A Beginners Guide to Accelerated Mobile Pages

Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMP for short, is a hot topic within the marketing world right now. This project from Google is their attempt to make the entire internet faster and more responsive for their users. If you want to get to grips with the concept and learn why it’s so popular, then look no further than our beginners guide.

What is AMP?

Let’s start with the simplest question to answer. AMP started as an open source project provided by Google. They’ve partnered with the likes of WordPress, LinkedIn, Twitter and all the big players in the marketing world to get this project off the ground.

The aim of the project is to give webmasters the tools that they need to create instantly loading pages. These are then verified by Google and shown in a carousel above other articles. This is because Google can guarantee that they will load quickly and in some cases already be cached in case of loss of connectivity.

These pages load much faster and use a lot less data, which is ideal for mobile users. For these reasons, Google can even prioritise them over regular posts to improve their user experience.

What are the Benefits of Integrating AMP?

Google has come out and said that using AMP won’t affect your rankings, but there’s more to this statement than meets the eye. We do know that speed is a ranking factor overall and a mobile friendly experience will affect these rankings too. These are incredibly highly weighted ranking factors, which mean that they are some of the most influential.

Implementing Accelerated Mobile Pages means that your site loads quickly and offers a better mobile experience. This means that it’s safe to say that it can have an effect on your ranking, though not always in the most direct way.

We also have the perk of increased visibility when we use these pages, as they can be featured in the carousel at the top of the page. This can lead to a much higher click through, as the thumbnails are larger and the content can be more engaging. We’re likely to see this click through increase as time goes on and as users are more aware of what that little lightning bolt means.

Within the AI that Google uses, there is an algorithm to predict the bounce rates that will be likely on mobile devices. This looks at 93 different metrics to decide what your user will be likely to do when they get on your site. Within these metrics, page speed and optimisation features heavily, with these both being a major factor as to whether your user will bounce off to another page or not.

How does AMP differ from Regular Pages?

If your site is using a responsive design, then Google reports that this has a 20 second median load time. If you’re using AMP, then this median load time is reduced to less than a second, according to data from Google.

When you validate your AMP URL with Google, then they cache this information. This means that they already have a copy of your page in their search engine and when the user request it, they can deliver this copy in record time.

If you’re advertising through PPC, then it’s a good idea to serve up an AMP landing page. This loads faster and can even get you more results for your money, as it can potentially lower the cost per click.

Average Website Loading Speeds

Ideally, your website should load in less than 3 seconds for the best chance of success. This is statistically the cut-off point at which users will tend to give up on a site and bounce back off. 53% of visitors will be likely to abandon a page if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. 50% of those surveyed by Google also added that they’d expect for a page to be fully loaded in less than 2 seconds.

There are other improvements that can be made to your page speed for non AMP areas of the site. These can include lazy loading, in which certain elements don’t actually load until they are needed, prerendering, using inline stylesheets and loading JavaScript files asynchronously.

The page speed insights tool from Google is a great way to identify problem areas of your site that could use a tune up.

If you’re finding that your website has a high bounce rate or perhaps isn’t as visible as you’d like, then get in touch with us for help. We can integrate AMP technology and also help you create a much more engaging site. This will help you rank better on search engines and create a much better user experience.

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