What Is AMP?
AMP, formerly referred to as Accelerated Mobile Pages, are lightweight pages designed to offer to give mobile users or website users a lightning-fast, more engaging experience.
It’s “an open-source HTML framework that provides a straightforward way to create webpages that are fast, smooth-loading, and prioritize the user experience above all else.”
Advantages of AMP Pages
There are many potential advantages of AMP counting on your site – including less data consumption, improved server performance, a free CDN, and better ad viewability.
Faster Page Load Times
While Only AMP itself isn’t a ranking factor, speed Matters Lots.
It is specially designed for the 2021 Year with core web vitals becoming a Major ranking factor.
If implemented correctly, the load time improvements are often sizeable.
Google claims the median load time for an AMP page is a smaller amount than one second.
Plus, speed often features a run-on effect of more optimized user experience, witnessed by:
• Lower bounce rates.
• Higher time on site.
• Increased conversion rates.
Additional Visibility in Google Search Results. AMP pages are always amid an enhanced appearance in Google SERPs on mobile.
Swipe to Visit
Thirdly, there's an exclusive Swipe to go to functionality for AMP pages in Google Images on mobile.
When a user has selected a picture, they see a preview of the location header, which they will swipe up to go to visit the source page.
Yet, the foremost driver of additional visibility is that AMP could also be a requirement for inclusion within the coveted top stories carousel, with the exception of COVID-19 related content.
But that's set to vary in 2021 with the Core Web Vitals update to permit both AMP and non-AMP pages, with ranking focused on-page experience metrics.
How to Optimize AMP Pages
1. Confirm the AMP Code Validates on All Relevant Pages
Spot checking a few pages with the AMP Test Tool may be a start, but not enough.
Google Search Console features a dedicated AMP status report, alerting you to the rationale your AMP URLs aren’t eligible to be indexed (errors) or might not perform within the SERPs (warnings).
2. Verify the Structured Data Parses Correctly
For applicable AMP content types, the Rich Results Test Tool is useful for one-at-a-time spot checks – make certain to enter the AMP URL, not the canonical.
I find the relevant Enhancement reports in Google Search Console to even be useful, although the article's structured data isn’t covered.
A reputable SEO crawling tool is usually the simplest option for scale.
3. Let Find Out How the AMP Drivers of Visibility on Google
Do note, these are also counted in rich results, they are not mutually exclusive.
• Search type: Image, Search appearance: AMP on Image result: This shows metrics for images search results hosted on AMP pages within the Google Images tab.
• Search type: Video, Search appearance: AMP article: The report shows metrics for video results hosted on AMP pages within the Google Videos tab.
When analyzing the info, remember that filtering by search appearance will aggregate data by page instead of by property within the table only and be limited to the size available. Data in the graph will still be grouped by property.
This can lead to some large discrepancies in the image, video, and news tabs.
4. Understand the Performance of AMP Sessions
Search Console only shows the Google side of the image, you'll get more insights from Google Analytics.
But before Google Analytics is often trusted to accurately report on AMP, you want to implement “sessions stitching.”
Ensure your Website Google Analytics setup utilizes Perfect client IDs to unify sessions across AMP & Non-AMP versions of Pages.
Always, double-check event tracking code or other such conversion integrations codes are firing correctly on AMP Based Pages.
Then you'll delve into the number of sessions, conversions, and other KPIs driven by AMP by filtering by data source as a secondary dimension.
Some User sessions may come from Unknown sources traffic until you understand how various platforms link AMP working.
What is often most actionable is to know the impact on user experience KPIs like bounce rates, pages per session, or conversion rate.
Be sure to compare apples to apples.
This entails Google analytics creating a custom report for the user to compare AMP (identified by the data source) to closest corresponding non-AMP (Google / organic Traffic Deta and regards landing path to all or any page types have a Best AMP version) instead of the general site performance.
And finally, for those who choose to be AMPd, remember it’s an ongoing commitment.
Regularly review the Google Search Console and Google Analytics reporting to completely leverage AMP.
Else, you may not offset the development of technical debt, the sales complexity, and AMP SEO pitfalls.
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