What is AMP and why is it important?

What is AMP? – Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) has been a thing for a few years now and has grown to be an integral part of SEO strategies. In this blog, we’re going to answer what is AMP, and why it’s important to your business. 

In 2016, Google announced the launch of Accelerated Mobile Pages, an open-source, web-based solution designed to revolutionise the way we consume mobile content. 

The AMP version of a product page, blog post, or landing page is meant to load instantly on mobile. It may also appear differently or in a card form in the mobile SERP. The AMP lightning bolt symbol associated with a result lets users know that that particular page will load faster than other non-AMP pages around it.

According to an early study, Google AMP pages load four times faster and use eight times less data than traditional mobile-optimized pages. The initial idea was to provide an open-source framework that would make the mobile experience not just better, but faster.

What are the benefits of AMP?

Apart from faster loading speeds and a better overall experience, AMP offers several benefits to businesses with a content and SEO strategy. 

Increased website engagement: Lightweight AMP content works well for users that don’t have a great internet connection. Additionally, the decrease in page load time improves the user experience in a way that increases the chances of visitors staying on your site longer.

Improved ranking:

With page load time being a Google ranking factor, AMPs are prioritised in Google’s search algorithms. Essentially, if two sites are neck-and-neck, the faster one will win!

Lower bounce rates:

With your pages loading faster, visitors usually stay onsite. A Google study once found that 53% of website visits are abandoned if a mobile site takes longer than 23 seconds to load. Additionally, publishers who implement it could potentially get a 2x increase in time spent on a page. And more time on your website can mean more conversions from your content.

Is it essential?

It’s important to know that whilst AMP can help your SEO efforts, it’s not necessarily essential for SEO in some cases. The benefits can be more applicable to certain types of businesses compared to others. 

Accelerated mobile pages is mostly used by publisher sites that have a high volume of news articles or blog posts. If the majority of your website isn’t articles or posts, then AMP may not be necessary for you. 

AMP itself is not a Google ranking factor. It can help improve aspects of your web pages that are factored into Google’s algorithm (especially with Core Web Vitals becoming a ranking factor in 2021) but it’s not the only way to optimise your site. 

If you already have a mobile version of your site and already have sufficient mobile optimisation in place, AMP may not be necessary and might actually complicate performance even further.

So the bottom line is, that optimising for page speed and mobile experience is essential for SEO, and Google AMP is just one way of achieving that! 

How do you implement AMP? 

If you have a WordPress site, the simplest way to start implementing accelerated mobile pages is to use the official AMP plugin from WordPress and Google.  If you’re looking to have more control over how your AMP pages look or gather analytics more easily, you might try other free plugins such as WeeblrAMP or AMP for WP.

If you don’t have a WordPress site, there are ways you can add AMP but honestly… That’s a whole other blog topic! Here at Ame Social, we have our own in-house SEO team, dedicated to help you climb the Google ranks. If AMP is on your SEO strategy radar, we can help. Fill out the form here or email us at ash@electrondigital.co.uk Let’s get your business in the spotlight!

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