11 / March 2017, 1st In SEO
In many ways, your best site design occupies a unique market space. The way your site accomplishes your goals will differ substantially from how other companies might achieve their best results. You may rely on e-commerce capabilities to generate profits, or depend instead on attracting local site visits to generate interest. Your colors, your frames, and your site navigation will all vary based on your brand identity and the customers you hope to bring to you. For this reason, a great custom site design will always provide a better option than one size fits all solutions. A site will never be objectively good, because “good” will never be a stationary target. It moves depending on what you actually need.
Even so, a site can be objectively bad. Some elements of site design create advantages for almost every user, whatever your model or needs. Visible site navigation and clear identification of your name and branding will always improve your SEO performance and conversion rates. And pages that load quickly, all else being equal, are critical to your success. This is where Accelerated Mobile Pages come in. Implementing these pages into your site construction gives you performance advantages that give you a more effective site, whatever your brand or purpose.
Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMP, are an open source project developed by Google, Twitter, and several other companies working together. The purpose, in simplest terms, is to create a way to make static pages load quickly. It uses html tags to identify code as AMP, and to create quicker paths to render the content. Pages that provide background and location information about your company, or basic information about your products or services, come up faster when you use the proper code.
As the name suggests, this is strictly a mobile strategy, at least right now. In part, that comes because this is the area of greatest need. Mobile processors have become more powerful over time, but loading pages faster remains a critical concern. And while many computer techniques allow you to bring pages up quickly, phones remain a bit behind in this regard. When you have static pages, you want to create the fastest path for those pages to hit the mobile screen, and AMP are designed to do exactly that.
The majority of search activity in the United States now occurs on mobile devices. Smartphones penetrate the market more deeply every year, and customers who are on the move more and more rely on them to find what they want. This particularly affects local search. When someone is on the move, where they live or where they are visiting, they want to be able to find businesses in the area, and to do so quickly. Pages that load slowly hold you back from reaching those people. In the most obvious way, this occurs because people click away from sites before slow-moving pages can finish loading. If people don’t look at your content, you may as well not have that content available. You have a site that does not allow for conversion.
Beyond this, mobile SEO success depends on your site ranking high on the search engine results. Very few mobile searchers scroll through even the first full page of results, much less multiple pages, before making a selection. Pages that render slowly rank lower in every major search algorithm, and therefore reduce significantly your opportunity to be seen. The best keyword plan, site design, and product or service will not help you if no one goes to your site.
Like every other aspect of SEO site design, accelerated mobile pages gives you the ability to be seen by more people. Our on the go society does more discovery of companies and services through mobile devices than laptops or desktops, so you need to be able to grab attention quickly on and through those devices. AMP protocols, as part of a comprehensive SEO site design, can help you get there.
Applying accelerated mobile pages technology to your site design, in some ways, is straightforward. The design element involves specific html tag language developed through the AMP project. For any content that will apply AMP, your site designer will create the tags to fit the protocols and properly render your pages.
The complicating factors are twofold. First, while the protocols are not inherently complicated, designers must follow them precisely. A close focus on the pages and content that employ AMP techniques must exist to allow the pages to appear at all, much less quickly for users using these sites. And because AMP only applies to mobile versions of sites, the design efforts will necessarily involve separate code for the computer-based and mobile versions of your website.
Second, you must work with your web designer to identify which of your pages will use the technology. Dynamic pages within your website will not currently operate as accelerated mobile pages. On the other hand, you may have one or several pages designed to provide basic information about and images related to your company, and AMP can give you a tremendous boost in the performance of those pages for you.
Getting the right performance from your mobile website is critical to growing your customer base locally and to bringing in customers traveling in your area. Your SEO site design should address all aspects of this performance: keyword phrase ranking, visual design elements, and technical site performance. Your customers’ user experience can help you move from page views to conversions, a step necessary for your website to do any good for you at all.
At 1st in SEO, we deliver online marketing content that drives both site visits and conversions. But beyond this, we will help you design a site that gives customers the kind of user experience that keeps them there and brings them back. We use AMP judiciously to help render the pages quickly when it is appropriate, and develop your other pages to function quickly and effectively as well. In the right hands, our website can be the most effective aspect of your marketing for your company. We will work with you to get the best performance possible from your online presence.