In 2015, Google announced a new search algorithm to factor in mobile-friendly pages. This has meant that those pages that pass the test now feature higher in search engine result pages (SERPs) than those that are not mobile compatible.
Following on from this, Google launched Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) in the latter half of February 2016. AMPs are designed with one overriding aim in mind: to load fast on mobile devices!
AMPs Explained in Simple Terms
Accelerated Mobile Pages is Google’s answer to other mobile-friendly offerings like Apple News and Facebook’s Instant Articles. But to have access to these facilities, developers must partner with Facebook or Apple. Google’s AMP on the other hand is open source, which means that anyone can access the facility to create web pages.
AMP is developed around a simplified version of the HTML used to create web pages. It is known as AMP HTML and it eliminates elements that cause web pages to load slower on mobile devices. The difference in loading speed can be quite remarkable, with Google stating that an AMP can load up to 85% faster than a non-AMP version of that page.
Search Ranking and Traffic Boost
Just about every market in today’s business world is affected and partially driven by consumers’ need for instant access and gratification. It therefore comes as no surprise that given their fast loading capability, AMPs get a great boost in SERP rankings.
Google highlights AMP sites on its results pages with a green lightning bolt. This ensures an even higher click through rate from mobile users.
Speed is Everything
Speed of loading is a huge factor when someone clicks on a site/page. Of course, most users expect their phones to load pages a little slower than a desktop or tablet. However, a study conducted by Kissmetrics has shown that up to 30% of internet users will leave a page if it takes longer than 10 seconds to load and 16% will go somewhere else in the first 5 seconds of loading time.
Loading speed for mobile access is therefore massively important to your business.
AMPs and Online Advertising
Concerns have been raised that, with AMP HTML stripping away some functionality, online advertising would be compromised. Another issue is the increased number of ad blockers that has made it difficult to monetize sites. However, Google made this announcement in relation to advertising:
A goal of the Accelerated Mobile Pages Project is to ensure effective ad monetization on the mobile web while embracing a user-centric approach. With that context, the objective is to provide support for a comprehensive range of ad formats, ad networks and technologies in Accelerated Mobile Pages.
Google realizes that it needs to woo advertisers with this latest project in order to make it viable and sustainable. However, in a recent blog post, Google laid down some guidelines on its approach to advertising on AMPs – that ads should be “fast, beautiful and secure”.
When it comes to accelerating the loading of speed of your mobile-compatible pages, you don’t have to follow everything Google releases and changes (because it’s a lot), but you can yet help and advice from Google here. Meanwhile, as your marketing program adds accelerated mobile pages to its long list of things to incorporate, it may be beneficial to use the services of dedicated online marketing professionals whose job it is to work for you and stay on top of AMPs, Google analytics, changes in search engine algorithms, SEO, e-commerce, and many other marketing tasks.
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