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Should Your Mobile Site Get AMPed?

Google’s exciting Accelerated Mobile Project is a hot topic these days as the internet behemoth is focused on increasing web page load speed on mobile devices. The program launched a year ago, giving many companies a boost in load speeds among other things. If you aren’t on board already, should your mobile site get AMPed? As a website development company that regularly creates mobile first sites for our clients we think it is a good idea and we wanted to share with you why.

What exactly is AMP?

Google has a specific vision for the internet that is based on pleasing their customer base – which basically is every person who uses the internet. As people have shifted to using mobile devices as a primary connection point, Google has shifted their focus as well looking to enhance the mobile internet as much as possible which has included spotlighting local search as well as showing preference to mobile friendly websites.

The Accelerated Mobile Project is an open source program built on AMP HTML, a new open coding framework that uses existing web technologies. To reduce load times, AMP trims HTML tags and reduces page rendering which basically sheds weight from your web pages. It is like swimming in a pool while fully clothed versus in just your birthday suit; the aim is to reduce drag.

Google then uses their own content delivery network known as the Google AMP Cache to store web pages and then deliver them at ridiculous speeds. They are able to do this because the cache is a proxy-based global content delivery network so basically they shorten the distance between the request and delivery.

So why do you need to get AMPed?

You don’t necessarily need to use AMP, but after looking at these points you are probably going to want to:

  • Better UX – A critical component of the user experience is load speed and AMP certainly helps boost your times. People don’t want to wait more than 3 seconds for a site to load according to most surveys yet many sites still take 15 seconds or more to load on a mobile device! Evening loading in 5 seconds will improve the user experience tremendously for many businesses. A few news sites switched to AMP at the end of 2015 and within month’s visitor traffic, which had been steadily declining, jumped up 25%. Obviously Google has a stake in faster mobile web speeds as that leads to customer satisfaction for them as well along with providing a better platform for ad revenue.
  • Mobile SEO – Just like anything Google promotes, there is the underlying boost sites get from being “Google compliant”. Plenty of industry experts have noticed the correlation of increased SEO rankings for companies that follow all of Google’s suggestions about how to conduct business on the web. In this case Google has announced that websites using AMP implementations may get a boost in rankings, which to us means they will and probably already are. Keep in mind, Google already adds customer satisfaction and page load speed into its’ search algorithm so an AMPed up site is more likely to be faster and have happier customers than a slower competitor.
  • Better Analytics – Analytics can be overwhelming to a site behind the scenes with different reports tracking specific things. AMP aims to cut down on redundant tags that then slow down loading times and reduce the user experience. With only one set of tags being used to report data to multiple tools, they are streamlining that process as well.
  • Accelerated Ads – One problem with monetizing sites with ads has been waiting for the darn things to load. Third-party ads typically take longer to load and can be very annoying to users as they wait for the entire site to load, sometimes because the ads are preventing other aspects from loading until they are done. With AMPed up ads, for those ad networks that use the AMP-ad extended component, the load speed is almost instantaneous just like for your AMPed up site. Not only does this make ad revenue more appealing, it can also help cut down on ad blockers which is something many people use because of how ads slow load times.

The bottom line is that Google has spent a lot of time and money on AMP and so far it looks great. The benefits to users is speed and satisfaction while a business can now consider ad revenue along with better SEO rankings on top of providing a better user experience. So should your mobile site get AMPed? You will have to make that business decision based on your own business model and customer needs, but from our perspective everyone should be strongly considering it at the very least because of the benefits.

Be sure to check back every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for great new  Lounge Lizard blog articles.

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