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It’s no secret that Google’s emphasis has shifted to providing the best possible user experience. Part of that shift was a recognition of the fact that more searches are initiated from mobile devices than from desktops or laptops.
Google was swift to begin penalizing websites that aren’t mobile-compatible. Out of necessity, the mobile-responsive website was “born” not all that long ago. Mobile sites today have to load quickly and display properly across a wide range of devices. And, intrusive ads and pop-ups that interfere with the reader’s experience are penalized.
Now that many, if not most, internet advertisers (including dentists) have made the shift to mobile-responsive websites, Google is once again changing the rules.
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) are the newest wrinkle in the quest to be seen during mobile search. AMP is an open-source project that collaborates with a large number of web partners including WordPress, Adobe, and The Huffington Post to name just a few.
AMP renders pages with static content (no slider ads, rotator ads, or animations) very quickly. In fact, according to one source, mobile pages can load so quickly that the process appears to be instantaneous. This is a very good thing for dentists – it’s reported that 40 percent of mobile users click away from a site within three seconds. If your web page takes that long or longer to load, you’ve lost a dental prospect.
How AMP HTML is Different, and Not
Accelerated Mobile Pages use HTML with certain AMP tags, and with some restrictions. The AMP tags define the locations and sizes of areas where graphic content – static ads, images, and iframes – will load. With those pre-defined areas already specified, the processor can prioritize load requests better and the page loads faster.
A page that loads instantaneously, or nearly so, helps reduce the “click-away” percentages. The dental prospect has every opportunity to become hooked by your content.
AMP JS Library
The AMP JS Library is a resource that makes implementing AMP practices fairly easy. Among other things, the JS Library provides the custom AMP tags that you need to modify your page, makes sure that best practices are followed, and manages page resource loading.
Google AMP Cache
Google is dedicated to making sure that AMP pages load flawlessly. Google AMP Cache includes a validation system to make sure that your page doesn’t rely on external resources and contains no errors that would hinder loading speed.
But Google AMP Cache goes beyond that. It’s a repository of, and delivery system for, all valid AMP pages. It automatically optimizes those pages and delivers them on request at lightning speed.
Is This Getting You AMPed?
Probably not; most dentists won’t care about the details of AMP. However, if you’re a dentist who’s fond of hammering out HTML code, AMP offers you the opportunity to markedly speed up your mobile web pages yourself.
But if you’re more fond of making money than doing HTML markup, you should outsource that project. The end goal of all your dental marketing is to put more new patients in your chairs. AMP pages don’t make you money – at most, they provide more opportunity to make money be getting your online content to more prospects. Your time and energy are better spent seeing those patients and solving their dental problems.