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April 15, 2020

AMP, key in your digital marketing.

For some years now Google has been giving more and more importance to the presentation and loading time of websites on mobile devices.

And with the implementation of the Mobile First Index in November 2016, this has given us a clear signal of how important it is that the pages are Mobile Friendly and therefore that it has good loading speeds.

Since this is a very important factor of the user experience.

Surely you have heard about AMP as the solution to all your problems related to the mobile version of your site.

Is this really so?

Well, like everything in life, the answer is yes and no.

Since this is a new web design standard that works for certain cases.

What is AMP?

AMP, acronym for Accelerated Mobile Pages , is an open source initiative, promoted by Google itself but also by Bing, which allows creating very light and minimalist web pages.

Which therefore can load much faster.

That is its main objective; reduce the loading time of the websites. In this way improving the experience of users who browse from their mobile.

It does this by removing and dispensing with certain resources and shortening the distribution of data.

In the end, on your website you should have three versions of it:

  • Desktop version
  • Mobile version , whether Mobile Friendly or not.
  • Y Version AMP

It seems like an extra complication, but in the end what we have is an extra version, very similar to Mobile but stripped of almost everything except the content.

So that Google will show it in certain contexts, which are decided by Google, unless you force the redirection of all your Mobile pages to the Accelerated Mobile Pages yourself.

Does AMP replace mobile versions?

From this it follows that AMP is not a system to create a mobile version of your website, that is, it does not replace the responsive version of a website.

Since you can perfectly have both versions of your page. Only that Google when detecting that an AMP version exists, if it is built correctly and contains the <link rel = ”canonical”> tags, which link with the original HTML version of the document, will show this in preference to the Mobile version.

Should I implement AMP?

This is an important question.

As I mentioned above, you should implement it only if your website meets certain parameters:

– It is a blog, it is a news site, or it has a blog in which you publish updated content and from time to time.

– If you have, for example, only a corporate website that is practically static, you don’t need to.

– You have an E-commerce or online store, in this case you may have to think a little better, because you will be somewhat limited.

A few years ago you may have been told that you simply were not going to be able to implement AMP but now there are options as you can see here .

Or using plugins for Woocommerce if your store is built there.

AMP for E-commerce

How you can see the connecting thread of all those cases are the types in which the informative content is important. Or it is a fundamental source of traffic.

So this benefits portals where content is mostly text, like news articles and blog posts.

Since it was the main objective of Accelerated Mobile Pages in its beginnings and it is the simplest to implement.

But it also greatly benefits online stores, as it can greatly increase their loading speed and user metrics.

Remember that the AMP version is a version stripped of almost everything other than HTML.

What does this mean?

What leaves out certain types of dynamic content. Perhaps they are essential for an online store or other types of content and therefore require a little more work.

So when implementing AMP. And if you really want to take advantage of all its benefits, always remember to take into account the user experience.

It is useless to have a website with a good user experience but which is very slow. And then go to a very fast website but that neglects the user experience.

So, like Google, always keep the user in mind.

Now, let’s see how the Accelerated Mobile Pages are made up.

How AMP is made up

Technically it is made up of three parts:

1. AMP HTML

It is a stricter variant of HTML, which differs from it in several points:

  1. Eliminate certain elements and restrict the use of others: such as images, styles, etc.
  2. Add your own tags as <amp-img> instead of <img>.
  3. Does not support Javascript, except for the AMP JS library itself
  4. The CSS of the page is included inline within a single <style amp-custom> tag. Some CSS rules are also restricted (eg @import)

2. AMP JS

This ensures that AMP HTML pages render quickly, correctly and optimally. It also manages the load of resources and provides you with the personalized labels that I have mentioned. Always preventing all external resources from being asynchronous, ensuring that nothing interrupts the rendering of the page.

3. Google AMP Cache

As noted in the AMP project:

“Google’s AMP Cache is a proxy-based content delivery network with which valid AMP documents are delivered. Its function is to obtain AMP HTML pages, cache them and automatically improve the performance of the pages. When using the Google AMP cache, the document, all JavaScript files, and all images from the same source that are using HTTP 2.0 are loaded to maximize efficiency. ”

As you can see, everything is associated with greater performance and speed.

Is AMP good for SEO?

The short answer would be yes.

But not in all cases since, as I made you see above, not all websites are the same or have the same content, purpose, or audience.

You must analyze if your audience or users:

  • They are mostly organically attracted
  • At least half come through mobile devices.
  • They are impatient. As we already know, the speed of mobile loading is super important to retain the user.

If your website contains these types of users and also contains a blog, or is a blog or news portal, or has an online store, this will surely be very beneficial.

Why?

For three reasons:

1.Greater visibility in SERPs

First Google marks our Accelerated Mobile Pages content with lightning:

But in addition, Google gives us outstanding snippets for AMP, which gives us more visibility, and therefore a higher CTR if we get Google to select us for one.

Other than that we can take advantage of Google’s news carousel.

Example mobile AMP

2. Better loading speed

We already know that the loading speed of your website is an important factor to rank in Google.

Mobile Charging Speed

So if you page loads quickly in almost less than a second with AMP this will probably improve your interaction metrics with your users which in the medium term implies better positions in the wanted.

3. Improvement in your user interaction metrics

As I already told you the featured snippets and the improvement in loading speed will have an impact on the user experience on your website, increasing the time they spend on your pages, the CTR and searches for your brand name.

This is very good for SEO since Google is increasingly focusing on the metrics of users on your website to validate the positions of the pages in the rankings.

So this will certainly have a great benefit in the medium and long term.

Even so:

You may be thinking .

And what about those cases where I read that they implemented AMP on a website and this was their downfall.

Consider this:

Study Showing AMP May Lead to Increase in Organic Search Traffic

Stone Temple and WompMobile recently collaborated on what they say is AMP’s first comprehensive, large-scale study .

They analyzed 26 domains and over 9 million AMP pages.

The results were obtained by comparing data from the sites 30 days before having implemented AMP and 30 days after its implementation.

This is what they observed:

Organic traffic increase in 77% of sites

Overall, 22 of the 26 websites (77%) experienced organic search gains on mobile devices. Other areas for improvement include SERP impressions and SERP click-through rates. ”

AMP study results

Source: Stone Temple

  • A 27.1% increase in organic traffic
  • A 33.8% increase in impressions
  • A 15.3% increase in the click-through rate

Greater increase in traffic on e-commerce sites

Of the 26 sites, 19 were e-commerce and 7 editorial sites. The former saw a further increase in the aforementioned metrics .

results of the AMP e-commerce study Source: Stone Temple

Only 1 in 5 sites saw no improvement

This partially responds to our initial concern.

Stone Temple attributes this to a variety of factors:

  • AMP cannot save a site that is already on a downward path.
  • Seasonality affects traffic and site engagement, and the study only examines 60 days of data.
  • Market conditions are important, and competitors may have been making changes at the same time.
  • Sites that are already well ranked are unlikely to see major improvements with AMP.

Disadvantages of AMP

Not everything can be rosy.

So among the main disadvantages of AMP we have:

  1. Stylistic limitations

As you have already noticed, given this new design standard, your web pages are very minimalist and devoid of great customizations.

Which can be a disadvantage since you can lose or not transmit your brand correctly.

  1. Functional limitations

Since AMP works with its own tags and restricts the use of some others, in addition to practically not allowing the use of scripts, then this may decrease your possibilities to add functionality or dynamism to your pages.

If you use WordPress, AMP may not be compatible with certain of your plugins, which can be a headache, if any of them is essential on your site.

Which implies that you must follow Google’s instructions to the letter . Which are quite a few. Although well defined.

  1. Laborious or difficult to implement manually for beginners

This is true if you are a very technical person who does not master HTML, CSS and Javascript very well.

The truth is that it is only a very specific disadvantage since AMP is easily implementable. Especially in WordPress through plugins, which I will explain now.

But if you have a traditional web page, or another CMS this would require a lot of hard web development work. Since it must be done manually for each page that needs an AMP version.

How to manually implement AMP

On the official AMP Project page you can find a step-by-step guide on how to start implementing your AMP pages manually.

It even teaches you how to convert your HTML pages to the new AMP format.

So I recommend that you follow this guide which is simple and didactic to manually implement AMP on the pages you need.

How to implement AMP with AMP for WP

If you manage your website with WordPress then implementing AMP becomes simple.

All you have to do is search your plugin page within WordPress AMP for WP:

AMP for WP

You install it and voila, this will add AMP functionality to your posts .
Now you do look for any of your posts and add them to their URL / amp at the end you will see the Accelerated Mobile Pages version.

But, as I mentioned before, the idea is to carry out a good implementation based on your needs.

So what you should do is follow these steps:

1. Add your Logo and what content do you want to add AMP functionality

Go to the AMP Plugin from your side navigation bar, and then go to Settings. There you can add your brand logo or image, and you can also configure if you want Accelerated Mobile Pages functionality to be added to your publications, pages and even your Home Page.

AMP Logo and post functionality

2. Integrate AMP with Yoast: Adjust your titles and meta descriptions

If you use Yoast, then you can take your same descriptions and titles, for your articles in AMP version. Just go to the SEO section and establish this compatibility. I also recommend that you check the advanced indexing functionality as active.

AMP Yoast compatibility

3. Improve performance and integrate your AMP version with Google Analytics

Check the option to minify the code of your AMP implementation, this removes any unnecessary character from the source code without affecting the functionality:

AMP minification

Add your Google Analytics tracking code so that you can have data about your pages in Accelerated Mobile Pages version.

I recommend that before implementing your version Accelerated Mobile Pages create a new View within your Analytics account and filter it to only show pages of your AMP version.

This will allow you to have a better organization of your data.

AMP analytics

4. Implement comments on posts and pages:

Implement comments in AMP posts

5. Advanced Configuration
In this section you will find interesting options such as:

  1. Redirection to version Accelerated Mobile Pages for mobiles and tablets
  2. Change internal links to point to their / amp versions
  3. Remove the word / category / from URLs
  4. Apply images to retina displays so they don’t look blurry on Apple devices

Advanced AMP Configuration

6. Translate your AMP pages into any Language

Translate your AMP pages into Spanish

7. Improve the design of your AMP pages so that it is similar to your mobile pages

a) Choose a Theme

There are three basic themes you can start from to apply to your Accelerated Mobile Pages versions. These are quite simple but with a few point settings (and if you know a bit of CSS) you can achieve the professional finish you want.

Choose or make your AMP theme

b) Add your brand colors, your fonts and some additional configuration with CSS
This is part of the Global configuration of your Accelerated Mobile Pages versions so all your pages will be affected.

Colors of your brand additional CSS settingsc) Modify your Header

Header AMP Configuration

d) Select the structure of your posts

AMP Post Settings

e) Implement your social buttons

Implement your social buttons

AMP Conclusions

It is certainly a new web design standard that seeks to establish itself and has been established as a new way to provide users with a better experience focused on speed and functionality.

Like any new standard, it has a certain curve of difficulty and limits.

But these have been reduced and each day its implementation is easier.

Furthermore, studies highlight that its implementation can bring improvements in traffic, CTR, conversions and search engine positions.

So maybe it’s time for you to join in if you haven’t already

 

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