Do You Need To Worry About AMP?

There’s been lots of talk of AMP in SEO circles lately, but what exactly is it and do you need to be worried about it?

The Mobile Revolution

Mobile has become more and more important in terms of SEO in the past year, with mobile searches finally overtaking desktop. It’s hardly any wonder when you think how much time we all spend with smart phones in hand…

It’s no surprise, then, that Google is working hard to provide a better experience for its mobile searchers. We first saw this with the ‘Mobilegeddon’ update back in April 2015. That was when Google categorically stated that if your site wasn’t mobile friendly then it wouldn’t rank for searches made on mobile devices. Ouch! Think about that for a second: if more than half of the searches are done on mobiles, if your website isn’t mobile friendly you could be losing more than half your potential visitors!

(If you want to check how mobile friendly your site is then visit their mobile friendly test: https://www.google.co.uk/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/)

But even mobile friendly pages can be a pain to load when you don’t have great signal.  Indeed even when you have 4G they can sometimes be sluggish because so many these days are full of ‘images and interactive elements.  Be honest, most of the time when you’re looking for something on your mobile you aren’t interested in pretty pictures and funny videos, you just want the information you’re looking for.  And usually you want it fast.

Accelerated Mobile Pages

This is the latest solution to that problem.  Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) are pages with all the fancy stuff stripped away.  They’re ‘back to basics’, simply coded pages, which  are designed to load at lightening speed.

It doesn’t take a genius to see how this can benefit both users and businesses, and there will be a raft of marketing and tech companies falling over themselves to offer to implement the technology on your website.

But before you go full steam ahead and allocate a chunk of budget to doing this, just stop and think about who your potential visitors are.  Why are they searching for you?  Will it make a huge difference to them if your page loads in 4 seconds or 1?  If you’re an emergency locksmith and I’m stuck in a secluded carpark at midnight with my keys locked in my car then the answer is probably yes.   Or if I’m wandering around Tesco and need to know the ingredients for the casserole I’m making tonight, maybe yes too.

For the vast majority of business, however, there won’t be this urgency.  You don’t need to fall over yourself to get AMP implemented by next Tuesday.  That doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be on the horizon – something you can plan into your next website overhaul or upgrade perhaps.

It might be that your target market simply don’t use mobile!  Do you even know how much of your website traffic comes from mobile?  Are you measuring what percentage of visitors who become customers are coming from mobile?  Does it make you think you should be measuring it at least?  I hope so….

Whatever happens, don’t be scared into thinking your world will end if you don’t have Accelerated Mobile Pages on your website.  There are plenty of people who will be only to happy to play Chicken Little and try and convince you the sky is falling…. and of course take your money to put it right.

If you’d like to read more about the AMP Project then visit their website at https://www.ampproject.org/

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