One of the many beauties of modern technology is its ability to adapt to the sharpest curves thrown in its path.
With mobile web browsing on a meteoric rise in the past four years, users were facing problems. Webpages optimised for desktop browsing, with heavy content, were loading at turtle-neck speeds on mobile phones. The demand for faster loading pages was real and urgent.
When the need for faster mobile loading presented itself, this gave birth to AMP, accelerated mobile pages.
What is AMP?
AMP is basically Google-backed open-source coding for publishers, content creators, and users across the world; it is for everyone. All web pages are at their core, information documents, but traditional web browsers on desktop computers preferred interactive web pages vs. simple documents; why? Revenue is higher if users stayed for longer periods of time on an interactive web page.
AMP has taken traditional webpages and stripped them to their core functions. Those functions can be categorised in three groups; AMP HTML, AMP JS, and AMP CDN (Content Delivery Network), these are the main technologies behind the efficiency of mobile web-loading.
There is a common assumption that AMP creates new websites, or perhaps requires an overhaul of the original website in order for it be applicable. To the contrary, AMP works with original websites and simply streamlines the process when viewed from mobile devices. AMP helps to lower the bounce-off rate of users by improving load time, and retaining users by providing information rather than a bombardment of ads.
The Importance of AMP and its Effects on SEO
As stated earlier, AMP’s importance lies in its ability to retain website users. It does this by lowering website bounce rate (users clicking out of websites due to slow load times) and thereby increasing revenue. Aside from that, countries with lower thresholds of mobile data plans benefit greatly from AMP; web usage increases and becomes more accessible.
Aside from that, internet and data usage while travelling can be unreliable, in those times an AMP optimised website can be a godsend with its reliable and speedy mobile load time. Since AMP deals in speed and content loading, it in turn directly affects user retention, which in turn will affect SEO and the SERP (search engine results page).
Currently, Google shows an icon and the AMP symbol underneath any website that has been AMP optimised. AMP will most likely start to play a role in the ranking factor of a website, and consequently its position on the SERP.
Essentially, optimising your webpage for mobile browsing via AMP is an excellent thing to do whether or not your website produces content. Faster loading and user retention will automatically rank a website higher on Google’s SERP.
Additionally, AMP is a crucial tool for web publishers as they reap the most practical benefits, as they produce the most content for users. Entertainment and publisher websites such as news.com.au, theguardian.com.au and techguide.com.au would be great examples of these types of sites. AMP implementation is a must add to any technical SEO checklist in 2017.
How to Implement AMP for WordPress?
Adding AMP optimisation for your website is simple; anyone can do it and enjoy the benefits of AMP. The following is a short and easy-to-follow guide on how to set up AMP for your WordPress site.
- Install an AMP plugin
From your admin dashboard, search for the AMP plugin and install it.
You will be prompted to install, and then activate this plugin in order for it to work properly. You can view how AMP will make your website look on mobile browser, in the appearance section of the WordPress menu.
- Install Yoast AMP SEO Plugin for Customisation
Install and activate the Yoast plugin the same way as AMP. Yoast places an SEO menu on your original WordPress dashboard, clicking on that will let you view AMP and subsequently, the design menu. Through the design menu you can edit the colours of your page, customise your icon or how your page is integrated with AMP.
One thing to keep in mind is that the Yoast plugin will not work if another SEO plugin is already in use.
- Review your AMP Optimised page in Google Console
Sign into your Google Console account, click on Search Appearance and view your Accelerated Mobile Pages. Any errors or adjustments that you need to make will be clear, and you can adjust accordingly.
And that’s it! That’s how simple it is to adjust your web pages with AMP and make them lightning fast for loading on mobile devices.
If you run into any complications setting up AMP for WordPress, drop a comment and I’ll do my best to help.
Don’t miss this cool video released by Google in early 2016. Give it a watch and it might very well open your eyes to AMP and its impact on everyday mobile users like both me and you.