Is there anything more irritating than a website that takes too long to load? We are all guilty of getting frustrated with poor loading times, and many of us often give up without even reaching the page we had hoped for. Websites with poor loading times tend not to rank well with search engines, and for good reason – search engines know that people only want the sites that can give us the information we want fastest. It’s why voice search is on the rise and it’s why content is tailored for micro-moments. We are in an age of instant gratification: when we want something, we need it instantly. That is why Google developed Google AMP. A solution to slow webpages.
Google AMP has been around for a while now, but what is it? And perhaps more importantly, how can your website benefit from it? Simply put, AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages. Google AMP allows website to dramatically speed up their load times, so landing pages appear almost immediately when they are clicked on. This is fantastic for user experience and is likely to increase conversion rates as one of the primary reasons that customers are lost is due to load times. If a page is taking too long to appear, a customer will usually just give up and try another website. Speed is also one of the ranking factors that Google takes into account for SEO, so unless your website is already super speedy, Google AMP is a great addition to speed things up.
Google AMP can be utilised for any format: you can design ecommerce pages, both mobile and desktop websites, speedy advertisements (that can be linked with Google Ads), and even emails. By using AMP, you are increasing the speed of your entire website. So, how exactly does it work?
Resource downloading is also a top priority for AMP pages so users have the most important aspects of the website. Images are downloaded secondary, but they are only fully downloaded if the web page determines that the user is likely going to see them. As a result of this intuitive thinking, the most important visuals are downloaded first and the user is able to see everything they need almost instantaneously. There is no point is downloading all images immediately, especially considering some websites contain hundreds or even thousands of images. It is much more economical to only download the images that need to be seen as the user works their way through the website: and this is the approach that Google AMP takes. This gives the user the impression that the whole website has loaded instantly, when in reality they are only being shown the snippets they want, exactly as they reach them. This is why Google AMP relies heavily on page layout and tracking the user’s movement onsite.
Of course, because AMP pages work by having all content pre-downloaded, if there are any changes to a webpage and its layout, the browser will have to redownload all the correct and updated info. However, it will still prove to be much faster than non-AMP pages, as these pages will not know the pre-existing layout. AMP pages have the ability to comprehend and implement changes seamlessly, providing a wonderful user experience.
The CSS for AMP pages is inline. This removes the need for HTTP requests to facilitate the rendering path. Inline files are also capped at 50 kilobytes, which is great for load times, but also gives enough detail for a fully comprehensive and detailed website layout.
Google AMP Test Tool
When working with Google AMP, Google provides a Google AMP test tool which will make sure your webpages are matching the requirements it needs to function correctly. If all is working as it should be, you will be able to preview search engine results and view what the user will see when browsing.
Getting your website to load instantly is a tremendous challenge which relies on so many elements: from image sizes, to SEO, to functional servers, there is a lot to consider. However, it is necessary. Users expect fast load times and if you can’t provide…your website is going to fall behind. Google AMP can transform your website loading times and with it transform your business as you watch your Google rankings climb.
Cornell Studios – SEO Services
Never fear though – this is not a task for you to undertake alone but is exactly what digital marketing companies and SEO services are for. Here at Cornell Studios, our developers are tech wizards and know a thing or two about speedy websites. So, whether you are looking a site built from scratch, or a revamp for your existing website, we’d love to hear from you. You can contact us via our website, where you will find our email address, or you can contact us by telephone on 028 3833 9100.