Mobile Responsiveness is Not Enough: Google Says to AMP Speed

by Sarah Hayes on March 21, 2016

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Are you feeling AMPed (and not from that Energy Drink)? Google's Accelerate Mobile Pages Cache, AMP JS, and AMP HTML create a complete environment for lightning-fast mobile pages. Mobile Responsiveness alone is not enough; today's websites need to be fast if they are to rank highly in search and provide the best user experience. AMP is designed to improve the speed of static mobile pages.

The Role of Page Speed and Mobile Optimization in SEO

The importance of mobile optimization is not to be understated. Twenty-Seven percent of conversions today occur on mobile devices. Google takes stock of a website's mobile health and promotes websites that are better optimized for mobile when users are on a mobile platform. But site health isn't just about mobile health; it's also about page speed. Mobile Internet connections are often slower than their desktop counterparts, which means that sites need to be better optimized when they are targeting a mobile consumer. Most users will abandon a mobile site if it has failed to load within 10 seconds, with only 36% of users being willing to wait 11 seconds or more

It isn't just about site health. Page abandonment harms search engine rankings directly. If many users click on a link to a mobile site and then leave because the site is failing to load, major search engines may decide that the site is not relevant to those search queries, or is otherwise unsuitable. This will slowly force the website downwards on the search engine results page!

The Benefits of Google AMP for Mobile Optimization

AMP provides a framework through which static websites can be better optimized for mobile devices on multiple levels. Accelerated mobile pages begins by simplifying and streamlining the process of HTML rendering;  AMP HTML is more condensed, transfers faster, and renders quickly. Rendering time is incredibly important because it ensures that the user is able to begin reviewing the page quickly even if all of the elements haven't loaded.

AMP JS is designed to improve upon and speed up the loading of resources, so that the resources necessary to actually display the page are loaded quickly and other resources can be loaded in the background. Meanwhile, the Google AMP Cache saves snapshots of resources and pages so that they can be more quickly returned when pages are requested. When all of these tools are added together, AMP is able to create an all-in-one system for improving the speed and optimization of a mobile website.

When used properly, employing AMP speed can significantly improve a website's performance on search engine results pages -- in addition to creating a more user-friendly environment for prospective customers. Of course, AMP isn't suited to all websites; it's ideally designed for static websites that can be easily cached. For websites in more complex environments, additional optimization may be needed. 

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Sarah Hayes

Project Manager at 21 Handshake, a strategic marketing company, driven to grow relationship-driven businesses. A self described life long learner that thrives on detail, I love bringing these skills to the table to help others succeed.

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