08 Jan 2018

Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMP, have been around for eighteen months, yet despite being the lovechild of all the major search engines, have failed to become a mainstream 'must have' technology....until now.

In this article, you can find out why and despite the reasons, why you should invest in AMP.

Why is there a need for accelerated mobile pages?

Google managed to convince themselves, Bing and Baidu that there needed to be an initiative to make mobile web pages lightning fast, especially where data bandwidth was low.
We may be used to 4G and Wifi but in some third world parts of the USA, the load times of modern mobile web pages has a detrimental effect on the ability to shop online.

Ther infographic below, sheds some light on Google's thinking. Of the planet's 7.6 billion population, only 1.1 billion has access to high speed internet. The remaining 2.1 billion with internet, have low speed access and for the most part, only access the internet with a mobile device. When the remaining 4.2 billion get online, it is believed that they will do so exclusively with a mobile device.

So, in an attempt to unlock all of this untapped advertising revenue potential by making the internet accessible to these users, Google are trying to force, or at least incentivise, a transition to AMP. From July 2018, all search results will be determined by mobile ranking signals only and load speed will form a significant part of those signals.

Are accelerated mobile pages good?

YES - For businesses, publishers and marketeers.

For businesses who implement AMP, their websites will undoubtedly reach a wider audience. AMP pages typically require only 10% of the bandwidth of a conventional mobile page and will load many times faster.

AMP pages are served directly from Googles global CDN (free of charge) and as a consequence, the average load speed of a mobile page on 4G will reduce from 14 seconds to 1 second and on 3G from 19 seconds to 4 seconds.

Consequently, while your website may be hosted in London, website visitors in Indonesia with a 3G connection will see your website load as quickly as a visitor in London with a comparable signal.

For those who aren't concerned about Global reach, it is worth noting that in the UK, only 58% of mobile users can get 4G at any point in time.
Also, and more importantly, the search engines offer a bonus to AMP pages. AMP pages get priority in mobile search results.

MOSTLY - For website visitors and users

For internet users with poor data coverage, having access to web pages that would otherwise be unavailable or else take forever to load, is a good thing.
For those with 4G and Wifi, confusion and inconvenience may be caused by inadvertently selecting the AMP page. Why? ...because, due to some of the constraints of AMP pages they can be a bit stripped out and paired back. They will have some styling but some of the features and functionality that we have become used to will have been removed, because Javascript (which makes all of the magic happen) is all but prohibited. That said, Google are trying to make things easier by introducing new AMP compliant elements.

NO - For developers.

For developers and those who build websites, there is the realisation that accelerated mobile pages have to be created in addition to conventional mobile pages as it simply is not possible to make a regular website AMP compliant. Once that has been accepted and understood, there needs to be a significant degree of development carried out to facilitate this.

In essence, developers are being asked to do more to make a lesser end product, which kind of goes against the grain.

Weighing up AMP

Most of the challenges come from accepting what AMP is and what it means to have AMP pages. It requires a shift in expectations and an investment, but there are significant rewards involved where larger audiences can be reached and a competitive edge can be gained. In principle.

Recent case studies have shown that for a UK based e-commerce website, implementing AMP had an immediate impact, resulting in an uplift in mobile traffic of 42% and a resulting uplit in transactions of 48%.

A similar study on a UK based lead generating site saw an immediate uplift in traffic of 27%

Considering the consequences of not having a fast loading mobile site from July 2018 and the gains offerred by AMP implementation, now is definitely the time to go all in with AMP.

What are the next steps?

To gain a better understanding of the benefits and implications of AMP, contact our team to arrange a discussion about what AMP can do for you.

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