If you’re a blogger, content creator or social media marketer, the Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project is of critical importance. The growing shift away from traditional PC computing toward mobile and tablet viewing has meant that internet users consume content in a much different way than at any other time in the past.
What is AMP?
Google’s AMP Program is a collaboration with various other technology companies with the aim of improving the performance of websites on mobile devices. In optimizing webpages for mobile viewing, Google and its partners hope to improve the end-user experience. The fact that Google – the world’s biggest internet company – is rolling out AMP is really important when one factors in the sheer size and scale of the global smartphone market. Estimates currently show that there are more than 2 billion smartphone users around the world– a figure expected to top 2.6 billion by 2019.
Smartphones have had a major impact on how content is consumed and websites are viewed. Take for example a recent Kissmetrics study, which found that 40% of mobile users leave a page if it doesn’t load in three seconds.
That’s the difference between a sale and a miss, a potentially long-term viewer and one who never visits your site or blog ever again. This is why AMP has entered the scene at just the right time.
Recent estimates show that AMP webpages load about ten times faster and use ten times less data. AMP sites also use the limited viewing space on a smartphone screen much more efficiently, ensuring that users aren’t bombarded with massive billboards and pop ups that can ruin their experience.
While AMP has a lot of benefits, it can also have some adverse effects on your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and online marketing campaign. That’s why it’s import to carefully weigh both the pros and cons of Accelerated Mobile Pages before you reshape your entire content strategy around them. We will begin with the positives before spelling out some of the potentially negative impacts.
The positive impacts of AMP
- AMP pages will perform better in a search engine results page (SERP).
It’s tough to argue with this one. Google search pretty much dominates the internet. If the world’s biggest technology company is going AMP, you might want to consider jumping on board, especially for the search engine ranking.
- Google has democratized its AMP platform.
Not only is AMP open source, it is available for every publisher (unlike Facebook, which limits participation in its Instant Articles domain to only a few select publishers).
- Analytics are on their way.
Since Google is behind AMP, you know the analytics will be spectacular. According to Google, several analytics services companies are getting ready to collect and provide data on AMP user engagement.
- AMP gets more content to more people.
Bloggers and content creators looking for higher user engagement must adopt a strategy for leveraging mobile technology to tap into the billions of smartphone users worldwide. AMP technology will help you keep them engaged with your content. At the very least, it’ll keep them from navigating away from your page after only three seconds.
The negative impact of AMP
- AMP doesn’t have any forms (yet).
If you’re looking to generate leads or build a mailing list or create a subscription base, you’ll have to wait a little while longer. That’s because AMP pages don’t allow publishers to collect their users’ contact information. This could be a deal-breaker, depending on your business model.
- Design features are lacking.
If you’re an early adopter of AMP, you might be surprised to learn that there aren’t very many external stylesheets. That means the design of the pages is pretty basic and, according to some, lackluster. Here, you’ll have to decide if your content can actually stand on its own or if it needs a really attractive interface to hook readers.
- Domain authority may weaken.
If you’re looking to build an authoritative domain name based on the number of linking domains, AMP might be a challenge. That’s because other sites linking to your AMP content will not be linking to your domain name, but to google.com.
- AMP may require a bigger budget at first.
If your content management system doesn’t support AMP, you’ll need to increase your budget to integrate this capability. This may be too cost inhibitive for small companies or individual bloggers looking to get their name out there.
AMP appears to offer a lot of potential benefits, especially for bloggers and content creators looking to increase mobile hits and user engagement. However, this may come at a cost, especially as an early adopter. For this reason, bloggers may want to wait for Google to roll out more features that will help small businesses with their AMP overhaul. At the end of the day, it depends on what sort of content you are putting out there and whether things like domain authority and external stylesheets are important. Whatever you decide, keep in mind that Google is standing firmly behind AMP (or so it seems right now). As the spread of smartphone computing continues, you may want to consider optimizing your mobile presence.
What do you think of AMP? Tweet me @Charli_Says and let me know!