Speed is everything when it comes to websites. Search engines rank fast-loading websites higher, and visitors love it when they can switch pages in a second.
Google recognizes that, so they have rolled out many programs to help increase page loading times. One of such programs is the accelerated mobile pages, aka AMP.
When it first came out, AMP was the rave of the moment. Big and small sites made the transition, and it seemed like it was here to stay.
However, in the past two years, it seems AMP has been on the decline. Already, Google has unceremoniously removed the AMP symbol from search results.
This guide will discuss AMP in detail to know if you should bother integrating it into your site.
What Are Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)?
The Accelerated Mobile Pages, also called AMP, is an open-source project by Google to help increase web page loading time on mobile. To ensure this, AMP removes all the nonessential elements and stores the striped version on Google servers.
Some of what AMP considers nonessential features include animations, ads, and videos. What remains are the text content and images. This approach dramatically reduces loading times and allows people to read web pages without distraction.
AMP pages are a godsend for mobile users who want to breeze through blog posts and articles without waiting for other elements to load.
At its inception, pages with AMP versions had a lightning bolt icon beside them in search engine results. When Google quietly removed the bolt icon, many people believed it spelled the end of the AMP program.
Why did Google Introduce AMP?
Google introduced AMP to help users get online content fast. Google prioritizes loading speed as one of its high-ranking factors. With AMP, Google could deliver website content almost immediately.
Although the primary goal was to boost page speed, some have speculated that Google wanted to compete with Facebook’s instant articles and Apple News.
So How Does the AMP Work?
AMP is not mandatory. It is an optional feature. You must install and allow the AMP Plug-In to enable AMP on your website.
Once enabled, AMP scans your webpages and removes any HTML code tag manager aspects. The final result is a fast-loading web page due to the optimized HTML.
Things You Should Know About Accelerated Mobile Pages.
Here are some things you should know about AMPs
- AMP only works on websites that run on a streamlined version of CSS.
- It would help if you specially loaded custom fonts for them to appear on your AMP pages.
- You must use AMP-approved extensions if you want videos on your AMP pages.
- Since the pages are on Google servers, your readers will enjoy your website content without visiting your site. This format can cause low ad revenue and poor conversions and affect the overall value of your website.
What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of AMP?
Google launched AMP in February 2016, and the internet community received it with much fanfare. The idea seemed genius: fast loading times would improve visitors’ user experience and boost website search engine rankings.
Many marketing experts lauded it and believed it would change digital marketing. Fast forward a few years, and experts are revising their initial expectations.
Marketing experts at Kinsta have found that AMP causes a 59% decrease in leads. Let’s explore the pros and cons of AMP in detail.
AMP provides many benefits for both visitors and internet markets. These include:
- Fast loading webpages: AMP delivers web content faster by stripping it down to its essential elements. Speed is crucial as more than half of all internet traffic comes from mobile phones.
- Higher search ranking: Pages with AMP versions tend to rank higher due to fast-loading speeds.
- Easy integration: Creating an AMP version of your website is easy for WordPress sites which are one of every three websites on the internet. You need to install and enable the plugin for your website.
Despite the benefits that AMP provides, it did not achieve universal appeal. Many say that the program is on a steady and irreversible decline. Here are some of the reasons against AMP.
- Requires coding skill: AMP is easy to implement for WordPress. Other website owners will need coding experience and help to implement the program on their websites.
- Reduced ad revenue: AMP strips your site of the nonessential elements, which means few ads will show on your optimized pages. While this might be great for some visitors, it is a significant disadvantage if you rely on ad revenue to fund your operations.
- Limited analytics: You can’t fully measure your site’s analytics since the page resides on Google servers. Getting relevant data to help you optimize your website content and user experience can be challenging.
The disadvantages outweigh the benefits. To improve your website speed and ranking, you can leverage online tools such as BuzzSumo and Twinword.
Who Is AMP Best for?
We are hard-pressed to recommend AMP for any website. Google has removed the AMP icon, so there is no immediate gain from having the AMP implemented on your website.
However, AMP might briefly work for you if you are:
- Struggling with a slow loading speed
- Focus most on mobile devices users
- Share mostly timely news content
However, the cons far outweigh the pros. You might experience fast loading speeds, but it will come at a high cost.
Online marketing tools like Mongools can help you improve your ranking in other aspects without the drawbacks.
How to Get the Most Out of AMP
If you believe the benefits outweigh the disadvantages in your case, then implementing AMP might be a great idea. Here are some tips to get the most use out of AMP.
- Read the AMP guide: Before installing the plugin on your website, you should read the AMP website FAQ to get all the information you need on the program.
- Get help: If you are using a WordPress site, you can implement AMP on your own by installing and enabling the plugin. There are many excellent online and YouTube guides to help you do that. If you don’t have a WordPress site, then you need a developer to help you implement AMP on your site.
- Skip highly branded content and landing pages: AMP can remove your branding and lead-generating elements. So, it’s best to use it only on pages that don’t include features like opt-in forms and branding.
- Use A/B testing: A/B testing can help you find out in real time if it is helpful for your website.
AMP promised to be the future of marketing. Today, both Google and other top websites are dropping it. The cons outweigh the pros for most people, so find out if it has a genuine benefit for you before implementing it on your site.
If you’re only interested in increasing your conversion rate and traffic, you’re better off with SEO strategies.