Levy Online

What is AMP? Why Should You Implement AMP?

If you’ve done a Google search from your mobile device in the past year you’ve most likely seen a result or two that looks like this:

When Google introduced Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) in October last year there was a clear emphasis it was going to exclusively benefit publishers.

While many websites soon after the announcement adopted AMP, most never saw their content featured in the “In the News” or “Top Stories” sections of the SERPs.

Typically, the content in what is known as the “AMP Carousel” is favored to top publishers and highly authoritative sites that produce timely, newsworthy content.

In August, Google began to roll-out AMP pages in the main Mobile SERPs showing validated AMP pages with an “AMP”  label. Just like the one shown below.

Google soon after announced their plans to drop the “mobile friendly” label in effort to de-clutter the mobile search results as more than 85% of websites met that mobile friendly criteria.

 

What does this mean exactly?

AMP is not only going to benefit the highly authoritative publishers that have been all-in since its release.

Businesses of all shapes and sizes now have the opportunity to take full advantage of AMP.

I’m going to share some perspectives on how to get started with AMP and additional resources to explore below.

 

When & Where Should You Enable AMP?

Just because you can enable AMP pretty much across an entire website doesn’t necessarily mean you should.

There are many things to consider when it comes to enabling AMP on your website, particularly when in comes to Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO).

For example, if certain pages on your website include rich design features that contribute to high user engagement and conversions,  AMP may not be a solution due to the strict limitations within its framework.

Accelerated Mobile Pages are lightning fast because it strips out bulky, render blocking code.

To be a bit more specific, third-party JS and most CSS is not allowed. AMP only allows asynchronous JS and in-line CSS (no larger than 50kb).

The framework was designed to be extremely lightweight, highly cacheable, and limit the number of server requests.

There are likely features in your website’s design that won’t play nice with AMP – such as forms and mega menus.

Luckily, AMP has a specific components and tags designed to handle media and web elements.

AMP Components

There is a growing list of AMP components designed to handle rich media and web elements like forms, menus, accordion lists, carousels, ads, and more.

I highly recommend visiting AMP By Example to see a full list of these components in action.

The site also provides samples and templates for various types of content.

AMP is a BIG opportunity for Businesses

Now that Google is caching AMP enabled pages for just about any type of content, this promises big opportunity for businesses looking to improve performance and traffic from mobile search users.

Most businesses on WordPress who have been exploring AMP are likely familiar with the AMP plugin for WordPress.

If you’ve been following each release of this plugin like I have you’ll know it still doesn’t have all of the features you were hoping for out-of-the-box.

Luckily, Yoast has released a nifty plugin called Glue for Yoast SEO & AMP that I highly recommend.

The plugin enables simple design settings for your AMP pages directly in the Yoast SEO plugin settings. You can also enter custom CSS as well as your Analytics tags.

NOTE: Currently, these plugins only provide support for Posts, however, we can expect support for Pages and Custom Post Types in the near future.

These plugins combined with some custom CSS are what we use to enable AMP on our very own Blog. Including this very post you are (hopefully still) reading now.

There are additional plugins that offer support for WordPress pages that I would recommend exploring. These include:

Please note: If your website was not developed with best practices in mind you may run into validation issues, or content from your Pages and Custom Post Types not displaying properly.

This has been a common occurrence with WordPress sites using popular page builders and shortcodes to render content.

An experienced web developer combined with an AMP savvy SEO team can diagnose any issues and offer up custom solutions for AMP integration.