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What Accelerated Mobile Pages Mean for Business

Here at the Weblinx offices, we’re fielding a lot of questions about Accelerated Mobile Pages (or AMP) in 2017. That’s usually because marketing professionals haven’t heard of them, or noticed tiny lightning bolt icons next to certain pieces of content when they’re on Google, Facebook, or Twitter.

amp web design

To help our clients and readers understand what AMP and the lightning icons are all about, let’s look at what Accelerated Mobile Pages mean for business…

AMP is About Speed on Mobile Devices

Accelerated Mobile Pages are essentially lightweight versions of normal pages. You could think of them as small jackets instead of winter coats – they have the same basic parts and function, but without the bigger and bulkier pieces.

In this case, the things that are being stripped away from webpages to speed them up could include formatting elements and images. That shouldn’t be a surprise, given that graphics of any kind take up the most space on a server, and require the longest time to load on a mobile device. Also being slimmed down or removed are most forms of JavaScript, and extra items like forms and comments that would typically be found at the bottom of the page or article.

All of these small reductions leave you with a page that is essentially built around text and very simple code. That might not make for the most beautiful or creative layout, but it does allow a piece of content to load faster, and that’s the whole point of AMP in the first place.

It’s Your Content, But Not Your Website (Sometimes)

Another way Google and other content deliverers are speeding up pages is by hosting AMP-enabled items themselves. In other words, they take your content submission, make a copy, and put the slimmed-down version directly into a platform the user is already familiar with (again, usually Facebook or Google).

The benefit here, once again, is speed. Because a piece of content can already be available from a cache, there’s no need for the service to retrieve it from your website. A side effect is that you may find your content being displayed away from your own website. It would still have your basic branding, attributions, and some links (more on this in a second), but removes the need for customers to actually visit your pages.

It’s also worth pointing out that there are ways to make content AMP ready and still host it on your website.

What AMP Means for Marketing Professionals

At the moment, AMP represents a bit of a mixed bag for marketers. On the one hand, anything that delivers content more quickly and easily to mobile users – who make up the majority online – is helpful. But on the other, having content hosted away from your website means you have less control over it (including decreased options for editing or deleting pages), and fewer branding or marketing opportunities. If Google or Facebook is removing your images, forms, and links, for example, how can you convert readers into buyers?

Naturally, the creative minds at the world’s largest search engine and its most prominent social media site are already addressing these problems. Better options for advertising, analytics, and click-through’s are on the way. Both Google and Facebook have big incentives to keep businesses happy (and revenue coming in), so you can bet Accelerated Mobile Pages are going to get better and better for everyone going forward.

For now, business owners and executives just need to know that the race to deliver content to mobile users on a near-instant basis is on. While things like search visibility and conversion goals may change, you can bet the need for speed – and AMP-enabled content – is going to be with us for years to come.

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