What SMBs Need to Know about AMP

Travis Bliffen
by Travis Bliffen 12 Apr, 2016

:: By Travis Bliffen, Stellar SEO ::

Mobile search surpassed desktop search in 2015. Net users expect fast, friendly and accurate information to be instantly available. To meet those expectations on all devices, Google decided to roll out their newest project: Accelerated Mobile Pages.

AMP is an open source initiative that embodies the vision that publishers are capable of creating mobile optimized content once and have it load instantly.

AMP is likely a response to similar projects launched by tech competitors like Facebook that launched its in-app publishing platform Instant Articles and Apple which replaced its Newsstand experience with the new news-aggregation and discovery platform, Apple News.

What is AMP?

AMP is Google's project to give publishers a way of creating mobile optimized content once and have it load instantly on the mobile Web. Load time is a key factor affecting mobile user experience and small business marketing. Research states that, 47 percent of users expect a Web page to load in less than two seconds and 61 percent of users are less likely to visit your Web page again if they did not find what they were looking for fast enough during their first visit. As the saying goes, the first impression is a lasting impression. AMP data suggests that a Web page that used to load in 2.99 seconds will fully load in 0.64 seconds when leveraging AMP technology. This will significantly impact the user experience.

How does it work?

This mobile-only project uses a new lightweight open source HTML framework to build fast loading pages. On the framework, almost all JavaScript is cut down to guarantee content loads extremely fast when clicked on the Google search. Google AMPs will also be delivering much faster load times since the content will be cached through the cloud. This means that Google will not have to cache it from a publisher's site each time there is a request. The ultimate goal of this project is to create a faster mobile Web by urging other websites to become increasingly user friendly on mobile.

How does it affect small businesses?

Google has been telling webmasters for years that it expects websites to be fast, helpful and user friendly if they want to rank well and maintain those rankings. Instead of focusing on AMP pages alone, SMBs should take this as a very clear sign that Google takes mobile search very seriously. If you are one of the many small business owners that still do not have a mobile-friendly website, this should be a clear sign that the time to fix that is now. If you are mobile friendly, AMP is your opportunity to move ahead of your competitors.

AMP pages are given more real estate as they appear in a carousel above other search results. This means that if you are one of the top sites and AMP compliant, you are going to gain added visibility in the SERPs. AMP is however not a ranking factor.

Who Needs AMP?

Implementing AMP requires technical know-how and validating AMP pages can be a bit tricky at this point. If you look at the ideal site to implement AMP it would be a large website that frequently publishes news or information. If you are a small business and you do not frequently publish content, your marketing dollars may be better spent generating content, improving rankings or building enhanced sales funnels. If you are a small business that publishes a lot of content, you have a blog that is monetized with ads, or you plan to publish in higher volumes, take some time to setup AMP and you are likely to be rewarded for your efforts.

Over to You

Have you implemented AMP? How did it affect your site?

Author Bio

Travis Bliffen is the founder of Stellar SEO, a Web design and marketing firm located in Marion, IL. Travis and his team are equipped to handle any size SEO project and have helped numerous businesses to date build a rock solid online presence. When you are ready for more leads and sales, it is time to get #stellarized. Connect on Facebook or Twitter @theseoproz