Is your web fully responsive? Analyzing the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

cnxt_dev
cnxt_dev
2018/04/02 09:22

In the last couple of years, mobile internet traffic skyrocketed. Today, visitors interact with your website and convert based on the content delivered to their mobile devices at the right moment. A recent statistic shows that in 2017, 50,3% of all mobile traffic was mobile and in the first two months of 2018 that percentage grew to 52,2%. As a direct result, there are also more Google searches initiated from mobile devices than from desktop.

Maybe your web business fared pretty well until now but if you want to continue to increase your revenue in the future, you should understand that this is a major behavioral shift. Instead of using their mobile devices to replace their desktops, consumers have found a completely new way of using their mobiles: take action anytime and anywhere. It is therefore essential to be near your visitors across all stages of their journey, not just when the conversion happens. Google studied the full range of user needs and classified them using four categories called micro-moments:

  • I-Want-to-Know Moments: Someone is searching for useful information, with no intention to make a purchase.
  • I-Want-to-Do Moments: Someone is looking for help with getting things done or trying something new. Being there with the right content is key.
  • I-Want-to-Go Moments: Someone is looking for a local business or is considering buying at a local store. Being there means getting your physical business in their consideration set at that moment.
  • I-Want-to-Buy Moments: Someone is ready to make a purchase. You can’t assume they’ll seek you out; you have to be there with the right information to seal the deal.

It clear that, in order to run a successful online business, you have to be there with your customers in this micro-moments. Google realized several years ago that this shift is was imminent and worked on providing you the much-needed tools to help you stay on top your game.

Let’s have a look at the most important ones.

Mobile First Index

Introduced in November 2016, Mobile First Index is designed to first index the mobile version of your site. Also, your mobile site is the baseline for their rankings. It is important to stress that it’s not “mobile only” and the desktop version of your site is still included in the index. To put it simply, the mobile version is considered the primary version of the website. As a result, a site with improved mobile experience will receive a ranking boost, even for searches initiated from a desktop.

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP HTML, AMP JS, AMP Cache)

The AMP Project was launched on 7th of October 2015 and is mainly backed by Google and Twitter. It is designed to make mobile pages load really fast without altering the user experience.

To achieve its goal AMP is enforcing three rules:

  1. Only a subset of standard HTML is allowed
  2. Javascript is mostly forbidden
  3. Pages are cached and served from Google’s CDN

The AMP framework is open-source and it relies on three main components:

  1. AMP HTML: This is a subset of the standard HTML, extended with custom properties. The custom elements provide a significant performance boost to your page loading time, greatly reducing the time until the website content can be consumed. It is important to mention that all custom elements are rendered by the existing user agents just like other HTML.
  2. AMP JS: it’s a minified javascript framework specially designed for mobile pages, providing resource handling and asynchronous loading for all external resources. The outcome is that that there’s nothing that can block the page from rendering.
  3. AMP Cache: is an optional CDN that loads your AMP pages, caches them and delivers them on demand. If you wish to have your AMP-optimized website show up in Google’s prioritized search listings then you must use AMP Cache. There’s no other way around. In this respect, AMP resembles Facebook Instant Articles, the service to which is often compared.

SEO and AMP

AMP has come a long way since its inception. Today, if you wish your site to show up on the top stories carousel there’s only one way: AMPify it! The SEO boost you will get might the biggest benefit of publishing your content on AMP network.

But there’s more.

Besides the fact that the average user will not wait for more than 6 seconds for a page content to show up, loading time is of highest importance for your SERP ranking. Why not get your content seen by more people by ranking it higher? Speed will not only make visitors spend more time on your webpage but will also reduce your bounce rate. Having a low bounce rate will convince search engines that your content is helpful and accurate.

Is your website responsive?

 

Google ranks user experience on top of company’s priorities and the AMP is the proof.

AMP is deemed to change the way we are browsing the Internet and the results showcased on project’s site are impressive:

– US Xpress, the largest independent truckload carrier in the US, witnessed a 5X improvement in page load speed which led to a rise in completed applications, and a projected cost savings of more than $1M per year.

– Event Tickets Center saw a 20% increase in conversion rate, 10% lower bounce rate and 13% longer time on site.

Conclusion

So, if you think your existing web page is responsive, just read again: a 5X improvement in page load speed. It’s clear that AMP will make the life of your users easier by improving site speed and providing a better experience. For their turn, the users will bring more revenue to your business.

Mobile-First Index and AMP are designed to work together and both will be an integral part of the mobile web of the future. Even if these evolutions are currently in their early days, we think both are going to bring huge marketing opportunities for the early adopters.