as quickly as they want it, you’ll lose users. You can accomplish this swiftly and seamlessly with AMP.

What’s the best way to implement AMP across my site?

We recommend that you slowly implement AMP across pages, testing sections that are content heavy and informative. Check your site for AMP errors, any errors will cause pages not to show in the search results. In their words​, “The key strength of AMP isn’t just that it makes your pages fast, but that it makes your pages fast in a way that can be validated.” Leverage the Google AMP validator to work through your errors.

Get started with your first AMP page. Simply create an AMP HTML page, pick an image, modify presentation and layout, then preview & validate.

What if you already have a CMS in place, like WordPress?

WordPress offers a plethora of options for working with your site to make it more accessible on mobile, but it can result in heavyweight pages with slow load times that can be detrimental to ranking. AMP could be implemented easily on many Content Management Systems (CMS). Take your WordPress site as an example; a simple AMP plugin is all that is required to get you up and running. Although, keep in mind, certain platforms will require a custom development to display content properly.

How do you implement AMP across a site that uses a lot of JavaScript?

The last few years the use of JavaScript has gone through the roof! Everyone seems to be looking for a programmer to make their website do something “illustrative”. Illustrative will give way to motion, which will borrow its fundamental elements from real-world forces like gravity and friction. Google Material’s design philosophy seeks to “develop a single underlying system that allows for a unified experience across platforms and device sizes.” Within that system, elements will move as if physically derived, playing to the user’s intuition. What we are going to see this year and the years to come is a decline in JavaScript (JS) on mobile devices. What does that mean for you? Stop using so much 3rd party JS and start using mobile friendly code and tags inspired by Google’s favored designed philosophy.

The Bottom Line

Mobile is the future, and thus AMP is the future. The fact that Google has now moved to a “mobile first indexing” tells us, Google is seeing the current trends and potential in mobile more so than desktop. Sure - desktop still holds its own, but having implemented AMP into your site will help show Google that mobile also plays a big role in your brand, which in return Google will give you favor for.

iMedia Communications, Inc. is a trade publisher and event producer serving interactive media and marketing industries. The company was founded in September of 2001 and is a subsidiary of Comexposium USA.  ...

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