AMP: Accelerated Mobile Pages That Are Super Fast!

AMP or Accelerated Mobile Pages, put simply, are web pages that load extremely fast on mobile devices. They are near instant! Launched back in February 2016, Google’s AMP Project shows these pages in the mobile search results. You may have already noticed these pages. They appear with a small lightning bolt icon underneath the website URL.

AMP Page In Google Search Listing

How does AMP work?

Designed for high performance, AMP pages are minimalist versions of your website pages optimised for mobile. Most of the design elements and JavaScript code (commonly used for animations etc.) are taken out of the page, consequently making the pages load faster.

The negatives

AMP doesn’t allow for custom widgets, custom carousels or custom navigation menus. You will need to use AMP services to develop these such as AMP Carousel.

Two versions of the page also need to be created. The original page, and an AMP page. Therefore, you will be managing and maintaining duplicate content.

AMP tracking capabilities

To track AMP pages, a different analytics tag is required on each of your mobile pages. Currently, you are not able to track all of the data you can in standard analytics. Google’s support pages tell us the following data you can track on AMP pages:

  • Page data, including domain, path and page title
  • User data, including client ID and timezone
  • Browsing data, including referrer and unique page view ID
  • Browser data, including screen height, screen width and user agent
  • Interaction data, including page height and page width
  • Event data

But how effective is this data, and more importantly, how can we be sure it is correct? Business Insider published an article back in March 2017 acknowledging issues with inflating traffic numbers in Google Analytics, between AMP and non AMP pages. There have also been issues with Google Analytics registering a person leaving the website, when in fact they have left an AMP page, for a non AMP page on the same website.

So, are we really ready for AMP yet?

With these issues being reported, we have to wonder if we are really ready for AMP technology. At the time of publishing this article, there was no known easy solution to fix these issues.

The question you might want to ask yourself, is whether you’re most interested in accurate data or a super fast user experience for your mobile visitors.

We’ll let you decide for yourself!

If you are struggling with page loading times there are always fixes you can do to improve this. One of the easiest, and most actionable fixes you can do yourself, is optimising your images.

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