AMP: Quicker customer access to your landing page
Have you found a great product on Google? Clicked on the search result but the landing page takes forever to load? This ultimately annoys the user and the shop operator loses customers. This can be avoided by using an AMP landing page. This article explains what you need to know about AMP and how it works. It also provides an insight into how Google and AMP might proceed in the future.
Part 1: Everything you ever wanted to know about AMP
If you already know everything about AMP then click here to go straight to part 2 of our article.
What does AMP stand for?
AMP is short for Accelerated Mobile Pages. These are internet pages that are loaded very quickly on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.
Who initiated AMP?
AMP is a project from Google. It is an open source project. Developers can therefore get involved at any time and contribute to the further development of this standard.
Why is it necessary?
Google research revealed that approximately two-fifths of all users will leave an internet page if it does not load within three seconds. Mobile internet pages often take much longer to load. Google wants to use AMP pages to reduce the loading time and improve the user experience.
How much faster is an AMP website?
Current measurements show that AMP pages load as much as 85% faster than other ones. This means that mobile internet is virtually just as fast as a powerful computer with a broadband connection.
Are AMP pages also available on the Internet via landline?
No. This technology is solely available for mobile surfing. In addition, it also requires the “Chrome” browser and the “Android” operating system. But this can soon change. If accelerated internet pages become more interesting for advertising customers, Google will certainly do whatever is needed to achieve further prevalence.
How will I recognize an AMP page?
An AMP page features a small circle with a lightning bolt symbol, which is positioned beneath the search result. It also includes the letters: AMP.
An AMP page is indicated by a lightning bolt symbol and AMP. (Source: Screenshot g.co/ampdemo)
Is there a difference between an AMP page and a mobile optimized website?
A mobile optimized internet page, also known as responsive page, is adapted for display on small screens. This is achieved by making the texts somewhat larger; the arrangement of the pictures and the navigation bars are also different to those on a “standard” web page. Furthermore, it can be operated at the touch or swipe of a finger. And it ought to load quickly. However, even well-optimized mobile pages are not displayed as quickly as an accelerated mobile page.
How does an AMP work?
Moreover, the AMP load process is optimized. The system loads elements later, which for example only become visible by scrolling. The things that the user immediately sees are prioritized.
But the important aspect is the Content Delivery Network (CDN) by Google. It is used to display a short version (snippet) of the AMP page on the Google result pages. Because all the important AMP page information is already being temporarily stored on this network, it can be called up directly if needed. This saves a lot of loading time.
Does AMP have any restrictions?
Yes it does. Website programmers and developers in particular notice them. Here is a short list of AMP restrictions.
- Many standard HTML elements cannot be used. They have to be replaced by the AMP elements provided.
- However, one central CSS style sheet is allowed. It must be positioned in the head element of the HTML document. External style sheets are forbidden, unless they are user-defined font types.
- IMPORTANT! You can only integrate ad-banners from marketers explicitly authorized for AMP. Even the banner formats are defined and cannot be changed.
Is AMP a ranking factor?
Until now, AMP has not been a factor that flows into the ranking of an internet page. However, it cannot be completely ruled out that it has an indirect impact. Internet pages that are preferentially surfed on mobile devices can be affected. Users will tend to select the AMP version more quickly or frequently. An equally good AMP free page might get fewer clicks and therefore appear less relevant to Google.
If AMP asserts itself, it will certainly flow into the search engine ranking.
Isn’t AMP comparable to Facebook-Instant-Articles?
AMP and Facebook-Instant-Articles have the same intention: they want users to reach their goal very quickly. Whereas for Facebook the articles are on its own network, the AMP providers host their content themselves.
Furthermore, the AMP pages are integrated in Google search and are listed via the search engine in the traditional way. Facebook-Instant-Articles only exist in the social network and can only be found there.
Part 2: How to use AMP on your landing page.
Problem: mobile loading time
In a best-case scenario an interested person who visits a landing page will become a customer. However the chance sinks by 20% with every second the user waits for the page to load. These are Google statistics. It means that conversion can only be achieved by providing fast display on mobile landing pages.
AMP is the magic word – at least for Chrome and Android users. It makes display of the page possible within a few milliseconds because the code is streamlined and the necessary data are temporarily stored directly in the Google network.
AMP supports AdWords
Some time ago, Google has allowed AdWords customers to link their ads to AMP pages.
At the moment they can only link text ads to AMP pages. But this will most certainly change in the near future.
The sample video shows how fast an AMP landing page can be loaded compared to a standard mobile internet page.
Creating your own AMP landing page
Integrating it in CMS
AMP pages can now be automatically created with standard Content Management System (CMS). As with other functions, it simply requires the installation of suitable Plug-Ins.
AMP Plug-ins for common, cost-free CMS:
- WordPress: AMP
- Drupal: Accelerated Mobile Pages
- Joomla: Jamp, wbAMP, Accelerated Mobile Pages
- TYPO3: Extension for accelerated mobile pages
- concrete5: Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
Program it yourself
By programming an AMP page on your own you will learn the functionality of the code from scratch and can completely define your internet page within the frame of the AMP specifications. On the website of the AMP project you will find a complete tutorial called: Create your first AMP page.
If you already have a landing page and simply want to issue it as an AMP, then you can also use online services.
amp-cloud for instance transforms any Internet page into the Google format. All you have to do is to enter the URL of the landing page and click on the “create AMP page” button. This generates an AMP version of the website. You will also need an HTML code, which you can insert into your original internet page. You can get the code by clicking on the “Create AMPHTML tag” button.
This is how your AMP landing page gets into AdWords
AMP landing pages are usually incorporated in the Google search index in the same way as any other internet page. They therefore appear in the unpaid/organic search results.
However, if you want to route visitors via AdWords advertisement to your AMP landing page, you must also explicitly specify the AMP page URL in the advertisement.
If you want to know what your AMP page will look like, simply use the preview link in the Structured Data Testing Tool.
If your AMP landing page is not meant to appear in the organic search results, simply include the following instruction in the header: <meta name=”robots” content=”noindex”/> This is the same instruction as for other internet pages, that are not meant to be indexed.
If you want to get more information about this subject, take a look at the Google article: Using AMP for your AdWords Landing Pages
It also provides detailed explanations about user tracking or the analysis of movement data on AMP pages.
Part 3: AMP – Present and future
Currently all types of messages are a step ahead on AMP pages. But this is changing. Ebay soon wants to set up AMP compatibility to provide its customers with fast mobile access. Furthermore, Google stated that an increasing number of entertainment, travel or recipe pages are using AMP. According to information provided by the company, the AMP page index is growing at a rate of 4 million entries per week.
Experts expect to see the following scenario in the near future: news and similar will be directly displayed on Google. The user will not have to leave the search results. Purchases will also be carried out directly on the search engine page. Individual internet pages will virtually provide the content and products, which Google displays and sells.
The developments of the next few years will show whether these are future visions or reality. In any case, an AMP landing page is already an effective way of increasing conversion.