Supersonic Playground Ltd
Google Search on Mobile

Everything you need to know about Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMP for short, is a system designed to speed up the mobile browsing experience by loading webpages faster and thereby improving the user experience.

4 minute read

Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMP for short, is a system designed to speed up the mobile browsing experience by loading webpages faster and thereby improving the user experience.

Since mobile-friendly web design became a ranking factor in 2015, mobile site speed has become a priority for most business owners. Since a bad mobile experience and slow speed can result in a high bounce rate, and therefore impact search rankings, AMP is an excellent way giving your site a mobile-friendly boost.

How is AMP faster than a normal website?

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is essentially a stripped-down version of the HTML pages that power your current website to make it faster just on mobile. The initiative was spearheaded by Google and limited to Google search results.

JavaScript and CSS are parts of the code that make your website look and work a certain way by providing visual styles and movement. By restricting the use of these your mobile site essentially becomes a basic, readable source for mobile users, making it quicker and less distracting. AMP still allows for images, but these will lazy load. i.e. if a user scrolls down the page to where an image is, that image will load, if not it won’t, thereby increasing the site’s speed.

Will I still be able to track visitors with AMP?

Yes. Google Analytics does integrate with the AMP version of your website. However, it does require a separate tracking pixel and a change to your tracking code. One thing to be aware of is that AMP analytics data isn’t very accurate as it provides artificially higher user counts and lower page views per sessions and session duration values. If you use WordPress, there’s a handy tool by MonsterInsights that fixes this and makes the whole process much easier. You can learn more about the plugin and how to install it here.

How will my website look in search results?

Using AMP will only impact your mobile search result rankings, not desktop. AMP pages are also easy to distinguish (if you know what to look for) but not enough that users would consciously know that they’re not on your normal website. There is also evidence to suggest that the use of AMP can impact your website’s position or rank in search results due to the correlation between speed, usability and likelihood to convert.

In the screenshot below we’ve highlighted two AMP search results for ‘Accelerated Mobile Pages’. The little lightning bolt signifies the AMP sites in search results. In some cases, AMP results are also prioritised in a carousel at the top of search results for relevant pages – primarily we see this for news stories.

AMP search result example

Advantages of using AMP

There are several benefits to using Accelerated Mobile Pages, including:

  • Improved mobile speed
  • They tend to rank higher in mobile search results
  • Additional exposure in search results for AMPs
  • Reduced bounce rate
  • Enhanced user experience
  • Higher conversions

The most important thing to remember about AMP is that while they’re a stripped-down version of your website, they give users fast and seamless browsing experiences.

Disadvantages of using AMP

As with anything, AMP has pros and cons. Here’s a couple of limitations for you to consider:

  • Limited JavaScript and CSS means lack of brand and image style on pages
  • Tracking issues with Google Analytics
  • Google caches pages to save speed
  • It’s not easy to implement

Just remember AMP is supposed to be a ‘stripped-down’ version of your website, not responsive alternatives. AMP aims to provide quick, easy to digest pages on mobile devices.

Summary

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is an excellent way of providing easy to digest, fast, mobile-friendly pages for your users to read. They rank well in search engines, convert users and, most importantly, are quick. However, as a result of their fast, stripped back nature, you can lose some of your branding and style. A small price to pay for a better mobile user experience?

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