Insight

A Light-Speed Rundown of AMP

Our world has never moved faster. Mobile and tablet browsers now account for more than 51% of all web searches, and – since we’re usually on the move with them – our patience is thin for slow loading times.

In a second or so, a website has to unveil itself, before users go elsewhere for quicker content delivery. In response to this issue, Google is trumpeting AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages), which promise to end the sluggish browsing experience. It’s going to mean a great deal to consumers, and the businesses that are reaching for them…

The essentials of AMP – what’s it all about?

By broadening the playing field to an open-source initiative, Google is relying on developers around the world to lend their hand to AMP, for the benefit of all. The aim is to swap complex HTML – which stymies the loading speed of a mobile page and the advertisements that join it – for a simpler, less ‘populated’ coding script. You can think of AMP as a slimmer cousin to the grander body of web pages that litter the internet.

It’s therefore designed to make mobile-ready content more enticing, less hampered by flashy features a user doesn’t really care for. Web publishers can create an AMP version of posts and landing pages, which’ll be pushed to the top of a search result on a smart device. A desktop version is still essential, but you can mark it with an AMP HTML link, telling search algorithms where to find the pro-mobile version of the same information.

What AMP has to sacrifice

So, while lightning-quick loading is a boon for user interest, there are some compromises to bear in mind. The main thing you lose is the ability to run JavaScript, useful for bringing optional content pieces into the main page when requested. A sense of personalisation is lost – the HMTL script is too basic for tailored messages and fluid interfaces, in which the page structure can change with side-scrolling, animations etc.

Images, too, only load when you move down to them on the screen. CSS (Cascading Style Sheets, one of the tools used for a visually impressive site) have to be trimmed in accordance with what AMP is capable of showing.

The importance of this development strategy

The swifter the pages are, the less they can display, but that’s a fair trade for mobile users. Google have reported that 61% of browsers don’t return to a mobile site if they have trouble accessing it; the struggle is real, and it’s worth streamlining your content as an antidote.

Already, AMP-tailored pages are ranked higher than their compatriots on the search engine ladder. The same will go for Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and any business site that’s routinely throwing words at the web. If you have a blog to manage, AMP versions must be part and parcel of your strategy going forward. Anything else, in real terms, will leave you trailing behind the competition. Users won’t give your posts a second thought if they’re already trumped by those with AMP functionality.

Thankfully, Impression have been tracking this trend, preparing our clients’ development and content marketing abilities in lieu of it. Want to know more about AMP, especially in regards to your own professional content? Get in touch today.