Are Accelerated Mobile Pages Necessary for Better Rankings?

Throughout 2018, search engines like Google made a concerted effort to push ahead towards mobile-first indexing. This meant that instead of relying on a site’s desktop pages for their indexing and results purposes, they were going to prioritize mobile versions for rankings considerations. While many search engine ranking factors are similar across desktop and mobile, accelerated mobile pages (AMP) are a mobile-only factor that can have a big impact on your SEO.

What are accelerated mobile pages?

With the growth of mobile-first indexing, developing mobile friendly content has become increasingly important. One of the smartest ways to optimize for mobile-first indexing is through the use of accelerated mobile pages. AMP provides for higher site performance and better rates of user engagement by helping mobile pages to load more quickly. That speed is crucial as mobile users have much higher bounce rates than their desktop counterparts, especially if a site is sluggish or unresponsive.

At its core, AMP is an open-source project geared towards improving the speed and readability of mobile content pages. As such, you can see why it’s quickly becoming an important tool for an effective mobile SEO campaign. Without the inclusion of AMP, you risk higher bounce rates, poor site performance, and user disengagement, all three of which can negatively impact your rankings and tank your site’s search visibility.

AMP basics

Primarily, AMP works to display your site’s pages using only properly optimized HTML code. This means that several code tag manager processes are streamlined or cut out altogether, instead shifting the focus to processes that benefit the mobile experience. Does your site use JavaScript throughout? AMP won’t render it as the script tends to harm the speed and usability of a mobile page.

AMP has other integration factors that might impact your decision to incorporate the plugin. Firstly, your version of CSS has to be streamlined. If you want to use video media on a mobile page, it needs to be placed with an AMP-approved extension for it to render properly. Your custom fonts will need to be specially loaded, otherwise they may display incorrectly. Finally, for your site to work properly each and every time it’s accessed by a mobile user, the AMP pages need to be validated.

Validating your AMP

Now that you know the importance of accelerated mobile pages and some of the basics when it comes to properly integrating them with your mobile-first optimization protocol, understanding AMP validation is your next logical step. Luckily, Link Laboratory has developed a useful AMP validator to give you a snapshot of your site’s mobile performance and whether or not your pages are validating correctly. If they are, you’re good to go. If not, you probably need to do some tweaking to make sure that your AMP plugin is working.

Benefitting the user

AMP is a powerful tool that should be at the forefront of any webmaster that is looking to optimize their site to benefit the mobile experience. It provides the lightning fast load times that mobile browsers crave and helps retain the style of your site’s design without sacrificing possible advertisement functionality or losing your rich media. As long as the plugin is properly integrated and you’re following general AMP guidelines, you’re likely to see a major boost in your mobile performance and page speeds whilst simultaneously spotting a decrease in bounce rates and user disengagement. Relying on AMP to take advantage of mobile-first search engine indexing is truly a no-brainer that only stands to boost your site’s overall performance and ranking potential.