Should you use AMP for Landing Pages?

Since Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is a set of rules and restrictions that allows for faster web pages to be served, the question should be “should you use AMP?”

The answer to that is simply no. While using AMP does allow for faster load times, it limits your ability to directly link off-site, tracks users, or use dynamic content. For these reasons, it’s not worth the trade-off with performance.

Disadvantages of using AMP

1. AMP does not allow for dynamic content

AMP is restricted to only HTML, CSS, and Javascript. The restrictions don’t stop there though. Each of these items is also restricted in what they can be used for within the page. This means that one will have to do a lot of pre-processing before loading the page with AMP on it. In addition, while one is allowed to use JS libraries, most will have to be modified before being used on your site due to some properties being disallowed from being used with AMP on your site or a javascript library will come packaged with a load of extra code that you won’t need which will add unnecessary weight and slow down performance further still.  

2. Not allowing for off-site linking

AMP is meant to be a mobile-centric solution. This means that AMP cannot link off-site even if it looks like it does. The only way you can actually link off-site with an AMP page is by using the “link:” scheme. However, this means that your users will have to manually enter your web page URL every time they want to visit said webpage.

3. Page load times are still long

According to Google’s own documentation, average page load times are three seconds or less on 2G networks and 4G networks have an average load time of one second. Test my website here confirms this finding as well – running their test for 0 , which should give the impression that AMP will generate fast and efficient web pages. 

4. Google Analytics tracking code cannot be installed

Google Analytics is a powerful tool that allows site owners to track visitor behavior and demographics and provides them with useful information about their users such as where they live and how much time they spend on the site. However, this is not possible with AMP. This means you will miss out on data such as bounce rates and time spent on the page and the demographics of your users if you were to install Google Analytics on an AMP landing page.

5. No user input tracking

AMP does not allow for any form of tracking that reveals anything about the visitor behavior or performance of a web page. Due to this fact, it is impossible to track an event such as someone submitting a contact form or filling out your e-mail subscription list or even just making a purchase from your online store.

6. Difficulties in implementing dynamic code snippets

Dynamic code snippets are code snippets of code that perform certain actions after events occur within the webpage such as capturing information that a user enters into a form and then sending that information via email or pushing it to a database.

While there is no absolute rule for this, AMP does not allow for most dynamic code snippets. This means you’re going to be facing difficulties trying to implement them properly.  

7. Difficulties in implementing forms with Google Tag Manager

Google Tag Manager (GTM) allows developers to add marketing-related code snippets such as Google Analytics and AdWords Conversion Tracking codes to their site without having to directly modify the source code of their webpage. However, GTM cannot be used within AMP webpages due to some security errors caused by shared libraries and the inability of GTM’s Omniture library to process AMP code.

8. Poor compatibility with third-party scripts

Third-party scripts are code snippets that modify the functionality of your website or allow for extra content to be added to web pages. One example would be Disqus, which is an online discussion platform that allows site owners to add interactive discussions to their site without having to create a custom one themselves. However, due to security reasons, not all third-party scripts will work within AMP pages due mostly to same-origin policy restrictions from browsers such as Google Chrome and Safari that block requests from third-party servers.  

9. Lack of support for some HTML5 features

AMP does not fully support most HTML5 elements and attributes therefore it is not possible for you to use them on AMP pages. There are some elements and attributes that are not supported.  It is also impossible for you to use JavaScript’s addEventListener or setTimeout functions to add custom events that can be handled by other scripts (e.g., GTM).

10. Ugly URLs

AMP adds some ugly characters behind URLs which results in making them difficult to read and understand. This will make your AMP landing pages look amateurish and unappealing if they do not follow AMP rules and regulations, which may result in customers losing trust in your brand identity due to the poor aesthetics of your page’s URL.

11. Limited support of AMP pages by search engines

There is no guarantee that your AMP page will be indexed by Google. It also does not allow you to track SEO data such as keywords and backlinks. This means you cannot use AMP landing pages for marketing campaigns designed to increase your website’s visibility or ranking within search engine results.

12. Subdued user experience compared to non-AMP versions

An optimized webpage is one that loads quickly with minimum effort on the part of users, which contributes towards increasing conversions. According to recent research, 40% of people abandon their shopping carts if web pages take more than 3 seconds to load. However, according to tests conducted, average loading times for an AMP page are 8 to 10 times longer than non-AMP pages. This is due to the fact that AMP limits the use of JavaScript, CSS, and other HTML elements which slow down web pages.

13. Content duplication by search engines

Due to content duplication, there is a chance that some customers may believe they are seeing duplicate or low-quality content when they visit your site or landing page. For example, if your original website contains certain keywords within its content but these same keywords do not appear on your AMP landing page, this could cause customers viewing your landing page to question the value of your product offering as it relates to their keyword query. Therefore, you need to make sure that both versions contain all important information regarding a customer’s query.

14. Limited design options for AMP landing pages

Many web designers are not familiar with the coding language used to create AMP webpages which results in limited, if any, customization of their layout. This means that many ideas and designs that can be applied on non-AMP landing pages cannot be implemented within AMP ones because they rely on JavaScript, CSS, and other HTML elements.

15. Only works on Google search engine platform

AMP only supports websites built using the Google ecosystem. There is no guarantee that Google will support AMP forever as it could decide to discontinue this service at any time without warning or notice. Furthermore, even if your site is already built using the AMP format, there is no guarantee that it will be listed on Google if it does not follow all of its guidelines, regulations, and best practices.

16. May require hiring technical support staff for updates

It is possible to update AMP pages without assistance although this may take some time. Because of the complexities involved with coding an AMP page, you may need to hire someone to do this work for you which can cause fees to go up. Furthermore, updating non-AMP pages may require you to create new versions of these landing pages if they are no longer optimized or designed in accordance with current technological trends.

17. Image optimization needs additional efforts

Image optimization is important in most types of web pages but especially within landing pages because image size affects loading times. While images are being fetched, users will not have access to other elements on the page which is why it is essential they are loaded as quickly as possible. AMP landing pages feature images that are 600 pixels wide by 400 pixels tall, with a minimum width of 300 pixels, and images should be formatted in .jpg or .png file types. This means that designers need to resize images before uploading them onto their landing pages. Furthermore, they need to compress these images into smaller files sizes so that these do not become too large.

18. Lack of mobile app functionality

AMP does not allow you to track events that may happen within your mobile app because marketing automation tools cannot gather this data from AMP pages.

19. Issues for mobile users

AMP does not support content within Flash or Silverlight which means certain videos will not be available to mobile users.

20. Fonts are limited

Fonts are restricted for AMP pages, meaning that they cannot use custom fonts weighing more than 30 kilobytes. This can affect the overall design of your landing page since many designers rely on font weights to establish hierarchy and balance their designs.

21. Difficulty implementing customer feedback into site changes

It is difficult to implement customer feedback data into your site because all analytics must be gathered from AMP testing packages instead of being provided directly by your website’s back-end. This means that you either need to change the backend system or hire someone who can do this for you.

22. Can only be used with Google Analytics

AMP currently only offers support for tracking events using Google Analytics. In order to view the results of these events, you must have a Google account and link your website to it so that all data is fed into this account.

23. AMP pages can load slowly on mobile devices

Compared with standard HTML landing pages, AMP ones tend to take a bit longer to load especially on slower LTE 4G networks due to the number of resources required. This makes it difficult for some marketers who want visitors to access their content as quickly as possible because those who are impatient will simply move on and go elsewhere.

24. Difficult to change caching mechanisms within source code

AMP pages must be cached in order to determine how they are displayed. If you need to make changes to the caching mechanism, it requires editing parts of the source code.

25. Complicated code structure

AMP uses a complicated markup language which can pose issues for both developers and marketers who are not familiar with HTML5 or Javascript development.

26. AMP is not supported by all browsers yet

Although most major web browsers now support AMP, some do not so visitors with these browsers will still be redirected to your normal landing page unless you have another webpage that they can visit instead.

27. Certain features disabled on mobile devices

AMP does not currently permit multiple links within the same post, footer links, or cross-domain redirects. This means that marketers cannot use these features on their landing pages unless they are prepared to implement workarounds or alternative strategies.

However, there is a time you should look into AMP: when your landing page provides results that are exclusively on AMP-enabled sites (Google Maps or Gmail, for example). If this sounds like what you’re aiming for, read below to see how you can implement it!

This is where we’ll cover the benefits of using AMP and our conclusion.

Benefits of using AMP

You most likely already know about some of the benefits of using AMP: faster load times and less data usage. However, here’s some additional information about why these results are important for landing pages:

Faster Load Times 

 If a user has to wait a long time for the landing page to load, they may bounce off. The longer it takes a page to load, the higher chance of them leaving before seeing any of the content you have on offer.

Lower Data Usage

 When your users visit your site on 2G or 3G networks, this can be extremely important as it could mean that they’re not able to see your landing page at all if it’s too slow. In addition, AMP is perfect for those who live in remote areas where data usage caps are typical and high-speed internet isn’t readily available.

Less Competitive SERP Results

In a recent study, 40% of marketers read AMP results more favorably than non-AMP results.

While AMP is certainly not required to rank well on Google, it does seem that they are putting more weight onto the quality of the page’s performance over any other factors.

## Conclusion To conclude, you should NOT use Accelerated Mobile Pages for your entire site. However, if some or most of your content can exclusively be found on AMP sites (like with Google Maps), then you should implement AMP pages to take advantage of their superior performance!

If you have any questions about using AMP for landing pages, feel free to contact us and we’d be happy to answer all inquiries related specifically to this topic within our marketing services.