In 2015 Google introduced the mobile friendly standard which was designed to provide a great user experience for searches using the web from a mobile device such as a phone or tablet.
With over 70% of search traffic now coming from mobile, being ready for those users is something that every website owner has to be aware of. The mobile friendly standard has been well adopted and most websites comply with it now. If you are not sure, you can run your site through the Google testing tool to find out. They’ll let you know if it passes or fails the test.
If your site fails the test and you are not sure what to do, get in touch with us as we have a very cost effective solution for creating a mobile site that works along side your existing site.
Now Introducing the new AMP Standard
AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages and is a step up from just being mobile friendly. In the very early days of the web, most web pages were little more than just text with the odd image thrown in. These days we have all sorts of rich media such as massive parallax scrolling images, streaming video, audio, interactive flash content and more.
All of this data uses massive amounts of data. This is fine when you’re viewing those pages on your laptop at home with your super-fast fibre optic broadband. But as I mentioned at the top of the article, 70% of web usage now is actually happening on a mobile device and that is usually paid for with data charges which get added to your phone bill.
As a result, Google has recognised a need to scale back the use of this rich media and introduced this new standard called AMP which brings the technology back to basics – text and images only.
AMP pages will typically load 10x faster than regular pages which of course means one tenth of the data cost.
What AMP Means as a Website Owner
AMP was introduced in February 2016 and didn’t have very much impact at first. Google would sometimes show a carousel in the search results with a few AMP pages highlighted.
But in September 2016 Google implemented a change in their search results which will automatically default to showing the AMP version of a page if there is one available.
Mobile users will gravitate towards AMP pages in the same way that they do towards mobile friendly sites because they know they can get the information they are looking for much quicker and at a fraction of the data cost.
What this means of course, is that is your site is not AMP friendly, you could start losing out on potential search traffic and web users start to gravitate towards your competition.
How to Implement AMP
An AMP page is a separate version of a particular web page which has some specific HTML coding applied. They are built along side your regular pages and do not replace them.
You can create AMP pages for just a selection of the pages on your site; it is applied on a per-page basis rather than to the whole site. If you want to learn to do this yourself the best resource is of course the Google Documentation if you are technically minded.
If coding HTML is not your thing then you will need to hire somebody to implement it for you instead. But hold on one moment, there is a very good chance that you won’t actually have to create any code at all, depending on what platform your website is built on…
WordPress Users Have It Much Easier
If your site is built on WordPress then you can rest easy as AMP can be implemented much more easily via a plugin which just requires a small amount of configuration to setup.
At Velium SEO we have partnered with the developer of this plugin and have a license to install it on all our client sites. If you are an SEO client with us and use WordPress then this will be done for you as part of our service, but if you are not a client and would still like to get AMP installed, we can do this for you for just £29. Send us an email to get started.