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Most of us can agree that in a world of smart phones it’s very difficult to think back to the days of the Nokia 3310 (ahhhh, snake!). But with today’s mobile phone becoming more sophisticated, and with the latest research suggesting that consumer behaviour is shifting towards “multi-screening” in relation to online browsing habits, the experience needs to be similar and efficient across all platforms.

However, while mobile use of apps and websites is a hugely growing market – we can all agree that a lot of the time accessing the latest Kardashian “I broke the internet” news (guilty!) or buying the current must have gadget (drone, anyone?) is often faced with slow loading pages and a very frustrated end user. But are we expecting too much from these clever little hand held devices?

Well in response, Google collaborated with a number of key industry publishers and companies and the Accelerated Mobile Pages, AMP for short, project was born.

Announced at the back end of 2015 – the initial objective of AMP was to deliver news articles to the end user quicker by serving a more stripped down page of content. However, in the last year, AMP has had a growing presence on other websites and will definitely be considered a priority in 2017. For example, eBay has been testing it across some of its pages since August this year as well as social media platforms Pinterest and Twitter also getting involved.

So what are the benefits? Well, with AMP you can expect the page to load four times faster using ten times less bandwidth. Furthermore, you can expect to see a 73% increase in monthly unique visitors from Google mobile search. Impressed? So far, there have been 600M+ published AMP pages and 700,000 domains publishing AMP pages including the likes of eBay, CNN, The Guardian, and BuzzFeed. AMP will impact user experience and conversion rates by having every aspect of ease and navigation that a desktop site has, just in a more streamlined way. The quicker page load times and a more simplified navigation ultimately means less bounce rates.

So why code this into your website?

  • The primary benefit is for your lovely mobile users. An AMP will load faster, which means lower abandonment rates and an increase in conversions, who doesn’t want that?
  • It improves your website’s page rankings. With AMP improving page loading times and mobile friendliness it is likely that a website developed with AMP will be rewarded with a higher ranking than a slower and unresponsive site
  • There is increased visibility for publishers as AMPs are displayed within a carousel on Google SERPs as well as being displayed with an AMP symbol next to it
  • AMP aims to support a range ad networks, formats and technologies in which the goal is to deliver ads that are fast but that also allow the content to look good and grab the viewer’s attention. This will assist advertisers with improving their ROI on ad spend and increase their influence
  • Reporting is still king with AMP visitor analytics. Publishers have the ability to choose from two tags that will automatically track visitor data e.g. visitor counts, new visitors’ vs returning, click, conversations, video and link tracking

Below is a small breakdown on the three types of AMP, whichever you choose to instigate it will certainly benefit your website as the number of people searching and shopping through mobile devices is set to continue to increase.

  • AMP HTML – is a subset of HTML, the language has some custom tags and properties as well as multiple restrictions. If you are a pro with HTML then it will be simple to adapt webpages to an AMP HTML setting
  • AMP JS – Java Script for AMP. This manages resource handling and loading times, however third-party JavaScript is not permitted with AMP
  • AMP CDN – this is an optional content delivery network and shall take AMP-enabled pages, cache them and then automatically make some performance optimisations

And for those of you who like to get into the nitty gritty of the detail, more recently, Google has announced a new level of granular reporting on the performance of your AMP pages in its Analytics platform – meaning you can now filter between AMP article rich results and normal search results shown as AMP.

So there you have it – in short, Google’s development of AMP has seen the global online search provider drive a mini mobile content revolution, providing businesses with more solid mobile support to gain higher rankings in the land of SERP and for those without, well sadly it would seem, they will rank lower. With Google planning to make mobile webpages a main priority, we’ll be sure to keep a watchful eye over how this trend develops into 2017.