All You Need to Know about Google AMP for WordPress
It all started from April 2015 when the search engine giant Google released a new algorithm to support the mobile-friendliness in the websites. In just six months of this groundbreaking announcement, Google came up with the AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) project on October 7, 2015.
Over 30 news publishers including the DNI (Digital News Initiative) partners, and tech firms including Twitter, LinkedIn, and WordPress were initial collaborators of this robust, open source initiative.
If you have a WordPress website, chances are high that you get a higher traffic. But then, to get more traffic from a vast mobile-using audience in the current scenario, you need an AMP advantage.
Read on to know how Google AMP for WordPress can work wonders for your website.
How Google AMP Works?
The ultimate goal of this project is to enable the web content to load faster especially for mobile users. The AMP technology is designed to drive faster page loading on mobiles even with 3G speed.
Let’s understand how it works in brief:
The Google AMP uses limited HTML and stores your website cache in Google AMP Cache. In other words, your posts are stored on Google Servers. Whenever there is a search for your posts, Google would fetch them directly from its cache memory and show immediately to the user. It reduces the load time and mobile-using people can readily open the posts.
In a way, Google AMP improves the user experience and as a result, you will get more traffic on your WordPress website.
Does AMP Matter in Ranking?
Anything supported or initiated by Google itself can affect your website’s ranking on SERPs.
Do you know how does Google promote AMP use? When you search for technology blogs, you will see the card-like results at the top, or say, on the premium real estate of the search page. See the screenshot below:
All these cards show AMP-enabled sites. Your WordPress blog can be placed here if it is AMP-optimized. If you are trying to get ranking for any keywords where the SERPs show such cards, the first necessity is to use AMP for your website. These cards also dominate the mobile internet world by staying top on the search pages.
Google keeps on evolving its search algorithm, and there is no reason to ignore AMP to get a higher ranking. When we see the websites on the first page of results, we find that most of them are AMP-enabled. It shows the strong impact of AMP on ranking.
Even if, for a moment, we consider that AMP is not a ranking signal, we cannot deny that it can appeal the mobile users while searching.
For example, if the users see the little lightning icon beside your website’s link, they immediately recognize that the page will load just instantly. And, they may decide to click on your website rather than clicking on websites that do not use AMP.
So, apart from having an impact on ranking, we can say that AMP has a positive effect on your SEO efforts.
Pros and Cons of Google AMP:
Here we see a few noteworthy pros of AMP.
- It increases your website speed
- It increases CTR (Click Through Rates) from mobile search results
- It improves Ad viewability as compared to non-AMP websites
- It increases the number of repetitive visitors
- Your Website can get a special place in Google Search
However, this wonderful and user-friendly initiative has a few cons also. You cannot give an option of newsletter subscription or show pop-up providing your webpage is AMP-enabled. You cannot use Analytics tools other than Google analytics and cannot show widgets and sidebars.
If you have a B2B or an eCommerce website, you should consider incorporating Google AMP with a WordPress website.
After discussing the importance of AMP, now we will explain to you how to combine Google AMP and WordPress for leveraging the benefits of Accelerated Mobile Pages.
Here you may raise a question: Does WordPress support AMP?
An answer to your question is- No!
Though WordPress is one of the partners of this initiative, it does not offer support for AMP and there is no option in the dashboard to turn on AMP.
Perplexed? Don’t worry. You can use a WordPress AMP plugin to take an AMP advantage for your website.
Now, you may ask: How to add Google AMP to your WordPress website? Which plugins should I use and what about the theme I currently use?
WP AMP plugin can make our job easy. We can readily set up support for Google AMP by using a plugin. There is no coding or backend work required from your end when you use an AMP plugin for WordPress.
Here we give a few of the best AMP plugins for WordPress:
The WordPress team, Automattic, has developed this free plugin. It is easy-to-use and does not require any complex configuration. It is a set-and-forget kind of plugin. However, it has a few drawbacks. One of them is it only supports posts and not pages of your WordPress website.
Errant functionality and frequent issues take a toll on AMP ratings. Therefore, many WordPress developers recommend AMP for WordPress. Though independent developers have created it, is way more popular among users with better ratings.
You can install this plugin from WP Admin dashboard with ease. After activation, you can simply run it through the installation wizard from the link given in the WP Admin>AMP tab in the side menu. Various design formats, the addition of Google Analytics, and post types like posts, pages, and categories for creating AMP content are available within the wizard.
AMP for WP plugin comes with several advanced features and functionalities that you can configure readily as per the requirements. Various options like mobile redirection, analytics management, advertising placement, and contact form support remain handy for your website.
Check out its high rankings!
It is a premium plugin which adds support for Accelerated Mobile Pages in WordPress. It lets you embed images, videos, audios, and iframes apart from posts, pages, and categories.
You can either customize the standard design or come up with a new one. It also facilitates you to track visitors using Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel. It works fine with Yoast SEO, SEO Ultimate, etc.
What’s more, it is easy to incorporate AMP with your WooCommerce store using this plugin. You can also integrate AdSense and DoubleClick advertising to AMP-enabled pages with WP AMP.
Now comes the WordPress AMP theme
If you want to customize the pages as per the AMP technology, you need AMP-ready WordPress themes. Mind you, most WordPress themes are not ready for AMP.
To make your website ready for AMP, you can use either an AMP-friendly theme or a WordPress AMP plugin. However, a readymade AMP WordPress theme can offer more customization options for your AMP pages than a plugin.
AMP URL Update
As we know, Google shows the AMP-enabled pages from its servers. The URLs for such pages contain the prefix ‘google.com/amp’ instead of the full address of the original publisher. It allows Google to control the overall AMP experience while maintaining the consistency of the pages regarding load speed.
Publishers have persuaded Google for a long time to remove its prefix and show the publisher’s address. It is the most frequent feedback Google gets about AMP from all over the world.
As a result, Google has issued a fix in its Search app. It converts AMP URLs to publisher URLs by default.
The good news is: Google is going to drop the prefix soon to show the original publisher’s address in AMP URLs in mobile web browsers. The publishers like you can avail the Google’s servers with their address in URLs. However, we may wait for it until the second half of 2018.
Google also wants to implement the new web standard in both web browsers and the Google AMP Cache.
Google’s AMP technology certainly helps you increase the ranking of your WordPress website, and thereby increasing the web traffic. You can accomplish the goal of making your website popular and mobile-friendly through enabling AMP by using one of the best WP AMP plugin or AMP-ready themes.
At Solwin Infotech, we have an in-house team of experienced WordPress web developers who can give you useful information about AMP and WordPress.
Be a savvy webmaster and follow Mr. Google’s way to stay on the top in the web world!