AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) for regular people.

Jay Holtslander

What it is.

AMP is a new type of webpage code championed by Google, Bing, and other search providers that allow pages written in AMP to load in approximately one second or less. This makes for a very good user experience for your site’s visitors and makes Google happy.

AMP pages are alternate versions of your regular non-amp pages that are used instead of the slower regular website’s version of the page when a visitor is on a phone or mobile device.

Example: The AMP version of this post is here and the regular version is here.

AMP gets it’s amazing speed in two ways.

  1. By being much more bare bones that a typical website page.
  2. Some behind-the-scenes technical voodoo magic. (Caching by CDNs like Google or Cloudflare. Learn more.)

Why?

In short, the internet is too slow. Everyone loves bells and whistles on their websites but the more bells and whistles you add, the more your site slows down. The slower a website is, the worse it is for both the site owner, and the site visitor.

The days of people expecting a site to load in 6 seconds or less are over. Today’s internet user expects a website to be loaded and usable in 1-3 seconds.

Now remember that most users are on their phones these days and those phones have slower internet connections than computers do. Thus, the reason why AMP pages are a good thing.

Further, there are indications that Google is rewarding websites that have fast load times with better page rank over sites with slower load times (see the speed related articles below). Again… AMP = good. You can check out the full list of Benefits below.

Facts

Benefits

Publishers, and Ecommerce sites probably benefit the most from AMP but making content more accessible to visitors is always a priority. Having your web pages load in the shortest possible time should be one of your top goals for both UX (user experience) and SEO (search engine optimization).

  • Better Page Rank. An AMP page will rank higher than a non AMP page.
  • Eligible for highly prominent positioning within an Google’s AMP carousel that appears in search result pages.
  • Eligible for Google Assistant features.
  • 10% more time on-site for AMP visitors over regular pages.
  • Lower bounce rate i.e., fewer visitors landing on your site and leaving right away out of frustration over load time waits.
  • Better Ad conversion
  • Slate saw a 44% increase in monthly unique visitors and a 73% increase in visits per monthly unique visitor
  • Gizmodo saw a 50% increase in impressions. And 80% of Gizmodo’s traffic from AMP pages is new traffic.

AMP vs Responsive Design

Responsive design is a must-have. Plain and simple. It’s not even optional any more. But does it make sense to invest in responsive when we have AMP? Yes, it does. AMP complements a responsive website but does not replace it.

Considerations

Having AMP pages isn’t a magic bullet. AMP is just one piece of a larger marketing effort. You still need great content that people will discover. Authoring good content regularly and sharing it via social channels to increase its exposure, is also an essential part of a successful inbound marketing strategy.

Further AMP Resources

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