AMP, or Accelerated Mobile Pages, is a Google-run program that’s designed to make mobile websites faster to download. Essentially, it is a simplified version of HTML designed to be light and quick to load. The project is open source, with the entire platform being focused on readability. And it’s part of the growing initiative to improve the user experience on mobile devices.
With the total number of mobile users expected to surpass 4.6 billion worldwide, focusing on your website’s mobile experience is critical. Here are some ways to improve your mobile strategy.
What exactly Is AMP?
As mentioned before, AMP is an open-source way to make your pages load faster on mobile platforms. The framework is straightforward and is made up of three main core components: AMP HTML, AMP JS, and AMP Cache. Since AMP HTML is a simplified version of regular HTML, most of the scripting is extensions with custom properties. Other tags replace the normal syntax and are specific to AMP. Pages are discovered by Google (and other search engines using the relative link tag) and companies can choose to create different versions of a page or just a mobile-friendly one.
One of the main advantages of the library is that no single component or external resource can block the page because of its asynchronous nature. Furthermore, the framework sandboxes all iframes and preloads the layout, thus disabling any poor performing CSS selector. Adding to the efficiency, these types of pages use Google AMP Cache which loads using HTTP 2.0, thus increasing efficiency and performance.
Validation is a process used by an AMP validator to verify that a specific page is configured properly as an accelerated mobile page. This is important because pages that are compliant and validated will have an improved ranking in search engine results.
How do you create accelerated mobile pages?
Many popular content management systems (CMS) such as Drupal, Tumblr, WordPress, and Canvas automatically address AMP. Therefore, if your website currently uses these platforms, it is a matter of using a default template to create such pages. However, it’s also possible to create accelerated mobile pages from scratch or convert a normal HTML page to the new mobile-friendly counterpart. There are also some ready-to-go templates that users can start with.
Regardless of which method is adopted, users should be aware of the technical requirements. For example, a page should always start with the <!doctype HTML> script, which is standard for HTML. Furthermore, the page should indicate that it contains AMP content. This is achieved by using the <html amp> tag that begins the markup. The character set should be set to utf-8, and the code should also include the load command to the AMP JS library, which contains the async script tag. It is important to include this part in the head section for the page to validate correctly. For a complete guide, users can look at the AMP project documentation.
AMP and SEO
When AMP began back in 2015, Google’s intention was to improve the user experience by providing ”Top Stories” carousels, which would also entice media companies who wanted higher ranking in search results. However, to take advantage of the added popularity and ranking, sites had to incorporate AMP. As the technology progressed, research has shown that sites which implement the technology have a higher traffic growth and ranking. Some statistics demonstrated increases of more than 50 percent just on AMP.
With the growing popularity and use of mobile platforms and mobile technology, companies need to implement accelerated mobile pages to compete in a growing space.