Have you ever tried to pull up a website on your phone and it takes forever? Does it frustrate you? Do you leave the page because you run out of patience?
When a website owner implements AMP, you’re not going to run this problem.
If you’re a website owner, this is something you should definitely learn more about and consider using for your own website!
What Is AMP?
AMP is short for Accelerated Mobile Pages. It’s an open source coding standard for websites. It’s basically a stripped-down version of HTML (Hypertext Markup Language). It’s designed to cut out the bulky render-blocking code so that site pages load very quickly.
In layman’s terms, it’s a way to make your web pages smaller (but keep them visually about the same) so that they load very quickly on mobile phones.
The AMP acronym popped up around 2015 when much of the world started to use their phones to search for things, rather than using a desktop computer every time.
Google noticed that mobile sites were slow to load. This isn’t good for the sites or for Google, so they did something about it. They created the Accelerated Mobile Pages Project.
How AMP Works to Increase Page Speeds
The AMP project was created to make web pages load on your phone as fast as possible. It does this by getting rid of anything that slows down a site.
According to the project, around 70% of conventional web pages take around 7 to 10 seconds to load. Accelerated Mobile Pages only take a second.
According to Kissmetrics, 47% of consumers expect a page to load in two seconds or less, and 40% of consumers will abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load.Around 70% of conventional web pages take around 7 to 10 seconds to load. Accelerated Mobile Pages @AMPhtml only take a second. Learn more about #AMP and why it's important: Click To Tweet
How AMP Affects SEO
First of all, if your site is slow, people won’t wait until it loads – they’ll click the back button, abandoning your site before seeing it, to click on a faster website. If people are clicking on your links from search results but bouncing back within a couple seconds, that can negatively affect your SEO.
If your site pages are built in AMP, they will have a fast label designation next to your result on search engine results pages, drawing visitors to click on your result because of its fast designation. As more and more mobile searchers learn what the symbol means, it’s quite possible they’ll go out of their way to click on AMP results over others on a regular basis.
Google tends to favor AMP sites over non-AMP sites. This means that your site could rank better in organic searches if you’ve implemented AMP. Plus, in general, faster sites lead to higher conversion rates and engagement metrics.
Here’s an example of those AMP symbols showing up in a search for “What is AMP?”:
If you have AMP article webpages, they could be featured in Google’s carousel of article results. Have you looked up something on your phone and noticed a bunch of different articles at the top? Ones that you scroll through side by side? That’s the AMP article carousel:
Those are all AMP articles and sites. So, if your site is AMP-powered, it could show up there, right at the top of the page.
The Future of AMP and SEO
Google announced that it has created a mobile-friendly web index, which prioritizes mobile search over desktop search. Google has encouraged all websites to create mobile-friendly web pages for mobile indexation so they don’t receive poor KPIs during the transition.
While AMP isn’t yet a requirement for excellent SEO, it has the potential to become that way.
How to Add AMP to Your Website
There are a few different ways you can upgrade your website to use AMP. If you are using one of the popular CMS’s, like WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla, you just have to download it.
Please note, in most cases, it’s advisable to have a professional web developer help you with something like this.
Using AMP in WordPress
WordPress already has an agreement with the team at AMP Project, which means that it will be easy to add it if you are using WordPress. If you know how to install a plugin, you can add AMP functionality to your website. However, be careful about installing plugins in WordPress – they don’t always play really well together, especially if you’ve got a custom-built WordPress site. Ask your web developer to do this if you have a custom website.
Drupal also has its own plugin for AMP pages. To install it, go to the ‘extend’ section on your dashboard. You should see “install new module.”
Then you choose what plugin you want. This is the official Drupal plugin.
Joomla has a good amount of extensions available for advanced mobile pages as well. You can download a plugin from the site and upload it into your Joomla control panel. You click on extensions and then extension manager.
Once you’ve installed AMP, you should validate it. You can do this easily by using the AMP Validator Chrome Plugin. Once you install the plugin, an icon will appear where the Chrome extensions are. The icon will turn green when the AMP HTML is valid on the webpage you’re visiting.
If it’s not valid, it will turn red, and you can click to view the errors. Once you fix those errors, you can try again and see if it’s valid.
If your site isn’t valid, it won’t be cached by Google or other sites that use AMP to quickly display pages.
Make AMP Work for You and Your Website
AMP can be your friend and enemy at the same time. It’s great to do anything that can boost your SEO and website visits, but it can be hard in some cases to actually get it to work. If you get overwhelmed or frustrated, that’s okay. Contact Thrive now to get some help with implementing AMP.