AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages, but most don’t know what it really is. An AMP is a page created to improve the performance of the mobile-web experience by creating fast loading mobile pages. It is a project announced by Google on 7th October 2015.  You can learn about the details all about AMP on their main site: Ampproject.org

We are in a mobile-first world.  Speed is important – super important.  With the world moving towards mobile and given mobile is slower technology than desktop ISPs – the need to design sites and pages that load even faster even in a mobile-first environment created a need for this initiative.  We wan fast websites to effectively reach and engage users – whether users are browsing the net using 3G network or fiber optic dedicated lines that give a gazillion Mbps.

AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages, but most don’t know what it really is. An AMP is a page created to improve the performance of the mobile web experience by creating fast-loading mobile pages. It is a project announced by Google on 7th October 2015.  You can learn about the details all about AMP on their main site: Ampproject.org

Amateur digital marketers are not aware of what it is and how it works. Whether it’s your first time hearing about AMPs or whether you call yourself an expert in the field, I hope this blog is going to be a good starting point for you to understand AMPs.  If you a Web Development Ninja – then we hope you find it a refresher and entertaining read!

Just in case if anyone is wondering – why the use of the word “AMP”?  It is a play on words “amplify” to speed up, in this case, the load times of the site.  And of course, it stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages.  So double meaning and cool use of words (yes I know our “geek” is showing – but it can’t be helped, its who we are).

The description above was a good one, but it needs more to really get around what this project is about.  So what is AMP again? It is a library that allows users to create light pages using best practices and optimized code.  This project was initiated by Google and Twitter to be super lightweight and fast loading. Companies like Google, Twitter and others use AMP because it is intended to be an open response and an open-source framework. AMP pages are distributed across a comprehensive range of consumer platforms like Google, Twitter, Bing, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Medium and more.

These days, with the speed of internet service providers becoming lighting fast, people do not like to stick around on slow-loading sites.  In fact, you’ve probably been frustrated with slow loading websites (we know we have been). And the cherry on top that really makes you run away from slow-loading sites is that they usually are dated in design and some may even contain obtrusive ads.  All this can lead you away from what you came to do when you decided to visit that site in the first place, which is why the biggest referral network who wants to improve the internet experience for all users is behind this initiative (we are talking about Google here).

Despite half of the users abandoning slow sites, keep in mind that over 75% of websites on mobiles take more than 10 seconds to fully load on 3G connections and significantly longer on non-3G connections. However, the research also indicates that 53% of users will leave a mobile page if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.  So there is a disconnect in terms of the needs of the average user vs. what is supplied by webmasters across the wacky world wide web.

In fact, in several cases, the need to monetize the website has created bloated sites and lousy user experiences. Remember it is not a simple adjustment of monetization vs. performance. Building a fast, attractive, well monetized and functional mobile site often requires much effort and constant updates. It is not an easy task to maintain a fast-mobile website on your own and often requires the assistance of a large team of skilled developers.  All of these reasons are why an AMP project was started.  You do not need to learn advanced HTML or have an army of developers.  The AMP project has made it easier for even novice developers to rely on the library of code to design fast loading pages that are beautiful in look and feel.

I know by now, after this brief context and history lesson, you are probably wondering – so how does it work, how does it affect my site’s user experience and why a smaller business that isn’t the size of the tech giants mentioned, really care?  So let’s get to it – here are some details that provide clarity to these questions!

So here is how does it work question above.  Technically, there are 3 main components AMP is built on for creating mobile web pages. The combination of these three elements yields the super-fast AMP experience.

What is AMP actually made of?

So here is how does it work question above.  Technically, there are 3 main components AMP is built on for creating mobile web pages. The combination of these three elements yields the super-fast AMP experience.

AMP HTML

This is basically an extension of HTML with some restrictions for better and reliable performance.

The HTML is basically extended with some custom AMP properties.  These custom elements allow common tags to easily implement with site performance in mind.   The AMP library is linked within the code and called upon to, for example, execute an action that is written with the best industry practices in mind.  The tag within the HTML references one of the scripts and links to an AMP script library – allowing the webmaster to leverage the clean code that is optimized for performance (instead of writing the code for the same action in less than the optimal way that can slow the load times).  Now you are wondering here why it is faster or how is it faster vs. other code?

This is because unlike traditionally designed pages the browser may not know how the content will be laid out until all the code is loaded.  AMP bypasses by making sure that each element size and position is determined within the HTML before the actual resource is loaded.  So AMP loads the resources of the page, before waiting for any resources to be downloaded – this concept is called “static layouts”.  Again, all this is done to ensure the load times are minimized as fewer resources are needed to load the page.

AMP Cache

This element fetches and caches APM HTML and is used to improve the performance of pages automatically.

The most notable benefit is obvious, it speeds up the load times of web-page by about 40% and it is preferred by Google search results. This key benefit enhances user experience and stops users from bouncing to another page or page by enhancing the load time.  This allows your pages to be discoverable quicker with search engines through the <link rel=””> tag.

Higher Performance, Engagement & Flexibility:

AMP gives websites a new level of impact by giving users a smooth, more engaging experience on mobile and desktop.  This means that for an average business user that wants to rank on top in search results and want to be associated with all things good when someone lands on your site, then this is the most important reason for using AMP pages!  If Google is behind AMP and it you want to on Google results, it makes sense to use AMP in your site. AMP provides publishers and advertisers with flexibility by allowing them to choose how to present their content and decide what technology vendor to use.  The libary allows users to show content in different ways in different screens.  The screen renders faster, fewer resources are used and the user actually gets to see what is on the page.  A lot of optimization techniques offered to webmasters to help their businesses to win and engage their customers all provided by the great developers at AMP Projects – but the wider internet community is the true winner!

Everyone is involved in AMP which is compatible across browsers. As digital marketers we must stay abreast of the latest technological updates, AMP is no exception.  We all understand the importance of fast loading sites and AMP provides a comparatively easy way to upgrade the speed of mobile websites for publishers. To know more about AMP and how to bring it in use, you can reach out to us, and we feel excited to help you become an AMPed (yes the nerd in us truly does find this exciting).