The pros and cons of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

Are you patient?

You probably think you are, at least more patient than expecting information at your fingertips within seconds – but even if you think you have the patience of a saint – you’re probably wrong.

Dozens of studies into webpage load times show we’re actually extremely impatient – and in reality, most of us will abandon a site if the page we’re heading for takes more than 4 seconds to load.

So what’s the answer?

Well, Google and Twitter think it’s AMP – or, to give it’s full name, Accelerated Mobile Pages. An open source plug-in project that’s designed to create mobile pages that load ultra-quickly.

What could possibly be the downside of that? Well, a cruise ship doesn’t move as quickly as a speedboat – and if you ever wanted it to, you’d need to strip a lot of stuff out. The same is true of AMP. Along with a few members of the Think Zap team, who are some of Scotland’s leading web design talents. We’ll have a look at what it is – and the pros and cons of implementing accelerated mobile pages across your site.

What exactly is AMP?

In the most-simple terms, AMP is like ‘HTML lite’ – that’s to say, a stripped-down version of ordinary HTML – creating pages that load virtually instantly. It’s underpinned by three main components:

  • AMP HTML

A standard HTML that works by encompassing a variety of web components.

  • AMP JavaScript

Designed to manage all resource loading

  • AMP Caching

Designed to serve and validate AMP page

Mobile traffic now represents the majority of traffic that will hit your site – and AMP seemingly caters for these users perfectly, delivering just the most important content. Interestingly, it appears the AMP project was a direct response to the Facebook Instant and Apple News – although AMP is open source, removing the ties to any one platform.

So now let’s have a look at what industry experts are picking out as the pros and cons of AMP.

Pro – Search visibility

Over the last year or so, AMP results are popping up more and more in mobile search carousels – the Google specific content display in mobile browsers.

This is a double ‘pro’ when you look at the increasing evidence that Google seems keen to rank AMP content in ordinary search listings too. Page speed has grown in importance since mid-2016 – so AMP looks like it can only ever be an SEO benefit moving forward.

Con – AMP advertising is a bit of an unknown

AMP’s lightweight HTML framework pulls the plug on various advertising methods – popups in particular.

For people creating a revenue with any of these advertising methods – AMP might not look like the best option – although clearly this has to be weighed up against the positives; promising a question that’s going to be difficult to anticipate an answer to.

Some companies say they’re generating the same revenue from their AMP content as they were prior to implementation – so the question is, are you ready to take a leap of faith?

Pro – Improved CTRs

The click through rates that are being attributed to AMP stories seem extremely impressive – and going strong with 1 year+ results under their statistical belt.

Major sites are reporting 25%-30% increase in click-throughs from mobile search results – and adverts within AMP content are seeing a 65%+ increase in click throughs – something that’s not going to harm anyone’s conversion rates!

Con – Implementation

There seems to be some fairly universal groans from developers relating to the implementation of AMP – owing largely to it’s fairly restrictive framework.

The feeling is this – AMP isn’t the tool for you unless your site is already close to the top of the performance game anyway, especially true since there are a decent number of standard HTML gains that can be bagged more quickly and simply.

Get fast, then get AMP.

Pro – Greater traffic and revisits

We’ve already covered the fact that Google is placing AMP results higher in search listings and more prominently in carousel – but what’s more difficult to quantify is the impression that AMP content is having on users.

The stripped back feel of AMP stories makes it slightly more difficult to stand out from the crowd – although when a site does, you can expect traffic to keep coming back, no doubt impressed by the layout and speedy delivery time.

Depending on the case-studies you read, you can witness companies seeing increases of somewhere between 23% and 44% in new monthly visitors – with around 73% increase in monthly visitors returning shortly thereafter.

The message? Readers are voting with their feet – and they like AMP.

Pro – You get a Google content delivery network

A big factor in the delivery speed of AMP content relates to the fact that Google caches the content – and as a result, you can modify your URL so that the content is dished up directly from the cache.

This is a bonus if you’re paying for a content delivery network elsewhere and you can be certain that’s Google’s is always going to be up there with the best.

Con – Somewhat limited functionality

In its first incarnation there were serious HTML gaps in what was possible on an accelerated mobile page – with a notable exception being around forms. Now, that’s developing slightly and there are tools that can be integrated to enable some basic patches over the holes – but we’re a long way from complex product pages.

It’s not just visitor page interaction that’s lacking either – if you’re keen on in depth metrics from your page, you’re going to want to make sure AMP fits the bill before you invest too much time or effort making it happen.

Pro – An increasing number of implementation tools

Now, it’s clear the implementation niggles that developers have been having with the AMP plug in is something that’s occurring across the board – evident because new tools are being developed to make the process somewhat easier.

From testing tools to WordPress plugins – there are new resources being developed all the time to support your move to AMP.

What it all boils down to…

Ultimately, AMP is a choice – is the increased page delivery speed going to bolster your conversions by an amount that warrants venturing into new territory? And importantly, are you doing enough to bolster page speed already – without the big chunk of work that’s going to come when you try to take advantage of AMP?

At this stage, AMP isn’t a foregone conclusion for your site – instead, it’s a big bunch of questions that you need to ask to find your way forward…

10 Questions to Ask When Hiring an SEO Consultant

When it comes to hiring an SEO consultant for your business, you need to ensure you find the right one for your needs.

Making the right choice when you are bringing one of these professionals onboard can make all the difference. However, how can you determine whether you are considering the right SEO consultant if you have never used them before?

Well, the key is to make sure you ask the right questions, as this will provide you with valuable information that can help you to make an informed decision.

Poor SEO can have a serious negative impact on your business, which is why you have to make sure you find the right consultant. With the right professional working with you, you’ll be able to look forward to great results when it comes to your SEO strategy and implementation.

The ten key questions you need to ask

In order to find the right SEO consultant for your needs and your business, you need to make sure you are asking the right questions. So we recently had a sit down with Tobias Gilbert who offers SEO services in Miami and asked him what are the top questions you should always ask when looking to hire an SEO consultant!

Some of the key ones that you need to ask are:

  1. How much do you charge? You need to find out how much the SEO consultant charges so that you can ensure the pricing fits in with your budget. Some consultants will charge an hourly rate while others may charge per project. Finding out about the cost and fee structure will make it easier for you to determine the suitability of the consultant based on budget. However, you need to make sure that you do not sacrifice on quality in order to get the cheapest prices, as this will end up costing you more in the long run.
  1. What services will be delivered as part of the strategy? Ask the SEO consultant what types of services will be provided as part of the service, as this will enable you to determine whether all of your needs will be addressed. You also need to find out about the quantities of each of the services that the SEO consultant will be providing to help you with your SEO strategy.
  1. How do you plan to improve my rankings? You need a detailed description of exactly how the SEO consultant plans to improve your search engine rankings. The consultant should provide a thorough explanation of the strategies that will be used in order to boost your rankings. You should also ask for a realistic idea with regards to how long it is likely to take to achieve the SEO goals that are put into place.
  1. Are you familiar with the most up to date webmaster guidelines for search engines? The last thing you want to do is end up on the wrong side of the major search engines. With this in mind, you need to make sure that the SEO consultant you are considering is well versed with the most up to date webmaster guidelines and adheres to them strictly. If these guidelines are not followed, the impact on your rankings and business could be very damaging. You can also check out there blog or website to see what information they are sharing within the community. This is a great example of how a blog can be used successfully for SEO.
  1. Are you able to guarantee that my website will rank number one on major search engines? This is something of a red herring when it comes to questions you need to ask an SEO consultant before you hire. If the answer to this is yes, then you should simply walk away. No consultant worth his or her salt will ever make a guarantee such as this because it is not possible to guarantee a number one position. You should, therefore, see this as a red flag if the consultant claims to be able to guarantee this outcome.
  1. How do you track how successful your SEO campaigns are? You need to find out more about how the SEO consultant measures the success of the SEO campaigns. It is important for you to be able to monitor the level of traffic that is being sent to your site and determine where the traffic is coming from. Your consultant should be able to use analytical tools in order to track website traffic, ranking improvements, keywords being used by internet users, and other important details. You also need to ensure that the consultant will regularly share this information with you.
  1. What sorts of communication methods will you use and how often will we be in contact? It is essential that you find an SEO consultant with excellent communication skills, as you need to be kept in the loop with everything that is going on with your website. Ask the consultant what types of communication methods are commonly used and how often the two of you will communicate. Of course, you can’t expect to be in communication 24/7 but holding regular catch-up meetings via Skype or on the phone could prove invaluable.
  1. Do you have the details of past or current clients? Another thing to ask is whether the SEO consultant has a list of past and current clients that can be shared with you. A reputable consultant should be able to share a brief list of clients with you so that you can then get in touch to see whether they saw any improvement as a result of using the SEO consultant. While testimonials are all well and good, the ones that are put up on the site are the glowing ones so they don’t really give you a true picture.
  1. What happens if I need to terminate the contract early? If the SEO consultant needs you to sign up for a certain minimum period of time, you need to determine what happens in the event that you have to terminate early. While you may not be planning to do this, there are numerous issues that could arise and force you into having to end the contract prematurely. Knowing where you stand beforehand will ensure that you are prepared.
  1. How long have you been working in the SEO consultancy field? If you want greater peace of mind when it comes to hiring an SEO consultant, it is best to find one with plenty of experience. This means that they will have a solid background in the industry and expertise that can be used when dealing with your SEO campaign.

Enjoy greater success with the right consultant

Asking these questions will boost the chances of you finding the right SEO consultant for your campaign and your business. This, in turn, means that you will be able to look forward to far greater success levels when it comes to your website and your business.

A Summary of the Block Chain Technology and Its Advantages

In current times, block chain technology redefined the Internet and resulted in the development of a brand-new kind of web where digital details are dispersed without copying. The technology was developed and created mainly for crypto currencies, digital currencies like the Bitcoin. In modern times, bit-coin is described as the digital gold and the overall value of this currency is close to about 9 billion United States dollars. Block chain technology can make other kind of digital values. The performance of the technology is encapsulated and for that reason the user can use it without needing to know it in information. Nevertheless, it is always suggested to have a standard concept about the technology in context before using it as this sufficiently streamlines the use.

 

The performance of the technology is practically encapsulated indicating that there is no need to understand about the working of the block chain technology in information, an essential idea about the working of the technology is more than enough for people using it. In easier terms, this technology can be specified as a digital journal of commercial deals which is incorruptible and can be configured to tape not simply the financial deals but anything which has actually value related to it.

Info kept as part of the technology in context is rather much like the very same in a spread out sheet or any dispersed database. Simply as a spread out sheet including values can be frequently upgraded, the block chain too can be upgraded from time to time. The records kept using the block chain technology are not kept in a personal area, rather, such information source are kept in public domain so that they can be validated on a prompt basis. Using such a technology, the info is not held by any central servers rather they are saved in a number of database servers throughout countless workstations, computer systems that are linked to the web. It is because of this that the block chain information cannot be hacked or damaged.

Since in this technology the blocks of details can be evaluated throughout more than one point in the network for that reason it cannot be managed by a single entity. Since there are numerous copies of block chain details offered throughout networks for that reason such innovations do not have a single point of failure. Other elements of this technology are that it is transparent, incorruptible, quite decentralized because the details associated to the technology in context is kept in a number of host devices throughout the network and all these aspects add to making the block chain network extremely protected.