July 31, 2021

Open Source Accelerated Mobile Pages: Why Is Google AMP The Future Of Mobile SEO?

At a time when the large majority of Americans can’t go a few hours—let alone a day—without checking their phones, mobile SEO has become a priority for most businesses.

Over the past few years, mobile accessibility and usage have increased like never before. An astounding 49% of Americans use their phones to shop online. In fact, mobile-based online sales are expected to skyrocket to 54% by 2021.

Whether you recently launched a startup, own a small business, or run multiple large-scale franchises, creating a mobile-friendly website is non-negotiable.

And it doesn’t stop there.

According to Think With Google, 53% of web users abandon pages that take longer than three seconds to load. While you may have checked off all the boxes, skimping on page speed will take you back to square one. Not only will your conversions take a hit, but your brand identity will also weaken.

So how do you close this Pandora’s box? You leverage Google AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages).

Let’s delve deep into the AMP framework to understand why it’s the next big thing in mobile SEO.

What Is Google AMP?

Google AMP: Future Of Mobile SEO

Google is known to release unexpected and ground-breaking updates that instantly take the world by storm and become the talk of the digital town for months to come.

Sure enough, the AMP project was one of these announcements. The AMP plugin was initiated by Google in collaboration with Twitter.

Simply put, Google AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is an open-source framework that improves mobile page speed. Created for web designers and developers, the project was launched to enhance mobile-friendliness by ensuring seamless mobile web browsing.

Here’s how Google encapsulated the web component framework:

AMP is an open-source HTML framework that provides a straightforward way to create web pages that are fast, smooth-loading and prioritize the user-experience above all else.

How Does AMP Work?

Upon its release, Google AMP raised more than a few eyebrows.

Web designers and developers, SEO experts, and web marketing teams were intrigued, a tad skeptical, and largely curious.

How did the plugin work? Was it worth the big talk? Was implementation easy? Were the benefits as favorable as they were made out to be? Were there hidden caveats?

As the answers became clearer, AMP’s immense potential and efficacy began to manifest.

Google AMP: Future Of Mobile SEO

Google AMP, in essence, is a stripped-down, smooth-loading, and mobile-optimized version of JavaScript and HTML. It creates a faster and lighter copy of HTML5 content by enforcing strict design restrictions to prevent performance degradation.

The new preconnect API plays a big role in maximizing the speed of HTTP requests.

Here’s how this does the trick.

Each time a web user receives a set of mobile search results, Google immediately gets to work. Before the user clicks on a specific search result, Google starts loading page components in advance. By the time the web user visits a page, most of the content is already available.

The outcome?

Instant loading.

Unlike non-AMP pages, AMP pages are expertly pre-rendered to ensure consistent and fast loading across the board.

You’re probably wondering why this is a big deal. Sure, pre-rendering is great, but it also utilizes a substantial amount of bandwidth and CPU. When it comes to mobile SEO, optimization strategies should be widely implementable—not just restricted to a few with stellar software and connection.

AMP was designed with these disruptions in mind. Instead of downloading heavy page resources that may use up a lot of bandwidth or CPU, AMP downloads resources above the fold. This careful navigation and selection process ensures only essential resources are downloaded to maximize speed without wreaking havoc on bandwidth consumption and CPU utilization.

With a strong foundation, AMP packs a powerful punch.

How Has Google AMP Transformed Mobile SEO?

1. Reduced Bounce Rate

Google AMP: Future Of Mobile SEO

When it comes to mobile-friendly websites, users have high expectations.

And rightfully so.

Imagine running a local search—“tech support in New York,” for instance—and clicking on the first listing in the Google 3-Pack only to be left waiting for longer than anticipated. While some people may stick around and endure the wait, the large majority is most likely to click off and visit the second or third listing in the 3-Pack.

This, in a nutshell, is one of the biggest reasons why businesses have a high bounce rate, i.e. the percentage of visitors who leave a webpage without taking a desired action.

By reducing page load speed, AMP significantly lowers bounce rate. Not only will users stick around on the specific webpage they initially visited, but they’ll also feel more inclined to navigate your site owing to the impressive speed. This plays a big role in increasing audience engagement and retention.

2. Improved Rankings On Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs)

Google AMP: Future Of Mobile SEO

We’ve mentioned this before, but it begs emphasis, so we’ll reiterate: Google’s algorithm is in a league of its own. It expertly crawls, indexes, and ranks websites to ensure web users receive relevant search results that answer their queries as closely as possible.

If you search for “the best pancakes in Phoenix,” you’ll find just that: top-tier breakfast restaurants with the top-rated pancakes in Phoenix, Arizona.

How does Google decide which restaurants belong in the 3-Pack and on the first page?

It uses a wide range of ranking factors, including the quantity and quality of customer reviews, Google My Business accuracy and optimization, mobile-friendliness, and page speed, among others.

Needless to say, if you’ve optimized your website for mobile and implemented AMP, your website will rank higher, generate more traffic, and earn more conversions.

The outcome?

Incredible sales.

This is where AMP becomes one of the most vital weapons in your mobile SEO arsenal. With impressive load speed, your website will become more visible on the web!

3. Greater Potential to Turn Impressions into Clicks

While ranking high on SERPs is a great way to maximize conversions, there’s still a lot of uncertainty.

Let’s say you rank second for a specific search query. While your competitor may rank third, they can still generate more traffic than you if their title tag and meta description are better optimized and more compelling. Within a few weeks, they could end up taking your spot.

Mobile SEO isn’t just about improving your rankings. While visibility is great, it doesn’t guarantee engagement. Instead, you should have a strong focus on turning impressions into clicks.

Google AMP helps you do just that. Unlike non-AMP pages, AMP pages have an eye-catching lightning sign next to the URL.

Here’s a glimpse:

Google AMP: Future Of Mobile SEO

This sign indicates that the webpage is optimized to load faster and offer a seamless mobile browsing experience. As AMP continues to increase in popularity, most web users have become familiar with its benefits. This means they’re more likely to visit AMP pages as opposed to non-AMP pages.

With a visual stamp next to your pages, you’ll manage to convert mere impressions into clicks that result in potential conversions.

If you take another look at this screenshot, you’ll notice that the non-AMP page ranks below the AMP pages. As mentioned earlier, the AMP plugin serves as a ranking signal.

In short, AMP pages rank better and earn more clicks than non-AMP pages. When it comes to mobile SEO, this is a big win. As you continue to rank higher and engage your target audience, you’ll also notice a reduction in customer attrition, i.e. customer loss.

4. Improved Brand Identity

As digital competition continues to increase, standing out from the crowd has become more important than ever. Brands are constantly raising the bar and upping their game to become the go-to name in their respective industry and location. Creating a winning brand identity helps build trust with your audience and position yourself as a leading voice in the industry.

Needless to say, mobile SEO is a surefire way to make your website more accessible and crystallize your brand identity.

If your website has a poor layout, takes too long to load, or features drab graphics, you’ll portray your brand as reckless, inattentive, and indifferent. Taking steps to actively improve user experience, on the contrary, is a strong sign that you care about your customers and are willing to improve their experience with your brand.

Optimizing your pages for AMP is one way to establish a stellar brand identity and help your business grow in the long run.

How Can I Implement AMP?

Google AMP: Future Of Mobile SEO

The official website for the AMP project is replete with compartmentalized resources to help you pick a well-suited “how-to” guide and get started. The process is simple, straightforward, and not nearly as time-consuming as you may think.

If you use WordPress, you can download andinstall the official AMP plugin. Follow the instructions to activate the plugin. You’ll be required to communicate that your URL is amp by appending “/amp/” to your pages.

Once you feel that you’ve taken care of everything, we recommend validating your page using the AMP validator. You’ll receive a comprehensive report of potential issues so you can resolve them and publish your page accordingly.

How Can I Monitor Progress?

Once you’ve implemented AMP, closely assess its impact to ensure your business is benefiting through and through.

In some cases, businesses abandon their projects and fail to keep up with new updates and requirements. This can backfire and leave you with an outdated mobile website. Forgoing periodic monitoring will also prevent you from analyzing insights and making changes—if needed—to ensure optimal performance.

Here’s how you can get started.

Google AMP: Future Of Mobile SEO

Use the AMP Test Tool to check your site’s AMP status and identify errors, if any.

In addition, keep up with your AMP status report to identify and resolve errors, if any. Look out for zero amp errors (warnings and recommendations) and missing AMP pages. If the total number of AMP pages on your report is less than the AMP pages on your website, you may have to check for indexing problems and inform Google immediately.

Keep a close eye on Google-specific AMP issues and signed exchange issues.

Future Potential and Final Thoughts

Since its release, AMP has been widely adopted and appreciated for its smooth functioning, efficacy, and easy implementation.

The AMP project is far from over.

Google has continued to release new features and plans on widening the project to encompass more targets in the near future. Two of the most anticipated new features—AMP Stories and AMP Email—have already been launched and are being further developed.

AMP Stories is a visually stunning and fast-loading digital storytelling format similar to the ones used by Snapchat and Instagram. With tappable interactions and compelling animations, the platform offers an immersive experience with a strong focus on fast loading times. This key feature is ultimately what sets these platforms apart from the competition and draws audiences in.

The AMP Email format allows users to send interactive and dynamic emails.

The outcome? Enhanced workflow and a modernized experience.

From prioritizing safe and security to increasing in-mail capabilities, the platform is set to make waves.

If you’re considering implementing AMP in 2020, juxtapose its benefits with those of regular mobile optimization to determine whether your company can get an edge by installing the plugin.

If your website is already extremely fast, making the switch wouldn’t make much sense. However, if you’re struggling to reduce bounce rate and maximize web conversions, embracing AMP sounds like a great way to get a high return on investment.

Combine AMP with additional mobile SEO strategies to ensure your business hits the ground running and doesn’t lose momentum!

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One Comment

  1. Good article. Thanks for sharing this information!!

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