I’ve seen many marketers struggle to explain what Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) are, and how they should be dealt with.
The long and the short of it: AMP are trimmed down versions of web pages (typically blogs or articles), so they can render faster on mobile devices. But where do you start? Many people are confused on how to proceed, so let me break it down for you (I’ve also included handy resources).
Page Speed is Everything
The goal of AMP is to load pages faster on mobile devices, with the goal of providing a better user/search experience. Because of this, the pages cannot have all the bells, and whistles of regular web pages, AMP are stripped down, and there are restrictions.
These restrictions effect, CSS (including external style sheets), images, and videos to name a few.
It’s important to note that while AMP isn’t currently a ranking factor, page/site speed is, and I suspect that AMP will be soon. Also, creating AMP pages alone, will not give your page a ranking boost.
AMP Pages Aren’t Regular Pages – They’re Cool Pages
If your site is on WordPress, Drupal or HubSpot you’re in luck, there are plugins that can help convert regular web pages into AMP (they all require different plugins/codes). If not – you’re out of luck.
Unfortunately, if you’re not on WordPress, there’s no magical way to turn existing content into AMP. They are in fact, additional pages.
But how do you decide which pages you should AMPify?
I recommend looking in your analytics to see which pages are most trafficked by mobile devices, and start creating AMP versions of those pages, first.
If you’ve reached this point, and you’ve decided to move ahead with AMP, you need to know that these pages not only are additional, but they also require an additional code snippet (as well as additional, and different Google Analytics code). This snippet of code lets Google know that the pages are mobile friendly.
Once your AMP are created, you may be asking yourself, what now? It’s imperative that you test, and validate them, and make sure they are set up properly.
Validating these pages is a good idea, not just to ensure they’re properly set up, but also to inform search engines, and 3rd party sites that they are optimized for mobile, and are “safe” to serve on mobile devices.
If you’re ready to dive in, The AMP Project offers a handy step-by-step guide on how to get started. If you’ve decided against AMP, I still recommend optimizing your site for page, and site speed.