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Web Design & Accelerated Mobile Pages for Marketing

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You may have heard the term ‘accelerated mobile pages’ being tossed around a lot lately. This makes sense given that Google has placed enormous emphasis on catering to its users and in particular, mobile users.

One of the areas in which companies with an online presence are trying to improve is the way their site is being presented. You can no longer rank with pages that aren’t optimized for mobile devices and with that, we come to accelerated mobile pages or AMP.

What is AMP?

In a nutshell, an accelerated mobile page (AMP) is an open-source coding standard. It is primarily used to improve the speed of mobile pages. Although more and more people rely on mobile devices and pages in their everyday lives, sites still tend to be clunky.

Back in 2016, some experts presumed that accelerated mobile pages might become a ranking factor. Since then, we’ve noticed that the pages which have been accelerated have much better chances of ranking online. By honing in on this, you’re actually doing what Google expects you to do: make your site better for users.

Importance of AMP going forward

Image via Pikwizard

Nowadays everybody uses smartphones and other mobile devices to access the web. This makes sense as we are constantly on the move. Unfortunately, web surfing can be tricky if you’re constantly landing on unoptimized pages. 

Furthermore, if you’re constantly moving, it makes it hard to have a stable or strong wi-fi signal. This makes loading speed even more important.

Standardizing a mobile version of your site with AMP makes everything that much easier. In a way, it will give users what they’re asking for: a reliable and fast connection.

Does this mean that everyone should rely on AMP? Not exactly.

This code is not ideal in all cases. 

For example, product and services pages that are optimized with AMP may leave a bad first-impression on users which is the last thing you need. In fact, it beats the purpose of optimization. 

Still, it works pretty well for regular blogs, news sites, and publishing platforms. If your main priority is to open a page quickly and read its content, then AMPs are the right way to go.

No matter what, you have to be cautious when using accelerated mobile pages. There is no need to use the code for the whole website.

Benefits of AMP 

If your site is mainly focused on publishing content, AMP is definitely something that will benefit you. 

Image via Design Wizard

Here are some of the main things it can help you with:

1. Faster loading speed

Every second matters when it comes to loading speed. For example, each second added to loading speed can decrease your conversion and page views by 5 to 10 percent. It also impacts your bounce rate prompting users to leave your site out of pure impatience.

2. Higher rankings

Back in the day, Google decided to give a big advantage to pages that load quickly. It has become one of the major ranking factors nowadays – especially when it comes to mobile search. While desktop pages are usually well optimized and tend to load quickly, the same cannot be said for mobile pages. As a result, by relying on AMPs, you’re able to get a significant boost.

3. Browser presentation

If your page is accelerated, it will be shown in a browser. These pages have a small icon nearby and users can clearly tell whether or not these are fast pages even before they open them. This gives a clear advantage in terms of clicks to all those who decided to optimize.

4. Helps user tracking

Image via Design Wizard

AMP has one nifty feature and that is the ability to track users. The platform has integrated analytical tools so as long as you’re using it, you’ll be able to track visitors’ behavior such as where they came from, when they left, etc.

5. Better for ads

One thing worth noting about AMP is that it makes ad experience much better. An AMP page is 6 times lighter and has 5 times fewer trackers. This provides much more flexibility.

If you wish to simplify things, this coding standard improves the user experience. But if you dig a bit deeper, you will also realize that it affects other processes – giving you higher rankings, allowing you to manipulate ads, track users and so on. As such, it is definitely a viable optimization strategy.

Differences between AMP and regular mobile search

So far, you’ve probably realized that AMP has clear advantages over regular mobile pages. But how do things look like from the backend?

If you decide to go with accelerated mobile pages, your CSS will be more streamlined and you will not be able to rely on Javascript. The whole point of it is to make your pages quicker for your visitors. As a result, you will have to sacrifice some other aspects of the site such as the users’ ability to share content.

Activating AMP on a WordPress site

AMP activation is pretty simple and straightforward:

  1. Install AMP plugin
  2. Activate it
  3. Edit .htaccess file with an appropriate program

That’s basically it! From this point onward, you can use accelerated mobile pages.

There are also some additional steps that you can make such as editing your CSS so that mobile pages look like your regular desktop pages.

What about responsive design?

Image via Design Wizard

Some people think that just because you have fast AMP pages, you don’t have to invest in a responsive design.

Wrong! These two go hand in hand.

Responsive design adapts your pages so they can be opened in the same way on different platforms. Whether you’re viewing them on a desktop, a tablet or a smartphone, they should be presented in exactly the same way. While AMPs do their part in terms of speed, you still should work on design as the second factor that might help you out.

In conclusion

The digital world is progressing much quicker than anyone would’ve expected. Mobile devices are just part of that progress. In order for us to use them efficiently, we have to optimize our processes. AMP pages are a good way to do just that and provide your users with just the thing they need.

Ellan Dineen is the Marketing Associate at Design Wizard. When she’s not hard at work in the Marketing Department, Ellan can be found en route to foreign lands with a book in her hand and a podcast in her ear. With a Master’s in English and Diploma in Social Media Marketing, she knows the importance of staying up-to-date with the industry’s latest trends and insights and is keen to pass these tips on to her readers.

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