AMP is a solution to a problem, and that problem is poor mobile development. Despite there being numerous and detailed best practices from the likes of Google itself, most companies continue to have very, very poor mobile practices. Mobile optimization is a mixed bag, and mobile consumers (which is, increasingly, the majority of consumers) continue to deal with poor performance. Sites load slowly, pages return errors instead of content, and nothing is scaled appropriately to mobile screens.
This is an enormous problem from a marketing perspective, because mobile consumers make very fast decisions – if a page doesn’t load within a second or two, consumers will almost always skip to an alternative to try and find an answer or product as quickly as they can.
It isn’t the first time this web development problem has happened, just the first time it has happened to mobile devices. When quality control began to seriously affect early Web pages, developers eventually reached a sort of stability (mixed in with hefty amount of “survival of the fittest”) using CSS and other well-known page building tools that helped ensure acceptable performance. AMP is a solution to this similar issue as it relates to phones, tablets, and other mobile screens: It creates pre-renderable pages that intelligently pick the right components to pre-render for mobile viewers.
The Future of Mobile
AMP is being adopted first by the large companies that understand its worth and have a relatively simple offering that is easy to translate. Facebook, Google, Twitter and others have a whole lot of static content that are already chomping at the bit to adopt AMP. These companies are currently experimenting with beta versions.
Because it’s still in the early days of conception, putting numbers to AMP is a risky game. However, research so far indicates that using AMP improves mobile speeds anywhere between 15% and 85%. It’s worth noting that these speed boosts don’t depend on endless tweaks to your pages: If you use AMP, the boosts are automatically there.
What does that mean for your company right now? Generally, it means that priority should be given to clean your web design that allows for AMP adoption. Specifically, you should consider:
- Reviewing Google’s updates: Google is often at the forefront of mobile development and is a core contributor to AMP, so pay attention to its updates.
- Focus on the other mobile problems: AMP takes care of many performance issues for you, and even more as time goes on. But you still need to manage content decisions, readability, touchscreen compatibility, and many other important factors in mobile development. Think of AMP as a way to free up your resources to focus more on what really matters.