If your brand’s website is a central part of your business plan, then you know how important optimization for mobile use is. Right!
And if you’ve worked on making your website mobile-friendly, you know how important page loading time is.
Mobile users are notoriously impatient. If your page takes longer than 3 seconds to load, 40% of users will give up and leave the page. Getting your pages to load quickly (ideally within a second) is essential to keep your bounce rate down.
Sometimes that’s easier said than done, though. Google’s solution is called Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). It’s a new kind of webpage that loads fast – really fast – and can help you to improve your bounce rate and SEO.
What Is Google AMP?
You can also include ads and analytics tools. AMP pages are entirely separate versions of your web pages, and they are cached on Google’s servers (much in the same way that Facebook’s Instant Articles are saved right on Facebook). Then, when a user clicks on a link to an AMP page, it loads almost instantaneously right from Google. How quickly, you ask? Testers at Pinterest found that “AMP pages.” That’s a big difference.
How Does AMP Affect SEO?
Creating AMP pages can help your SEO in a couple of ways.
The biggest bonus is that Google is highlighting AMP pages in their search results. Before the fold, Google has created a carousel of AMP pages titled “tops stories.” This is prime real estate that places your page above the majority of results. AMP also helps your page by making it faster and more mobile-friendly, two factors that search engine algorithms take into consideration. In total, using AMP can help you to increase your impressions and clicks while reducing your bounce rate.
What Kind of Pages Does AMP Work Well For?
Despite its benefits, AMP will not work well for all kinds of web pages.
Google is clearly marketing it as a specialized tool for news websites, and news giants such as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal have begun taking advantage of it.
The simplified AMP pages, which consist primarily of text and images, work well for news and written content. They won’t work well, however, for more complex things such as landing pages or e-commerce pages.
If you run a blog or news site, AMP is perfect. Otherwise, you may want to consider making AMP pages for just a portion of your site, such as the blog.
Is AMP Live Everywhere?
Google rolled AMP out in February 2016, and so far it doesn’t seem to be active everywhere.
We know that it is live in at least 12 countries: Brazil, Germany, Spain, France, the UK, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Japan, Russia, and the US.
Over the past few months, Google hasn’t clarified where else AMP searches work, but a spokesperson has admitted that it isn’t yet live everywhere. If it doesn’t appear active in your area (you’ll know if you don’t see a scrolling carousel of top news stories) but you want to try it out by going to g.co/ampdemo.
We imagine it will be working worldwide soon and that it will have a pretty big impact on search results. So the next time you’re lamenting a slow page loading time, AMP could be the solution!
Written by content manager Meghan Woolley
Please subscribe to our newsletter about social media news and strategies for social media marketing in your inbox every week.