What is AMP & Do You Need It?

You may have noticed some mobile search results have a little lightening bolt with “AMP” listed next to them. This means that these pages are Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMP for short. AMP was originally created for media and news sites but has since spread to all different types of sites. If you’re optimizing your firm’s mobile search, AMP may be a marvelous option.

What is AMP?

AMP is a project created by Google. It strips down the HTML of mobile pages, creating a faster load speed. Typically, when a browser loads a new page, it will load the HTML page as well as list of other resources (or page elements like pictures and fonts). This process can be slow as the browser needs to receive the information from your servers and/or an external server.

AMP creates a new version of the page on Google’s server with limited additional elements. This doesn’t mean that you’ll have a plain, basic page, but rather some elements, such as fonts, forms, pictures, won’t appear on AMP because of the additional load time they cause. If you have large sliding images of your firm’s staff or an extensive free evaluation form, they may not be supported by AMP. A smaller header image of your entire firm’s staff maybe be supported.

How do I get AMP?

To implement AMP, you have two options. The first option is to add a pre-made template or plugin to your firm’s site if it is hosted through WordPress or Drupal. If your hosting company does not have a plugin, you will have to create an AMP template. When creating the template, there specific parameters that need to be followed. Luckily, Google created a website, amp.dev, dedicated to all things AMP. Here you can find AMP’s specifications as well as its HTML format. After you or your web development team uploads the plugin or creates your template, validate your AMP page to make sure there are no errors. If you have any errors, then your AMP page will not appear.

Should I get AMP?

There are both pros and cons to AMP. The major benefit is page load speed. Google includes page speed as a ranking factor, so your AMP page may outrank your pages that do not have AMP. You won’t have to spend as much monitoring your site’s page speed and then making technical optimizations to decrease the load time. Plus, AMP was created by Google so there may be some preference to pages that have it. AMP may be useful for your firm’s blog posts or news articles.

One major downfall, especially for law firms, is that AMP does not support some key page elements. You may lose some different fonts or added features to your site if it is not supported. In addition, forms can be tricky with AMP pages. There are plugins and ways to build contact forms, but if your current contact form or free evaluation does not meet AMP HTML requirements then it may not be supported on AMP pages.

There are major benefits and drawbacks to implementing AMP on your site. Talk to your firm’s website designer or manager about if it is right for your firm. It can take some time to create the supported webpages and add the necessary plugins, so making sure you have the time and resources is key in deciding if/when adding AMP is right for your firm.