Alchemy is famous for bold experiments attempting to change lead into gold. Well, Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) changes your under-performing mobile pages into sleek pages that load quickly.
Google launched AMP in February of 2016. They didn’t launch it alone; AMP is an open source project. It’s an effort from Google, Twitter, and other tech companies. This coalition noticed Facebook Instant Articles were loading really fast on mobile, and they wanted to compete with it. AMP definitely does compete. AMP is built for mobile pages, and it loads them faster.
AMP is a stripped down version of HTML. Because it’s stripped down, it’s faster. Google knows that people love fast-loading websites. That’s why they boost AMP websites in their search engine result pages. Every AMP page has a lightning bolt next to it, to show searchers the page is optimized for mobile.
AMP is nice, but far from perfect.
AMP is faster because there are certain tags of HTML that it doesn’t read. That means there are certain limitations that AMP has. Certain forms are out. Because of that, it’s harder to collect information for your email marketing lists.
Many websites rely on conversions, not only traffic. If people can’t fill in a form on the landing page, it’s harder to get a conversion. You also have to use a streamlined version of CSS with AMP. For instance, all CSS has to be less than 50 KB, and it also must all be in-line.
Another issue with AMP is monetizing mobile sites. AMP can only show certain types of ads. Some publishers say their revenue has dropped substantially on their AMP pages, as compared with their full mobile sites. On the other hand, some sites say they are monetizing around the same rate.
To be fair, AMP is popular with consumers and has immense long-term upside. That’s why many publishers are prepared to stick with it for now, even if it costs them money. Moreover, having an AMP compatible website gives you the chance to show up in the Google News carousel, which will spike your views. Additionally, Google prefers AMP pages, so your regular SEO is boosted as well.
You can’t just add a WordPress plug-in, and expect your website to be AMP-friendly. It will take developers to get you where you want to be. For starters, you need two pages on your site: the regular page and the AMP page. You need developers who can add the rel=canonical tag, so Google recognizes that you have two pages, ensuring you get the maximum SEO boost.
Your developers can check whether a page is AMP ready with the AMP Validator. Do you remember the saying “close only counts in horseshoes”? Well, it’s true here. Your website needs to clear a specific list of hurdles to be AMP compatible. If it’s not 100%, then you aren’t compatible.
How can AMP make you more money? For one thing, it’s fast. Users adore fast sites. This can help increase your customer loyalty, which will result in repeat business. Additionally, that lightning bolt could be the difference your first-time mobile prospects clicking on your site or a rival. Also, if you have a news site, making into the Google News carousel is a real boon.
Google AMP is at its beginning stage. It isn’t as lucrative as changing lead into gold. Yet, it’s a good marketing investment for the future. It seems search is heading in this direction.