What is AMP? The pros and cons for your website’s performance.

As a digital marketing agency, we are exposed to trends that come and go. We hear a lot of tips and tricks for ranking higher on Google, and these days, we are hearing a lot about a tool called “AMP.” So, what is it? What are the benefits? How will it affect your website? 

What is Google AMP? 

AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages. It is essentially another form of your website that only displays when a user visits your site using Google. It makes your webpage load faster because there are only minimal requirements that need to be met for AMP. These requirements are as follows:  

  • It’s meant to be “read-only”, so there is very little design implementation 
  • There are rules for using CSS and HTML, some tags cannot be used 

You can tell which pages are AMP by the thunderbolt icon in the corner. AMP pages normally display in a Google Carousel as well: 

You can also check to see whether a page is available on AMP by adding “/amp”  to the end of the URL. Try it out with this page (if you’re not already on AMP), and you will see our site structure change.

Here are a few of the pros and cons of AMP.

Pros: 

  • Potential growth in website traffic and lower bounce rate due to increased page speed.
  • AMP caches the webpage so that it doesn’t have to go through a server, creating a better mobile experience.
  • Since AMP is a Google product, it does help you rank higher, Especially for news stories.
  • Your webpage will show up in Google Carousel, which normally appears first in search results (example below).

Credit: Search Engine Land

Cons: 

  • Your website design needs to be minimal. 
  • You can only use the built-in JavaScript, you cannot customize it or use your own. 
  • AMP has limitations when it comes to customization( e.g., AMP requires specific HTML and CSS coding).

How can you apply AMP to your website? 

Our marketing agency uses WordPress to develop websites for our clients. Here is our method for  integrating AMP into a client’s website: 

  • Use a plugin such as AMP for WordPress, AMP plugin or Better AMP. 
  • Depending on the plugin, you can choose a design that matches your website’s needs best. For example, sometimes the colours can be adjusted to match a brand. However, generally AMP pages are not very customizable. 
  • You can choose which pages to make available for AMP. You can also allow the entire website to be supported with AMP or only certain pages, such as blog posts. 
  • You can also add your logo so that it shows throughout all the AMP pages. 

If you don’t use a Content Management System (e.g., WordPress) and plugins are not available for you, you can also create AMP pages manually. Here is a brief overview of the amp.dev guide on creating your own AMP pages: 

  • Start with an HTML boilerplate from the amp.dev site.
  • Add images using <amp-img> instead of the standard <img>.
  • Customize your pages by using CSS <style amp-custom> (however, keep in mind that there are certain selectors that you cannot use). 
  • Add <link rel=”canonical”> to the AMP pages. For non-AMP pages add <link rel=”amphtml”>. This ensures that the web browser will point to the correct page, whether it is AMP or the standard page. 

Although there are many benefits to having AMP integrated into your site, it’s not for everyone. Whether you want to integrate AMP into your websites or not, our marketing agency can help guide you to the right solution. 

Did this article strike a chord with what’s going on in your organization? Do give us a shout at 604.559.7509 and set up a discovery meeting. We would love to see if we can help.

Or, stop by our marketing agency in Vancouver⏤we always have chocolate!