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Are You AMPing up Your Content for Google?

/ November 16, 2016

As if Panda, Penguin, and Mobilegeddon weren’t enough for online marketers to worry about, they now have to contend with Google’s new AMP initiative. Despite the ambitious nature of the project, though, and it’s potentially huge implications, we regularly find that clients don’t understand much about AMP, or what it means for their websites and content.

In order to help you get to the bottom of the matter, and decide whether it’s relevant to your marketing, here are a few things you have to know…

What AMP is All About
AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages, and has to do with the way individual pieces of content load on smart phones and tablets.

As regular readers of our blog will already know, mobile users now make up more than half of all web traffic and may comprise two-thirds or even three-quarters of web viewers within the next few years. Google’s AMP project is an acknowledgment that these users are annoyed and inconvenienced when pages load slowly. As a result, the company has come up with a set of guidelines that can be used to help them come up faster on small screens.

How AMP’ed Pages are Different
Faster page performance can be achieved in a number of different ways with AMP. Many of the differences happen behind-the-scenes, buried in the HTML code a mobile browser reads. Some of them are visible to the naked eye, though.

Often, AMP pages feature different image sizes, and take away elements like on-page comments and lead forms. They may also refresh more slowly, or fail to show real-time content updates automatically. Put together, each of these leads to a smoother loading and scrolling experience for a mobile user.

In other words, AMP pages are slightly scaled-down and tend to feature static rather than dynamic content. That can limit messaging and conversion options slightly, but it’s better than having a potential customer leave your page before it loads in the first place.

AMP Ready Content is Boosted in Google News Feed
Google is already incorporating AMP signals into its own newsfeed when searches originate from mobile devices. So, if customers are coming to you through tablets or smartphones, they are much more likely to see your articles and ideas if you have embraced AMP.

Luckily, adding this capability to your blog or website isn’t difficult. It just means having one of our specialists go in and tweak the code on your site, or add the right plugins to WordPress, to ensure everything loads quickly and cleanly.

The downside to AMP is that it adds yet another layer into the process of Internet marketing and content delivery. The upshot, however, is that the greater visibility could pay off in a big way. After all, most of your competitors probably aren’t thinking much about AMP. That means you could crowd them out of Google’s news feed and natural listings, particularly with mobile users.

Posted in Analytics & Reporting, SEO, Website Design & Development
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