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Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) are kind of old news – the Google-backed program was implemented all the way back in 2015. However, until recently, they were a sort of trial-and-error site format, with many companies leaning back and watching how they fared across the web before trying them out themselves. But since most Google searches are now taking place on mobile devices (almost 60% of daily searches on Google happened on a mobile device back in 2016), AMP is now, shall we say, en vogue.

What Are Accelerated Mobile Pages?

AMP is an open-sourced project meant to help your website load really, really fast on mobile devices (that is, nearly instantly). It does so in two ways:

  1. It requires web developers to use a very narrow set of tools (no JavaScript allowed).

  2. The search engine you use will host AMP on its own servers. That is, if you search through Google, it will bring you to google.com/yoursite.com/page). An AMP therefore looks like a stripped-down version of your original page.

AMP’s inception came from a partnership with Google and the European Digital News Initiative, the reasons for which are obvious – news sites need to load quickly on mobile platforms, and they don’t necessarily need to be fancy-looking to inform people.

Plus, AMP-formatted content is given preferential treatment in mobile search by Google (a faster load time means more people staying on Google.com). This explains why marketers are hopping on the AMP train.

The Pros and Cons

Since its launch, the technology has been adopted by non-news organizations as well (makes perfect sense, given the aforementioned 60% mobile search stat), but it still has some pros and cons.

Pros:

  • Speed. This leads to multiple other marketing jackpots, which we detail in our public blog post on AMP, namely higher engagement, lower bounce rate, and higher conversion rates.
  • Better mobile rankings. Faster pages perform better, and get rewarded for doing so. But just to be clear, AMP isn’t a shortcut to get to the top of Page 1. It has more to do with how your users are interacting with your site – more engagement shows Google that your site is of quality, giving it more incentive to push the page up in the search engine results.
  • Less strain on your servers. If you find that you get a lot of site traffic coming in all at once, having people on your Accelerated Mobile Pages will lessen the load.

Cons:

  • No analytics (kind of). Because AMPs are cached on Google.com, when a user clicks into your website from one of them, it will look like they’re coming in from another website, not your own. Basically, you’ll have two sets of analytics. There are certain ways around this problem via something called “session stitching,” which combines Google Analytics and your server’s analytics to make sure you're tracking these types of visits, but it does make things more complicated.
  • No ad revenue because you can’t serve ads. Again, more ways around this problem via <amp-iframeiframe> tags, but you’re mostly prohibited from using Javascript in general.
  • Appearance. HTML isn’t exactly the most fashionable coding, but it’s the one that helps AMP load as fast as it can.

Should You Adopt AMP?

So, is it right for your company? Depends. If you want to try it out, think about going for the pages that seem to be performing the worst – slow load times, high bounce rate – and test to see if it’s just about its mobile functionality. Again, AMP is for mobile only.

We also recommend trying it out on pages that are more content-focused than functionality-focused – and we encourage our clients to enable AMP through HubSpot on their blog pages. We have done this for our own blog and have only seen our organic traffic numbers improve.

Something to remember: AMP can’t save you from disengaged users due to bland content. Let AMP be something you try while you're simultaneously discovering new ways you can improve the thought leadership on your site.

Want to know more? Check out our blog post on the subject: So What’s the Deal with AMP? It’s likely we’ve already spoken to you about enabling AMP on your blog through HubSpot. If not, let your Account Manager know and we can discuss what’s right for your site!

About the Author

Madeleine LaPlante-Dube | Content Marketer
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Madeleine LaPlante-Dube, Content Marketer

Madeleine LaPlante-Dube joined PMG as a Content Marketer in June 2017 after spending the summer of 2016 as an intern. She loves to write about emerging trends in content – video, podcasting, interactive webpages. When she’s not crafting compelling content and scheduling savvy social, she’s creeping on the outliers in the industry – seeing how leaders are doing things differently and figuring out how she can help readers learn from them.

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