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Would Optimizing Your Website For AMP Increase Page Speed?

Would Optimizing Your Website For AMP Increase Page Speed?

 

In a report published by Google’s Richard Gingras, Google has indexed AMP pages on more than 125 million documents from more than 640, 000 domains from the web

Now this might be great news for Google, how does it affect your rankings in search engine results and page speed for your website visitors?

Sean Si explained in detail here, the very basics to understanding AMP and the kind of businesses to benefit from the use of AMP.

In recap, AMP simply stands for “Accelerated Mobile Pages” and it is an open source project from Google, allowing content publishers to deliver basic content with speed to mobile visitors.

According to statistics from Hosting Facts, 40 percent of users will abandon a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) load twice as fast as normal pages and use less data.

When this happens, your mobile visitors do not see your ads, videos or any other element, AMP focus and loads only the basic elements of any page which include text and images.

This means mobile visitors of websites using AMP would not get pop-ups; opt-in forms, call-to-action buttons to mention a few.

Examples of websites using AMP:

  • The Daily Mail
  • BBC
  • Wall Street Journal
  • Buzzfeed
  • Time
  • New York Times

The above publications are currently backing Google’s AMP to enhance the experience and page speed time for their mobile visitors since there are over 207.2 million smartphone users in the US according to Statistia.

Mobile visitors to publications using AMP are redirected to an AMP page appended with AMP at the end of the URL or slug. For example, the image below:

Now let’s break AMP into bits to see how it works:

Google’s AMP consist of three different elements and they can be found below:

  • AMP HTML: this is a redesigned version of your website HTML which contains a new set of AMP related commands.
  • AMP JS: this is a new Javascript structure for mobile pages which enables external resources to load whenever they choose
  • AMP CDN (Content Delivery Network): this would render cached and AMP optimized to visitors.

Now do you really need Google AMP pages?

Well, it all depends on what content can be found on your website, if you do publish a lot of text and images like SEO-hacker and DigitiMatic then you need AMP pages.

But if you publish more of videos, podcast than text then just focus on optimizing your website for mobile visitors.

Advantages of Using Google’s AMP

  • Content is displayed at the top or above in SERP’s (Search Engine Results Page)
  • Simple user experience
  • Increase in pageviews and time spent per page
  • Increase in traffic due to click-through from SERP
  • Increase in visitors above competitors who don’t use AMP’s
  • Efficient page layout

Disadvantages of Using Google’s AMP

  • Loss of monetization
  • Might results in duplicate content unless page URLs are appended with “AMP”

Why does Google recommend using AMP?

  • There are over 2 billion smartphones globally and in unison, they consume more media on mobile than desktops.
  • 1-second increase in website speed can increase conversion by 27 percent.
  • 75 percent of smartphone users feel mobile sites are slower than desktop versions. Remember 60 percent of users would not return to a slow website.

Now if your website uses AMP, would it increase page speed since other elements have stripped?

With a very good understanding of SEO and website design, your website can run faster than websites using AMP. To learn more on this subject, I recommend signing up for SEO-hacker’s tribe, there you ask your burning questions, seek and provide help to other SEO specialists.

Would AMP increase page speed?

Yes,  it would and improve your overall website performance for mobile visitors but don’t expect a sudden surge in page speed as increasing your web page speed depends on a lot of factors. They include:

  • Your hosting (Major key)
  • Website theme
  • Number of plugins running
  • Amount and kind of content available on the website

In essence, your page speed won’t go from a Hyundai to an Aston Martin using AMP with a slow hosting and lack of CDN but it would go from a Dodge challenger to a Lamborghini using AMP with an extremely fast hosting and good CDN.

Alternatives so you don’t have to lose your website designs and opt-in forms:

  1. Create a mobile version of your website: Create an m.dot version of your website or use WP-touch (WordPress) to redirect mobile visitors to a mobile version of your website.
  1. Compress your content with Gzip: Reach out to your hosting company to fix this via .htcacess or use W3 Total Cache (under W3 Total Cache, go to performance > browser cache)
  1. Switch to a faster hosting company
  1. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN): Check out MaxCDN and CloudFlare

Following the steps above, you should have an outstanding increase in page speed without sacrificing your designs and business, since some of us are blogging to build an email list and sell a service or product.

There are countless ways of making your website faster instead of losing your javascript and designed HTML.

Conclusion

Optimizing your website for AMP should be based around what goal you are trying to achieve, AMP might get you search engine rankings but would not be effective if your website is built on a weak foundation.

Bloggers, business blogs should focus on using the above tips to optimize their websites for mobile visitors and leave AMP to the news media and publishers of breaking news.

 

Image credit: Michael Stelzner|SME

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