What are AMP Pages & Should You Start Using Them?
Some of you may have come across the term AMP throughout research in website development and are unsure of what it actually means in terms of website development. Those who do have prior knowledge about AMP pages may be unsure of its current relevance in search engine optimization.
What is a Google AMP Page?
AMP is an abbreviation for Accelerated Mobile Page. An Accelerated Mobile Page (AMP) is an open-source initiative that was developed in 2015 as way to increase load time for mobile sites. AMP pages were initially used as a method for media websites to gain exposure on the ‘Top Stories’ section of mobile google search results. AMP is now used to boost mobile website speed and usability for non-news-related mobile websites as well. Since the earliest stages of SEO, a rule that remains unchanged is that fast websites are better. This is the same for mobile web pages as well. AMP allows for mobile websites to be incredibly lightweight, which creates extremely fast mobile pages.
Are Google AMP Pages Still Relevant?
The short answer is yes. AMP makes already mobile-responsive web pages even faster through breaking down the HTML coding of the page, essentially making it “lighter”. This process thereby impacts the loading speed. In 2018, AMP pages are still widely used. There have been recent progresses that have increased functionality. In the earliest stages, AMP websites looked very plain due to the nature of their coding. AMP websites are now able to look much more like the standard mobile page. Previously there was an issue with AMP pages being seen as referral traffic instead of organic traffic due to Google caching. Luckily, there are now modifications for this. Perhaps the most important update is that AMP pages are no longer just showing up for mobile searches. They are now appearing for desktop search results as well.
Will AMP help my website rank higher on Google?
In general, the amp version of pages load faster on mobile devices than un-AMPed mobile pages. Faster pages typically rank higher on Google. Google announced in 2015 that AMP pages could become a ranking factor. Although currently AMP is not a determining factor in ranking, AMP pages increase speed which IS a ranking factor. To simplify things, AMP has the potential to rank your pages higher due to increased site speed. AMP also allows news stories to rank in Google ‘Top Stories’ segment. This is position 0 which is extremely beneficial for media sites.
Should I have AMP Pages for my Website?
This is the ultimate question. For news and media companies, AMP pages should be a definite investment. For other businesses, it depends on your site. If speed is a concern, AMP pages will definitely increase speed substantially. The best thing to do if seriously considering AMP-ing your pages is to test it out on a few. The experience can differ based on the mobile page and website.
The Pros of AMP Pages
The advantages of AMP pages are many, depending on your website and the goals you are after. The main benefits of AMP-ing your pages are:
- Faster loading mobile content pages. This is key. Faster-loading pages has proven to increase user experience and rank higher on Google in mobile search results
- Improved bounce rate. For those not versed in digital marketing language, a website’s bounce rate is the percentage of website visitors who navigate away from the site after only looking at a single page. Lower bounce rates are favoured by Google.
- Happy site visitors. Internet browsers love websites that load instantly. Let’s be honest; We’ve all had a moment where we’ve cursed at a page that loads too slowly. Once again, Google can tell when users like a website based on time spent on that website.
- Increased conversion rates. Mobile website traffic is much more likely to convert into customers with faster loading mobile pages. AMP increases mobile page speed. Mobile pages that load slowly will definitely impact conversion rate.
The Cons of AMP Pages
With every new development comes its downfalls. Although AMP has had proven success in many ways, there are a few disadvantages:
- Difficult for developers to implement. Developing AMP pages is a long and grueling process. Website developers spend many hours on this, which add expenses to any web development project.
- Compromised Google Analytics. Google Analytics is the go-to for website owners and digital marketing companies to analyze data. AMP pages make it very difficult for Google Analytics to collect data.
Overall, the AMP project definitely has its benefits but it’s not for every business.Toronto’s XI Digital is always happy to consult with you to recommend the best options for your company’s website.