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Everything You Need to Know About AMP — Accelerated Mobile Pages

amp accelerated mobile pages

Today, over 60% of Google search queries happen on mobile devices, according to Statista. Back in 2015, that number was just under 50%, but it was still quite a significant trend. That is why Google decided to launch its Mobilegeddon update in April 2015, which brought an enormous change in SEO practices. Now, businesses have to put additional focus on optimizing users’ mobile experience since mobile page speed is one of the SEO ranking factors for mobile. As we’ve already illustrated, the mobile market on Google was (and still is) gigantic! Luckily, Google and Twitter soon launched a project that would help websites boost their mobile page speed. The project we’re talking about is AMP — Accelerated Mobile Pages.

What Are AMPs?

In essence, AMPs are shortened forms of HTML. That makes them much more lightweight, which results in faster loading times. And the best part about Google AMP is that it’s an open-source initiative, so there’s plenty of room for customization. Sounds fantastic, right? Well, it is!

The introduction of the AMP project and the change in Google’s algorithm to cater to mobile users shows that the company cares a lot about their mobile audience. Even in 2015, data showed that 40% of users would quit a page if it took longer than three seconds to load. And do you know how long the average load time of a retail web page used to be? It was around seven seconds — more than twice as long as many of the consumers would stick around for!

So it’s safe to say that Google didn’t introduce AMPs just to give marketers headaches but to help them reach a wider audience by reducing mobile bounce rate.

How Do Accelerated Mobile Pages Work? 

Accelerated Mobile Pages are, in a way, a framework for making mobile pages. They consist of three parts: 

  • AMP HTML: This altered version of standard HTML features some custom tags and altered properties compared to its natural form. However, if you’re well-versed in HTML, adapting your current pages to their AMP versions shouldn’t pose a challenge.
  • AMP JS: This JavaScript is adapted to mobile web pages. Generally, it deals with asynchronous loading and handles resources.
  • AMP CDN: This part is optional, but if you opt for a CDN, it will handle and automate performance optimization and caching.

In a nutshell, AMPs render your mobile pages by restricting specific parts of HTML/CSS and JavaScript, which results in faster loading times. That was achieved by removing any unnecessary aspects of the code to maximize performance. 

On top of that, Google AMP Cache immediately caches these pages to improve the future loading speed even further. However, due to restrictions on JavaScript, you might have some issues with lazy loading, but that’s a worthy tradeoff if you ask us. 

Last but not least, AMPs have some additional restrictions, such as prohibiting the use of forms, but that is all for maximizing speed; you’ll just have to work around it. 

Why You Should Use AMP — Accelerated Mobile Pages

There are many benefits of Mobile Accelerated Pages, and we’ve already touched upon some of them above. But here is a more in-depth overview of how AMPs can help your website. 

SEO Benefits

As we’ve already briefly mentioned, users don’t wait too long for a page to load before leaving it. OK, but what does that have to do with SEO? It’s quite simple — AMP pages load faster, which will make users more likely to visit additional pages on your site, thus, reducing bounce rate. That results in enhanced user experience, which is one of Google’s ranking factors. Aside from that, it will also increase your website traffic since you will keep many of the people who would have otherwise left. All in all, Google AMPs are highly beneficial for both SERP rankings and your business endeavors.

Better Mobile Browser Visibility

Google openly prefers displaying mobile-optimized pages on its SERPs so much that it even marks them with a special icon. These pages are more likely to be featured or appear in carousels on top of SERPs. That means you are at a substantial disadvantage if you don’t optimize your site for mobile. Do you remember when we said that today, over 60% of users conduct Google searches on phones? Well, that’s how much you could miss out on!

Higher Google Rankings

Although Google hasn’t officially made AMPs a ranking factor, it undeniable favors optimized pages, as we’ve already mentioned. That was made evident by the changes in Google’s indexing pattern. Google currently indexes web pages on a mobile-first principle, which means it first takes a look at websites’ mobile compatibility before all else. So if your site isn’t mobile-friendly, it’s likely going to rank lower than mobile-optimized ones.

Enhanced Ad Support

Another fantastic benefit AMP brings is better-optimized ad experience. “But how?” you may ask. It’s pretty straightforward — because AMPs have more lightweight code, they lack many on-page distractions that regular websites have, such as social sharing buttons, sidebar, navigational menu, different pop-ups, etc. That increase in page space leaves plenty of room for ad optimization.

Using AMP — Accelerated Mobile Pages — allows you to make your mobile ads more user-friendly and flexible. That will increase their visibility and will make it easier for visitors to interact with them. And what does that mean? Well, more conversions, naturally!

If you’re looking to monetize your AMPs, here are a few ad networks you could try out:

In-Depth User Tracking

All marketers know that the key to any successful marketing or sales strategy is information — the more, the better. That is where AMPs can assist you. They can help you figure out where your users came from, what other pages they visited, and much more. This data is crucial for marketers since it allows them to closely monitor their lead generation, campaign success, and much more. That lets them quickly adapt if they notice something is panning out as planned.

But how do AMPs provide this information? They offer excellent analytical tools, of course. And let’s not forget to mention that all big companies, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, WordPress, Pinterest, and more, already support AMPs.

How to Set Up Accelerated Mobile Pages on WordPress

Possibly the easiest way to handle Accelerated Mobile Pages as a beginner is to do that on your WordPress website. So if you’re a WordPress user, here’s how you can get started with AMPs today.

  1. Go to https://github.com/ampproject/amp-wp and download the WordPress AMP plugin .zip file.
  2. On your WordPress website, go to the website plugin section, click “Add new,” and then press “Upload plugin.” 
  3. Upload your .zip file.
  4. Activate your WP plugin after the installation finishes.
  5. Check if the plugin is working. You can do that by looking up an article on your site by adding “/amp/” to the URL.

Don’t forget to double-check the following two things:

  • Make sure the rel=”canonical” tag is pointing to the regular article version.
  • Make sure that you’ve added the rel=”amphtml” href=”AMP PAGE” tag to the original article.

Finally, you shouldn’t forget to validate Google Analytics with your newly set up AMPs. Here’s how you can do that:

  • Find the amp-wp-master/includes/amp-post-template-actions.php file and edit it.
  • Paste this script at the end.
  • Change the following line to correspond with your Google Analytics ID: “UA-XXXXX-Y”

Now you’re done setting up your AMP — Accelerated Mobile Pages!

Setting Up AMPs at Brid.TV

We at Brid.TV understand the detriment of having slow mobile pages, so we have introduced our own Brid.TV component for AMP HTML to help our publishers’ websites remain mobile-friendly. This component is an embed code adapted for AMP HTML pages, which allows Google to register your videos as AMP-compliant. You can seamlessly implement this feature by following a few simple steps, as shown here, or by upgrading to the latest version of our WordPress plugin for all WordPress users.

We hope you found this article helpful! Until next time, best of luck to you!

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