What exactly are Google accelerated mobile pages (AMP)? Please, slow down a little as we will answer that question in just a moment. When users access content from your mobile website, do the pages load instantly? If it takes more than a few seconds for your mobile pages to load, your website users will abandon your site, increasing bounce rates.
Moreover, with more than half of all website traffic generated through mobile devices, a slow-loading mobile page would hurt user experience. It will also negatively impact traffic volume and search engine rankings.
Mobile page speed has been a high priority for many webmasters since Google released a significant update to its search algorithm. It marks the beginning of a new mobile-first search indexing strategy.
The update has left many companies scrambling for an effective mobile solution that will allow them to retain their SERP rankings post-update. The company designed the Google accelerated mobile pages (AMP) project for just that.If your site takes more than a few seconds for your mobile pages to load, your website users will abandon your site, increasing bounce rates. Click To Tweet
What is Accelerated Mobile Page (AMP)?
Google designed amp pages as an open-source development framework aimed at providing a better and faster mobile web experience.
The developers created Google AMP pages to ensure a consistent standard among web pages. It will help to optimize content for any mobile device. Furthermore, the design team wants Google accelerated mobile pages to use a simplified web page format for mobile devices.
These tactics enable websites to load dramatically faster than the average HTML sites. Understandably then, AMP pages open almost instantly. Here is a sample screenshot of an AMP page from The Guardian.
Image via The Guardian
Hence, if you were to visit this page from your browser, you will notice the page design is simple. It lacks any advanced scripts, navigation, or widgets. Currently, Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, and Pinterest are among the high-profile companies using Google accelerated mobile pages.
In 2016, Google officially integrated AMP pages into its mobile search results. By early 2018, Google began pushing to add the accelerated mobile page technology framework to web standards. But the question you might want to ask is;Mobile page speed has been a high priority for many webmasters since Google released a significant update to its search algorithm. Click To Tweet
Is Google Accelerated Mobile Pages Right for Your Mobile Website?
Many websites are successfully using AMP pages to speed up their mobile version websites. The approach has vastly improved the website user experience. However, it may not always be the right fit for hosting your amp pages. Why? The several things you should consider before making the switch.
Websites using Google accelerated mobile pages are enjoying the following benefits:
- Faster page load time (almost instantly)
- Lower bounce rates
- Increased mobile web traffic, and
- Higher mobile search rankings.
However, there are some challenges to consider, as well. These include:
- The inability to add certain features or widgets
- Analytic platform restrictions (although Google Analytics is accepted)
- A complicated process for inserting ads on your pages, and
- Difficulties to switch back from AMP.
Consequently, before implementing accelerated mobile pages, make sure you understand the implications of using this framework for your mobile pages.
Considerations for Implementing Google Accelerated Mobile Pages
1: Google AMP Improves Page Speed and Search Rankings
While AMP pages are not an explicit factor in search rankings, Google’s update does prioritize web pages with minimal load times. As a result, improving mobile page speed may show an improvement for a website’s overall rankings in mobile searches.
Also, lighter coding enables you to store content within Google AMP Cache. The cache version enables content to be preloaded and instantly delivered to users. Faster-loading websites are not only better for the user experience and SEO, but speed can also impact your business’s bottom line.
For example, Google-sponsored research shows an average of 2x increase in time spent on a page. The increment has led e-commerce sites to increase sales by 20%. In another industry survey, the majority of users indicated that they were more inclined to click on an AMP page link.
Thus, many businesses have seen positive results while using Google accelerated mobile pages, including Zitmaxx Wonen. The furniture retailer giant reduced its typical load time to three seconds. And conversion rates rose to more than 50%.
Overall revenue from the mobile site also increased by 99%. In addition, Pinterest rebuilt its pages to enhance performance. What was the result?
- Pinterest saw a 40% decrease in wait time
- 15% increase in SEO traffic, and
- Conversion rate rose by 15% as well
2: Accelerated Mobile Pages Improves server performance
- AMP HTML: Amp Html allows a leaner version of regular HTML with only certain tags. HTML elements such as forms are not allowed and are required to use a streamlined CSS.
- AMP CDN: Also known as AMP Cache, the proxy-based content delivery network (CDN) caches AMP content for fast delivery. AMP CDN caches all valid AMP content.
3: Google AMP Pages Stylizing Are Limited
Accelerated mobile pages limit certain web design elements that are available to developers to ensure optimal website performance. The following touches on some of these established limitations.
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is used to style web pages written in a markup language, including font, color, spacing, formatting, and layout. However, since the goal of AMP mobile pages is to create a uniform style for all websites, CSS is still essential. Nevertheless, some functionalities are removed to improve the loading speed.
These CSS limitations include:
- Inline Style Attributes: Styles must be indicated in the header of the page using a custom AMP tag.
- Important: Google AMP pages must be able to enforce its sizing regulations on a webpage. But usage of this is not allowed
- <link rel=“stylesheet”>: The <linkrel=” stylesheet”> is against their policy, but custom fonts are allowed
- * (universal selector): The global selector is banned as it can evade other selector restrictions.
- : not(): This feature can be used to imitate selectors.
- Pseudo-Selectors: Tag names cannot start with amp-.
- -amp- and -i-amp- tag names: The -amp- and -i-amp ta names is for internal use only.
- Behavior, -Moz- binding: Google AMP does not support this component.
HTML tags — The Html tags are limited to a set of tags specific to the accelerated mobile pages framework, which creates some restrictions on HTML options. Examples of code restrictions include:
- Embed, and
Still On AMP Pages Stylizing
Have a look at this visual as well.
Implementing live chat boxes is accomplished using JavaScrip. This process is an excellent example of when the AMP pages framework may not be the best choice for your website.Accelerated mobile pages limit certain web design elements that are available to developers to ensure optimal website performance. Click To Tweet
4: Google AMP Pages Use a Plugin for a CMS Such as WordPress
The ease of incorporating AMP pages on your website will vary depending on your content management system (CMS). It will also differ whether or not you elect to include a plugin to assist with the implementation. Plugins are easy to install and can quickly integrate into your site design to ensure accelerated mobile pages compatibility.
For instance, WordPress is the most widely used CMS in the market, and there are several plugins available to install. First, you need to install the base WordPress AMP plugin, which will allow your posts to be AMP-compatible. Once you have the AMP plugin installed, you can layer on additional plugins to gain greater functionality.
5: WordPress Google AMP Page Plugin Can Conflict With Existing Plugins
The base WordPress AMP page plugin provides basic features and ensures your posts are all AMP-compatible. However, if your site uses other plugins for additional operational capabilities, conflicts between plugins can occur.
Generally, the plugin provider will work to find solutions to the conflicts, but this process can take some time. In some cases, you may need to remove the conflicting plugin and find an alternative. Be sure to research cross-plugin compatibility before installing any new plugins.
6: Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Can Create Duplicate Content Issues
With Google accelerated mobile pages, you need to maintain at least two versions of each page—the AMP version and the original. These pages have the same content, but the layout is different. And the pages are displayed according to the device used to access them, respectively.
The Google AMP versions are delivered to the user from the Google Accelerated Mobile Pages cache and have a different URL. That is how duplicate content issues arise. Ideally, these two pages will have similar content, except the user accesses the same content faster and with better user experience when accessing the AMP version.
The cause of duplicate content is because the search engine is not sure which URL to show. This outcome can lead to SEO issues with users linking to the wrong page.The ease of incorporating AMP pages on your website will vary depending on your content management system (CMS). Click To Tweet
7: You Can Apply Responsive Page Elements Within Google AMP Pages
Responsive website design is a method of creating web pages which are fluid, respond to user needs, and are flexible. Responsive page elements are designed to dynamically change based on the device being used to access the page. You can read more about implementing responsive features within an AMP page on the official AMP site.
Wrapping Up Google Accelerated Mobile Pages
Google continues to make a push to establish the Google accelerated mobile pages framework as the standard for delivering mobile content. However, there are several things to consider before implementing AMP pages.
Moreover, accelerated mobile pages are great for serving up essential content, such as articles, videos, and images. Nonetheless, AMP has many limitations for creating more advanced web content.
In consequence, before you decide to incorporate Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages technology within your website, make sure you understand the implications above. It will help you determine whether or not AMP page is the right mobile solution for you.