As more of us use mobile devices to browse the Internet, shouldn't Accelerated Mobile Pages be a staple be part of digital transformation projects and shouldn't marketers consider AMP in their content and SEO strategies?
How do Accelerated Mobile Pages work?
Accelerated Mobile Pages is an open source framework requiring front-end developers to strip their markup to create mobile optimised pages that deliver content quickly. This is achieved by Google caching versions of AMP-tagged pages which use three core page structure elements:
- AMP HTML, which is a subset of HTML with custom tags and some restrictions
- A streamlined version of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
40% of users will abandon any website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. Google
Getting as much performance as possible from a website is down to not only infrastructure but also content. Having the right content displayed at the right time to the right person on the right device is a user experience enhancer. AMPs improved functionality includes:
- Improved videos: Users can watch videos and scroll through content at the same time
- Input masking in forms: Improved auto-fill. For example, credit card details
- Infinite scroll: Auto-populates content when the user reaches the end of the screen
- Improved data protection: 3rd party consent management platforms (CMP)
Having pages that load quicker, have higher potential conversion rates (with the right content), are prioritised by Google and receive a SERP lightning bolt identifier. Shouldn't this ranking factor be enough for any digital transformation project to adopt this approach? After all, it is a mobile first approach.
Mobile first and Sitecore
At Codehouse, we've been applying a best practice mobile first approach to all our Sitecore website projects for a number of years.
Implementing Accelerated Mobile Pages in Sitecore requires expert front-end development skills. It involves adding default layouts and renderings as well as an 'AMP Device' to page templates. This lays the foundations so when the website is viewed on a mobile device Google's server-side rendering delivers faster loading speeds.
Google's push and favouritism ranks AMPs higher. This is a way of encouraging more publishers to use AMP, an approach also used when serving local search results.
Although mobile optimised pages are listed in organic results, according to John Meuller, Webmaster Trends Analyst for Google, "AMP is not a ranking factor - but it does affect clicks, impressions and ultimately improves user engagement."
Strategise for mobile pages
Keeping up and even trying to stay ahead of the game is vitally important to future proofing digital transformation projects. Thinking about how your customers’ use of various devices to view content, which they ultimately interact with, is an important aspect in the formulation of content and SEO strategies. Accelerated Mobile Pages deliver speed – essential in contributing to a positive user experience.
Since Google introduced AMP there has been:
- Over 4 billion published pages
- Twice as much time spent on AMP
- Over 25 million domains creating AMP
- 20% increase in sales conversion with AMP
Some mobile tips:
- Carefully select which desktop pages (preferably News pages) will become AMP equivalents
- Ensure desktop and AMP equivalents are as content rich as each other
- Make AMPs rank, submit a canonical (AMP) URL for Google to index
- Ensure effective content is above the fold
- Track AMP engagement by setting up events in Google Tag Manager (GTM)
- Use a separate GTM container in Sitecore to set up tracking of AMP
Our expert development team has delivered Accelerated Mobile Pages to Sitecore websites. If you want to find out more about how a mobile first approach can help improve your Sitecore website's mobile ranking, get in touch.