As per a recent 2020 study, mobile traffic has incredibly grown to 504% in media consumption daily ever since 2011. While we have an increase in consumers using their mobile phones to access content, it becomes even more important to optimize for the mobile experience. Optimizing the mobile experience is not just for the users/readers but also for your SEO. What Google does is detects the pages that are loading slowly or have a higher bounce rate and will eventually rank those pages lower in the search result pages.
We understand that mobile optimization is one of the important aspects of your content strategy and SEO, and Google AMP is a technology that helps you with that. But whether it’s the best tool or not for your business majorly depends on your industry, business size, content strategy, and much more.
AMP promises to help with fast page speeds and additional visibility on Google search result pages but it requires submission to the stripped-down form of the HTML. The interesting part is that putting your website on diet will ensure to be more attractive to the users.
Regardless of Google AMP is right for you or not, by the end of this blog you will garner SEO knowledge that will help you feel confident about your site’s SEO and mobile performance.
What is AMP?
AMP, known as Accelerated Mobile Pages are the lightweight pages that are designed in order to give mobile users a fast and more engaging user experience.
AMP is an open-source HTML framework that provides a straightforward solution for the creation of webpages that work faster, with smoother loading capability thus prioritizing the user experience above everything else. In most cases, AMP helps in creating stripped-down mobile-optimized AMP copy for existing HTML5 page content. In such cases where AMP alternatives are available, the user is served on the AMP version, over the canonical page.
AMP’s main motive is to prioritize the user experience through restrictions on ads and user interface design.
- Limiting CSS to 75 KB
- Removing fluff from the critical rendering path.
In order to create faster webpages, the above-mentioned restrictions are more than enough but one thing to note that this is not the secret sauce that will be instant.
Advantages of AMP Pages
There are several potential advantages of AMP which is totally dependent on your site which includes lesser data consumption along with improved server performance, a free CDN, and that too with a higher ad view-ability.
- Faster Page Loading Times
AMP can not be the only SEO Ranking Factor for 2021 as speed is also the one to rank. 2021 with core web vitals is becoming a ranking factor. If these are implemented correctly then the load time improvements are often sizeable. Google has claimed that the median load time for an AMP page is lesser than a second. This is well within core vital requirements. Having a higher speed has an optimized user experience that is witnessed by:
Lower bounce rates
Higher time on site
Increased conversion rates.
2) Additional visibility in Google SERPs
AMP Pages to work are always accompanied by an enhanced appearance in Google SERPs on mobiles.
The Bolt Icon in SERPs
At the very basic level, AMP pages are highlighted through the bolt icon in the Google SERPs.
SEOs have claimed that this designation helps increase the click-through rates of pages as the users will choose the AMP results over others as they know the fact that it will lead them to a fast loading page.
AMP + Structured Data = Chances of Getting Richer Results
AMP when in combination with valid structure data helps in increasing the likelihood to appear on a host carousel or with results that are richer features such as the headline text and larger than thumbnail images.
Swipe to visit functionality
This functionality is exclusive for AMP pages in Google Images on mobile. For example, when a user has selected an image, they will see a preview of the site header which they can swipe up in order to visit the site page. What’s to be noted is that for additional visibility the AMP is required for the inclusion of coveted top stories carousel especially when the exception is the COVID-19 related content. But over the period of time, it is set to change in 2021 with the core web vitals update that will allow both AMP and non-AMP pages that too with a focused on-page experience metrics.
Disadvantages of AMP
- From a Developer standpoint
- Restricted framework when it comes to design
- The added burden to implementation
- Creates a technical debt
- No guarantee of light speed without AMP cache
- From a Sales standpoint
- Lack of presence of AMP inventory creates complexity
- Limitation in ad features due to the framework.
- From Marketers standpoint
- Cost is double when compared to crawl for one piece of content.
- An extra burden to optimize
- The AMP viewer of Google dilutes the brand identity.
AMP’s case studies along with case study outcomes have been a mixed bag of both advantages and disadvantages. It is clear that many publishers enjoy and have been enjoying the exclusive placement of AMP of the top stories carousel.