Google released Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) to speed up websites, and it did it just in the nick of time.
Yet… Most site owners don’t understand it.
And… Most developers are afraid of it.
Despite AMP’s HUGE potential to increase eCommerce sales, most people are staying away.
Let’s get this out of the way: I’m not going to talk to you about AMP the way you have read in other articles.
You have likely heard that AMP has three core components and can be integrated across multiple platforms… Yawwwwnn.
No matter — most sites are still slow.
Just know this right now: It can be done, and it will work for you.
Here is an example of the carnage slow site speeds are having on your eCommerce site right now.
If your eCommerce site is like the site in the example above, your sales are 30% of what they could be just due to site speed.
…and that’s not really an excuse anymore.
But, I don’t blame anyone with a slow site (although I won’t stay on it either). After all, site owners have a lot to do, like:
- “Paying for more traffic”
- “Trying new marketing tactics”
- “Adding new site features (adding to site slowness, perhaps?)”
- “Interviewing more agencies for the next redesign cause this one has issues”
Let me guess on the last one there: You think sales would be better than what they are now.
We are all busy, and if you didn’t know how critical, but straightforward, improving site speed is, it’s understandable how it did not get prioritized high.
But I’ll say this: If you keep reading, you won’t have any more reasons not to focus on site speed.
AMP at first seems like it’s all about getting the “AMP” designation on your search engine result.
Well, don’t, because that has all but gone away.
AMP is about speeding up your mobile site because no one on a smartphone wants to wait the 7 to 20 seconds it takes for your site to load every page.
But, if you do it right, it is possible to leverage AMP to speed up your desktop site, too.
Trust me, I’ve done it. Not once, not twice, but multiple times for five different companies.
If you are familiar with Google PageSpeed Insights, then you might recognize how rare this result is for mobile sites:
Before I tell you how we got 100 out of 100 for a PageSpeed Score from Google, I want to point out that it can be done on desktop, too. See below:
I’ll say that again: AMP made the desktop site wicked fast.
This can be impressive, even to those in the industry.
If you want to learn how to do it on your own site, then keep reading. It’s not rocket science.
So, what is being done to get these results?
It’s simple. We are speeding up page rendering by embedding CSS rules in the page so that we don’t need additional server requests. We are also optimizing the speed by loading images and iframes only when they are visible. And, we are doing it by AMP technologies.
This has lead us to differentiate what we are doing from AMP, since our pages will never qualify as “officially” AMP pages by Google.
We call what we do “RAMPT,” where the “R” stands for “Revised” and the “T” for “Template or Theme.”
And to be clear, we don’t care if our pages are designated as AMP by Google. We only care about increasing conversion rates (by making sites lightning fast).
So, can you get 100/100 on Google page speeds like the examples show from our website? Well, probably not, but you can get it close.
Because real life pages need some additional elements that will slow down the page rendering. For instance, we need to load tracking scripts, social media buttons, custom fonts, etc. Such items require additional server requests and we need to download them as soon as the page loads.
Here is what a slow Shopify theme that scored in the 50s and 60s can be turned into with the same effort.
Or this for a desktop site:
Above is the score of a desktop site (built on a painfully slow Shopify theme) using AMP to speed it up.
Page speed has other benefits — other than increasing sales — that will lead to a better bottom line.
For example, it allows you to better track GA. You have no idea what your mobile bounce rate is. It’s likely that one-third of your visitors leaves before your 18-second mobile homepage even loads.
Not to mention your GA snippet (and other snippets) isn’t loading till 4 seconds later.
Now, tell me that test you ran for the entry pop-up offer on your desktop homepage was valid.
The reality is, without good page speed, you can’t even trust basic metrics, let alone tests.
As an eCommerce owner, you also need good page speed for Google SERPS.
You are being judged on it either directly (we might never know) or indirectly where engagement metrics are now thought to be the most important metrics for Organic search rankings.
Below shows the most important Organic Search factors, with the top 4 all being influenced heavily by page speed.
At this point, you probably want to know how to get started, and it’s easy.
- Have a heart-to-heart with your developers about page speed.
- Introduce this concept and ask them to read this post.
- Tell them to get started with AMP and think about how to RAMPT up your site with it.
Hope this helped, and “FULL SPEED AHEAD”.