With this in mind, AMP should be a staple part of digital transformation projects, and marketers need to consider AMP in their content and SEO plans.

How do Accelerated Mobile Pages work?

AMP is an open-source framework requiring front-end developers to strip their mark-up to create mobile optimised pages that deliver content quickly.

This is achieved by Google caching versions of AMP-tagged pages that use three core page structure elements:

  1. AMP HTML; a subset of HTML with custom tags and some restrictions
  2. a streamlined version of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
  3. AMP JavaScript, which manages resource handling

The result is a stripped-down, fast-loading version of the mobile web page.

However, stripped-down doesn't mean Accelerated Mobile Pages can't contain rich content such as videos. They can - the pages just need to meet AMP attributes to be AMP-approved.

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.

Screenshot of Vox accelerated mobile page 
Vox is a good example of AMP (Source: The AMP Project)

Pages that load quicker and have higher potential conversion rates (with the right content), are prioritised by Google and receive a SERP (search engine results pages) lightning bolt.

AMP and Sitecore

At Codehouse, we've been applying a best-practice mobile-first approach to all our website projects for many years, and are now recommending the implementation of AMP to our customers.

In fact, we've recently implemented AMP to a Sitecore 8 project, and are in the process of doing the same for other customers.

Implementing AMP in Sitecore requires expert front-end development skills. Adding default AMP layouts and renderings, as well as an 'AMP Device' to page templates, lays the foundations for AMP - so that, when viewed on a mobile device, AMPs use a server-side rendering of Google's AMP cache to deliver faster loading speeds.

AMP and organic search

Google's push and favouritism of AMP places AMP news articles (the most common AMP) above the fold in Google's own top stories carousel at the top of organic searches.

This is a way of encouraging more publishers to use AMP; an approach also used when serving local search results.

So although AMP are listed in organic results, AMP is not a ranking factor - but it does affect clicks, impressions and ultimately improves user engagement.

Strategise for AMP

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 various devices to find and then view your content, which they ultimately interact with, is an important aspect in the formulation of content and SEO strategies.

Screenshot of Tencent accelerated mobile page 
Screenshot of Tencent accelerated mobile page (Source: The AMP Project)

Accelerated Mobile Pages deliver speed – essential in contributing to a positive user experience.

The proof, they say, is in the pudding. Since Google introduced AMP there have 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

Source: The AMP Project

A few useful 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
  • To 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

Want to talk?

In a world where many people now start their browsing and brand search on a mobile device, Accelerated Mobile Pages is a must, and we’ve already delivered real-world working Accelerated Mobile Pages for many of our customers.

If your website needs AMP, or your website is not yet fully responsive, just get in touch.

We'd be happy to help you.