AMP Coming to Local Businesses

Written by: Jason Bayless | June 02, 2016

When Google makes changes, those who depend on Google Search results need to jump. In October 2015, Google announced a new type of quick mobile content delivery called AMP for news sites. By early 2016, AMP results were showing at the top of search results and it was clear that Google was taking AMP seriously. It’s clear that AMP is coming to local businesses.

AMP Defined
AMP is an acronym for Accelerated Mobile Pages. AMP doesn’t mean amplifier but getting your pages AMP ready will help you amplify your site’s reach. It is an open source standard championed by Google to provide a framework to deliver pages quickly to mobile devices. It is not unlike Facebook’s Instant Articles, but is designed for use in the web at large. If you want to see an example of AMP in action, perform a Google search from your mobile device for someone in the news, like Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, or even Kim Kardashian.

AMP works by cutting down page components to the bare minimum to provide speedy content without affecting page monetization. AMP uses its own HTML subset called AMP HTML. It also uses AMP JS, a JavaScript framework for mobile devices. Finally, it contains an optional content delivery network CDN) that will cache web pages so they can be delivered quickly. This could be Google or any other AMP compatible CDN.

AMP and Local Search Results
AMP pages are coming to local search results. The exact timeline isn’t completely clear, but Google has been pushing the technology as a way to improve mobile device experience. If you are like most people, you are more likely to search for a local business when you are on your mobile device and looking for answers right away. This is precisely the scenario that AMP was designed for.

Google has ended support for Carousel in local results and many were wondering what Google might replace them with. They have now begun putting AMP results in a Carousel at the top of the search results page. Support for both AMP and Carousel listings are important for sites wanting to be shown prominently on the results page.

You also know just how important it is to be at the top of the page when people search for your local business. Google has long made page speed a criteria in their page ranking algorithm. While they aren’t saying that an AMP page will automatically make you appear higher in search engine rankings, it is certainly does improve website speed.

Having an AMP ready page means that when AMP does hit local search you will be already in the game. In fact Ellen L, a trusted Google Webmaster Help Groups poster, has implied that having an AMP ready page now will put you ahead of the curve when AMP listings begin surfacing for local search results.

Getting Ready For AMP

AMP is imperative for local businesses moving forward so how can you implement it? You will need to make programming changes to your webpage. In many instances you will need to maintain two different pages, one regular page and one AMP page. You will need to modify your CSS and use AMP specific tags for different types of content. You’ll also need to use Schema data to identify your content. Many of the requirements can be found on the Google AMP Guidelines page.

AMP coming to local businesses will open up a new avenue to take your site’s reach to the next level. You won’t want to miss the boat so now is the time to get your site ready to take advantage of the new opportunities created by AMP Local Results.