Are Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Right for Your Website?

Mobile-friendly websites continue to grow in importance as more users primarily search on their devices and Google moves websites to their mobile-first index. To improve the experience for mobile users, Google introduced accelerated mobile pages (known as AMP) in 2016. This JavaScript framework has been slow to gain wide adoption and a few of our team members just recently worked with it for the first time. It’s an interesting framework with definite pros and cons. If you’re thinking about trying AMP for your website, let our experience be your guide.

What is AMP?

AMP is an exclusive JavaScript library that is designed to give users a super-fast experience on mobile. Using the AMP framework you can create simple, streamlined web pages that load in an instant. You can see which pages are using AMP on Google’s mobile search results pages by looking for the lightening bolt icon after the page title.
amp-mobile-search-results

The AMP Benefits

There are a few big benefits to using AMP pages on your website. First, utilizing the framework will greatly increase your page load speed. The AMP framework is made up of simplified HTML elements that can easily render without harder to load features like large images or busy ads. Faster page loads are a known ranking factor and improve the usability of your site for visitors.

Additionally, Google is giving a boost to AMP compliant pages in the search engine rankings. As a Google product, they have a vested interest in spreading the use of AMP, so pages that use it are seeing an additional SEO benefit.

Drawbacks to AMP

AMP quickly loads pages by simplifying the code, and simple code tends to also means simple pages without a lot of design elements. As a framework, AMP employs many style restrictions. If your website has a simple design or is mostly text-based, then this won’t be an issue for you, but the more stylized and custom your site is, the harder it becomes to be AMP compliant.

Another drawback to widely using AMP is that it’s a very exclusive library that can’t be combined with other libraries. This keeps your coding abilities very narrow and makes it very hard to develop an entire website to be AMP compliant. It’s much more common to see brands using it only for certain, key areas of a website.

developer-working-on-amp

Conclusions

The biggest strength for AMP is on pages that are mostly written content (think news articles or blog posts). These pages are low on stylized design and would be well served with an SEO bump. Additionally, product detail pages on e-commerce websites are great candidates for AMP. They’re the site’s most important pages to load quickly and often don’t need extensive styling.

All in all, despite having been around for a few years now, it’s hard to tell if AMP is the way forward. Google is certainly trying to incentivize it’s use, and the library is constantly changing and growing; which both makes it look more viable in the future and makes it difficult to work with now as it feels like working on a moving target. But with clear SEO benefits to be gained, it may make sense to add AMP pages into the mix if your design is simple enough.

Are you interested in learning more about AMP or other ways to improve your website user experience or search engine ranking? We’d love to have a conversation.

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Nikki Dent

Nikki Dent

Nikki is a technical copywriter for Aptera. With a bachelor’s degree in writing from Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Ind., she has been honing her craft of marketing copywriting for the past five years. In her role at Aptera, Nikki enjoys learning and writing about the technology and strategy at work across the company.

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