You may have heard of AMP, now it’s time to understand it and appreciate the benefits of incorporating it into your SEO campaign.
The short answer is that AMP is designed by Google to help your website rank higher when people are searching on mobile devices. The more complex of this definition is that it was created as an open-source HTML standard by the AMP-OSP. It competes directly with Facebook’s Instant Articles. The key to AMP is in increasing the speed at which a webpage loads. The average user spends just 15 seconds on a page if your site takes more than 5 seconds to load they are likely to move on without ever having seen what you have to offer.
Originally developed as an open-source coding project for publishers it was intended to improve user experience by stripping down any HTML page to make it lightweight, the lighter it is the faster it loads and the easier it is to read on your device.If you’ve ever done a mobile search and noted a lightning bolt next to the result then you’ve located an AMP webpage. The next time you search on Google take a look at the carousel, where you can scroll through webpage options by sliding the small images to the left. These are AMP pages.
See also: Google My Business Verification
Of course, while publishers still dominate the use of AMP Google has now waded into the scene, appreciating the benefit of speedy loading to businesses and consumers. This has led to some strict rules regarding the level of advertising on a webpage, less is better for loading speed.
Google AMP cache is simply a vault of web documents already validated and approved, anyone can use these documents to facilitate loading speed.
In effect, the cache is a gateway to mobile internet search engines. If you want to offer AMP pages then you need to go through this cache. While the cache can adjust your model of a webpage or even cause analytic attribution to be shared, there are several positives from using this approach:
• All pages are approved to the same standard
• Standardization allows pages to be preloaded, dramatically reducing final load times when users search and request them.
• Provide an array of performance benefits for users.
• AMP accreditation meaning the user knows it is what it says it is. Fast loading and user friendly.
In short, the Google AMP cache preloads or pre-renders a webpage. When a search is completed and the user clicks on a page the content is already on Google and can be loaded instantly, it doesn’t need to connect to or through a myriad of other servers.
Speed, that’s it. If your website ranks equally with someone else’s for SEO but the other site loads faster it will outrank you. That means it will appear above yours in the search results and potentially steal customers!
To ensure you’re performing well in search results you need to create two versions of your web pages:
1. The original desktop orientated version
2. The stripped-down, AMP coded, AMP version
SEO relies on keywords and is still essential, by creating a lightweight version of your webpage you’ll be covering all search options, effectively improving your ranking and number of viewers.
There are several advantages of AMP to SEO.
You need the right keyword to ensure your webpage is found when a search is performed. But, the very top results on any page are now the AMP results on the carousel. That means the right keyword with an AMP page can get you to the top of a search, bypassing the standard protocols. This is possible now because AMP is still in its infancy, the greater the take up the harder it will be to jump to the top. But, if your team acts now you’ll already be there.
Desktop users may wait up to 15 seconds for a webpage to load, mobile users generally only wait for 6. You need AMP to ensure your page loads in less time than this, providing the opportunity for users to actually read your content. Don’t forget, the faster your load time the higher you’ll rank in search results. Load times should be factored into your website quality audit because it’s an easy win for a lot of sites that haven’t optimized their speed.
The bounce rate increases with the number of people that leave your site quickly. The lower the bounce rate the greater the quality of your page content, at least according to Google.Faster loading times tied to relevant SEO reduces bounce rates, improving your reputation with Google and readers!
AMP is going to bring more visitors to your site and help you retain them, which means more opportunities to sell your products or services. More sales equal more profit, a greater market share, and potentially an improved awareness of your service by the public.
Implementing AMP on a non-service/product website which solely depends on search traffic – like a news site – is a no brainer. If you are selling products or services, it makes more sense to work on the mobile responsiveness of your overall website. In fact, AMP is not even a part of Google Search Console anymore. Speed is a ranking factor, AMP helps you obtain rich snippet spots. But expecting it to do wonders is not a great idea.
If you’re using WordPress you can actually install a plugin ( download link | Installation and configuration Video ) that handles the conversion to AMP for you! You’ll then need to validate it with Google AMP cache by following the simple instructions in the control panel.The alternative is to redesign each webpage of your site, reducing images, adverts, and other add-ons. Effectively the fewer tags you have the faster the webpage will load. This is a more time-consuming approach but potentially leaves you with more control over what is left in and what is removed from each page. The key to deciding whether you should be instigating AMP now is to complete searches on your current keywords. IF the AMP carousel appears you need to be on it!
Easy. The Google AMP verification tool does just that. You will just have to punch in your URL.
If you only got HTML / code – check out the AMP project.