Do You Need To Use Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)?

What is Google AMP?

Source: TechCrunch

AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages. Essentially, this limits how mobile pages are created so they can load content quicker. These web pages use less JavaScript, HTML and CSS, which allows websites to load 85% faster. This means usability is improved and it will help keep the audience on your website longer.    

Sounds great! Why wouldn’t you want to use AMP? While there are many upsides to using AMP, it also comes with its negatives. There are instances where you won’t need to bother using AMP. So what are the pros and cons to AMP?

Pros

Source: Search Engine Land

Website load time is faster

AMPs make websites load faster. This will help you decrease your bounce rate and help you increase the number of visitors to your website.

Prominent display

AMP pages show in the mobile search carousel on a results page. Being displayed towards the top of the results, as well as with a photograph, is sure to cause an increase of traffic.

Higher rankings

Google is all about the user experience. It preferences websites that can provide a good user experience. One way to do this is by having a website that loads fast. Considering AMP helps to boost page speed, it will also help to increase your rankings in Google.

Cons

Source: Arcalea

Difficult to implement

For those keen to reap the benefits of AMP, it’s not exactly easy to implement from scratch.

If you’re not too familiar with HTML, it’s best to download the WordPress plugin. Once this is downloaded to your WordPress website, all you need to is append “/amp/” to an article page.

Already using a content delivery network (CDN)

Using a CDN for your website already? Then you won’t really need to bother with an AMP. A CDN is another way you can speed up your mobile website’s loading time. A CDN increases speeds by routing viewers to a network that is closer to their physical location. CDNs often have other features including caching rules, purging unnecessary files, and image compressors, to name a few. These features can help to reduce page loading time by up to 50 percent.

If you’re already using a CDN, you don’t need to consider using an AMP.

Increase mobile speeds manually

You can avoid having to install an AMP by manually taking steps to increase the speed of your mobile website. You won’t even have to use an AMP or CDN.

To increase speeds, try:

  • Disabling plugins: you can download AMP to do this for you, or you can easily manually disable plugins. You can write some dequeue commands in your theme’s function.php file to disable plugins.
  • Consolidating CSS files: each CSS file makes your web page load slower, so why not consolidate these files into a single CSS resource. To do this, you will need to set your website code to reference an external CSS file hosted on your CDN. Consider using CSS Minifier, which will allow you to clean up your CSS file, prior to hosting it on your CDN.    

Restricts ads     

Do you depend on certain types of ads to showcase your brand? You may be a bit hesitant about using AMP. Google AMP restricts what types of ads will be shown on mobile pages. Instead of displaying custom and pop-up ads, companies have to use banner ads instead, which can generate less revenue. So if you’re depending on certain types of ads for revenue, and they aren’t going to be displayed while using AMP, then it’s not for you.  

Google could abandon AMP

Google, like any business, is only going to support something if it’s profitable. In the past Google has abandoned projects – does anyone remember Google Checkout? This started in 2006 and was discontinued in 2013 and replaced with Google Wallet, which was released in 2011. If Google discontinues AMP, all your effort could be for nothing.

So do you need to use Google AMP? If you’ve got a good understanding of HTML and are already taking manual steps to increase the speed of your website, it may not be necessary. On the other hand, if you’re struggling to achieve fast speeds and your rankings are suffering as a result, it may be time to consider installing Google AMP and reaping the rewards.   

Do you use Google AMP? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.