Why AMP Compliance Improves SEO
More and more web traffic comes from mobile devices each year, as people have grown comfortable browsing on phones and tablets. As time spent on mobile devices rises, it’s becoming crucial for websites to cater to mobile users as the primary audience. Since most websites rely on search engine traffic for building their popularity and growing their brand, improving access on mobile devices is necessary. Making your site AMP-compliant can gain an edge in increasing the search engine ranking of your pages.
What is AMP?
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) are a trend supported by Google to make web pages load faster for mobile devices. Pages that support AMP have versions of the page that are cached by platforms including Google so they can be loaded faster through proxies that may be closer to the user or have a better connection than the host server. They also use more streamlined, optimized code to make more simply-structured pages that load faster.
Extensions such as embedded Tweets or Instagram posts are also specified in advance so they don’t stop the page from rendering or change the layout when they are loaded from their external source. Another way AMP keeps third-party scripts from altering the loading and layout of pages is by restricting them to iframes, so they can’t have a significant effect on loading.
Another restriction on AMP is that it only allows inline CSS rather than an external stylesheet, and the CSS stylesheet is limited to a maximum size of 50 kilobytes. This size should be enough as long as the author doesn’t include an unnecessary amount of styles. It also makes the loading of fonts efficient since this can delay loading. These efforts lead to as few recalculations of the layout of the page as possible.
AMP also preloads and prefetches resources, and uses the preconnect API to make pages available even before the user requests to connect and load from their servers.
Creating AMP Versions
Websites can create AMP versions of their pages simply in most cases, using the same HTML plus some AMP-specific tags that are used in the place of other tags. Websites can be entirely AMP or offer both AMP and non-AMP versions. All pages that use AMP will be opted-in being cached by Google and Bing’s content delivery networks, so Google News, Search, and mobile apps may load the cached version of the page when possible.
AMP and Page Experience
The AMP project has been ongoing for several years and has provided more traffic to many sites. But recently, AMP compliance has become important for another reason: Google’s new Page Experience signal is a factor in search engine rankings that will determine whether sites with equally relevant and high-quality content will be recommended above others. Page experience measures features such as mobile friendliness and core web vitals to predict if users will have a good experience on that page. These features are also behind AMP, so AMP pages will qualify. Core web vitals include measures of page stability and loading speed, precisely what AMP is aimed at improving, and AMP is targeted toward mobile-friendly pages.
Checking For AMP Compliance
Elite Site Optimizer will check pages for AMP compliance and suggest ways to improve them. Whether your site is custom or built on a popular CMS, it can gain traffic through AMP. If possible, the most popular pages that you want to appear on search engines should have AMP versions. Finding AMP issues and optimizing for better mobile accessibility will make your website shoot up in the Google search rankings.