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People have zero patience.
Seriously, we’re talking an attention span of less than 8 seconds. This phenomenon, brought on by the Digital Age, is what led to the creation of Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).
The Google AMP Project promised to make it easy for publishers to provide quick-loading mobile articles, designed to satisfy consumers’ need for instant information. Suddenly every business owner ever is under the impression that it’s Mobilgeddon all over again and that they need to take immediate action to get in on this new Google development.
So what exactly is Google AMP, how does it affect your small to medium business, and, most importantly, do you really need it?
Let’s start from the beginning.
What Is Google AMP?
Last October, Google announced the introduction of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), a framework to make articles and web pages load 15 – 85 percent faster on mobile devices. The idea behind this is to create a faster user experience for mobile users, 40 percent of whom have the tendency to abandon a web page if it takes longer than roughly 3 seconds to load.
Most standard web pages have a lot of advanced coding on the back end. This web jargon mumbo-jumbo includes code for videos, contact forms, hi-def images, and other fancy attributes to be displayed on a web page.
The problem with this is that generally, the more code there is and the more special functions and features there are, the longer the web page takes to load.
Accelerated Mobile Pages have a streamlined language that eliminates a lot of this backend-clogging markup to leave you with a stripped down, TLDR version of the code that can load instantly and is easy to read on mobile devices. Think of it like ditching your heavy, tricked-out hiking gear so you can reach the summit faster.
And *poof* the AMP Project was born.
How Google Accelerated Mobile Pages Work
Essentially, you’re creating two versions of every web page you want to be AMP friendly, one regular one and one with the stripped down code.
There are a couple ways to make your pages AMP-friendly. One way is to individually create a whole new set of AMPs, one for each webpage, using code provided on the AMP Project website. There are also a variety of WordPress plugins that automatically create a set of AMPs.
Once you have your website set up with AMPs, Google crawls them and your AMPs should begin to show up in mobile search results.
Does My Business Need Google AMP?
If you are a publisher whose line of business is in creating articles, news, and blog posts, then yes, do that immediately. Otherwise, nah, you’re good—for now.
The platform was originally designed as an open-source initiative to provide news outlets and content publishers (influential bloggers, etc.) a way to speed up load time on articles to make impatient people happy.
Your small or medium business should be fine without AMPs—for a while. As the platform becomes more integrated with search results, you’ll most likely need to jump on the wagon. If you want to be ahead of the curve and have the resources, go for it—that way you’ll be all set up as it gains further traction.
If you do decide you want to be proactive, don’t spend all your resources on creating AMPs for every single webpage on your website. The place to start would be your company news and your blog.
Hold on, though. Before you start AMP-ing your website, understand that it takes a lot more than just downloading plugin or creating duplicate, canonized pages. AMP language usually strips out things like contact forms and stylistic markup that has to be re-coded in the simplified AMP format. Otherwise you’re stuck with a plain-Jane, bare bones page that can negatively affect mobile user conversion rate.
Does Google AMP Affect SEO?
Yes and no. Google incorporated mobile-friendliness into their search rankings algorithm last year, so we know webpages that are mobile friendly do receive a boost in rankings. However, AMP is not a ranking factor—yet. Since AMPs are featured in a carousel (most of the time) above the fold, it does push down organic search results on mobile.
Right now, business owners should focus on creating engaging, smartly-designed content that translates well onto mobile devices. This includes:
- Compelling images that add to your text
- An engaging, attention-getting headline
- Correctly tagged meta data
- An intro paragraph that leaves the readers wanting more
- Shareable content with lists, bullets, and short sentences
If you need help generating this type of content, you can always ask a bomb-ass agency, like ours, for help. Contact us if your website needs to be mobile-friendly or you just want to chat!
About The Author: Betsy is the social media lead and a digital marketing expert with Blue Corona. When she’s not managing Blue Corona's digital content campaigns she’s urban exploring, hiking with her dog, or teaching horseback riding lessons. Twitter: @educatedbets
View more blogs by Betsy McLeod