AMP, Accelerated Mobile Pages, is an open-source project originally created by Google to counter the rising number of social media platform users and spaces to find answers to their questions on their mobile devices.
More people are beginning to use their iPads, tablets, or smartphones to search for things they need and the places they needed to go to, like, RIGHT NOW.
Google Maps was no longer enough while Google Search was focusing on bringing in the mullah via their Adwords programs.
Accelerated Mobile Pages, although initially developed to counter the effectiveness of Facebook Notes, Instant Articles, and Apple News, started rolling out more seriously a couple of years ago. With the algorithm change, anyone who owned websites was hit with some (who were not in the know) wiped out completely from SERPs, Search Engine Result Pages.
And so, the panic and clamoring began.
Why did Google Roll Out Mobile-Friendly Algorithm
Although it had a slow start in 2015, Google updated its search system to make it one of the most important search engine ranking factors on a website. It freaked everyone out because nobody really knew (except for the SEO experts and developers) what it was bringing to the table.
The reason for it is simple:
- Fast results
- Accurate results
- Fast loading
- Converts easier
- Happier users
- Returning visitors
- Repeat customers
- Increased CTR, Click-Through Rate
- Cuts back on unnecessary scripts, codes, and other HTML elements
- Presents a stripped-down version on a website that conventionally loads on a laptop or personal computer
- More streamlined CSS
- Pages are more readable
- Increased page views
- Reduce bounce rate
- Better on-site experience and longer sessions
You can find more relevant and the latest industry news related to Accelerated Mobile Pages here on AMP.dev.
Google algorithm, however, is different from AMP plugins.
It is an independent ranking factor but because it is different from your desktop page and site version, Google considers it earned brownie points if your pages are loading at lightning speed…well….in 3 seconds or less.
The downside to AMP is that it strips the site of a lot of things you want your customers and site visitors to see which includes forms, pop-ups, share buttons, sidebar, navigation menu, header image, etc. The upside is that there is less distraction to the users and as a business, you can focus on what you need your site visitors to see and persuade them to take action.
Since Google is aiming for the user-first experience, it is only natural for them to consider websites and AMPs as more relevant and superior to those that are not mobile-friendly. Bear in mind, it is not the only factor taken into consideration when it comes to ranking.
You can read more about AMPs and mobile website marketing here.
What is a Mobile Responsive Website?
What you see and can do on a desktop differs drastically from when you’re accessing the website through your mobile devices. It depends fully on the size of your screen, operating system, and content of the website.
A responsive website is one that detects the device instantly from the moment you log on, responds and displays the site accordingly.
Texts, images, buttons, menu, forms, and all other elements like headers, sidebars (and many other elements) are excluded from the smartphone or tablet screen display version. The main aim of responsive website design is to ensure users have a relevant but similar experience regardless of the size of the device they’re accessing the website from.
The focus on Accelerated Mobile Pages are:
- Layout flexibility
- Media display
- Easy navigation
- Fast loading speed
- Minimal fuss
- Optimization and scalability of media like images and videos
When an internet visitor hops onto your website, the width, text size, images are already determined based on viewport and CSS, so they’re automated via coding to present the best content layout based on the device.
QUOTE: “More than 60% of searches on Google takes place on a mobile device as opposed to a desktop or laptop” – Hubspot
Getting into the Hands of the End-Users
Not to mention the fact that most social media platforms today came into the market app-first, many consumers look to these social media platforms for everything from the latest updates/news to trending/cost-effective products/services.
“Instagram has more than 1 billion monthly active users…and growing!”
Fun fact – People in China use the popular mobile app, WeChat, for almost everything. The app lets them pay for products/services, transfer funds, and communicate with their family/friends/colleagues/strangers. The average user spends anything between 30 minutes to 4 hours (or more) on the app every day.
The app is an extended version of other chat/networking apps in the market but it allows for text messaging which encourages instant review/feedback about products/services/companies/organizations between users. Suffice to say, many of the messages are related to people asking for feedback about brands, online offers, recommendations, and reviews.
QUOTE: “83% of WeChat users purchase products online” – PeripheryDigital
Where to Start to Design a Mobile-Friendly Website
You don’t have to think as far as Augmented Reality (AR) or Artificial Intelligent (AI) if you’re just trying to kick off your website.
The first thing you need to do is to take advantage of free apps and templates to get it off the ground. If you can deal with HTML, scripts and codes, all the better…this should be a walk in the park for you.
But if you’re not familiar with AMP web design, there are plenty of ways to get around that without breaking the bank.
I’ve heard good things about Bootstrap (for bootstrapped people and businesses, yes?), WordPress (an oldie but still a goodie), Wix (what have you been doing if you’ve not seen at least ONE of their aggressive ads?), and HostGator. In fact, a friend of mine and her programmer husband came up with their own website builder, RedBoxStudio, which you can check out.
I am personally using WordPress for my website, was impressed with my friend’s website builder, and also dabbled with Blogger and Wix. On top of that, you can also use open source website builders like Magento, Opencart, Woocommerce, Shopify, just to name a few.
A word of advice: Try them out based on reviews from other users. This way, you waste less time testing all the templates out. Each template has its own pros and cons so, first, you have to know what you’re looking for and need for your website.
If you’re more tech-savvy, read the words from the horse’s mouth right here on Responsive Web Design Basics from Google.
Mobile-Friendly Websites Makes Branding and Targeting Easier
When your website and some of its components are automated, this frees up your schedule for other important things. Like branding and lead generation.
After creating a sales funnel on your mobile-friendly website, interested customers/clients should be able to get instant updates and news from you, get exclusive offers, and be able to communicate directly with you from their mobile phones or devices.
The positive experience creates and leaves a good impression which encourages repeat business and word of mouth marketing.
This is often done through strategically-written content, placement of Calls to Action (CTAs), lead capture, email marketing campaigns, and CRM. Combine that with a solid paid search marketing strategy, you’ll soon see (by ‘soon’, I am loosely saying you should give it a couple of months. Say, 3 to 9 months, depending on what you do with your marketing campaigns.
Create Enticing Content that Ranks Well on SERPs and Addresses Consumer Concerns
Content is still king – there are no two ways about it. My two cents worth is that the content we create has simply morphed and look a little different now than before.
- Blog posts
- Social media updates
- Featured products/services
- Promotional packages/products
- Fun quizzes
- Feedback from satisfied customers
- Short codes
- …and many more!
The no umbrella answer if you’re asking what type of content you should focus on. That’s because the answer varies from industry to industry. If you’re curious, however, here’s a good article on how to boost your website’s traffic and visibility by SEJ.
As I said, content writing has evolved. We need to keep up with the times by ditching some old ideas that are no longer working and adopt new ones as quickly as we can.
Never think, not even for a moment, that you’ve got everything down pat when it comes to creating a mobile-friendly website. Nothing stays the same for very long in the ever-evolving online world.
And because there are so many options out there, take your time, explore, experiment, decide and be consistent. Don’t forget to also include SEO writing tactics into your mobile-web development because Google still has its eye on whatever it cannot see behind the curtain (with very few exceptions).
Accept the fact that you can’t hop onto every single social media platform, trend, or fad out there. Always be on the lookout for what’s new and see if the approach will work for you. This takes some thinking and tinkering but trust me, if you are willing to learn, nothing is impossible.
Although Google has changed over the years since its inception, some of the best practices for optimizing both your website and pages have not changed despite having monopolized the search industry for more than a decade.
Recognize what they are, learn, and adapt.
Here’s hoping everyone stays safe during the current COVID-19 pandemic! It’s a little scary right now and we’re very cautious but this shouldn’t stop the world from revolving. Get your news from relevant and reliable authorities, websites, and people; learn more about the disease; be cautious but stay calm; listen to the news with the eyes of a very disgruntled grounded teenager; take measures to protect yourself and your family.
Best wishes and lots of love coming your way,