If you’ve been shopping around for ideas to improve your e-commerce business, you’ve probably heard people throw the term AMP around. Short for Accelerated Mobile pages, AMPs were created by Google to help websites load fast.
Web-page loading speed is an important metric used to rank websites by the giant search engine. For e-commerce businesses, your website’s loading speed can be the difference between dominating your niche and losing all your customers. Recent studies about Internet users show that 79% of shoppers never return to a website that takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
eBay became the first major retailer to adopt AMPs when they optimized 8 million product pages with the new technology. Now every business wants to adopt them. But are AMPs as good as advertised?
When Google launched AMPs in 2016, they advertised the project to bloggers and online publishers. Their aim was to help blog pages load faster. Social media sites like twitter quickly adopted the technology even though Google had imposed some limitations. Initially, AMP pages were ranked under “Top Stories” and not the first page of the search engine.
Adoption by Ecommerce Businesses
Loading at less than 1 second, AMP pages became a hit among business that aimed to rank high on Google’s searches. Within eight months of launching, more than 900,000 businesses were using the technology. Most ecommerce businesses tested the mobile-friendly pages on static pages that traditional took longer to load.
AMPs are not necessary in every page because they only lower loading speeds by 1 or 2 seconds. But if you have pages that take too long to load, the pages are helpful. The process of installing these pages requires some technical knowhow but you can also install them with some little help online.
Just to provide an overview, here are the common pages e-commerce businesses integrate with AMPs:
- The business homepage
- Product category pages
- Product description pages
- Testimonial pages
How AMPs Work
AMPs were designed to increase loading speeds. But how do they achieve the fast speeds? Like any lite app, accelerated mobile pages are the lightweight versions of regular webpages. When you have a home page that consumes 5Mbs to load, an AMP version of the same page consumes 2Mbs.
Things such as images do not load on AMPs until you scroll down to where they are located. Google designed AMP pages with speed and readability in mind. Interactive web apps that use Java scripts can’t work with the pages. For example look at https://www.bestreviews.guide/.
AMPs stand out from the rest of web pages. Designed using a feature known as carousel, the pages appear at the top of Google. Some resemble screenshots but when you click them they open very fast into normal web pages.
You may have noticed the features when searching for news online. Instead of show a news website directly, Google displays news titles and images above everything else. The AMP pages appear as multiple pieces in a horizontal platform. You can scroll from one page to the next in a horizontal axis.
Creating Sleek AMP Pages
One of AMP’s main features of is that they squeeze multiple images into one small template. You can design all your grocery images into one beautiful template. The template could also be about one product.
You can combine your product images with description pages into one page that loads extremely fast. AMP has a feature called accordion that kind of expands each page to accommodate all the information you need to add.
Optimizing the Website
When selectors are added, you pages become optimized, easy to navigate and fast at loading. Still on designing web pages, you can integrate share buttons with the amp social share feature. Something else you can add to AMPs is a navigation bar. Let you customer move from one site section to the other easily without getting lost.
Users can also click out of the AMP pages or be redirected to pages with related products. This is appropriate if your website handles multiple categories and niches. If you value customers with accounts more, you can improve their experience by displaying certain products new guests can’t see. Lastly, you can integrate the web pages with Google Analytics to compare their performance with regular pages.
Can you add AMPs to the Checkout page?
Most checkouts are designed using java scripts and AMPs do not support the coding language. It’s not a big deal though as you don’t have to add the accelerate pages everywhere. Add the pages in other areas but optimize the user experience at the checkout section. You don’t want your customers to notice there is a difference in speeds and performance of various pages on your site.
AMPs have a feature called install-service worker that helps bridge the gap between HTML web pages and the accelerate pages. Some retailers add progressive web apps to the checkout sections to optimize users’ experience. That way, customers navigate through all sections of your website fast and conveniently.
AMP Drawbacks to e-commerce Websites
AMP critics call the project Google’s way of eliminating competition in the industry. By deciding how websites should format pages, critics believe the search engine could undermine some platforms. They was the mobile friendly pages are designed also makes it more difficult to place adverts.
Some websites have claimed in the past that their advertising revenue depreciated on AMP pages compared to regular pages. However, other companies, including CNN disputed the claim. In real sense, AMP pages limit the types of banners you can place on the web pages. The banners are often small to fit Google’s goal of making accelerated pages load faster.
If your business doesn’t depend on ad-revenues, AMPs are a helpful way to increase loading speeds. It may take some time to implement them, but the can boost your sales in the long-run.
Accelerated mobile pages were first introduced in 2015. Three years later, these pages are implemented by millions of domain names around the world. Ecommerce businesses can add AMPs to pages that should load fast for better user-experience. They can also optimize the design for certain web pages, and increase customer loyalty to your business.