Ultimate Guide To Accelerated Mobile Pages – 10 Things You Must Know

May 26, 2017

Social Media, Google, SEO

Ultimate Guide To Accelerated Mobile Pages

The Need For Speed!

In this age of digital, mobile, instant, and on-the-go everything, we want things to be fast. In fact, we no longer demand it, we expect it. So when Google launched Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), the digital arm of brands and businesses were all ecstatic to get on board.

But first, what is AMP? In very simple terms, AMP is designed to optimize faster mobile pages. It is an open-source platform that enables publishers to improve speed and overall user experience.

Now, why is AMP important? Let’s just say that people are becoming increasingly impatient. Data from KISSmetrics found that about 40% of Internet users will abandon a webpage that takes more than three seconds to load. Three seconds—that’s all the time digital marketers have to get people’s attention. The plain, simple truth is that speed is a killer. The impact of AMP in your loading time affects your bottom line.

Your next question would probably be how do you get started with AMP. AMP consists of three basic parts: AMP HTML, AMP JS, and AMP CDN. Let’s go over them one by one.

AMP HTML – It is essentially a subset of HTML. So if you’re familiar with HTML, you should not have a problem with this. However, there are custom tags, properties, and restrictions that you have to familiarize yourself with.

AMP JS – This is a JavaScript platform for mobile pages. You should note however that third-party JS is not permitted with AMP. AMP JS manages resource handling and asynchronous loading or one which does not block page render and allows the browser to continue load elements. This significantly speeds things up.

AMP CDN – CDN stands for Content Delivery Network. This network takes your AMP-enabled pages, caches them, and improves page performance automatically.

Now that you have a glimpse of how AMP works, the next thing you should be asking yourself is this: Is my website AMP-ready? What should you take into consideration? Here’s a guide to AMP to help you decide.

1. Are You Mobile-Friendly?

Ultimate Guide To Accelerated Mobile Pages No 1. Are You Mobile-Friendly?

By now, you probably don’t need extra convincing that mobile is the way to go. Everyone does everything on their mobile devices, and if you haven’t figured that out yet, you’re in big trouble.

The AMP primarily wants your website to produce leaner pages that would load instantly on mobile devices. By instantly we mean, 85% faster. This means that you must optimize your website in such a way that it is more responsive. You have to make navigation easier and improve the overall user experience.

2. Familiarity With Existing Technologies

Ultimate Guide To Accelerated Mobile Pages No 2. Familiarity With Existing Technologies

Time to get practical. You can’t just decide to have AMP-enabled pages if your team is not up to it. It is a good thing that Google relies on existing technologies such as HTML and WordPress to simplify the learning process. If your team is confident that they know these existing tools like the back of their hand, your website just might be ready for an AMP upgrade.

2. Double The Effort

Ultimate Guide To Accelerated Mobile Pages No 3. Double The Effort

There’s a reason why some publishers are terrified of the AMP. You have to realize that once you come on board, you have to be ready to absorb the impact of AMP on your production process. The trade-off is that you have to create two parallel versions of your stories, which requires time and resources. AMP could be restrictive and most publishers want to be able to do more outside of it.

4. Prepare To Strip Down

Ultimate Guide To Accelerated Mobile Pages No 4. Prepare To Strip Down

One simple description for AMP is this: it is the leaner, stripped down version of HTML. Google has a lot of rules and you have to be ready for the limitations and restrictions. AMP pages have to be validated according to Google’s specifications. If you’re trying to find out how to get started with AMP, you have to remember this golden rule in designing and structuring your pages: be Google-friendly.

5. Adjust Your Layout

Ultimate Guide To Accelerated Mobile Pages No 5. Adjust Your Layout

Since AMP is a stripped-down web language, you have to be able to adjust your design and layout. With AMP, there’s more coding, but less pretty layouts. Once you have decided to integrate it to your website, you have to accept that your design options are limited. This means if you want the core elements to still stand out, you have to figure out a Google-approved way to do it.

6. Is Your Content Global?

Ultimate Guide To Accelerated Mobile Pages No 6. Is Your Content Global?

One goal of AMP is the distribution of content on a global scale. AMP enables publishers to easily share content so that a piece of content produced in a small Asian city could be consumed by users in London. This means AMP wants your content to be distributed in different kinds of platforms and devices. Google makes this possible through its high performance global cache techniques.

So before coming onboard the AMP, think about the content that you produce. Can your website’s content perform on a global scale?

7. Mind Your Search Ranking Signals

Ultimate Guide To Accelerated Mobile Pages No 7. Mind Your Search Ranking Signals

Google made it clear in the beginning that websites that adopt AMP won’t necessarily get a massive boost in search ranking. AMP is not directly a factor in search engine ranking. However, Google’s Richard Gingras said that if Google encounters two articles with the same values, “we will give an emphasis to the one with speed because that is what users find compelling.”

And since Google is constantly changing its ranking rules, make sure your website has strong SEO values that would complement AMP.

8. Be Guided On Ads

Ultimate Guide To Accelerated Mobile Pages No 8. Be Guided On Ads

Webmasters and marketers naturally have to ask: What about the ads? In an announcement in January, Google tackled this by saying AMP will include the ability to “traffic ads with ad servers of your choice, support for multiple demand sources and formats, full control over ads placements, and viewability measurement.” The word “control” is music to publishers’ ears.

But please be guided on Google’s four basic requirements on ads. They should be: fast, beautiful, secure (mandatory use of HTTPS), and involve co-operation across the industry.

9. Create Fast

Ultimate Guide To Accelerated Mobile Pages No 9. Create Fast

The buzz on AMP is getting louder every day. And you have to move fast. As of September 2016, Google has more than 150 million AMP documents in their index, with over four million new ones being added every week. Be ready to get more of your pages validated for AMP.

10. Is It For You?

Ultimate Guide To Accelerated Mobile Pages No 10. Is It For You?

Now the ultimate question is: Is AMP for you? AMP was initially designed for publishers mainly for news stories. However, Google has announced that it is expanding to cover other types of content such as videos to cater to marketers and businesses. In June, eBay launched its AMP-powered mobile shopping. Depending on your brand and the content you produce, you may or may not have your pages AMP-enabled.

Google is amping up its need for speed. And if you want your content or website to get more conversions and fare better on the search ranking, make sure it loads fast. Every second counts.

Tick-tock, tick-tock…

[Image credits: Need For Speed movie poster: DreamWorks Pictures/Reliance Entertainment; Pixabay: Pexels, skeeze, JuralMin, geralt, PatternPictures , Meditations; Corona Beer advertisement: Cervecería Modelo; Death to Stock]

About Anna Rodriguez

Anna Rodriguez is a manager and a passionate writer. She writes about investment, home improvement, green sustainability, business and tech innovations. She owns homeyguide.com. You can follow her at @annrodriguez021

View all posts by Anna Rodriguez

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