If you don’t live in a nutshell, surely you must have heard of Google AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages). This project is quite a buzz because the goal is to improve website’s performance on mobile devices. But how does it really affect you?
What AMP is and How It Works
The project has gotten many tech companies and publishers to collaborate such as LinkedIn and The New York Times. It shows that AMP is mainly aimed at publishers’ benefit, but everyone is welcomed to apply it. So if you’re running a blog, web magazine, or news site, you better leverage AMP immediately.
Why You Have to Use AMP
- With faster mobile web load page, AMP improves the mobile user experience on your site. The potential readers won’t have to wait forever for the webpage to load which also means lower bounce rate!
- Google put AMP-optimized pages on Top Stories section at the top of search result page. It can be a good combination of AMP and SEO, because your fresh content can standout more in mobile search to get more readers. The fact that many people (like you and me probably) access information more through mobile devices surely can prove the power of AMP in helping your mobile organic ranking.
- Other mobile speed-optimizing projects, which are Facebook Instant Articles and Apple News, only work if you’re accessing the content through Facebook app or Apple News app. AMP format, on the other hand, is used by many platforms. Also note that Facebook limits the Instant Article feature only for selected publisher, while AMP, as stated before, welcomes everyone to apply it on her/his site.
Some Thoughts before Using AMP
- You can’t share a content you read through Google AMP search instantly to your social media. There’s no social media button in AMP page.
- The link of AMP page is separated from the original link. It means you will have two page versions of your post. The link of AMP page will point out to Google AMP server instead of your site (for example: google.com/amp/yoursite.com/yourpost-permalink/amp/).
- On AMP pages, some elements like sidebars and comments disappear, but you still can customize the design by changing fonts and colors, adding your logo, etc.
But as expected, you can minimize the downside of AMP by using some plugins.
Installing AMP into Your WordPress
While the AMP itself seems so technical, there are available plugins you should try to add AMP into your WordPress site. These plugins hopefully can help you in getting started into the AMP world more easily.
It is the basic plugin you need to install on your WordPress to generate AMP version from your posts. After activating this plugin, you automatically have the AMP link version of each your post. The AMP link will be http://yoursite.com/yourpost-permalink/amp/. Although it has done a good job to generate AMP pages, this plugin doesn’t allow you to make any customization. To add some features, you can install this plugin along with other plugins.
Custom AMP allows you to customize the AMP page. For example, you can set your logo, add feature image, set up Google Analytics code, and show the comment section on your AMP-optimized post pages. This plugin can be a simple option you can install with AMP plugin for minor adjustments.
If you need more features than Custom AMP offers, this plugin can give you that. For instance, it allows your site to connect to more analytics programs other than Google Analytics, and to display Google Adsense ads on your AMP-ed page. PageFrog also offers you real-time previews of how your content will appear on AMP version.
This simple plugin ensures that your AMP pages use the correct Yoast SEO metadata. It helps you to continue setting up your Yoast SEO options for your posts as usual.
Validating AMP Page
This is the final step in the AMP setup process. You need to validate AMP pages so that they can be indexed and displayed by Google or used on other platforms.
The testing for validation is quite simple. Here’s the steps for AMP validation test:
- Navigate to the AMP version of one of your articles on a web browser.
- Add #development=1 in the end of your AMP URL, so that the URL is http://yoursite.com/yourpost-permalink/amp/#development=1. Press Enter to load the page and run the AMP validator.
- Watch the console for AMP validation successful message.
If the page fails to validate, you need to review the messages in the console to identify what caused the failure so you can solve the problems. You can see it here to fix the validation errors.
Google AMP is the most promising technology that provides an easy way to improve the speed of mobile websites, especially for publishers. It also gives better experience for readers who seek information fast. With many platforms that have joined, AMP is already way ahead in the competition of mobile optimization.
So, have you set up your WordPress site to generate AMP pages?