Five years ago, Google launched Accelerated Mobile Pages, better known as AMP, intending to dramatically improve loading time speed across the entire mobile web. Back then, its’ impact on SEO was yet to be recognized, although speculation at the time revolved around whether it would be a ranking factor or “fast label” designation for search engine results pages. Five years later, we now know that it’s not a direct ranking factor. But we also know that Google gives more importance to the mobile-friendliness and speed of a website since they switched to Mobile-first indexing. This fact means that AMP does indeed play a vital role in ranking. So, what does this all mean for your SEO strategy? Well we’ll get there a little later in this blog, later, but first, let’s start by explaining what AMP is exactly.
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) defined
The developers define AMP as ”an open-source HTML framework that provides a straightforward way to create web pages that are fast, smooth-loading and prioritize the user-experience above all else”. In other words, AMP is an open-source coding designed to help publishers get their sites to load quickly on mobiles since the elements of a desktop website are plentiful and heavy.
Try opening a desktop version onto your mobile phone and you’ll quickly see it can take forever – and that’s when AMP comes in. It serves as a stripped version of a webpage since it significantly reduces the elements on a site. Think of it as putting your website on a diet so that it becomes more compelling to the users.
What does AMP mean for SEO?
Before indulging yourself to any new technology, you have to understand what you’re getting into first. Accelerated Mobile Technology is not an exception, and like everything else, adopting it comes with many benefits. So, here’s what AMP means for SEO.
1. Speed – It’s all about speed, most of all. Using AMP will provide you instantaneous improvement on your load speed times, even if your website is super-duper slow- loading on a 3G mobile device. Remember Google’s algorithm speed update in 2018, which negatively affects the search results of slow-loading web pages? Although AMP may only be a minor factor contributing to ranking, the load speed of a page can have other repercussions for your website and consequently your business. That’s because Google has identified that as the load speed of a page increases from 1 second to 5 seconds, the bounce rate from frustrated users increases to a whopping 90%.
2. SERPS – Ever noticed that “lighting” icon in search engine results pages (SERPS)? That is an indication that a page has adopted the AMP technology. It’s believed that it increases the click-through-rate of pages because users will prefer AMP pages over the regular HTML results since they know that it will give them a more streamlined experience on their mobiles.
3. Conversion rate – If you have an e-commerce site, pay special attention to this one. Akamai Technologies, a leading content delivery network, released a report in 2017 stating that there’s a 7% reduction in the conversion rate for every 100-milliseconds of delay on your website’s load time, and it’s a massive 53% for mobile phones if the load time takes more than 3 seconds. Bottom line, since AMP drives speed on mobile devices, it means that you’ll have a better conversion rate for your e-commerce business.
4. Engagement – Speaking of bounce rate, people who click on AMP pages are also most likely to engage with the content. That’s why it’s a fantastic tool for sites that publish long-form content that is intended to build relationships with their audience.
5. Traffic – While it’s true that traffic is a major driver of SEO trends, having too much of it can strain your servers on mobile devices. AMP can reduce that strain, therefore improving the performance of your servers.
6. Dynamism – While AMP is a stripped-down version of the technology used in full websites, it isn’t static. You can still add videos, audios, social sharing buttons, and other dynamic content on your website.
7. Google Analytics – Another good thing about AMP is that Google Analytics supports it. This means that you will be able to see how your users respond to your AMP pages. You can also track page views, social interactions, and clicks on the different pages of your site.
8. User-friendliness – Since AMP pages are placed higher in mobile search results, users don’t have to scroll vertically because the pages are formatted in a horizontal carousel, making it easier for users to swipe.
Are you ready to adopt Accelerated Mobile Pages?
AMP is still evolving, and we are yet to see it in full bloom. Truth be told, there may also be some hiccups you may encounter if you start using AMP as part of your SEO strategy. But if you’ve made it to this point in our blog, you’ll know it’s undeniable that it means a lot to SEO, especially when it comes to your site’s speed and mobile-friendliness. So – if you want to know more or if you’re ready to adopt AMP right now, our team of experts can help you out. Check out some of our works here or contact us for a chat about how we can help you to set up your website with AMP.