As mentioned in one of my later posts, Google has officially tested its mobile-first index. This means its Googlebot will likely examine the mobile version of our websites to determine how they shall be indexed.
This signifies greater inclination towards mobile device experience and greater traction on mobile version search results. So with shift from desktop to mobile webpage version, it’s the best time (if not a little late) to be in the AMP bandwagon.
What is AMP?
AMP or accelerated mobile pages, a fairly new standard that enables web pages to be loaded almost instantaneously even with rich content such as videos, images or ads.
It’s like a cross between HTML email and plain text email, with visual elements still present. As a result AMP pages aren’t too plain but would load much faster than conventional HTML loaded with all the scripts that slow down page loading speed.
There’s no better time than now to set up AMP for your website.
What about responsive pages, you ask? While responsive addresses the issue on readability of pages on various devices, it does not necessarily solve the issue of loading speed, with loading times exceed 10 seconds.
So what happens when you use AMP on your pages? Most likely increase in loading time that could result in lower bounce rates, longer time on page and engaged visitors.
How long does AMP implementation take effect?
When properly implemented, it can be visible on search results in a few days.
Even Those that have errors using Google’s tool can still see results.
Although AMP isn’t technically a ranking signal (yet), Google has shown fondness with user experience, and that implies bad experience like high bounce rates won’t get much favors.
So all signs point to AMP as the way to go.
How to setup AMP on WordPress website?
Here’s how to implement AMP on your website powered website:
1. Install the AMP plugin. This is a free plugin by Automattic. This plugin enables the AMP functionality and sets up the canonical version of the URL simply because an AMP version of the URL will have a different format (append /amp or ?amp).
2. Install the AMP for WP plugin. This is a plugin that helps format the look and feel of an AMP page such as which includes:
- placement option for logo so your AMP version looks pretty slick
- analytics tracking code so you can continue monitoring visits for AMP page
- custom styling options for font colors, typeface and other minor enhancements
- navigation menu options so you can choose which defined menu item to display on AMP version
- advertising code so you can monetize your AMP pages.
There are other available plugins for AMP such as Yoast Glue Plugin. But since I haven’t tried it, I’ll defer the explanation about its feature and installation procedure.
3. You may test the page by appending the /amp or ?amp at the end of the URL. It should show you a preview of what the AMP looks like, even if you test it on a desktop machine.
4. You may test the pages using the AMP Testing tool to check if your AMP page is valid. In my experience, even if there are issues discovered, AMP version pages still show up in the results page so the problem could be inconsistencies with other plugins which could turn out to be minor after all.
You may check out Accelerated Mobile Pages under Search Appearance later (a day or two later) to view how Google finds your AMP pages: do they run smoothly or have they encountered problems? As you see in the graph below, initially there were problems in the code, but were later fixed while the number of indexed AMP pages grew.
In some cases there may be conflict in code and scripts which might require code fix, but most cases it should be a smooth installation.
What is the impact of AMP on organic traffic?
Organic traffic to this website in question has been stagnating after I changed hosting, revamped pages and so on. But shortly after I installed AMP while on vacation, organic traffic gradually grew. I know December traffic is kind of low traditionally but while I don’t entirely attribute this growth in organic traffic to the AMP implementation, I see a correlation in terms of average position in Google Search Console’s Search Analytics reports.
So as I was saying earlier, it’s about time to implement AMP on your website.