Video Series: Making Sense of AMP

Google’s new initiative puts a focus on speed and functionality in mobile pages. In this video, Brent Haeseker speaks to NetSource’s SEO consultant, Justin Cook, about how this initiative can change your search engine rankings and how you can utilize these pages to increase traffic on your site.

Full Transcription:

Brent Haeseker: Hi, I’m Brent Haeseker. I’m a website consultant here at Netsource Technologies and today I am with Justin Cook. I brought Justin on today on Facebook Live to have him discuss a blog article that he wrote last year called “Making sense of AMP,”,and I’ll let him explain what AMP is. But first, Justin tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do here at Netsource.

Justin Cook: I am the SEO PPC consultant. I mainly work with Google advertising and helping companies increase their SEO rankings so helping them write blog articles and back l inking and things of that nature to help grow the overall traffic to their website.

Brent Haeseker: So tell us, what exactly is AMP?

Justin Cook: The acronym is Accelerated Mobile Pages. It is a Google led initiative to optimize pages to move instantly basically. The mobile optimized content is very limited in what it can do, so it’s mainly for news articles and blog posts. But the main initiative is speed and you want this article to load instantly.

Brent Haeseker: OK. Now how does then AMP pages differ from mobile friendly pages. Doesn’t mobile friendly achieve the same thing?

Justin Cook: In a sense, but if you think about it this way mobile friendly pages, their main benefit is to make sure that your website is viewable across all devices. While AMP is functionality and speed. So AMP is mainly targeted just to mobile users and like I said news articles, blog posts, things of that nature.

Brent Haeseker: So it’s not all the pages on your website, we’re just dealing with the specific pages that AMP will make faster. And like you said they are going to be stripped down pages so they’re not going to have everything on it. So the goal then of having those stripped down pages is the faster speed so it works better on mobile because mobile speeds tend to be slower for a lot of people than desktop. So what are then some of the benefits of these AMP pages?

Justin Cook: So when we’re talking about the AMP, our main benefits are going to be speed, premium rankings in Google, increase in organic traffic, and lower bounce rates. So I’ll go through those a little bit one by one. So when you’re talking about loading speed instantly you’re not talking about the guy that’s on his mobile phone, and he has a great internet connection. You’re talking about the person that’s running around. He’s looking up things on his phone. He’s on his 3G network. Most of the mobile friendly pages they’ll load in 10, 11, 12 seconds. Well you don’t want that. So the AMP will, as soon as he clicks on that, it loads. Just like that in one, two seconds he has pulled it up he’s not waiting a long time, he’s not getting frustrated. From there we’re looking at premium rankings in Google. So AMP, when you search on a Google on your mobile device it’s going to go right to the top. There’s what is called a news feed carousel and it features in one or two different ways. But for the most part you’re going to see this carousel at the top and it’s going to have this little lightning bolt.

Brent Haeseker: OK. Why don’t we actually take a look at what that actually looks like. So if you’ve got your mobile phones they’re with you while you’re watching this, of course if you’re watching it on your mobile phone, I guess that might be a little hard to do this, but if you’re watching on a desktop, pull out your mobile phone like I’m doing here. So I am at Google here on my mobile phone there what would be a search term that should type in order to see an example.

Justin Cook: Latest news, that would be the easiest.

Brent Haeseker: Latest news, ok so I’m typing in Latest News. I hit Go and it’s pulling up there in Google. I see these listings here at the top. And you might see the same thing if you’re watching this video on a different day than when we recorded this, then obviously you’ll see some different listings here. But I see all the different latest news and I see here, it’ll have the link and has this like little lightning bolt icon next to it. It’s kind of hard to see even really small here on my phone. And if I click on that page, boom it’s pulled up. So right away it’s pulled up and I’ve got a news article page right here. Whereas if I was to do that on one of these pages, it would be slower to move up. So if you’ve seen that little lightning bolt icon before when you’ve searched on Google on your phone. That’s what that stands for, it’s indicating that that is an AMP page it’s going to l oad faster on mobile. And as you can see, it also comes to the top of the listings on your mobile device so the first thing that you see. So obviously there’s a benefit there if you’ve got those AMP pages because people who are doing the searches on a mobile device are going to see those listings first.

Justin Cook: Yeah and you’re going to see a difference between something that needs to be up-to-date like latest news versus a regular blog article such as looking up what AMP pages are. You can still show up normally in organic Google rankings on a mobile device and it’ll look like a normal Google listing but it will still have that icon to indicate that it is an AMP page.

Brent Haeseker: And to clarify you’ve been mentioning Google, so this is only for the Google search engine now that are doing these types of listings?

Justin Cook: It is a Google led initiative so it may be being developed on other major search engines. But for now we only see Google.

Brent Haeseker: OK. Now since these are dealing mostly with content pages right now. You said blog pages, news articles, content pages things like that. How exactly can this help out a business person who’s selling products on their website. If this is more geared towards content and news type pages and blogs?

Justin Cook: So you’re kind of looking at a two pronged attack here. So when you’re building out mobile pages for your mobile content and your news, you want to increase traffic to your website. That is that is the key, one of the key benefits. When you increase traffic to your overall website you affect your SEO rankings in a positive way. As more users see it, Google sees your Web site as something that people want to go to, and they trust and they want to explore more. So once you increase your overall rankings, you’re hoping that from that article they say well you know I want to check these guys out. They click through to a specific product page or category page that you hosted on the blog article that you would link to. And when they go there you’re hoping that they find something and you start a business relationship with that person. Any one of those helps. So if you increase your website traffic by 100 a week, that’s great. And that will boost your overall rankings and if you start increasing sales by even 1, 2 percent, you know your AMP initiative has been paying off.

Brent Haeseker: Right. Right. And I really liked the fact that since those pages load so fast that when people get there they’re not going to get that back button as easily as they would on a slow loading page. So that means your bounce rate is going to go down which is a good ranking factor for you in Google and can help you overall I would say with your SEO. And now you wrote this article and by the way we’ll put a link to the article in the description of this video too so that you can find it. But you wrote the article actually just a little over a year ago, January last year. Since you wrote this article has there been much changes with AMP.

Justin Cook: Yeah well the main changes that have happened over the year is Google has been continuously working on, not just Google itself, there are other leading technology companies that are trying to find better scripts, better codes, and trying to make things load incredibly fast. The problem with the functionality and your speed is that your code has to be very tight. So companies have been developing a better system for JavaScript for CSS to try to make it load incredibly fast. So that functionality has started to expand. We do see some product pages being able to take over some of that functionality but they’re still very limited in what they can do. So the main differences have been an expansion in functionality.

Brent Haeseker: Okay now are these AMP pages hard to set up?

Justin Cook: For the most part you would need a developer that knows what he’s doing. Unless you’re doing let’s say a WordPress site, where it’s already built in and you just have a plug in. You’re going to need some help from the outside. You’re going to need a developer to help you set these pages up because they are very strict in their guidelines and just missing the mark even by that much percent of a code. It won’t be registered as an AMP page. So it’s very exact, very strict.

Brent Haeseker: OK. Good to know. Well and on that note since we are a team full of developers here at Netsource, definitely something we can help you out with in creating these AMP pages. If you do need assistance with it or you just have other questions on it, give us a call. Our number here is 1(800)709-3240. Is there anything else that you feel we might not have talked about that needs to be brought up or anything else that you want to kind of end on.

Justin Cook: I think that’s it.

Brent Haeseker: Okay great. You’ve been very helpful. I mean that’s a lot of really good information. I don’t think a lot of people even really know about these AMP pages even though you’ve probably seen them on your phone before and just didn’t know what that little lightning thing actually meant. But it is definitely a cool new feature that Google’s got that can help you out with your mobile marketing. So again if it’s something you need some assistance with. Give us give us a call. We’d be glad to help you out and otherwise thank you so much Justin for speaking with me today and I thank you all for watching. We appreciate time. And talk to you next time.