For a lot of people, reading on the web from a mobile device was a very frustrating process. That however, was until Google first introduced Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) back in October 2015 and since then users have had a higher quality experience when operating the web on their mobile. The changes have meant publishers are also able to create mobile optimized content and have it load instantly everywhere. As always with advancements like this, nobody really took notice of it at first but over the year Google has shifted more emphasis towards AMP and with their latest algorithm update hitting last week – it is now even more important businesses take note.
Accelerated Mobile Pages: Why did it come about?
As mentioned, mobile web wasn’t a very enjoyable medium to browse the internet for a very long time. Facebook’s Instant Articles and Apple News were the first ones to and act on this can create content for mobile web users that was fast and better to use. These features though were only for content which was created by Apple and Facebook and wasn’t available to other publishers (Facebook have since changed this after AMP was released). Google then realised that this was having an effect on the amount of mobile content that was being produced from other websites, so they created AMP which would be an open source that any publisher could use.
The biggest statistic that caught everyone’s eye is that AMP pages load 85% faster than standard mobile pages, meaning that users experience on mobile web substantially improved. Part of the reason this was so important is demonstrated through Google reporting that more than 40 percent of users will abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load. This left many publishers eager to see how effective AMP is to increase readership from mobile devices and it does not worry them that there is a number of revenue streams that are unavailable, with interstitial adverts being the main one missing.
How it Improves Your Businesses Visibility
For content heavy companies, such as PR firms, newspapers, bloggers and so on, if you want your content to be found first, it needs to live in the News carousel, and the only way it can get there is if you’re using AMP on your site. With content especially recent news or announcements, you can search for something that happened yesterday e.g. the US presidential debate, but it can show you an article relating to the debate from a month ago if the website is utilising AMP! Away from news articles have a look at the search results for “SEO.” As you can see below, it clearly shows which sites are using AMP and it brings it at the top of the search results.
Why is this important to you? So say you’re a company and you want a much visibility on a search page as possible. If you’re hogging top rankings through paid advertising, then you’re appearing for AMP stories as well as organic results, essentially you’re dominating the page so you’re guaranteed to get new customers landing on your site. The more customers, the more conversions!
How it can affect Rankings?
Google have been very strong to point to the fact that AMP doesn’t automatically mean that websites will suddenly shoot to the top of the rankings. However, they did state that when everything is equal between two sites, the ones that load quicker are given an advantage over the other – which makes the fact AMP sites load in under a second hugely important. Take a look at “SEO Manchester“ as an example, when you search for this term there is a huge fight for rankings as the content led agencies are trying to push for the highest ranking, with AMP being one of the primary reasons some are performing better than others.
Today most businesses refuse to get on board with digital changes through a lack of knowledge and they sometimes see it as irrelevant to the nature of their business. What they fail to recognize is that the world is becoming more and more digitalized. With big changes like this, for those companies who refuse to get with the times and look into how to implement new changes like AMP, they’re sadly going to fall behind.
How it Get Started with AMP in WordPress
By adding AMP not only will your site load substantially faster, but you’ll also gain access to Google’s massive content delivery network. As explained above, when people search for your website on their mobile devices, Google will serve up the AMP version of these pages, all for free.
So if you’re using WP, here’s how to get started:
How to Get Started With Accelerated Mobile Pages Plugin in WordPress
1. Install the Plugin
- Select ‘Plugins’, from your admin dashboard.
- Select the option to add a new plugin, “Add New”
- Type “amp-wp” into the plugin search box to automatically locate the WordPress AMP plugin
- Install this one and active the plugin by selecting ‘activate plugin’.
2. Allow The Creation of Pages
- From the dashboard, press ‘permalinks’ and simply press the save changes button.
3. Validate AMP
- From Chrome, open “Chrome Developer Tools”
- Paste the URL of your Accelerated Mobile Page in the omnibox.
- Add “#development=1” to the end of the URL, then select console.
- If you’ve done It right it should say ‘AMP Validation Successful.’
Once you’ve set this up, it is a simple case of adding styling and Google Analytics tracking code to the page you want to optimize for AMP. Once you’ve entered you AMP content, you can then verify this on Google’s Search Console. It usually takes up to 5 days to index but once it’s done, you’re all set to go and create even more and let your content take over!