Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) What You Need To Know

AMP allows you to build web pages that are not only lightweight but fast page load, improving the performance of web pages on mobile devices.

Apr 03, 2018 Web Design

Ever since mobile phones were invented and became so popular, they have changed the way that we live, work, shop, travel and connect to the world around us. In addition, recent technological advances have impacted public safety, health, commerce and communication. People are becoming more and more dependent on mobile internet when it comes to quickly accessing internet and performing a variety of routine activities. They will use their smartphones to look at news, shop, and keep in touch with family and friends. Businesses will make use of mobile internet in order to reach out to readers and/or customers.

While mobile internet technology has made it much easier for everyone to gain access to a variety of information, the user experience is lacking due to a variety of loopholes. For example, some websites lack responsive features, which leads to the pages not adapting to the screen size, and some pages take a long time to load. If the site is responsive, the page may still take too long to load, which leads to the business losing a customer. If a website is loaded down with advertisements, the page will load too slow, which results in the consumer aborting the page without seeing the copy before it loads and without paying attention to the ads that have loaded thus far.

Google has recently introduced Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), which is an open source initiative that can help to improve the performance of web pages on mobile devices. There are numerous pages that are content-rich with videos, graphics, animations and advertisements. These types of pages are expected to instantly load, though they are harder to do so. What is also expected of these pages is for the same code to be used across multiple devices and platforms regardless of the type of electronic device that a customer is using to access a site. Thankfully, this is all possible with AMP.

Just What is AMP?

With AMP HTML, you have the ability to build web pages that are not only lightweight but fast loading. It is designed to allow owners of websites to enhance the loading time and speed of their websites for mobile visitors without having to sacrifice advertisement revenue. Previously, this could have been achieved via extensive performance optimizations that professional developers could perform, but these were overlooked by news publishers due to the resource limitation.

Luckily, these optimizations are now more easily possible through AMP without the mobile web experience being negatively affected. As a result, numerous news publishers worldwide are utilizing AMPs to improve the user experience for their mobile customers – Pinterest, Twitter, WordPress.com, Parse.ly, Chartbeat, LinkedIn, and Adobe Analytics, to name a few.

How Exactly Does AMP Work?

As previously mentioned, AMP is a framework that assists in developing web pages for mobile devices. Essentially, it consists of three parts:

  • AMP HTML – This particular form of markup language is a division of standard HTML. It consists of some custom tags, properties as well as various restrictions. If you are familiar with the traditional HTML coding, then you should not have much difficulty when it comes time to convert your current web pages to AMP HTML. As a general rule, most of the tags will be HTML tags, though there are some that are AMP-specific.
  • AMP JS – This is AMP JavaScript and will manage any resource handling. It offers custom tags that will ensure a quick rendering of web pages, allowing an asynchronous load. With AMP JS, third-party JS is not permitted.
  • AMP CDN – This refers to Content Deliver Network, which is not obligatory, though it will take your pages that are enabled with AMP to new heights as it caches them and automatically makes optimizations related to performance.

How Do You Create AMP HTML Pages?

When it comes to website pages, it is important to understand that you need to have two separate versions – an original and an AMP. With AMP, there is no third-party JavaScript or form elements. You also can’t have lead forms, on-page comments, or various other vital elements that are standard on your original web page.

Of course, there is the chance that you’ve rephrased your web page template to accommodate the aforementioned restrictions. If you have done this, then you need to ensure that the custom amp-img element is included, in addition to an explicit height and width to ensure that multimedia can be efficiently handled. Keep in mind that there are separate components for animated GIFs (amp-anim).

When embedding locally hosted videos or YouTube videos, you will need to use a special extended component – amp-video or amp-youtube, respectively. The same is true for slide shoes and image lightboxes – amp-carousel and amp-image-lightbox. When you are embedding for social media, it is simply amp- and then the respective social media network, such as amp-facebook, amp-instagram, etc.

It is easier than you think to embed various elements, though it does take some strategic planning on your part.

How to Monetize with Advertisements in AMP

One of the ways that web users will enhance a  website’s loading time is to use an ad blocker. However, this doesn’t work so well for publishers when it comes to monetizing their website. As with other things, AMP fixes this issue since it has the ability to ensure effective monetization of advertisements on mobile websites. Ultimately, the idea is to help promote a variety of advertisement technologies, networks and formats in AMP. There are a wealth of well-known advertisement networks that are utilizing the amp-ad component, including:

  • AdReactor
  • AOL AdTech
  • Google AdSense
  • Google Doubleclick
  • Smart AdServer
  • Yieldmo

If you have intricate monetization, then you can make use of subscriptions or paywalls. There are different citations that can be used to implement it within AMP by utilizing the extension of AMP Access.

AMP Analytics

Just like Google, AMP has its very own analytics, and it is very smart. The idea behind it is “measure once, report to many”. Now, there are a couple of different ways that AMP analytics can be enabled on your website:

  • AMP-Pixel Element
  • AMP-Analytics Component

If you are not currently using Google Analytics to your advantage, then you should definitely give amp-analytics a go. Simply input the necessary JavaScript library and build it through JSON markup in the appropriate area of your web page.

Conclusion

When it comes to speeding up your mobile website, then AMP is a relatively easy way to get it done. It is particularly recommended for those who are in the publishing industry, and it is a fantastic way for publishers to get a head start with the mobile experience.

If you have any questions related to Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) and what they can do for your site and business, feel free to contact us at WebDetail.

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