About two weeks ago I decided to dive into Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages, also knowns as AMP. Reason for this is that I started seeing that little lightning bolt icon more frequently on search engine results pages (SERP), so I got curious about how difficult this would be to adopt into some of our websites.
What is AMP?
It’s Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages initiative. It is comprised of 2 main things:
- Following a set of HTML guidelines to strip your pages of any fluffy stuff, like animations, flashy buttons, image carousels, etc. Basically adhering to a set of rules to keep your pages lightweight and having only bare-bones stuff in them, so that they can load in a browser quickly.
- Caching of your AMP-compliant pages onto Google servers everywhere, so that the pages can be served up to browser requests very fast.
Is it hard to implement?
No. If you use WordPress, it’s easy as shit. You will spend between 1 to 1.5 hours tops, at the very most. You basically install a few plugins and follow the steps outlined in this awesome blog article: https://www.elegantthemes.com/blog/resources/google-amp-what-is-it-and-is-it-right-for-your-wordpress-website
What are the benefits?
- A slight boost to your organic search rank on mobile devices
- Lightning fast load time for your users that discover your post on a mobile device. Fast load usually = happy visitor which usually results in pogo-sticking of your article up in SERP for that keyword phrase.
Am I making more work for myself?
No. Once you install the plugins and set it all up, you don’t need to do anything different. Just post blog articles as usual, and on the right side of your WordPress post editor, you will see a mobile preview of what the AMP version of your page will look like. You can uncheck a checkbox if you don’t want a particular post to be submitted as an AMP page. Trust me on this: it’s super easy.
How it worked for our BernieSez site
There’s absolutely no question about the impact that AMP has had on the organic traffic and conversion rates for BernieSez. Within 2 days, Google Analytics data showed visits to AMP pages surpassing visits to the regular versions of those pages. So for our users, our pages load lightning fast, they get their information almost instantly after they tap on the link in Google’s search engine results page, and our trustworthiness with the visitors is increased slightly. Plus Google adds a small boost to your mobile page ranking just for being AMP-compliant.
The bottom line: just do it
If you have at least 5 blog articles that have good content, suck it up and just do it. It will take you less than 2 hours of your life to configure your WordPress site with the appropriate plugins and setup changes. Once done it’s all automatic. You will not have to do anything extra…just create new blog posts like you always do, and they will automatically be submitted to both Google AMP and Facebook Instant Articles. Then just watch your Google Analytics screen….