How Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Affects SEO
by Shafas KS
How Will AMP Improve Your Google Ranking?
AMP that stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages is an open-source coding standard for publishers. AMP helps the publishers to load their sites quickly on mobile. As mobile responsive could be heavy and slow because desktop resources are heavy and plenty. Most of the elements of a desktop website is unnecessary for a mobile site.
Till now, AMP was just for User Experience. Now, Google has backed it up and is encouraging websites to follow suit.
Why is AMP Important?
Have you attempted to load your website on mobile? Are you okay with the load speed? The loading time of your site is taking longer and you have good speed for internet connection – but mobile? So optimize the experience of mobile browsing for all users by standardizing mobile version of your site with AMP.
Who Will Benefit Most from AMP?
You do not want to make your services or product landing pages into AMP. It would be stripped down of its first-impressions. That would defeat the purpose of your original design. So everyone does not wish to adopt AMP.
The sites that will benefit the most from AMP are publishing sites. These are the sites that produce content. So how you’ll apply this to your client is not by making their entire site into AMP. That might affect conversions negatively. Rather, you can transition your client’s blog section or news and updates section into AMP.
Actual Sites that Prefer Loading AMP
Try opening an article from Twitter from the native mobile app. You would notice that Twitter has its own browser now. Twitter does not load sites fast enough. But if a site is using AMP then it loads fast even with Twitter’s native browser. When you integrate AMP to standardize your mobile responsive pages, you are putting speed and readability over shareability.
How can I Make AMP Work on my WordPress Site?
You can actually integrate AMP in about 5 minutes for your WordPress site. Just follow these simple steps:
- Install the AMP WordPress plugin Automattic.
- Activate the plugin. This plugin would append /amp on all your pages but what it redirect mobile visitors to your /amp pages.
- Next step is to edit your .htaccess file – you could use an FTP program to do this.
- Lastly, you want to edit the CSS to make your Accelerated Mobile Pages look and feel more like your site. You can edit the CSS using FTP by going to your wp-content -> plugins -> amp -> template.php.
Now, you could see that SEO Hacker’s Accelerated Mobile Pages still look and feel like our desktop page design. Make sure you’re using rel=”canonical” tags to your original pages.
AMP pages are built for speed. So when we are considering Google’s announcement that page speed will become a mobile ranking factor. It seems possible that mobile sites with Accelerated Mobile Pages implemented could see a boost in rankings and traffic.
Why when you could just build lightning-fast mobile pages, to begin with? For most sites, mobile pages built with AMP are likely to outperform existing mobile pages in terms of speed. But if you, or a client, are skeptical about benefits of implementing AMP, run a small-scale test.
Selecting test pages: Opting the right sample set of pages to test is the most critical step in the entire process. First, you would look at Google Analytics and sort your organic pages for mobile traffic. After identifying the top-performing landing pages, you’ll need to assess them. An easy way to check is to set your date range for a full year. Then examine the data for any spikes. If you have a business which is seasonal, run the test in either the peak season or during a lull. Avoid testing during a transitional period, such as when sales drop off in August, leading into the fall.
After that, decide how many pages your test will include. It is recommended no less than 25 pages and no more than 50. As you would manually pulling this data from Google Search Console one URL at a time. Keep in mind you want these pages to have a significant amount of traffic as well.
Setting the test duration & gathering benchmark data: You want to gather both pre-launch and post-launch data. The duration of your test may range anywhere from 60 to 180 days. It is recommended gathering at least 60 days’ worth of pre-launch data and 90 days’ worth of post-launch data.
Check AMP setup in Google Search Console: After test pages have been selected, the next step is to build and implement AMP for those pages. Then hit the ground running, but remember to first check out the AMP report in Google Search Console. This is done to guarantee that your pages have been set up correctly. Your test won’t help you much if you’re collecting faulty data.
Pulling Data: With the rollout of Google Search Console, webmasters and SEOs now have access to up to 16 months of data. It gives you a bit of flexibility in terms of when you should pull your data. When pulling pretest data, pull performance data for the standard, non-AMP URL.
For pulling post-launch data, notice that Google has statistics for both the AMP and non-AMP URL. This signifies that Google sometimes shows your standard URL instead of your AMP page. Make sure you are pulling data from the AMP-only URL.
Setting KPIs: For the purpose of this test, use click-through rate as the main KPI. It is used in order to determine if increased visibility has lead to more clicks. Correlation does not imply causation, especially in instances where you’re performing other SEO optimizations. It was determined that the increase in rankings was naturally leading to more impressions, which led to more clicks. The impressions had increased exponentially more than clicks, which resulted in a lower CTR.
Before making any decisions, review 90 days’ worth of post-launch data, which may yield more significant improvements in rankings. There are other ways to slice and dice this data. If you are looking to easily test Accelerated Mobile Pages performance, this is about as close to foolproof as you can get.
Setting up AMP
AMP can be developed from standard websites. A few adjustments must be made:
- Document type (Doctype): At the beginning of each AMP HTML document, you will find the document type: <!doctype html>.
- Use the <meta charset=”utf-8″> character set.
- This AMP page must have a corresponding HTML tag. You can use <html ↯> or <html amp>.
- Each AMP HTML page must contain <head> and <body>.
- You should insert a canonical tag on your AMP page which refers to the original page. If there is a standard URL, the tag should link to it.
The canonical refers to the AMP page itself here.
- For the AMP page to be perfectly adjusted to the respective output screen, it should contain a viewport.
- This line must be inserted in the header to load the content through the AMP
The advanced tag for the <head>-area must also be implemented.
Inserting logos on AMPs
- Only the image file formats .jpg, .png or .gif should be used.
- Animated logos are not supported.
- Do not use an icon, but either wordmark or the complete logo.
- Place the logo on a white or transparent background so that it can be displayed in the SERPs.
- Create your logo in exactly 60×600 pixels in the landscape.
Inserting Images on Accelerated Mobile Pages
You have to adjust the HTML code to correctly display images on AMPs. The references to images in the source code have to be adjusted – you replace <img src> with <amp-img src>.
Adjust the background color of your AMPs. AMP pages are very simple. If you would like to change the color of the background, you can adjust the elements. In order to save time, AMP pages can only use one style sheet.
Your standard website should link to the AMP version. Insert a rel-attribute into the <head>-area of your standard website. This would then link to the AMP version.
The same directives apply to AMPs as for all Google-friendly websites. In order for your page to appear in the Google SERPs, comply all important AMP specifications. The content must be identical to the content of the standard page, and the URL schema should be understandable for users.
Google specifies that the page must be compatible with AMP. The compatibility applies also to inserted structured data. To save time, implement AMPs with plugins which are often available from Content Management Systems.
Testing AMP with the Google Search Console
Once you set up your AMPs, they can be checked in the Google Search Console. Your website has to be saved in the Search Console.
Log in as normal and click “Accelerated Mobile Pages” under the menu point “Search appearance” area. The number of indexed AMPs will be displayed, and you will also receive important error notifications.When analyzing your data, remember changes and adjustments are not immediately shown in the Google Search Console.
A third option for testing AMPs is with the developer console from Google Chrome. In order to test your AMP page, open the AMP page in the browser.
AMPs can also be controlled with the AMP-Validator from the AMP project. The complete Accelerated Mobile Pages HTML code is entered here. The Validator can also be used to check AMP ads.
Test Accelerated Mobile Pages with Ryte
Ryte can also be used to test and check with just a few clicks. Individual elements can be monitored through the “Custom Snippets” in your project settings. Use Rite to test if your standard website links to your AMP page with rel=”amphtml”.
How to proceed:
- In the “Project Settings”, go to “Custom Snippets”, and “test selector”.
- Enter //link[@rel=’amphtml’]/@href as a selector, and XPath: Get text only as the mode.
- Then click on “test” to see if your page links to an AMP
Remember new crawl may be required for Ryte to track all your AMP links.
I believe that this article has helped you with the information on how AMP will improve your Google ranking. If you have any doubt regarding this topic, please make sure to comment, the professional techies at Dotz Web Technologies are always happy to help you. Dotz Web Technologies is one of the topmost Digital marketing and App Development company. We offer high-quality service in Web Design and development, SEO, Web Hosting, App Development and Social Media Marketing. We are one of the top Web Design Company in India.
February 23, 2018
February 12, 2018