What AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) Can Do For Your Site
We carry computers in our pockets that are millions of times more advanced than the computers NASA used in the 60’s. We can use them to provide us with information on demand anywhere and anytime but is that working as good as it sounds?
Well not exactly. In fact the convenience and performance we could have is still being restricted by the way web pages are developed. Mobile optimized websites have provided more and more useful interfaces and have been considered as future proof designs but that is a thing of the past.
Having a website optimized for mobile is an integral part of any website’s design. It’s a must have. Everyone wants to leverage the massive amounts of traffic that mobile users can provide.
Still, things aren’t working as well as they could be. Our mobiles are able provide information on demand but sadly, so many websites respond incredibly slowly. Add a burdensome mobile design to the mix and browsing can be a real pain in the bum. Mobile experience is very restricted in its current state.
That is why Google has started a combined effort with publishers, developers and other technology companies to improve mobile experience on the Internet. Focusing more on the improvement of mobile-web performance makes a lot of sense. Google works to provide the best platform for content discovery.
So, What is AMP?
Accelerated Mobile Pages are webpages that are coded with stripped-down HTML that spares unnecessary HTTP requests and everything that would make loading speeds slower by even a second. This coding language has been named AMP HTML, which is basically coded with a restricted version of HTML. AMP pages load what is absolutely necessary which makes them incredibly fast. Websites like these can’t take up more than a few hundred kilobytes.
After Google crawled and indexed them, it places them into a special AMP to ensure that they load at maximum speed. AMP pages are designed for reliability and speed, so they are much lighter and faster.
A fast and optimized mobile experience shouldn’t be a quality of only a small number of content creators and publishers; it should be accessible all over the web. This way, everyone can get their hands on useful and interesting content very fast.
The primary aim of the Accelerated Mobile Pages is to make webpages load instantly. This will turn mobile experience into what it should be. Since the project started, more than 600 million AMP documents have been created in 104 languages all over the world.
- The key difference between AMP and non-AMP pages is that everything is stripped down.
- You must use a streamlined version of CSS.
The Benefits of AMP
Here are some of the most important benefits that AMP will provide to both publishers and readers. Untrained eyes won’t see the differences between an AMP and a non-AMP page instantly. Yes, pages load a lot faster and there are much less page requests and loading the site takes about a second, but there are other changes as well.
Content creators and publishing sites will benefit the most from AMP. Online businesses or a number of other websites will most likely be stripped of their original design, so changing to AMP isn’t necessarily the best thing you could do. But if you’re running a WordPress site, you can easily implement AMP in 5 minutes or less, simply by installing the AMP WordPress plugin.
These are some of the changes that AMP will bring to your website.
AMP Pages Will Load Faster
The Accelerated Mobile Pages project aims to bring lightning speed browsing to users’ mobile devices. This is possible with using a bare bone version of a website with cached resources. An AMP webpage loads 4 times faster than an average webpage, taking less than a second.
Lower Data Consumption
Bandwidth will be much less of a problem for webmasters. AMP pages use 10x less data than normal webpages.
The more we can track our users’ behavior, the better we can optimize our websites. That is why AMP provides data such as the number of visitors, new and returning, video link tracking, clicks or conversions and so on.
Better User Experience
Speed is an essential aspect of a good UX. Being able to load webpages in an instant will increase user engagement. About 30% percent of users expect websites to load in less than a second and while people might be forgiving, about 75% are going to close the page or click away if the site takes more than 5 seconds to load completely.
AMP articles will be marked with an AMP symbol in Google search results and they will load instantaneously when they click it.
Better Search Engine Ranks
Google has been favoring responsive websites and loading speeds for some years now. AMP hasn’t been made into a ranking factor yet, but it makes your website more mobile friendly and boosts its loading speed which will eventually put it on a better place in SERPs. So AMP websites will definitely be rewarded with a higher rank than slower sites.
The AMP project aims to deliver ads and simultaneously make sure that the content looks good and is attractive for users.
How Does it Work?
As I mentioned AMP aims to make the code as bare bone as possible. It consists of the following:
AMP HTML – is a stripped down version of HTML. It has many restrictions and uses some tags and properties that are unique to it. Those who know how to use HTML will easily understand how it works and will easily convert their pages to AMP HTML.
AMP CDN – A Content Delivery Network will cache your AMP-enabled pages and help them load faster. It is done automatically by Google once your website has been crawled and indexed.
CSS – AMP webpages are styled with CSS, but no external style sheets can be referenced. You can’t use a number of styles either because they would lower performance. That is why styles are in the head of a document.
AMP implements a number of special elements for handling multimedia content. You’ll have to include the amp-img element when you’re adding images and must add an explicit width and height to it.
Animated GIFs can be used with the amp-anim component and videos can be implemented with amp-video. If you want to implement a YouTube video, you can do it with the amp-youtube extended component. You can check all of the extended components at the official website.
If you want to implement AMP into your non-WordPress site, you can follow the guide provided on AMP project’s official page.
Monetizing your AMP webpage is also done easily because it is compatible with some of the most popular Ad Networks such as:
- Google AdSense
- AOL AdTech
- Google Doubleclick
- Smart AdServer
Tracking your users is also pretty simple; you can keep track of where your users came from and which pages they viewed. AMP has some great analytical tools that let you study just about every aspect of your AMP website. You can easily track and influence your users’ behavior.
Right now, implementing AMP into your website is still a choice. Doing so might take your website’s essential design away and you might have to rethink the style you’re using. AMP is one of the best technologies for creating the ultimate mobile-friendly webpages that load instantly.
WordPress publishers can implement AMP easily and provide a much more efficient mobile experience to their users. It will probably improve your search rankings one way or another. Google hasn’t declared it as an individual ranking factor but they might do so in the future, considering that the mobile-first index is on the way. Accelerated Mobile Pages will also have a great influence on social media mobile interactions as well.
Upgrading your webpage’s speed with AMP will also provide better visibility for your site as Google stated that they will be displaying AMP results in their organic listings. Search results will display an AMP logo and clicking on it will provide content for your users at a blazing speed. This will definitely affect search engine rankings and increase traffic as well. Users will be happy with your fast loading sites.
Some people would argue against implementing AMP, while others think that it is a future-proof solution, which side are you on?
I hope that you’ve enjoyed reading through this article and that you found a lot of useful information!