Accelerating Your Website’s Performance on Mobile Devices: An Introduction to AMP

With the digital marketing landscape constantly evolving, here at Banc, we are always looking at new techniques which can help give our clients an edge over their competitors. Whether that is through our content marketing campaigns or through our trusted, technical-minded SEOs.

One of the newer techniques is AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages), a project to speed up the loading times of web pages in mobile search. This blog post will give you an overview of AMP, the challenges we face, and the advantages and disadvantages which can occur when implementing this technique.

What is AMP?

You may well have seen pages appearing in your SERPs with a lightning symbol next to them and a label saying AMP — but what are these pages?

These are pages benefitting from AMP, Accelerated Mobile Pages. They aren’t necessarily a new concept; the initiative has been live for well over a year now, but more and more publishers are embracing AMP as they look to make their content quicker and more user-friendly for those using mobile devices.

AMP are web pages for static content which render significantly quicker for anyone not using a desktop or laptop – due to a reduced amount of code used.

These present a stripped-down version of the page which, in theory, should load in lightning quick time, hence the label. This should mean the end of having to wait for media-heavy pages to load on your device when you are on the move and need your information sooner rather than later.

AMP is a technique we have adopted at Banc, and have been impressed by the results — as have many of our clients. Below, we look at how AMP could benefit your site, and highlight some of the advantages brands are seeing from the initiative.

Benefits of AMP

With the evolution of search, AMP is one of the latest techniques which is helping the shift towards mobile browsing. This is important when we consider that more people now browse on mobile than desktop.

Whenever a web page takes too long to load, many users will exit in frustration, a move which can significantly affect revenue. This is where AMP comes in, with the technology able to improve the performance of mobile devices using the internet.

Being able to view rich media such as images, videos and animations quickly on a mobile device would dramatically improve a user’s interaction with a site. AMP will be able to produce pages like this without lengthy page-loading waiting times.

What Can AMP Do For Me?

With more people using mobiles to search for information, it’s important that they can view information on your website quickly to increase the likelihood they will interact with the content. With Google’s algorithms always looking to improve a user’s search experience, user metrics such as average time on site, bounce rates and click-through rates are now considered key factors in determining a quality site. Having AMP in place can help improve these key metrics as the page speed is reduced, allowing users to read the content more quickly and easily.

When AMP has been implemented and has been crawled by Google, we will be able to see search results displayed like so:

As you can see, these AMP pages are being displayed with a small rich snippet which will help make the search listing more enticing to a user, helping to improve click-throughs to the page.

seo amp

Source: Distilled

How Can I Install AMP?

Unfortunately, as AMP is a relatively new technology in the web publishing world, there are few specialist web developers with experience in creating and implementing the technology. However, a skilled developer should be able to turn their hand to implementing AMP.

AMP pages are scaled down HTML pages which use a small amount of CSS styling to match the design of the site. They only use a limited amount of JavaScript because excessive JavaScript can increase the number of requests, leading to increased loading times.

When creating AMP pages, it’s important to avoid creating duplicate content, which is why we use a canonical link element pointing back to the non-AMP version of the page.

However, there is also an AMP plug-in in place for WordPress sites, which removes a lot of the development work needed due to the minimal installation processes and configuration required. We have tested this on the Banc website and it integrates well with our blog posts.

See below for our blog posts using the AMP Framework:

banc amp example

 

There are many plugins out there which can be implemented to add AMP technology to your site, across a number of different CMSs. However, a bespoke implementation would remain best practice, as this can be tailored to your website and your specific needs.

 

Is it For You?

AMP can provide a solution by which users are able to interact with your content without waiting an excessive amount of time for a page to load, which can cause them to drop off from the site. As mobile search is growing at an incredible pace, it won’t be long before we see more and more sites using AMP.

If you believe your website could benefit from AMP, contact our technical SEO team on email at [email protected]