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AMP: What it is, and how it works

AMP: What it is, and how it works

What is AMP

You may have heard about AMP. But do you know what it is? Here we will dive into AMP, what it is, how it works, and how it can help you. 

What is AMP

Amp is short for Accelerated Mobile Pages. This is what drives faster responses from your search queries for mainly articles. Like this one. Basically, it means that the content that you have written is stored and served from a Google Server. 

This means less load time for end-users and more visitors since they don’t have to wait for the site to load. Many say that mobile search is here to stay, and that is very true. Most people check online before making a large purchase. 

There are 30 Billion mobile moments every single day.  A mobile moment is a moment that a customer checks in on their phone. More often than not, they are looking for an immediate answer to their question. Let that sink in… 30 billion mobile moments in the US every single day. 

This means that every single day, your site has 30 billion chances to be seen on a mobile platform. But yet, mobile ad spend lags behind mobile media consumption. And there is a reason why. More users spend more time consuming information and entertainment than buying. Most of what drives that behavior is that users are looking for instant gratification.

How long do you wait for a page to load on a site? Data collected by Google says that an average of 40% of consumers leave a page if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. That is only 3 seconds you have for your site to load and deliver what the user is looking for. 

Page Speed and Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is defined as someone coming into your site, hitting the front page (or whatever page they landed on) and leaving with no further actions taken on the site. This is measured in 2 different ways: DOM Ready Time, and Full-page Load Time. 

DOM Ready Time

DOM ready time is the amount of time that it takes for the HTML code on your page to be received by the user’s browser, and parsed. It is the largest indicator of what your bounce rate will be. Even though the end-user is not aware of when your HTML loads, the code has to be loaded into your browser in order to allow the end-user to view the site. 

If your HTML takes too long loading, users are less likely to stay on the site and convert into a customer. To speed up your site, it is best to avoid loading a ton of stuff on your site. JavaScript that has to be loaded from other servers can be one of the worst offenders, and make your site slow. 

Full-page Load time

Full-page load time includes the time it takes for images, fonts, CSS, JavaScript, and other assets to load on your site. A faster load time leads to a lower bounce rate. This ability to have faster loading times can be accomplished by optimizing images, fonts, and avoid third-party files that can slow down your site’s response time. 

Page load time is one of the main reasons for page bounce. What is the worst part of this, is that not only will a slow loading site lose traffic for that session, but up to 75% of users will not come back to the site in the future. 

Consider these issues when working with your site:

  • The average mobile site takes about 19 seconds to load on a 3G connection, and 77% of mobile sites take over 10 seconds to load. 
  • Google Data dictates that conversions lower by 20% for every second that a webpage loads. For instance, a site that loaded in 5 seconds, had two times more mobile ad revenue than sites that loaded in 19 seconds. 
  • 61% of users are most likely to not return to a site that they had trouble accessing the first time. 

What does all this mean? Slower sites lose traffic and money. If your site is not loading fast, you are losing money. And those users are less likely to return to your site. And that is why AMP is so important for your site. 

Benefits of AMP

When you create mobile pages with AMP you can see the following benefits:

Higher Performance and engagement

Pages created with AMP load almost instantly, and give users a smoother, more engaging experience. This is on both mobiles, and on desktop. 

Flexibility and results

Businesses have the ability to decide how to present their content, and what technology their vendors are using. All the while maintaining and improving KPI and conversion rates. 

You have probably visited a page that is AMP-enabled, and you haven’t realized it. Most of the news that you consume on your phone is based on AMP. The only real defining difference is that when you have a site that is AMP, it loads instantly. Also, all AMP sites have the lightning bolt icon in search results. 

Here is how you can recognize AMP in search results: 

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Other than that, there are very few differences in the actual look and feel of the page. 

How Does AMP work

Google launched AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) as an open-source framework in February of 2016. AMP was created because there was a need to create optimized, fast, integrated user experiences. Prior to that, we had slow mobile experiences that we had to deal with. AMP sought to fix that. 

Google originally started the AMP project to create a framework that would be an exact path to creating mobile pages. AMP is open-source, which means that anyone can use it at no cost. It is highly documented, easy to use, easy to validate. It is just plain easy. 

Since it’s launch, over 25 million sites have published more than 4 billion pages. And that number grows daily. Since launch, speed has increased and load times have further decreased. We can now load a page on 4G in under a second.

AMP Cache – The real magic

You have to put an HTML code on your pages. You have to call it as AMP with JavaScript. But the real magic of fast loading s AMP Cache. AMP Cache is a proxy-based content delivery network. This means that you get served information from the closest server to you. This decreases load times, and since the page resides on Google’s massive infrastructure of servers all over the world, you get your content fast. 

AMP Cache also comes packed with a validation system, which means that once you have your site AMP-enabled, you don’t have to worry about slow load times on mobile devices. This is because AMP doesn’t depend on external items that can slow the page down. It also guarantees that the page will work. 
We can go on and on about the benefits of AMP, or we can help you decide if AMP is right for you. Feel free to reach out to Branched Roots and schedule a free consultation with one of our SEO specialists to see if AMP could help you convert users into customers.

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