If you’ve ever clicked on a mobile news article in Google search results, you might have seen that the resulting URL starts with www.google.com/amp. So even if it’s an article from The New York Times, Politico, or The Wall Street Journal, its hyperlink will start the same.
That’s because it’s a part of AMP, or Accelerated Mobile Pages, an initiative started in 2015 to improve mobile content for consumers and publishers.
Though AMP was launched by Google, it was also created as an open-source project in collaboration with publishers and platforms to make it easier for users to access and consume websites, stories, ads, and emails on the go.
That means AMP is not just for major publishers. Small publishers and niche blogs can also benefit from using AMP to optimize their websites and deliver better audience experiences.
Here’s what you need to know.
What is AMP?
Google launched AMP in 2015 to “dramatically improve the performance of the mobile web.” In short, this framework uses HTML code to create fast-loading mobile pages.
As the company’s announcement post stated:
We want webpages with rich content like video, animations and graphics to work alongside smart ads, and to load instantaneously. We also want the same code to work across multiple platforms and devices so that content can appear everywhere in an instant—no matter what type of phone, tablet or mobile device you’re using.
Although AMP was initiated by Google, it remains an open source project, meaning developers can contribute to its code and framework.
AMP began in partnership with platforms like Twitter, WordPress, and Adobe Analytics, and has gone on to include other key partners, such as Taboola. According to the AMP website for developers, everyone from publishers and e-commerce companies to advertisers and email marketers can use AMP to build more lightweight, user-friendly websites and ads.
What’s the Difference Between AMP Websites and Mobile Landing Pages?
The biggest difference between AMP websites and mobile landing pages is that AMP websites are built to load more quickly. That’s because they use the AMP HTML framework, which is easier for browsers to read and render across mobile devices. They also use cached content that’s already stored and ready to load, decreasing wait times for users.
Publishers can have both mobile landing pages and AMP versions of those landing pages existing at the same time.
Why Is AMP Important for Small Business Publishers?
Small business publishers can use AMP to improve user experiences on mobile and meet key metrics for their websites. In a time when over half of all web traffic comes from mobile devices, but conversions are lower on mobile than desktop, those optimized experiences are crucial.
Google also found that, for optimal engagement, mobile pages should load in 3 seconds or less. Yet a whopping 70% of mobile pages take more than 7 seconds to display all content. Even worse, as page load times jump from 1 to 6 seconds, the probability of visitors bouncing increased by 106%. That means many publishers are leaving valuable traffic, conversions, and revenue on the table due to poor loading times.
That’s what AMP aims to help with.
To spell it out more clearly, the biggest benefits of AMP include:
- Faster website and content loading times across devices.
- Increased website engagement and conversions due to more seamless experiences.
- Decreased bounce rate since users will have shorter wait times.
- Improved ranking in Google search results.
- Easier development processes since you’re tapping into a built-in framework.
Especially if your mobile landing pages include rich content like images and videos, AMP can help you keep those interactive features without sacrificing usability.
Media company Complex Networks, for example, saw a 71% increase in site visitors and 90% increase in sessions by converting the majority of its pages to AMP. And tech publisher Gizmodo saw a 3X faster page load speed and 50% increase in impressions per page view by creating AMP website pages.
How Do AMP Websites Work?
AMP essentially uses a pared-down version of HTML code to load page elements more quickly. For example, a website can include AMP HTML code like amp-analytics to track metrics, amp-access for paywalls, amp-app-banner for fixed banners, and amp-animation for animated images.
Google can also cache AMP pages so they’re pre-loaded and ready to display on a user’s mobile device before they even click the link.
How Can You Create AMP Content?
Publishers can use AMP to create their own fast-loading websites, stories, ads, and emails. In fact, many developers are able to create AMP versions of their pages within a week using standard tools like Google Web Designer.
The website also includes a range of guides and tutorials for getting started with AMP. Publishers can take free AMP courses and download pre-made AMP templates for creating different kinds of content like image galleries, app install pages, and simple blog layouts.
How Can You Use AMP with Taboola?
As the world’s leading content discovery platform, Taboola delivers recommended content across a network of premium publisher sites including NBC, USA Today, The Atlantic, and Fox Sports, reaching over 750 million unique visitors each month. In turn, those publishers enjoy increased revenue and engagement, delivering personalized ad experiences for their partners and website visitors.
For those publishers, it’s easy to add the Taboola widget to an AMP page with a simple amp-embed tag. The resulting recommendation widget is responsive and resizable across screens, reaching readers on the article page right when they’re ready to consume new content.
AMP Up Your Mobile Loading Speed
On mobile devices — where users have their pick of apps, web pages, and content to choose from — every second counts. This is especially true for small business publishers who are trying to grow their brands, build communities, and meet their bottom line.
That’s why AMP is such a valuable tool. With just a few changes to their code, publishers can improve loading times for mobile readers and make it as easy as possible for people to access their content. So no attention, revenue, or engagement is lost between the click and the webpage.
Find out how Taboola is helping publishers share content.