What is AMP and how mobile-ready is your website?

Mobile users in South Africa

It’s hard to imagine our world without mobile phones. In South Africa cell phones are only as old as our democracy, with the first mobile phone services being launched in 1994. Nowadays, even in the poorest communities, South Africans have access to a cell phone. Given these statistics it is not surprising that an incredible 75% of all web traffic is generated via mobile! Bearing this in mind a mobile first strategy and a responsive website are absolute must-haves for any brand on digital.

 

“Instant” consumers

With our fast-paced lifestyles people want the convenience of “right here” and “right now”. Every day consumers are becoming more reliant on their smartphones to help make last-minute purchases or spur-of-the-moment decisions. In fact, smartphone users are 50% more likely to purchase something immediately while using their smartphone compared to a year ago.

 

When does a website qualify as “mobile-friendly”?

A mobile-friendly website is one that correctly displays on mobile and hand-held devices such as your iPhone, Android or Blackberry, as well as iPads & tablets. Vital information is visible, images display optimally and the screen is not cluttered with unnecessary elements, which could be visible on laptop view for example. Also known as responsive web design, these website designs will “respond” to ANY device or display, be it your cell phone or your 46″ LCD screen. This makes for a streamlined experience when viewing the website.

Benefits of a mobile-friendly website

In general a responsive website offers:

  • Streamlined experience across devices
  • Positive ranking signal
  • Improved mobile conversion rate
  • Improved user experience, especially for online shoppers

The mobile-friendliness issue becomes even more imperative when we step into the online shopping arena. You want to make it as easy as possible for people to find the products they are after and complete the sale. Their mobile shopping should be an efficient and pleasurable experience.

More than enough reason to suggest that no company can afford to ignore this uniquely positioned productivity tool which strongly appeals to people’s desire for efficiency. A seamless mobile experience goes a long way towards tapping into that desire and building a stronger relationship. We found that 79% say they’re more likely to revisit and/or share a mobile site if it is easy to use.

 

What is AMP and how can it benefit you?

Of course Google has already been “on it” for a while, with the launch of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), a project aiming to bring “better, faster mobile internet” to all.

In essence, Accelerated Mobile Pages is a “thinned down” version of the mobile web which runs on a streamlined version of HTML (the language used to create web pages). AMP helps web publishers to create mobile-optimized content that loads instantly on all devices. This reimagined version of HTML, known as AMP HTML, strips out most of the elements which cause web pages to load slower on mobile, like JavaScript and third-party scripts.

On search results AMP sites are highlighted with a small green lightning-bolt and the AMP acronym, inviting users to enjoy these lightning-fast mobile pages.

AMP boosts your search rankings

Since February 2016, Google has been integrating AMP-powered web pages into mobile search results. As one would expect, Google favours sites which pass its mobile-friendly test and will feature these higher up on search results, while those which are mobile “unfriendly” will be pushed down.

Bear in mind though, that AMP on its own is not a direct search engine ranking factor, sites that use AMP also need to rate well on all other search engine ranking criteria.

Indirectly AMP could also positively affect Google search results if the site gets more clicks and fewer bounces because of its speed, which will in turn result in higher placement in search results.

Lightning-speed matters

Speed plays a major role for web users, so faster rendering will translate into more page and ad views. Most web users will abandon a page that takes more than three seconds to load. For mobile users the irritation of waiting can be aggravated by issues with sporadic signal and so on.

 

Google mentions that a page created with AMP HTML can load anywhere from 15% to 85% faster. The average load time for AMP-coded content is 0.7 seconds, while non-AMP pages can take an average of 22 seconds. Something that could easily be the difference between retaining a website visitor’s interest and losing them before they’ve even reached your home page.

 

Curious about how fast your website’s mobile speed is? Test it here: https://testmysite.withgoogle.com/

You are welcome to contact us for more information or for a review of your current mobile site.

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