Branding

Google AMP and your business

By Mark Ainsworth

No one can ignore the fast pace at which technology has developed over the previous decade. Walk down any high street and what do you see? People walking along the street their heads bent, their brows furrowed in concentration whilst they interact with their mobile devices.

Going to a coffee shop, restaurant, airport lounge or any number of public places and you will find a large proportion of the people there will be doing the same thing – interacting with their mobile devices.

Whilst there are those who like to have a tablet for browsing, it is more likely that they will also own a mobile phone. For those web users, the mobile phone meets all their needs and they are expected to deliver and almost instantaneous browsing experience.

Closer observation might reveal that the mobile devices being used are phones rather than tablets. Many of the large network suppliers agree that the use of mobile phones is increasing every day. It is suggested that 48% of people use a mobile phone for their browsing needs.

This figure represents a huge number of people to sell your products and services to. Whether you are a retailer, a restaurant owner, or a travel company, you will want your company to be the first thing prospective customers see as they search the web for whatever it is they need.

Websites and mobiles

As part of your marketing strategy, it is more likely than not that you will have a website. You want your website to produce enquiries and to do this people must visit it.

It is not only important that people visit your website but that they also stop and browse.

You may have done all you can to ensure that a Google search will return your company name at the top of the page. If you have used search engine optimisation techniques when building your website, you may be confident that no further upgrade is required.

Consider again the amount of people who use mobile phones to search the Internet. How can you be sure that your search engine optimisation tools will allow your website to load as quickly on a mobile phone as it does on any other device?

You might even decide to test this out for yourself. Using a mobile phone and a tablet side-by-side, Google the same website and find out how long it takes for the web page to load. If you find that the web page is not loading almost instantaneously on your mobile phone, then action is needed.

You want to ensure that your website is returned as quickly as possible following an enquiry online. There is one more thing you need to implement to ensure that this happens.

The answer is AMP or “accelerated mobile page”. This is a technology project which is currently exclusively backed by Google. The whole idea is to increase the speed at which web page content can be accessed by mobile phone users.

Just to recap – one factor affecting your search engine optimisation ranking is the load time of your website. In this case faster is always better. Research around consumer use suggests that if the page takes longer than two seconds to load the customer has lost interest and will go elsewhere.

Keeping pace with this new technology is essential to match the expectations of your customers.

Why do I need AMP?

A significant proportion of the population now view websites on their mobile devices and their expectation is for the almost instantaneous loading of pages that they want to see. AMP is a website developer friendly toolkit that focuses on producing websites that look like they were designed for viewing on a mobile.

Managing customer’s expectations for speed and reliability along with simplicity is no mean feat. In order to remain competitive, you need to consider updating your website to be mobile user friendly in terms of it’s presentation and load speed.

Google AMP is both technology and an infrastructure. The AMP technology bit consists of both an HTML and JavaScript library. Developers use these libraries to construct a version of the website that is tailored specifically to mobile devices.

This means that you can still have the same content on your website but it is adapted for use on a mobile device. Your AMP version of your website will load very quickly, and this will have a positive impact on your SEO.

An AMP version of your website is easily identifiable by the user as it has a small icon resembling a flash of lighting in the top corner. Google scans websites for these AMP versions and saves them on their super quick servers. When someone begins to browse, these AMP sites will download near instantly.

In summary, an AMP version of your website will offer your customers a faster and better browsing experience. Because of this  your SEO and Google rankings will benefit.

Without an AMP version of your website, you may not notice an immediate change in traffic. However, as more businesses develop AMP versions for mobile users, you may notice that you are slipping behind in the rankings and that customers are not spending time on your website.

There is no doubt that technology will continue to advance and with that the expectations of customers will continue to develop. Mobile users expect to press a button and receive an answer in the blink of an eye. These customers live their lives on the go and need answers quickly. Any business that is unable to keep pace runs the risk of being left behind.

Who can help me?

AMP requires a considerable amount of effort to implement from website owners. However, once it is completed the benefits of increased interaction on their website for mobile users will become apparent. AMP is designed to make interaction with websites faster and less wieldy for mobile users.

If you need help in developing a website with AMP, contact the Maxweb team. We can help you to keep pace with the latest technology. For more information, call us on 0151 652 4777 or email info@maxwebsolutions.co.uk.

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