AMP, or Accelerated Mobile Pages, were added by Google in 2016. Simply put, they're a way to make your website - especially the mobile version - perform much faster than normal. This article should give you everything you need to know about how AMP works and how to create AMP pages for your own website.
What does AMP mean?
Technically speaking, AMP meaning is an open-source coding standard which relies on a simplified version of HTML to produce a more basic version of your website which can load much more rapidly.
Is being AMP-enabled a ranking signal for Google searches?
In short, no it isn't - at least, not of 2017. But, being mobile friendly and answer the question “how to improve page speed” is an incredibly important ranking signal and that's only set to become more important in the future. Google's already had two heavily mobile-focused updates in the 2016-17 period and there are almost certainly more on the way.
It's also been hinted that AMP pages might get a ranking boost or a "fast" designation in the not too distant future.
How AMP works in terms of SEO?
Although it's not a direct ranking factor there are many ways in which being AMP-enabled will help with your Search Engine Optimisation.
1) Get your website noticed first
When you deploy your Accelerated Mobile Pages they're eligible for appearance in a special carousel at the top of Google's results page. This carousel has seen around 80% of AMP users getting more views than those who don't use them.
It's simple - you need to get seen to get clicked. Having your site AMP-enabled can get you much better visibility.
2) Boost your dwell time
Here are some handy statistics showing how AMP pages can help you increase a number of time users actually spend on your site:
- 29% of smartphone users will switch to another site if their needs aren't met instantly by yours
- 70% of those users switch because of slow loading times - this can be a huge factor in reducing bounce rates from your website
- More than 50% of mobile users will leave a web page if it takes more than 3 seconds to load
- AMP pages load 15-85% faster than regular pages
- Install the AMP WordPress plugin.
- Activate the plugin.
- You now have /amp appended to your pages, and you can use your .htaccess file to redirect users to those versions. Alternatively, you can use an FTP program like Filezilla.
- You can now improve the look of your AMP pages by editing your CSS. You can locate them in your wp-content under the plugins>amp-template subcategories.
3) Improve clickthrough, conversions and data usage
This basic increase in site speed - the main aim and draw of using Accelerated Mobile Pages - also improves clickthrough rates in more than 90% of cases. This leads to a much greater chance that a user's presence on your site is going to lead to a conversion.
There's an added advantage for mobile users too because this type of page uses around eight times fewer data than a standard mobile-friendly page.
How to create AMP pages
Setting up AMP for your WordPress site
Adding AMP pages to your WordPress site is quick and easy. Here's how:
How to create AMP for your non-WordPress site?
This is not quite so quick and easy! But the AMP Project’s site has some pretty in-depth instructions relating to how to do it.
How to test AMP pages?
If you want to check if your page is valid AMP, simply go to https://search.google.com/test/amp and enter a URL to test.
The future is coming and the future is mobile
So, while AMP pages might not be a magic pill to increase your Google ranking, they do provide a number of rather large benefits which can help you improve your overall SEO if you learn how to use an AMP.
Plus, as soon as Google rolls out an update which adds site speed or outright AMP-enablement as ranking factors, you'll already be ahead of the game by adding them now. Plus, you'll be getting the fruits of all of those benefits in the meantime.