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What are AMP Pages?

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What are AMPs?

You may have heard the acronym AMP generating buzz in the digital world and be wondering what the fuss is all about. Google has been working hard on the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project. These pages aim to improve the mobile experience for users by significantly decreasing the loading time of mobile web pages.

Example – Accelerated Mobile Pages

People are accessing information on their phones and tablets more than ever before. One of the biggest stresses for a mobile user is waiting for web pages to load, leading to them browsing elsewhere for a more pleasant experience. So what makes AMP different to a regular mobile page?

AMP is an open source program that is built using a streamlined version of HTML known as AMP HTML. This enables anyone using it to streamline their pages by stripping out all the elements that lead to lengthy loading times such as JavaScript and non-essential CSS.

Benefits of AMP

Making your site have faster loading mobile pages for visitors is not the only benefit of using AMP.

It should be made clear that AMP has not been made an official ranking factor in search. However, we do know that loading times and user experience are factors. Therefore, the implementation of AMP will inevitably increase rankings in search results due to the faster loading times and general smoother experience.

Furthermore, it is possible that AMP will lead to an improvement in click-through rates and visibility of articles. Google inserts a green symbol indicating an AMP page, which informs users they will have a great mobile experience on this page. Currently, Google is displaying AMP in large, visual carousels near the top of search results. This means these pages will attract more attention and in turn more traffic, but it is not clear whether this will be the permanent home for such pages in the future.

Image of Google logo

Some of you may be worried about analytics tracking for this new type of page. Nevertheless, this is not a problem with AMP Visitor Analytics, whereby simply inserted tags will automatically track all the usual visitor data that you would expect to see (such as traffic, conversions, new vs. returning and more).

Finally, the pages also support for advertisements, but they must adhere to new formats to keep loading speeds fast. Advertisers will have to adapt for these pages, but will provide another avenue to increase presence and get the most out of ad spend.

When is it being rolled out?

The official release date for AMP was on the 24th February 2016. AMP pages started appearing in search results a day before (looks like Google got excited) on mobile web browsers, so if you haven’t already begun building pages you may already be behind.

Currently, AMP are made for news and blog articles. However, as the project develops they are more than likely to cover a broader range of web pages.

How can brands prepare?

You may be wondering what you can do now AMP pages are live, so here are some tips to get you started.

Firstly, you’re going to want to build some AMP pages for your site and this is going to require a developer! The important thing is to ensure any pages you create are within the strict guidelines required to validate the pages.

The best way to check your pages are suitable is to use a tool built into Google Chrome’s developer tools. Here you will be able to validate all your AMP pages and be told the issues that are found. This is similar to what you may have seen before on Google PageSpeed Insights.

Next, you will want to make the process as smooth as possible for making bulk pages. Ideally, your going to want as many AMP versions of your normal pages as possible. This means it will be important to integrate with your CMS system. Fortunately, most of the major CMSs have plugins readily available. However, as the project is still in its early phases these plugins won’t be perfect, yet.

So what are you waiting for? Go build those AMP pages and improve the mobile experience of all your visitors. Be proactive instead of waiting to chase after the inevitable.

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