Should You Switch Your Website to Google AMP?

Are your website and Google rankings not looking so hot? Are your Facebook and Twitter visitors leaving quickly and you’ve suffered through no social media shares?

It could be your content isn’t good enough, but it’s more likely that your website is slow. Google considers that a big problem. A new solution called Google AMP pages will solve your ailments.

Most websites are slow today. The Internet has slowed considerably. The rise of video streaming and WordPress sites are two sources of a slow Web site experience for Internet users.

The Slow Web Hurts Business

The Slow Web is frustrating users and reducing ecommerce sales. It can actually lower national GDP. WordPress’s excessive use of javascript and calls to your server makes them very slow. All that back and forth stresses out Internet servers.

And the issue for Google is not so much the videos, photos, and big text documents being published. It’s the fact your server is too busy requesting files — hundreds and hundreds of big byte sized files including javascript.

Google Analyzes Your Site’s Problems

Google needs websites to be faster, especially those that contain their advertising banners. Slow websites kill Google’s ad revenue (and publishers revenue). That’s why Google created the open standard called Google Accelerated Mobile Pages. Basically, AMP is a faster version of your website and it can solve problems and present benefits. Google’s solving its business problem, and it’s solving yours too.

Google’s Key Site Speed Factors

Google’s analyzing your site’s time to first interactive (TFI), first contentful paint (FCP), and first interactive delay (FID). These are technical calculations you can see in my title graphic above. If these are slow, they’ll notify you via the Google webmasters console, and ask you to solve the problem.

But the problem is almost impossible to solve for some. Common website design and programming practices put excessive load on web servers. Deactivating wordpress plug-ins and widgets and losing the Youtube videos aren’t enough to meet Google’s speed standards, or to reduce the losses of bounced visitors.

Google Page Speed Test

You can visit the Google page speed calculator now and test your website’s speed. Check a few of your pages, and you’ll get a clearer picture of your site’s real speed. If all your pages are slow, it sends a clear signal to Google to lower your rankings, or not show your site in the search results.

If you don’t have a Google webmaster account, you might not even know the problem exists.

While you’re at it, you can check your site’s mobile friendliness too.

Slow Websites Degrade User Engagement

A fast website, whichever way you build and optimize it, loads quickly so visitors can start reading, absorb your messages, and get engaged in your marketing materials. It can have a dramatic effect on bounce rates, leads, and sales. It’s very important for you to make your site fast.

Your mobile using visitors are on slow connections and a slow webpage might take a minute or more to load. In some cases, just the javascript alone could take 10 seconds to load, before the user sees anything. That’s bad.

So it’s not just that they have to wait. It’s that your opportunity to engage them with your content that’s ruined.

Realtors Not Doing SEO/Content Anymore

Your Content is Your Conversion Funnel

If you’re a Realtor or ecommerce store owner, the lost leads and sales can be depressing. If you’ve got a slow site, you really have to get on this. You may have given up on content strategy and SEO completely because you heard they were dead. They’re not. Realtor websites sites are too slow.

Realtors in particular use live database dependent websites which increase the slow speed problem. These sites try to create interactivity before the user even has had a chance to read it. That WordPress site, RETS system, mls feed, and other add-ins make it super slow.

In addition, WordPress sites pre-load in plug-ins and javascript that’s not even used in the landing page.

Distinguish Yourself with Speed and Responsiveness

One of the best ways to establish your brand as a leader is to have a fast loading site. Users might remember. A super slow website with thin content makes them feel there’s something wrong. They’re not getting the Market Leader image and treatment that smart Realtors possess. It’s the same for ecommerce retailers too. People leave — no sale!

Home Sellers in particular believe a top Realtor should have a great website. The fewer frustrations they experience the more optimistic they feel.

Don’t spend your budget on a custom designed wordpress website unless it will be AMP friendly. You’ll discover it could hamper your complete marketing campaign. Because all leads land on your site to be converted. Hopefully, all of your WordPress pages will convert to AMP successfully.

Google AMP
Graphic courtesy of Google AMP

Google Amp Sites

What is Amp?  Google’s accelerated mobile pages is a system that creates “flat file” duplicates of your current pages. Google AMP loads your pages lightning fast. Some users mistakenly believe that amp pages are horrible, plain looking pages which users dislike. But in reality, you can modify your AMP design template to make it look the way your site appears right now.

It may not have all the complete functionality of a fully loaded live database driven web application, but for most users, it performs well.

This doesn’t mean there aren’t glitches and trouble spots. There are. But you need fast web pages for your incoming leads and customers. You can still have a set of slow web pages for them to conduct transactions. Just make sure Google can’t index those pages.

We won’t get into the boring technical details of Google AMP. Your designer/webmaster knows how to Ampify your website. This needs to be done or you’ll continue scratching your head at your site’s poor performance.

You can actually build your site on the AMP platform. Your designer or programmer will have to learn amp coding, but this is the future. The Internet will get slower and AMP will be more important.

10 Meaningful Benefits of Google AMP

  1. higher Google rankings (site will appear now instead of being suppressed due to slow speed)
  2. higher Bing rankings too (Bing spiders AMP pages too)
  3. faster loading for lower bounce rates (visitors don’t give up)
  4. better visitor experience (no waiting)
  5. inclusion is special Google mobile search features (top of search results)
  6. higher eCPMs for publishers (more revenue)
  7. use of AMP stories (quick entertaining format for content)
  8. better engagement, time on page and thus branding impression (helps create customers)
  9. low loads on servers (AMP pages are served by Google)
  10. higher overall site quality rating (a ranking factor)

Google Search Index Updates

Google updates how it indexes your website frequently. The big updates are what they call “core algorithm updates.” The core is the major ranking factors they’ve had for 10 to 20 years now. Other updates are more minor adjustments.

One core factor in their ranking algorithm which affected sites twice this year is speed. In fact, mobile first indexing came in 2 years ago. Mobile first indexing means the mobile rankings are used for desktop search results too.

Many site owners are miffed at what’s happened this year. In some cases, website have not lost their rankings, but have lost much of their traffic from Google. They believed it was because someone did negative SEO on their site causing Google to dislike their site and kick them out.

But more likely, it’s their site speed that making their site to not be shown in the results.

That’s a quick look at the Google AMP solution. There’s a lot more to know and investigate. The bottom line is that it has a big impact on your Google and Bing search traffic as well as your site’s ability keep and convert visitors into customers.  The answer to your question, “Should I switch to Google AMP” is Yes!

Get Amp’d and you’ll be able to compete well above your weight class.


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