Mobile publishing is a rapidly evolving environment and Google’s AMP Development is aimed at cutting down mobile page load times and improving website experience for the end user.
The basic idea is to cut down load time for a mobile web page from eight seconds to something like half a second.
Why has mobile publishing become such a competitive field?
The answer is Mobilegeddon – Google’s algorithm that gives priority to web pages that display well on smartphones and mobile devices.
Considering that, according to emarketer.com, there are expected to be 2.56 billion smartphone users by 2018, everyone who has a website has a reason to look at how their website performs on mobile gadgets.
AMP is essentially an open-source framework that helps create mobile web pages that are faster and more finger-friendly for mobile device users who tend to spend hours online. AMP has three components:
AMP HTML: It is a customized mark-up language for AMP.
While it has some differences from HTML, as long as you are comfortable with HTML it is not extremely challenging to adapt existing pages to AMP HTML.
AMP CDN: This optional Content Delivery Network takes AMP-enabled pages, caches them and also automatically makes performance optimizations.
AMP Development for SEO Website
First thing you have to keep in mind while enabling your website for AMP is that this is primarily a framework for making your pages load faster.
Which means a lot of what is behind the page will have to be cut down like:
- Site template : This will, in all likelihood, need to be rewritten. Your CSS will need to be must be in-line and less than 50K, your fonts will need to be loaded through a amp-font extension
- Multimedia : Images will need to be explicitly sized using an extension and videos can be embedded using a separate extended component.
Again, most of this is not complicated and ultimately serves the purpose of making the mobile web experience better for the end user.
AMP and WordPress Website Development
If your website has been developed on WordPress, AMP development can be implemented for that as well.
There are plugins that you can download that starts off the process like Automatic AMP Plug-in recommended by Yoast.
There are plug-ins to further improve the output like the Glue plug-in also from Yoast.
The automatic plug in will create a AMP version of your site but it hardly allows for customization.
The Custom AMP Plugin solves that problem in conjunction with the AMP plug-in.
Like most business owners, however, you can always choose to hand over the AMP transition to a WordPress website development expert.
AMP + WordPress Website SEO
So we know that AMP allows for faster websites on mobile devices.
How does it benefit your SEO activities?
Given that millions of people access search engines through mobile devices, boosting your website with AMP can help you achieve better rankings on the SERP.
Admittedly AMP development is not yet at a place where it directly impacts rankings. The usual suspects are still in play: keywords, page authority, organic traffic.
What AMP can do is that it will effect user clicks, the user experience and impressions and therefore the traffic to your website.
Plus, in the current set up Google displays AMP pages in a carousel above the fold on a mobile phone.
Organic search results get pushed down. If your website makes it to the carousel, it certainly has a higher probability of getting clicked on.
If you want to see what AMP looks like on Google SERP, you can access their demo on your mobile phone at g.co/ampdemo
Although the display carousel won’t always be there, AMP will continue to affect the Google search rankings.
Google’s mobile algorithm (Mobilegeddon) ranks websites based on mobile friendliness.
Any website failing the mobile-friendliness test gets thrown out of the SERP.
Since AMP development is aimed at making sites more mobile friendly it stands to reason that SEO backed up by AMP will only improve your websites rankings.
Plus, the ever advancing algorithm will soon be looking for the following things on AMP pages to make them more Google-friendly:
- Headline : Catchy, actionable, no fluff
- The Hero image : Compelling, original
- 100-word intro : Engages the leader to generate clicks
Local search results may be based on click behavior; Google may return either AMP development pages or local content.
It is still safe to assume that over time there would certainly be an inclination for AMP pages.
Mobile devices have improved over the years but regardless of technical advances, people are looking for quick responses from websites on their phones.
With brilliant content and appropriate optimization, AMP increases the chances of your website being visited more often simply for its ease of access.
What does AMP mean for Ad Monetization?
People tend to use ad blockers to improve the speed of download.
In that case, AMP development can actually be a positive thing because it aims to support ad formats and technologies without impacting the load time.
This may lead to lesser ad blocking.
Most of the popular networks are using the ad component which results in better compatibility.
Amazon A9, Google DoubleClick, Filte, Taboola and many more are some of the networks.
More and more networks are added every day.
Even paying brands can get better impressions although Search Engine Journal thinks that there will less paid ad options and more competition.
What else is out there?
Facebook has its Instant Articles and Apple has its Apple News.
Both are accessible through the apps on your mobile phone.
The other advantage of AMP is that you can distribute content on the open web without the need of an app.
Both Instant Articles and Apple News are news aggregators built on syndication platforms.
They have some big name tie-ups but, according to Search Engine Journal, more and more publishers are opting to go with Google AMP because they get tracking, monetizing, and easier implementation.
How to Develop AMP on your WordPress website?
You can start off at https://github.com/Automattic/amp-wp and download the zip file.
Then go to your website and add the plug-in. You can add images and other media.
Then you need to validate the pages, then validate the schema markup, and lastly Google Analytics.
You could take time out to change your WordPress website to AMP or you could opt to go with a WordPress website developer who can also throw in any number of customisations you want.
I am not saying you have to choose the AMP way, but you also don’t want to be behind the curve when AMP becomes the norm for mobile user experience.
There is a good chance that it will.
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