Ever noticed the lightning bolt sign next to a result in a mobile SERP? Congratulations! You have been touched by the Google AMP Project. AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages, and it was developed “to dramatically improve the performance of the mobile web.”
Because the mobile web has a bad habit of being very, very slow.
What is AMP?
AMP or an Accelerated Mobile Page is an HTML page that is lightweight and stripped down. The mobile user gets a much-improved experience: content is faster, more engaging, and easier-to-read.
AMP was specifically built for publishers, and publishers still make up a big chunk of AMP content out there. But more and more industries are transitioning specific content on their websites into AMP pages because they offer such an improved user experience to the traditional slow-loading mobile web.
How does AMP work?
Google has put together a great quick start guide for developers that goes through all the necessary steps. Not surprisingly, AMP HTML specifications are pretty strict. There are also a ton of limitations regarding on-page advertising. Make sure to follow these rules and then validate for publication.
Why should marketers care about AMP?
First of all, AMP will make your customers happy when they are interacting with your content on a mobile device. And that’s huge.
It also helps websites become more mobile friendly, which is especially important now that Google has rolled out its Mobile-First index. Remember that major factors that can affect your site’s ranking are quick load times and a better mobile user experience (sound familiar?).
Though AMP pages are not officially a Google ranking factor, it’s something we should pay attention to. Because even if it’s not a ranking factor, it still has the potential to get your business to the top of the SERP. And again, it has the potential to make your customers have a better experience.
Measuring AMP page performance
Once you begin developing AMP pages, it is important to measure their performance. Unfortunately, you can’t meausre AMP performance using the default tracking code for Google Analytics or Adobe Omniture. A special AMP tracking code needs to be appended to the code of your site.
In Conductor Searchlight, you can see which of your results are displayed as AMP on mobile search. Identifying where your AMP pages appear can help you track your successes or shortcomings with AMP. Likewise, you can track your competitors’ AMP pages to address your strategy accordingly.
Should I use AMP for my website?
At this point, the decision to introduce AMP should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. If you are already a Conductor Searchlight user, you can actually run a content type report and see how many of your keyword SERPs feature carousels. That can help you make an informed decision about whether developing AMP pages is a good allocation of resources.
It’s also important to note that not every developer is trained in creating AMP pages. Your company may need to invest in either a new resource or training for your current development team.