These days, SEO professionals and technology freaks in general are buzzing about Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).
That’s for good reason. AMP not only offers great value to website owners, it’s also a technology that Google has fully embraced.
Almost every week, Google announces some new way to support AMP. That means web developers who want their sites to rank well should include the new technology as part of their code delivery.
In short: AMP is at the point now where responsive development was just a few years ago. It’s an indispensable part of any mobile-friendly website.
Here are 5 things you need to know about AMP.
It’s All About Speed
AMP is designed to ensure that web pages load in lightning-fast time on mobile devices.
The problem faced by many mobile users (as of this writing, anyway) is that their devices simply don’t have the hardware or processing power to render professional web sites in a hurry.
AMP was designed to address exactly that issue. It’s a technology that offers a stripped-down version of a web page with cached resources so that it loads quickly on a mobile device.
According to TechCrunch: “The average AMP page currently loads four times faster than non-AMP pages. Median load times are under one second.”
The end result: mobile users have a better experience and website owners don’t irritate their mobile audience with pages that take too long to load. Everybody wins.
Yes, There Are Restrictions
With great privilege comes great responsibility. That’s just as true in the world of information technology as it is anywhere else.
All that speed you get with AMP comes at a cost. Fortunately, it’s not an expensive cost.
Here are some of the restrictions you should know about:
- You’re only allowed to use asynchronous scripts
- CSS must be inline
- All styles are limited to a maximum of 50Kb
- All external resources, such as images, must state their size
- Fonts must be loaded with CSS or a link tag
- No form fields (therefore, no forms)
That’s not so bad, is it?
Truth be told, most sites can deliver outstanding content to their visitors even with those requirements in place.
Keep in mind also that a lot of the AMP restrictions are in line with the recommendations you’ll see from Google’s Page Speed Insights. The reality is that AMP is just enforcing some best-practices.
AMP Can Put You on Top of the Mobile SERPs
How would you like to be at the very, very top of the mobile search engine results pages (SERPs)?
You can do that – with AMP.
Don’t kid yourself, though. You’ll still face a lot of stiff competition. That’s especially true if you’re trying to rank for a competitive keyword.
But you can get there.
If you want to see how AMP can push you to the top, just pick up your smartphone, open the browser on it, and Google any subject related to current events.
Here is an example…
When the results appear, you’ll notice a carousel at the very top. That carousel includes only AMPed up web pages. You can tell by noticing the “AMP” acronym with the familiar lightning bolt at the bottom of each box in the carousel.
So there you see it. Google pushes AMP results to very top of the mobile SERPs.
If you want one of your pages to find a place in Google’s top-level carousel, then you need to make sure that your site supports AMP.
AMP Is Expanding Beyond News
As we’ve just seen, AMP works very well for news-related sites. But your site doesn’t have to be a news site to take advantage of the new technology.
AMP is moving beyond news sites now. It’s embracing other types of mobile pages as well.
Back in June, the AMP project partnered with eBay to quickly deliver auction listings on mobile devices. That means other e-commerce sites are sure to follow.
It’s not just e-commerce that’s jumping on the AMP bandwagon, though. Sites like Squarespace, TripAdvisor, Disney, Food Network, and the NFL are all embracing the new technology.
So no matter your niche or the type of website you manage, you would do well to follow the lead of large corporations across a variety of industries and adopt AMP technology.
You Don’t Have to Be a Tech Geek to Add AMP to Your Site
If you’re somebody who focuses more on the entrepreneurial side of your business and leave the hard, tech-related stuff to trained professionals, you might think that you won’t be able to use AMP without forking over thousands of dollars in development costs.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
The reality is that if your website is using WordPress and you have even a basic understanding of how to use it, then you’re in good shape to add AMP. That’s because WordPress offers AMP plugins.
One of the most popular plugins was developed by Automattic. That’s the same company that now owns and manages WordPress. So you can be fairly certain that the development team knows what it’s doing.
Just download the plugin, install it on your WordPress installation, activate it, and you’re good to go with AMP. Each one of your blog posts will have a new URL (with “/amp/” appended to the hyperlink) that delivers the trimmed-down, mobile-friendly version of the post. There are also AMP plug and pay options for Drupal and Magento.
Get AMP Ready Now
In this digital age, it’s imperative that you support mobile users. Although your site may be responsive and look great on a mobile device, you’re still going to frustrate visitors if it takes a long time to load. AMP technology will ensure that your site loads in a jiffy for people using a smartphone, tablet, or phablet. There is a lot to know about AMP. If you want to learn more, check out my latest YouTube video or visit the main AMP website at: https://www.ampproject.org/docs/get_started/about-amp.html