April 30th 2020
I have been exploring the online universe professionally since 2004!
It is old news that smartphones have overtaken traditional computers as people’s favourite online browsing device.
Page speed, especially the mobile page speed, is becoming an increasingly more important factor when Google’s algorithms are ranking a website.
Everything points toward that in the future, one of the key ranking factors will be the page speed in the mobile-first index.
The faster, the better seems to be the mantra.
Google has provided the solution for superfast mobile websites is AMP, Accelerated Mobile Pages. A website standard for mobile pages they created in cooperation with other big tech giants like LinkedIn, WordPress, Twitter etc. Google launched AMP in 2016, but the interest for it has first started growing within the past few years.
The consequence of this is that they will increase crawls for websites mobile version, but only crawl the desktop version occasionally. Meaning your desktop version will have minimal value for google.
How do you optimize your website, so it loads super fast?
The short answer is: Get rid of poor code and supersize images. Let’s dive in and go more into details.
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is the first choice when it comes to optimizing page speed. You can do fine without AMP for your website, but the AMP standards are the absolute shortcut to a superfast website.
An AMP website loads almost instantly. That is not only important when you talk about Google ranking, but it is at least as important when looking at the user experience.
We must not forget that Google’s goal is to show users the most relevant pages, so when we talk about SEO, the first thing we need to have in place is the right keywords, and then it is the user experience.
Everyone knows how frustrating it is to wait for a web page to load. The average user spends no more than 2-3 seconds from clicking on a search result until deciding if they want to stay on the page or they browse away.
A slow website cause users to leave, often even before the page has finished loading.
So it’s not just for Google ranking you need a fast website, it is also to make sure the users have a pleasant experience and stay on your site. A customer who has left the shop does not buy anything.
Why & What is AMP, and why it is the future of website programming?
AMP is short for Accelerated Mobile Pages and is an opensource HTML framework.
With AMP, Google instantly loads and pre-render the webpages.
Google does a lot to support AMP and has made resources available to developers to help get started.
If you have a large and complicated website and do not have the resources to convert it to 100% AMP website, but still want the benefits of it, there is also a solution to this.
You can keep your desktop version of your webshop, but make an AMP version for mobile devices.
Pagespeed and AMP
For a regular WordPress site without AMP, it can be a struggle to get your mobile versions page speed score to reach 80, even with Cache and other optimizing tools.
The higher score, the better it is, but most importantly, try to get a first meaningful view at a 2-second max, then you have a good chance of beating your competitors on the page speed parameter.
Keep in mind, while most AMP optimized sites have a page speed score above 90 without any optimization, it can be challenging to reach a 100, most often it is the server quality and the image sizes and format that is the last hurdle to pass.
But don’t worry, your first goal is not to get a page speed score at 100, but to get a better score than your competitors.
Getting started with AMP
Thanks for reading this brief introduction to AMP, in my next article I will explain how to get started with AMP for WordPress, and how to test and make sure your AMP version is 100% approved by google.