How long do you wait for a page to load before you drop it? A recent poll suggests a 40% bounce rate in only three seconds. People, especially heavy Internet users, don’t have the patience to wait for a page to load, or to click every ad that pops out. To improve customer experience without neglecting businesses’ need for revenues, Google launched the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). AMP is a new open source initiative that speeds up mobile browsing. “The project relies on AMP HTML, a new open framework built entirely out of existing web technologies, which allows websites to build light-weight webpages”, according to Google Blog.
The cons of AMP
Mobile: the future of the Web
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According to a study, about 3.7 billion people out of the 7.4 billion global population are mobile phone users as of January 2016. More than half of these users actively access the Internet especially social media networks. The number of active mobile social users rose by 17% this year from 2015. These figures offer an overview of the bright future of mobile Internet browsing.
Tech companies are aggressively finding ways to improve mobile browsing. Facebook has released Instant Articles, which keeps users within the Facebook environment via third-party programs. It allows articles to load instantly in News Feed, reducing the bounce rate by 70%. Instant Articles also allows businesses and publishers to earn traffic credit, analyze real-time article traffic, and follow reader interests. AMP shares the same goals with Facebook’s Instant Articles, but unlike the latter, it does away with third-party platforms. By restricting their codes, the publishers can use their existing websites but with better speed and reliability.
Faster browsing experience
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Before using Google’s new tool, you should first explore the pros and cons of AMP. The most important benefit of AMP is speed. When you search for a page on Google and try to open the link, a stripped down version of the web page will open. This optimized page template is the AMP page. No need to waste precious time waiting for a page to load. This is especially helpful when you urgently need information such as emergency hotlines.
Businesses and publishers will cut down bounce rates and better promote their content. AMP boosts the loading speed of sites by as much as 85%. With lower drop rates, businesses can interact with their target audience better. The longer a user stays and browses your website, the higher chances you can encourage him to act—like buy your product or share the contents in your website. AMP encourages content optimization.
The more people reading your content, the better chances you’d have to be rewarded with higher rankings in search engines. Page load and mobile friendliness are important ranking factors.
Not many people are aware of AMP, but once the word gets around, they will start choosing AMP sites for better speed and reliability. When you search for an item in Google, the AMP results will be displayed in green texts. As users seek faster loading times, AMP will increase visibility for businesses and publishers.
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The AMP strives to strike a balance between customer experience and advertising revenues. This open source initiative supports a menu of ad networks, formats, and platforms. “Any sites using AMP HTML will retain their choice of ad networks, as well as any formats that don’t detract from the user experience,” according to Google. Currently, the popular technologies that support AMP include WordPress, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Chartbeat.
Similar with Facebook’s Instant Articles, AMP has analytics tools that allow businesses and publishers to track visitor data such as clicks/conversions and video tracking. The top publishers presently supporting AMP include BBC, The New York Times, and the Washington Post.
Content is King
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Gone are the days of traditional advertising. With countless products and services within reach, consumers are not easily persuaded by salesy scripts. In fact, direct selling barely works among young cash-rich consumers. Digital marketing, or the marketing of products or services using digital technologies, has been and will be the trend in marketing. Using reputable digital marketing agencies can help you penetrate target markets via a range of approaches such as website optimization, content marketing, social media marketing, and online PR.
How does AMP help boost content? Simple. This innovation allows you to focus on producing rich content like image carousels, maps, and data visualizations without worrying whether or not your target audience can easily access your web pages. Moreover, AMP enables businesses and publishers to host their content while “allowing for efficient distribution through Google’s high performance global cache.” Google is gearing towards opening its cache services to be used free of charge.
The cons of AMP
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Despite the power of AMP, only a quarter of SEO specialists have implemented it. Why? Aside from lack of sufficient knowledge on this tool, there content types that do not work with with AMP. AMP doesn’t work on images that need to be enlarged for viewing, videos in text-based articles, and pop-ups that encourage subscriptions.
Optimization trends in 2017
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The new year is almost here. Experts have started mapping their SEO predictions for 2017. One of these trends is Schema, which helps users get better search results through rich snippets that offer a clear and appealing overview of a website’s content. Voice search is also a hot prediction as users are getting used to applications such as Siri and Ok Google. Experts estimate that by 2020, 50% of all searches will through voice commands instead of keywords. Finally, the future of web browsing will focus on speed and mobility. Thus, the expected demand for AMP-optimized sites.
Even if your content or content goals are not suitable for AMP, it’s still necessary to optimize your website. Some of the simple hacks you should remember are avoiding unnecessary and complicated images, compressing your website, and keeping only essential cookies. Why should you optimize your site? There are countless pages in the Internet, and more are being made every minute. The only way to stand out is to optimize your website.