Good News for Websites?
Anytime there’s a new development in web technology, Webmasters and Analysts take notice. Of course, all of these changes affect how your online strategies work; impacting everything from visibility to search engine ranking (SEO). So when Google announced the roll out of Accelerated Mobile Pages last year, the online marketing community was abuzz. If you’re not intricately involved in the tech end of things, you might wonder what the fuss is all about and what this means to your website.
What Are Accelerated Mobile Pages?
Brought to you by the best and brightest at Google and Twitter, basically AMP is a project that is intended to streamline web pages for mobile use. In practice, it means that web pages will load faster on phones and devices. According to Marketing Land, mobile devices drive 56% of traffic to leading U.S. websites. Accelerated Mobile Pages are designed to use a streamlined or lighter form of coding; the pages are cached and hosted by Google, which is one of the reasons it loads so fast. Google doesn’t have to access your hosted site in order to retrieve the information for your audience.
That Sounds Technical. Now What?
Google rolled out AMP back in February of 2016, there will be changes coming. It’s a collaborative effort and, according to Google’s introductory article in October of 2015, there were about 30 publishers initially taking part of the project and leaving AMP open source, means there should still be advances coming from all of the great and talented users out there.
So, as we said using AMP means that there will be two hosted versions of your site. The website you’re hosting as usual, and then the cached version being hosted by Google. Faster means your viewers won’t leave (bounce) because they’re annoyed by slow loading pages that have a tendency to error or make devices freeze.
Because it’s a cached page and it’s hosted elsewhere, you might worry about what that means to your monetization. According to Google, advertisements still belong to the site owner. They’ve built the platform to work with most major advertisers so any current advertising monetization shouldn’t be negatively impacted.
You can also use Analytics for your Accelerated Mobile Pages. They’ve developed the platform to be provider neutral, so you’re not locked into using Google Analytics just because AMP is created by Google, though you certainly can.
Ready to Set Up Your Accelerated Mobile Pages?
The Accelerated Mobile Pages Project has a great tutorial to show you just how to set up your own AMP page and validate it. Because the code is streamlined, there will be differences in HTML and in the way that you can use the HTML tags. So you have to follow those rules exactly in order to validate your page. If you’re unsure whether or not to jump on this bandwagon, take some time to look over the tutorials and view demos. If you’re a WordPress user, there’s already a plugin to do most of the work in creating your AMP pages for you. Whether you’re ready to create your own AMP pages or not, you should definitely take some time to see what it’s all about and how it can speed up your site for your mobile users.
Is It Worth It
Since AMP went live we have trialled using it to improve our own analytics and we have noticed improvements (although not at astronomical levels). However not all feedback is positive. A recent article from Search Engine Land is critical to say the least. They don’t argue that AMP on simple pages increase speed, but they think that as the complexity of what you can do on AMP increase, it will lead to more code bloat. Which defeats the whole purpose of AMP.
Patrick Stox argues that spending time setting up AMP is essentially a distraction. If your site isn’t rendering pages quickly enough, sort your site out! Don’t just start using AMP as a proxy. So, if you’re looking for a detailed breakdown of why AMP may not be the next big thing, check out the article linked.
Have you started testing AMP? Did you notice any improvements or changes to your web traffic?
How can we help?
Wonder if AMP is right for your website? Want to increase your WordPress website download speed?
We are the spectrum group online, and we offer strategic and tactical consulting so you can monetize your online presence. Call us for a complimentary 30-minute consultation to discuss your website’s user experience and translate that into sales.
photo credit top: Japanexperterna.se
photo credit body: Kai Schreiber