What is AMP and why you should be using it

Accelerated mobile pages or AMP for short is a Google initiative to make mobile pages load faster. 73% of web pages take over 10 seconds to load on mobile and 53% of users abandon a webpage if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. We have previously mentioned how to optimise your website to reduce load times.

In the grand scheme of things, your overall SEO should improve considering load times are a factor that Google considers when ranking your webpage. AMP should not be confused with optimising your webpage for mobile. When you optimise your webpage for mobile, you are essentially putting in place parameters to ensure that your webpage will fit nicely on a mobile screen without requiring your users to zoom in. AMP, however, makes your web pages load much faster by using specific tools.

Technical details

AMP uses a streamlined version of HTML that removes the things that take too much time to load. This removes certain features such as forms. It also requires the use of a streamlined CSS with a JavaScript provided that includes lazy loading. Lazy loading basically loads the things that are most important first. Heavier elements that slow down overall load times such as images are only loaded when the user scrolls to them. AMP pages are heavily cached so that users do not need to request for information every time they visit a page.

Search engine

As of now, AMP is best viewed on your mobile devices. Websites with AMP content appear with an amp logo. You can view a demo of these by visiting this website on your mobile device g.co/ampdemo and searching for anything. This does not mean that your pages are ranked better if you have AMP enabled pages. However, it is a good indication that AMP pages are going to do much better. The idea of using AMP is for pure article reading. When you visit a news webpage, it is sometimes loaded with display ads that make the webpage load slower. However, with AMP, timings are reduced significantly. Essentially, the faster your pages are able to load, the more your users are going to be able to consume content and the better your rankings are going to be.

Preparing

Although this initiative was introduced in 2015, many websites have not adopted AMP yet. Webmasters who build AMP pages can now test it out. There is a validation tool on the AMP website that you can use in order to find any problems. CMSs like WordPress have tools inbuilt that can help you make your webpage an AMP page. An example of how an AMP page will look like is to look at any of the guardian’s posts. Simply add /amp at the back of any post and you will be able to see the AMP version of the page. Notice how much faster it loads. AMP pages also work with some analytics platforms to give you information of how it is faring.

There are currently over 150 million AMP pages in the Google database with 4 million added in every week. In 2018, more websites are expected to use AMP to build their web pages. If you want your content to be consumed much easier for your audience, you should consider AMP. Contact us today to talk about how we can help you build your website with AMP in mind.

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