Initial Warm-up with AMP Topic

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) may seem like a buzzword but its impact cuts across different industries. A lot of businesses are seeing results just by activating the plugin on their website.

If you’re wondering how AMP can help you to improve your landing page conversions, this post is for you.

Today, I’ll walk you through all there is to know about AMP and why it’s so popular and endorsed by both Google and Yahoo!

There are so many reasons why you should embrace AMP. One of them is speed. If you start using it, there’s a chance that your website loading times will improve. 

Website speed is what most businesses are struggling with. In this mobile era, 77% of mobile sites take 10+ seconds to load. Whereas online users expect a page to load within 3 seconds.

With AMP, you can eliminate, compress, or hide some of the elements of a page that causes it to slow down. 

What is Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)?

AMP was announced by Google as a project in 2015 as a way to serve mobile pages much quicker. Accelerated mobile pages make use of restrictive HTML format to serve web pages at lightning speed to the target audience. 

It offers an additional benefit of your pages being pre-rendered and cached by third parties (such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, Cloudflare, and Bing News). 

This is a huge leap from having to wait for every element on your web page to load. At its core, it’s a great way to develop basic web pages that align to required guidelines for preventing terrible load times. 

It’s assisting the Internet return to its basics. Isn’t that amazing?

Early adopters of Accelerated Mobile Pages included publishers such as The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, and The New York Times. 

And just as Facebook Instant Articles, it offered these publishers a perfect way to get across audiences in a very quick way. One brand that’s recorded dramatic results is Monetti.

By incorporating AMP on its website, it reduced page load time by 84% and grew Google Ads conversions by 19%.

More so, AMP is ultimately essential for the reduction of bounce rate and also passing the message across to Google that the content you serve to your visitors satisfies them. 

Since publishers have a running business due to page views, AMP was a natural place to begin at. 

Google also initiated incentives by giving AMP articles a priority in its carousel for top stories.

You can easily spot AMP articles currently on your mobile device when you’re searching for the thunderbolt AMP symbol. 

Initial Focus of AMP

When the AMP project was first initiated, the major focus was on improving mobile site speed which offered some benefits like Facebook Instant Articles and in Apple News. In that light, the idea behind AMP at the initial stage was to provide speed upgrade and benefits to news media sites. 

Given that users that browse the internet mostly via Smartphones and Tablets, it makes a lot of sense to get closer to them. 

In all, Google has an agenda. Of course, it still boils down to helping the search users but Google also wants to improve their advertising impact — so that they can make more money.

This initial approach has resulted in some major limitations in the architecture. It has also led to a lot of misconceptions about AMP and who can benefit from it. 

Now, let’s take a look at some common misconceptions about AMP pages:

AMP Misconceptions Debunked 

The Accelerated Mobile Page project has seen a lot of improvements since its start in 2015, but it still has difficulties in shaking off certain aspects of its root. 

Here are some Misconceptions flying around: 

Misconception #1: AMP is Solely for Content Creators

This framework is just for publishers. Bear in mind that serving news much quicker is certainly not its singular use case. Businesses are seeing great results from their optimized pages.

Ecommerce brands, for example, are attracting more traffic to their websites and growing revenue by simply changing their landing pages to AMP. 

Zalando, an eCommerce brand in Europe, Myntra, operating out of India have activated AMP for their stores. In fact, when Weibo and QQ, both ecommerce store switched to Accelerated Mobile Pages, their traffic increased 313 million and 640 million monthly active users respectively.

Even though this huge conversion to Accelerated Mobile Pages may look like a great task, you don’t have to develop a whole new AMP mobile web page as Aliexpress did. 

Aliexpress went a little further after switching to AMP. The popular Chinese brand developed in a Progressive Web App. 

This new app which displays perfectly on mobile devices resulted in a 74% increase in the time users spent per session across all browsers. It also saw 104% growth in new users, leading to a 82% growth in iOS conversion rate.

So, Accelerated Mobile Pages can definitely work your business, not just for content creators.

You can simply start with a simple landing page that majority of your customers reach from mobile ads or organic search. 

Simply reducing your visitor’s first entry bounce rate and making your load time faster can have a tremendous impact on impressions and most importantly your conversion rate.

Misconception #2: Google owns AMP 

I certainly can’t deny the fact that Google has been the major driving force behind Accelerated Mobile Pages technology and it’s usage around the world. 

However, regardless of its huge role in pushing AMP forward, it’s certain that AMP is not technically a project from Google, but an open-source project.

It’s true that the huge bulk of the greater than 500 GitHub contributors are Googlers, but there are also others involved including Pinterest, Baidu, Twitter, and Bing.

Although the framing and execution of AMP have been dominated by the big G. 

According to recent statistics, Google has stated that over 80% of developer and publisher contributions are in the hands of varying platforms. 

As a matter of fact, the authority on major decisions with regards to AMP is carried out by a technical community of dedicated companies of the project. With each company having equal say in major matters.

Misconception #3: AMP is just for Mobile

It’s a fact that mobile is a major part of AMP (it’s in its name, after all), however, that can be a bit misleading. As Google’s Paul Bakaus states, “AMP HTML is firstly mobile, but not just mobile.”

He believes you’d see greater gains from Accelerated Mobile Pages but also recommends you try AMP on your desktop as well.

This is really a major positive for the framework as it would enable your site to work with maximum load speed on both mobile and desktop devices. 

So, if your goal is to develop a site that does great on all devices from the get-go, AMP would be of immense benefits. However, keep in mind that you’d have to let go of certain things like complex validations and forms, Javascript libraries, and interaction plugins as they are not supported currently on AMP. 

It’s also interesting to note that desktop extensions exist for viewing AMP sites while using personal computers and this shows the multi-diversity of the framework.

AMP Landing Pages: What Are They Good For? 

There’s no arguing the fact that fast loading pages can lead to higher conversions and low bounce rates, and AMP offers a near foolproof platform for increasing the speed of your mobile pages. 

It offers definitive guidelines on what can be added and the best practices to adopt for your landing page could increase your traffic.

This is also the reason why AMP landing pages usually have an average load time of about a second. 

And honestly, every website owner and the online advertiser would appreciate a 0.01% in page load time.

So far, more than 4 billion AMP pages have been published.

It’s just amazing how much effect that would have your organic traffic, leads generation, sales, and revenue. 80% of online publishers are seeing a better ad performance on AMP pages with greater engagements and higher CTR.

What AMP means for SEO

Although AMP landing pages do not equate higher search rankings, it’s been stated by Google that, page speed will become a deciding factor in its mobile search ranking algorithm. 

Google has always opted for content that enhances quality user experience (speed inclusive). 

However, speed did not have a major influence on the ranking algorithm previously as it does now — so you’d certainly want to focus on improving your site’s speed. 

AMP Landing Pages and PPC 

For a while now, your users landing page experience has been a major factor as they determine where you rank with your PPC ads, of which page speed plays a vital role in the experience. 

One of the five tips from Google Ads users page experience is the reduction of the loading time of your landing page, for which it’s suggested that you consider converting your landing page to an (AMP) Accelerated Mobile Page. 

Ex-Googler and AdWords expert Frederick Vallaeys even went further to call AMP landing pages AdWords best-kept secret as a result of its drastic ability to raise conversion rates. 

It has led to a 5X higher mobile conversion rates on Tokopedia.

It’s ultimately all about your landing page speed. 

The major reason why you would use an AMP is to increase your page speed. By creating of these highly-optimized pages, you can ensure smoother and faster load times.

You still have a role to play in ensuring that users read your content and engage with your brand. So make sure you create helpful content and have a lead magnet in your landing page plus a clear call-to-action to capture user’s personal details (first name and email address mostly).

That said, page speed is just one factor in creating a delightful landing page experience and certainly won’t fix poor website design or low-quality content that offers no real value to users. 

Note: What you’re after is lightning page speed. AMP isn’t just the online viable way of reaching that goal. 

The AMP projects website itself stated that it places the user’s experience over the experience of the developer. 

Put simply, it’s not a quick fix. 

So before you leap right into the arms of AMP, consider if you can achieve page load reduction in simpler ways such as removal of certain images, compressing image sizes and scripts, and uninstalling plugins you’re not using.

The Limitations 

The wonders of AMP on any landing page (or any page for that matter), in terms of boosting its load time can be phenomenal.

But there are downsides too. 

As a matter of fact, the major reason the framework of AMP creates a speedy page is due to its restrictive nature. 

The improvement AMP achieves consistently is great, however, it’s a little bit shy from perfect. 

Let’s briefly discuss some limitations you’d want to consider before diving all the way in. 

1. Does not Support Scripts 

A major killer of your landing pages speed is web scripts. For this reason, Javascript support is deeply restricted in Accelerated Mobile Page framework. 

Therefore, if you create an AMP page, you will not be able to include every script that you currently use. 

For example, if you need to connect your landing page with CRM (with a simple script integration), you would be required to have an AMP module of this script that is supported. 

Currently, in certain cases, some scripts are supported but most times they are not.

2. Poor Analytics 

One of the reasons AMP is so loved lies its biggest limitations. Due to the AMP pages being pre-cached, another domain serves it and not yours. 

What this means is that a visitor to your website may click on an advert, then lands on your AMP page served preloaded and then click to your website. This would scatter your website analytics, dividing user sessions between third-party domains and your own domain.

If you do not want to let go of accurate and rich analytics for profitable load time, then you might want to look in the opposite direction of AMP. 

However, if you are worried about your site users seeing different domains, then An update from AMP enables the display URL to be kept as your domains even in situations where a web page is being offered via a separate domain like Google.com. 

AMP Analytics are available but the number of options you can track is limited. But here is what is available for tracking: 

  • Interaction data: page width and page height 
  • Browser data: Screen width. the user agent, screen height 
  • Browsing data: unique page view, referrer
  • Page data: page title, path, Domain 
  • User data: timezone, Client ID
  • Event data 

3. Setup is a bit Slow

AMP has a restrictive format but this doesn’t mean it’s very easy to implement. Not at all. The development of an AMP page could take a developer a sufficient amount of time to develop, unlike a normal page. It’s a lot easier to set up if you’re a WordPress user.

Landing pages are easier to build. Without our powerful landing page builder, you can build a mobile-responsive landing page in 10 minutes and launch it for your business.

After building out an AMP page, you’ll be required to validate that your code meets all the required prerequisite of the AMP formats as well as maintaining your pages are compliant with the restrictive nature of AMP.

Nevertheless, it isn’t all gloomy when it comes to setting up AMP sites. For example, if you use WordPress website, all you simply need to do to activate AMP on your pages is to install a plugin

Once you’ve done this you slide right to AMP under appearance and you get to see your web page in the frameworks view.

It also allows you to manipulate the text color and header background on the page. And if your theme is compatible with it, the plugin will utilize your webpages logo or icon. To visit any singular post just add ‘amp’ to the URL end.

4. Browser Versions Limitations 

A minor restriction is that AMP pages are only compatible with just two major web browser versions. What this means, in essence, is that if your visitors are clinging onto a 2014 circa version of chrome, your AMP page won’t be visible to them. 

However, it should be noted that smartphones are more recent in comparison to personal computers which makes their browsers much more efficient to AMP technology. 

This also relieves you of having to code around certain broderie versions like the legacy edition of IE as you would on a desktop. 

5. Public comments

Just like anything that has to do with the web, two-sided views exist with regards to the Accelerated Mobile Page story. 

Due to its close connection to Google, some individuals believe the company has way too much influence, using its control to push the Internet into a new era of creating web pages. 

Some people think it’s not ethical for Google to force companies to convert to the framework in order to maintain organic rankings or get to top stories carousel. 

There are also some worries that Google may abandon this framework at any instance after more than 1.5 billion pages have been created with the format. 

However, on the opposite side of the spectrum, users speak for themselves by rejecting slow pages at an increased ratio. They are also opting for Google over other search engines. And users love web pages that display well on their mobile devices.

Even though alternatives do exist, Google controls 90% of the mobile market, with more than $14.7 billion shares. There has to be a reason for such massive control and its safe for me to say it’s because Google offers its users a better experience than the available alternatives.

What makes AMP so Important? 

If you’ve ever tried to open your content page on a mobile device, most likely you have been displeased by the speed of that page. 

Worse, loading the page with a desktop PC could even take more time and users don’t appreciate it, neither do they want to ‘wait.’ It certainly isn’t a pleasurable experience. 

For most websites, the best option is to have an AMP version of their site as well as the original version. This gives the user the opportunity to choose which page format they’d love to use.

This occurs majorly because when using your mobile device to browse your favorite website or the web, you’d most likely be on the go and this will mean that the speed of your Internet connection isn’t always at its peak. 

So it’s always good for you to optimize your mobile phone browsing experience by creating an AMP mobile version of your landing page. Once that’s done, you can be certain that your customers will love it. 

More so, this is what Google wants as well. 

Also when it comes to landing pages, it’s a known fact that you’ve got such limited time to catch the attention of your visitor and sell them your offer. However, trying to do that with a website that doesn’t load up quickly will disappoint them.

AMP offers you and me the ability to load pages at lightning speed. This captures the user’s attention before they hit the back button out of irritation. And as we all know, happy visitors leads to awesome conversions.

Conclusion 

AMP is extremely powerful when it comes to boosting conversion rates on your landing page.

For me, I personally love a fast-loading website. What about you?

No one has the time or brain capacity to watch a page take a whole minute to load. It’s annoying!

That’s why AMP is such a great upgrade to mobile compatible pages. It doesn’t just help you align to the expectations of Google for your site in terms of speed — but it gives your users a delightful experience while they’re on your page.

Accelerated Mobile Pages have definitely come to stay and we are going to see more of its influence in the future of SEO, landing pages, social media, email, and even digital advertising.

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