Straight Talk On AMP

10.08.2018

Let’s be honest: when Google supports an initiative, everyone in the digital space pays attention. Such is the story of AMP, the Accelerated Mobile Pages Project.

AMP In 100 Words Or Less

Google, in association with leading publishers, announced AMP in 2015. Their stated goal: to improve load time for websites on mobile devices. To accomplish faster loading, AMP compliance requires three elements:

  • AMP HTML, a skinnied down version of HTML
  • AMP Components, a pre-defined set of functional components for use within AMP pages. Other JavaScript, often used for dynamic experiences and analytics tracking, is not allowed
  • Google AMP Cache, a method of serving cached pages to improve speed

By narrowing the code and tools for creating and serving web pages, AMP delivers faster loading – clearly a critical element in customer experience.

Why AMP Suddenly Matters More

You likely know this: as of July 2018, Google officially made mobile site speed – that is, loading time – a larger part of its algorithm. Sites that load more slowly may be ranked lower in Google organic search.

To be clear, Google does not require AMP and says mobile ranking changes will only affect “pages that deliver the slowest experiences to users.” On the other hand, “slowest” has not been quantified, so room exists for interpretation. And one may naturally wonder: will AMP compliance become more important for ranking in the future?

Important For You To Consider

Literally no one can be opposed to faster loading mobile sites. But there are some considerations and nuances regarding AMP every marketer needs to know:

  • With faster load time, AMP should increase your site effectiveness – improved loading time can enhance search results. While there are many success stories, recent studies have found results are not always universal.
  • AMP only works on static pages; it is not suitable for dynamic landing page experiences, those customized by using demographic and behavioral data.
  • Because cached pages are served by the AMP Cache to improve speed, in most cases a Google URL is displayed, not the original site address. Notably, it was recently announced this practice will end; several outlets now serve from their own domain.
  • Testing is currently limited to A/B splits; multivariant testing is not yet possible.
  • Analytics are more limited with AMP. Google Analytics works fine; more sophisticated packages, often utilizing JavaScript, are not allowed.

LFX Is Ready, Willing And Compliant

Our LFX Platform is purpose built for advanced analytics, multi-variant testing and optimized UX.  How does AMP fit into the mix?

  • First, the basics: Leapfrog is AMP-ready for any client who will benefit. In fact, because Leapfrog is in constant contact with Google on all matters related to search, we initiated the process to be AMP compliant back in 2017.
  • Recognizing its importance in UX, LFX has always made page speed a priority. The goal is for all pages we host to be “first-class citizens” in regard to load time. In fact, notifications are built into our platform even when outside factors impact performance.
  • The cumulative effect: AMP or not, our focus on load time minimizes any risk of search penalization as outlined by Google.

In essence, Leapfrog clients get the best of both worlds. AMP pages if preferred. Or more multi-faceted experiences that meet AMP requirements, while also leveraging  consumer signals and enabling advanced analytics for ongoing testing. The LFX platform helps ensure mobile performance in either case.

One Final Thought

AMP will continue to evolve. Keep your eye out for new announcements from Google – the Leapfrog team will be doing the same.


Categories: LFX Conversion Platform

Gary DuVall is Director, Front End Development working to craft and marry effective user interfaces with user experiences. He has more than twenty years of experience in digital architecture and engineering.