Now the share of mobile traffic significantly exceeds the desktop one, and page loading speed plays a decisive role. According to KISSmetrics statistics, a 1-second delay in speed can reduce conversions by 7%, and if it takes more than 3 seconds to load a page, 40% of users will leave the page.
According to the SECL Group, a company that is engaged in web development of high-load projects, the creation of an AMP version of the project is included in every fourth TOR.
As more and more people use smartphones to surf the web, it is important for site owners to optimize their resources for mobile devices. In this article, we will tell you whether it is worth doing it using AMP, and will try to give as much information as possible to make an informed decision – whether you need to implement this technology, and also share the experience of companies that have already implemented AMP.
A small excursion into history
In 2016, Google announced the launch of Accelerated Mobile Pages, a technology designed to enhance the mobile content consumption experience. AMP allows sites to load instantly on mobile devices. To achieve lightning speed, pages are sent to Google’s servers, which allows the search engine to cache and render AMP content before the user clicks on the link in the search results.
The official website of the technology: https://amp.dev. Some milestones of development:
- 2015 – the beginning of development. Google announced the AMP project (October 7).
- 2016 is the first appearance of AMP pages in mobile search.
- 2017 – AMP ad integration.
- 2018 – AMP Stories development.
- 2018 – AMP emails emerged.
- 2018 – Microsoft adopted AMP for Bing.
- 2018 – AMP plugin for WordPress released.
- 2019 AMP for OpenJS Foundation.
- 2020 – The total number of websites using AMP exceeds 1,400,000.
The idea behind the project was to make the same algorithm and code work on all mobile devices and platforms, be it a phone, tablet or any other mobile device.
From the very beginning, numerous international news portals were involved in the project. The Guardian, The Washington Post, Buzzfeed, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Die Zeit and El Pais are some of the early adopters of AMP. Twitter and LinkedIn are also participating in AMP as technology partners. Almost every major internet portal today uses AMP.
Comparison between AMP and the regular mobile version of The Guardian
In Google SERPs, a lightning bolt appears next to AMP content. It means that the page will load almost instantly – or rather, 4 times faster than regular mobile pages.
Yandex has created its own version of fast mobile pages called Turbo Pages. In general, the technology is similar to AMP: pages contain only text, images and static ads. According to the developers, the loading speed of Turbo pages is 15 times faster than usual. In Yandex search results, accelerated sites are highlighted with a rocket icon.
It’s no secret that mobile website optimization is important not only for improving the perception of content, but also for SEO. Google AMP and Turbo Pages are technologies designed to help you do this. Let’s see who should pay attention to them first.
When to use AMP
1. Mobile devices are the main source of traffic
If most of your users visit the site from smartphones, then AMP is ideal for optimizing the entire resource or its individual sections for mobile devices. It will also improve SEO metrics as well as mobile acquisition and retention rates.
2. The mobile version of the site takes longer than 3 seconds to load
According to numerous studies, if a page takes longer than 3 seconds to load, 79% of users will leave the site. AMP will help increase your loading speed and retain visitors.
3. The site publishes news and articles
Since AMP is focused on text content, they are great for sites with a lot of articles.
When not to use AMP
1. The site already has a responsive version
If your pages load fast enough anyway, AMP might be overkill. However, there is nothing stopping you from doing A / B testing.
2. You publish articles only in the “blog” section
You do not need to optimize the entire site if you can limit yourself to only its content part.
3. The site has a lot of interactive elements
AMP does not allow displaying pop-ups, forms, social widgets and other functional elements that are important for some sites.
All of the above points also apply to Yandex Turbo pages.
Let’s look at the possible positive and negative effects of AMP implementation.
Pros of AMP
- Lightning fast content loading and better rankings
Sites with AMP often rank higher, as fast loading can lower the bounce rate and thus improve the site’s ranking. Loading speed and mobile-first content are among the key ranking factors today. Search engines love pages that provide instant access to content. Being ultralight, AMPs can load faster than standard web pages and have a significant impact on ranking results.
- Positive impact on conversion
Google research has shown that AMP sites can potentially get twice the page visit time, and for e-commerce, AMP implementation increases conversions by an average of 20%.
- Additional visibility in search
A lightning bolt in front of a page makes it more visible to users.
According to Google, 85% of publishers reported higher visibility and higher CTR on AMP pages.
However, AMP technology is not without its drawbacks, and it is worth knowing about them before implementing the technology.
Cons of AMP
- AMP implementation is an extra effort
You will have to spend your time and money creating new pages, as well as their ongoing support.
- May affect ad revenue
- Difficulty tracking
For Google Analytics to track AMP pages, you need to add the tracking code manually.
- Limited functionality
AMP does not allow displaying interactive widgets and some site design elements. You may have to compromise between speed and visual appeal.
- The probability of a decrease in attendance
Sometimes search engines show the content of a page right in the search results (this can be a Google Answer Box or one of the special carousels), and visitors get the information they need without going to the site.
Sample search results showing page content
The same pros and cons you might encounter when using Turbo Pages.
Insights from companies that have implemented AMP
Let’s leave the arguments about whether or not to use AMP, and look at the results of companies that decided to implement.
At SMX West in March 2017, Google’s Ranna Zhou shared the impact websites have seen as a result of accelerating pages with AMP:
Also, success stories can be found on the official technology website: https://amp.dev/success-stories/.
However, AMP is still criticized by many. In 2018, a whole community of developers, public figures and SEO professionals published an open letter to Google. In it, they expressed dissatisfaction with the fact that when viewing AMP pages, the user does not essentially leave the Google ecosystem, and search results are putting accelerated pages above sites with conventional mobile optimization. As a solution, it is proposed to implement neutral criteria for page performance and not use the google.com domain to display site content.
It is not known what Google thinks about this letter, but the development of AMP technology is still actively ongoing.
If you decide to implement AMP
In short, the path to AMP site isolation consists of the following steps:
- Decide if you will optimize the entire site or part of it.
- If you decide to implement AMP from scratch, use the official guides. If you want to modify the finished mobile version of the site, check out the AMP page specification.
- You can check the created pages with a special web tool from Google or a plugin for Google Chrome.
- Don’t forget to add your AMP tracking code.
- Optimize your pages for SEO. For this:
- Make them visible… Add AMP page information to non-AMP page and vice versa. Use rel = “amphtml” (on AMP) and rel = “canonical” (on non-AMP) in the link tags in the head container.
- Optimize URLs… To do this, you can use the parameter (? Amp), subdomain (amp.domain.tld) and subfolders (domain / folder / article / amp or domain / folder / article.amp.html).
- Make a consistent and workable user interfaceidentical to the canon page.
- Check SEO-Important Code… Elements such as hreflang, H tags, and image alt text should be the same for both AMP and canon pages.
- Don’t add AMP URLs to your XML sitemap… Rel = “amphtml” gives Google enough information to discover AMP pages.
If you choose Yandex Turbo Pages, use their detailed instructions for connecting.
Summary: yes or no?
Google AMP is a relatively new technology that may not be suitable for everyone. Because of its structure, AMP limits many possibilities and focuses only on content delivery. And while developers expand AMP functionality every year, site owners keep wondering if it’s worth spending a lot of time, effort, and money on implementation.
While AMP is supported by many large sites like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, that doesn’t mean it’s ideal for small businesses or individual developers. So before you opt for accelerated pages, consider whether they will pay off.