The Importance of AMP Pages

Vicente Diaz
By Vicente Diaz

You may have heard of the term “AMP” recently, as this project is revolutionizing mobile websites in an incredible way. It is key for digital marketers and website owners to gain knowledge about this project and be able to implement it into their client’s projects or even projects of their own.

What Is It?

AMP, which stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages, is a project created by Google to accelerate the process of viewing websites through its search engine. Have you ever come across a slow website that takes a long time to load, has a messy design, or a confusing layout? AMP solves this issue, making these pages not only load very quickly but be organized with a simple design. Generally, this results in an extremely pleasant user experience for any visitor to your site who wants to navigate and read your content quickly with minimal distractions.

How Does it Work?

AMP works through pages that are coded with an AMP-style structure, which becomes much lighter than the original structure. Here, the term “lighter” refers to the idea that not as many elements are allowed within AMP pages, CSS it is solely allowed directly on the HTML, and JS is not allowed at all.

The main function of the AMP project is to prioritize speed and readability. AMP pages are set up with lazy loading for images, meaning that the images within the page will be shown upon scroll only. Also, AMP pages are heavily cached to show the content as fast as possible.

Why Is It Important?

If you are looking to attract and engage more visitors to your site, speed on your site is key. Most visitors will immediately leave if the site takes more than 3 seconds to load, which is why AMP is a key implementation. If you have fast site speed, plus engaging content, your SERP (Search Engine Result Pages) will increase due to the low bounce rate that you may receive.

In other words, if you have a very interesting content that people are looking for and interested in reading while having great speed, your ranking in search results will likely increase!

Getting AMP Installed

Now that you are more familiar with AMP, and intrigued on how you can implement it onto your site, I’m going to explain the easy process of “AMP-lifying” your site(s).

WordPress

For WordPress, there is a plugin to AMP your site in a matter of minutes. The plugin I heavily recommend is called AMP for WordPress, and it enables you to easily set up a complete AMP website in just a few minutes.

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Once you have installed the plugin, and you get the first view of it, you may want to focus most of your attention on the two main tabs: Settings and Design.

In the Settings tab, you will be able to see the wide array of options that you have. All of the options are easy to manipulate and the capabilities of what each of the options can accomplish are extensive. Focusing on the more important (and more commonly used) settings, we will take a look at the General, SEO, Analytics & Notice Bar.

With the general setting of this plugin, you may set up your brand logo, its sizing, and more importantly, decide which pages or post types you want to make AMP pages.

The SEO setting in this plugin mainly allows you to update the SEO Metadata and implement all of the content from any SEO plugin that you are currently using on your site.

The Analytics setting will let you to add your analytic tracking ID as well as any other analytic providers, such as Facebook, Segment, and many more.

Lastly, with the Notice Bar (and the updated GDPR regulation), it is important to inform your visitors about any policy that you have. This setting allows you to easily display a notice bar with a link.

After implementing all these settings, your site is ready to be AMP; however, your site style may not correlate to the same style of your branding. This is why this plugin provides the Design tab feature.

Within the Design tab, you are able to customize the AMP extensively. Some offered design customizations include selecting different templates (Frees & Paid), customizing colors, deciding what is it shown in the header and footer, and choosing which social media icons you want to show. The options that come with the plugin are all highly customizable, but if you are looking for a deep customization for your AMP pages, you can take a look at this Starter Theme, which comes with instructions on how to build your AMP layout from scratch.

Shopify

For Shopify, I have been using the app called AMP by Shop Sheriff,  which is equally as easy to use as AMP for WordPress. The app provides a full dashboard to customize the settings and layout for your AMP pages.

This powerful dashboard does a great job at keeping things easy! It is very customizable and easy to navigate. The app enables you to customize the look of the pages and add analytics, among many other things. There are some limitations in certain settings, which can be unlocked when upgrading from the free plan.

Other

If you are looking to enable AMP for a non-CMS site, you will need to implement AMP manually by following the official guide. It is not as easy as using a plugin (as explained earlier with WordPress and Shopify), but it is possible. Although it may be more time consuming and difficult to implement, it may be more customizable than using a plugin.

Conclusion

AMP and its powerful framework seem to becoming a must for websites. The ability to load your site pages faster than ever can easily attract more users, and if you strategically take advantage of this tool, you can easily increase your site rankings within SEO. It is key to use this tool not only because it creates more engagement, but because it is also extremely simple to install within common CMS sites, such as WordPress, Shopify, or even hardcoded guides with their official documentation.

Don’t lose more time, get your site AMP-lified with us today!

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Vicente is a Web Developer at Power Digital. Born and raised in Chile, he moved to San Diego, CA to pursue a degree in Management Information Systems at SDSU. His passion for coding and design has driven him to focus on currently on web development but desiring to extend his skills to further complex applications to create great user experiences in multiple environments.