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Boosting your SEO with AMP optimised  pages Boosting your SEO with AMP optimised  pages

Boosting your SEO with AMP optimised pages

Ever since Google introduced mobile-friendliness into their ranking algorithm in 2015, most business owners know that they need to ensure that their website is mobile friendly. It is fair to say that internet users want web pages to open quickly on their mobile browsers, within 3 seconds, or they will abandon their search and move elsewhere.

With limited downloads and a short battery life, people accessing the web via their mobile phones, don’t have the time to wait for your web pages to load, particularly when it is your slow loading graphics that are causing the problem. So even though you might have a mobile friendly site, it can still load too slowly, simply due to its content.

This means that depending on the content on your website, you could lose a significant amount of visitors because they’re clicking away from your website to open faster loading pages on other websites. So what’s the solution? It’s to use a new form of web pages called Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).

What are Accelerated Mobile Pages?

Simply put, AMP makes mobile friendly pages load even faster in mobile browsers. This an open source project, accessible to everyone and is completely free.  Designed by Google and Twitter, AMP creates a striped down HTML page, which is lightweight and loads super-fast.

Essentially, faster loading is accomplished because it restricts the coding you can use on a page, whilst selectively loading different elements of your web page at different times, allowing a viewer to read above the fold first, while still opening content under the fold. Your web pages are made lightweight, because you can only use a streamlined version of CSS and certain elements of JavaScript (JS).

So AMP consists of two different parts – AMP HTML and AMP JS with an optional AMP CDN that caches your AMP enabled pages and adds in further performance enhancements.

It is important to note that with AMP you will actually have 2 versions of a page, the original page you created and an AMP version. However, since you cannot use third party JavaScript with AMP, whilst your original page might have forms, social comments and social sharing buttons (still clearly visible to desk top users), they will not be seen by mobile users.

Images and videos must also be dealt with differently when you utilise AMP, but they will render correctly. All of these restrictions mean that if your priority is social sharing of your content, AMP might not be suitable for your website. You can however, select specific pages on which to use AMP, but these pages won’t be shareable.

Don’t undervalue the use of AMP, because web pages using AMP will still look perfectly clear and readable to mobile viewers, with all of your images and videos in place. It is just that there are some restrictions on what you can display on your pages, which won’t be a problem if you are focused on super-fast mobile loading speeds.

Who can benefit from using Accelerated Mobile Pages?

Most websites can benefit from using AMP. For example, websites that contain lots of news stories do well with AMP because they’re often viewed on mobile devices. With recent improvements to AMP (and upgrades are happening all the time), ecommerce sites with product pages are also ideal, as are entertainment sites, travel sites and landing sites.

What are the benefits of Accelerated Mobile Pages?

You might be interested to know that AMP is Google’s response to ad blockers that reduce their revenue from Google AdSense, but this benefit also flows on to publishers who display ads on their sites.

Ad blockers are a response to poor user experience on mobile phones, so whilst AMP allows the placement of ads on their pages, their lightning fast loading speed is meant to dissuade internet searchers from using ad blockers (why bother to block ads when they are no longer a problem?). You can also display your ads in a more user-friendly way using AMP, which will likely mean higher clicks.

Other benefits of faster loading speeds include a lower bounce rate, more page views and better mobile rankings in Google’s search results. Yet another benefit is that Google displays a green AMP badge against search results that use it, helping mobile users to select this type of content, which in turn increases traffic to your website.

There are also analytics for AMP, so you can track your visitors and analyse your website for even more insights.

How can you implement Accelerated Mobile Pages on your website?

If you are using WordPress, you can download a free AMP plugin, install and activate it, create your AMP templates and simply add “/amp/” or “?amp=1” to the end of the URL of the pages on which you want to use AMP. You will also want to validate these pages in the Google Search Console to help them get found faster by Google.

Conclusion

With the trend towards mobile and Google increasingly placing greater importance on mobile users, AMP is an opportunity for the savvy to get ahead of the competition and provide a better user experience for their customers.  Of course, the opportunity will likely turn into a requirement in the next couple of years as usage becomes mainstream.

If you need help setting up your AMP pages, call us on 02 8211 0668 or email us at [email protected].

Michael Lam

Co-founder of Cornerstone and marketing junkie, Michael knows just how to diagnose your online problems and remedy the issue. An online enthusiast who believes in technology as an enabler of growth, Michael worries about all the details so you don't have to.

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