Ask Your Agency If AMP Is Right For You

by | Feb 21, 2017 | Search Engine Optimization

What Is AMP?

AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is a simplified approach to optimizing the mobile experience. The idea is that by using restrictive HTML and static content, mobile pages will load faster. If you’ve seen an AMP page, then you’ve probably noticed that the experience on these pages is different than a responsive page and especially desktop – instead the page is stripped down to the basics.

How Can It Affect My Site?

Because AMP pages are crawled, indexed, and ranked differently than other pages, these pages often see a higher volume of impressions compared to responsive and non-responsive results. An increase in impressions is exciting, but what about other metrics? Users are also less likely to bounce and more likely to engage with the content since the page load time decreases with the new framework, allowing text and images to load faster.

What Are the Differences Between Mobile Responsive and AMP Pages?

A responsive website is built to scale down (respond) to different sized screens. These sites are typically developed to accommodate widescreen monitors, desktop or laptop monitors, tablets, and mobile devices. As the width of the screen decreases, the elements on the page will transition to fit the space.

Here’s how the same webpage appears on three different devices: laptop, tablet, mobile. The primary changes stem from the navigation: the full navigation is only available on desktop. When viewed on the tablet, the left hand search functionality is moved to the right as a navigation option and replaced with the logo. The navigation is completely scaled down to a hamburger menu on mobile. Despite being a simpler version, the mobile experience had a prolonged load time.

AMP Page - Laptop ViewLaptop View

AMP Page - Tablet ViewTablet View

AMP Page - Mobile ViewMobile View

Source: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/

AMP pages are different. They aren’t built to scale because they run off of a different framework, promoting faster speeds and better mobile experiences. When comparing the load time of responsive vs. AMP pages on mobile, you’ll find the AMP pages load instantly with the average result loading 4x faster than non-amp pages. There’s less wait time to view your chosen results and an easier approach to accessing related media.

When searching on mobile, you may find these results mixed in with non-amp pages or shown in Top stories if news related.

Results for “Northern Lights” showing AMP page with non-amp pages


Results for “Northern Lights” showing AMP articles in Top stories section


AMP Results Page From The Guardian

 

Once the article is selected, you’ll see the simplified version of the page. Notice the scrollbar at the top allows for easy scrolling between related articles, so you don’t have to spend time waiting to go back to Google to select a new story and then wait for that page to load.

The navigation is also simplified compared to desktop, loading only the basics. The desktop version of The Guardian is more robust and features ad space above the navigation – need I mention that the ad was the last element to load on my page.


Source: https://www.theguardian.com/science/blog/2017/feb/02/why-the-rare-blood-aurora-inspires-awe-and-foreboding

AMP pages still feature ads, however, they too are striped down to their basics because pages that load in less than a second allow for larger audiences and more clicks.

Who Uses AMP?

AMP was released as an open source project for anyone to work on. It was quickly adopted by large news contributors and media outlets. The popularity made sense considering the demand for frequent news updates.

If you’re a company that shares timely updates with your customers via news, blogs, press releases, or digital assets then you too should be offering a faster mobile experience.

Is There a Plugin I Can Use?

There are a few, however, they are specific in how they work and will require a certain set of standards. The two options I recommend for WordPress are AMP or YOAST – you can even use them together.

Disclaimer: If your URL Structure isn’t configured to run off of a subdirectory (i.e. /blog/, /news/, /press-release/, etc.) then you would have to manually update the framework to transition these stories to AMP.

By Ashley Walter, Director of Operations

Ashley Walter is Lupeer's Director of Marketing. With a BS in International Business and concentrations in Marketing and Spanish, Ashley facilitates cross team success and manages every aspect of a client's campaign. Creative, meticulous, and hardworking, Ashley supports all moving pieces within the agency.