AMP Guide: What is AMP And How to Setup it on WordPress Site

You might not have realized it yet, but about 50 per cent of the people accessing your site through their mobile devices will abandon your site completely, if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.

As a beginner, a newbie in the digital business arena, you might not be aware of the same. Well, this is why we are here for you.

If you have not paid any form of attention to loading time of your site on a mobile device and are not noting down the subsequent web traffic, you are in for a loss. These numbers need to be jot down and known, before you go ahead and take any other major business development decision.

Why does it need to happen?

Mainly because most people who search for anything online, do it through their mobile devices. It is important therefore, that you maximize your site’s page loading speed.

To help you with this task, Google recently launched a new technology. This technology promises to amp up your site experience for the people using it and will help you achieve your goals. The Google Accelerated Mobile Pages, launched by Google, also known as the Google AMP, is a revolutionary initiative by Google itself to accomplish better site traffic along with better revenue generation for a modern day business.

Google AMP specifically caters to your mobile site version and speeds it up by offering very light versions of everything on your site, as hosted on the Google servers. The people who visit your site will get their content in a fast paced manner and therefore, they are not likely to leave your website because of waiting. They will continue looking at and admiring your work, thereby helping you in the case of web traffic and revenues.

Before we actually go deep into the spiralling discussion about what Google AMP can do, let us first discuss what Google AMP actually is, in a elaborate fashion.

Google AMP is a technological advancement, an initiative taken by the brains at Google to make mobile site versions better and quicker. These brains wanted mobile versions of different websites to load faster than ever. If you are into technology, softwares and algorithms, you probably would know what Facebook Instant Articles is. If you know what that is, understanding Google AMP is pretty easy. They are quite similar.

Google AMP ensures, when your site is visited, your full site version isn’t loaded. In fact, Google deliberately hides certain parts away to make it load faster. This often gives the mobile version of the site to look somewhat minimalistic.

The initiative is an open source one, which means anyone can use the methodologies to garner benefits. Of course, Google is not going to restrict the same because their ultimate goal is to make web content easily accessible, especially for mobile users.

Content generation and loading times are often seen to be too slow for most people, which is a very common complaint. Even the pages which are full of optimized content, rich with information might take longer periods to load. And despite all the SEO and other technical efforts taken by the site and business owners, the problem seems to persist. And this is why Google AMP becomes important in our lives today. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is dependent upon a bare minimum HTML codes along with Javascripts to load a website page. This will help the content on different websites to be easily hosted on AMP caches. These cache versions can be used to serve the people instantly, as soon as they click on a particular website from organic sources.

The method, as we just stated above, is pretty similar to Facebook Instant Articles. But there is one contradiction! Unlike AMP, Instant Articles will be limited to Facebook purely. And not just to the web version of Facebook, but their mobile app. AMP, however, can work almost anywhere. They can be used by all kinds of apps and web browsers and even web viewers. Right now, it is being used by not just Google, but also LinkedIn, Twitter, Reddit, and others.

Is Google AMP really worth the hype?

Well, we are not going to state the correct answers. You are going to answer this question today. We will make the process simple for you by giving you all the pros and cons of AMP.

According to most SEO experts, AMP is going to help you get a higher rank on the Google search engine and will improve the experience for users, especially on the mobile platforms. This is a boon for people with slower internet connections. But they might as well throw in some challenges for site owners and bloggers.

Now since Google AMP takes help of a limited number of HTML and Javascript options, as a content marketer and a site owner, you might not be able to add a few widgets to your mobile site. This might prove to be a bane as it is going to limit your ability as a digital marketeer to adding smart options, like newsletters, email options, Facebook like and share boxes, and other such versatile options.

Google AMP, out and out, supports Google Analytics but does not really provide support for other platforms. This is how the advertising options operate under Google AMP. Most advertising platforms are not supported by Google.

Even after these few limitations, AMP still holds its position in the industry to boost web pages and site traffic to a considerable extent. By adding the AMP support to your site, while simultaneously working on your SEO practices, you can definitely gather a large chunk of site traffic to your site made through mobile searches.

To make sure you garner all the benefits that can be generated through AMP for your WordPress site, we have right here curated a step-by-step guide on setting up your Google AMP profile for the first time.

Before you actually follow this quick guide on enabling AMP for your WordPress site, we are assuming you have already activated the Yoast WordPress plugin for your site. You can skip the step, if you haven’t done that already, and you can directly activate AMP to your site. However, we would recommend you activating the Yoast SEO plugin as a prerequisite.

Now, coming straight to the point!

Setting up Google AMP for your WordPress site.

It is very easy to set up your AMP profile and link it to your WordPress site. All hail the power of the official plugin for the same by Google itself. The official AMP plugin does not require configurations and this is why you would want to add extension plugins to make it fully functional.

Google AMP for your WordPress site

First, let’s get to the basics. Let’s understand the fundamental part of installing the official plugin. After which we are going to test it and then set it up accordingly.

Installation

You can install the AMP plugin for your WordPress site by following the procedure given below. This method requires you to login to your Admin panel on your WordPress site and then click on Plugins.

  • After you click on plugins, you should click on ‘Add New’ tab, after which you should make a search query for “Accelerated Mobile Pages”.
  • Once you have found the appropriate option, you should be installing it by clicking on “activate”.
  • After you activate the plugin, you will see a message which says “This theme requires following plugin : AMP, Begin Installing Plugin”. You should then click on “Begin installing plugin” and then on “install”.
Setting up your Google Analytics

Once you have installed the AMP plugin, you should be looking to install Google Analytics. In order to set up Google Analytics, you would need to find your tracking ID. After this, you would be required to log in to Google Analytics and then click on the gear icon appearing on the bottom left of your screen, through which you will be directed to Admin Panel. Once you select on the same, you will now select Account and Property, directly from the drop down menus. When you look at the options under the Property column, you will see a tab names “Tracking Info”. Click on the same to see your tracking ID. This ID usually begins with UA.

Copy this Tracking ID and log in to your WordPress site platform. On the left side of your screen, click on Navigation, and then go to AMP and from AMP, click on Analytics. Paste your tracking ID where “Google Analytics” is mentioned. Once you do this, you should now click on “Save Changes” and you are done.

Configuring your plugin settings

Under this step we will discuss basic configurations that you can use to customize the appearance for your AMP plugin. This configuration will also help you support multiple content formats.

We are assuming here that you already possess the Yoast SEO plugin. So, to begin this configuration, you should go to Yoast SEO, and click on AMP. Once you do that, you should now be clicking on Post Types. From hereon, you will be able to select the type of posts that you can use which are going to be AMP compliant.

When you are clicking on the second tab for, the Design tab, you will now be able to customize the appearance of your AMP enables content pages. If you are applying the CSS styling, you can customize your content and also link similar color patterns to upload for yourself and customized AMP icon. You can set default images for your site pages too, if needed.

Test your AMP configuration

Once you are through with the process of creating an AMP URL, you should also make sure that these URLs work properly. If they are not configured correctly and are not working, Google is not going to be able to display the same in the search results later. This is a safeguard that you should take beforehand, as it can be quite a task for most webmasters sometimes!

However, there are solutions to every problem. You get one even when you are testing and validating your AMP URLs. You should pick a couple of site pages and test out your AMP versions of the same by using anyone of the below mentioned procedures. But before you go ahead and perform any one of these tasks, you should append /amp/ at the end of your URL, as discussed earlier.

  1. You should go to this website – search.google.com/test/amp And, you should drop your site page URL on this website. Once you do that, you should now click on “Run Test”. You will see your outcomes, whether they are valid or invalid.

  2. The second option specifically helps the people who use the Google Chrome web browser. If you use any other web browser to access the internet, like Mozilla Firefox, Safari, etc., this option would not really apply properly to you.

    You should open the AMP page in your Google Chrome browser and append #development=1 to the URL of your site.

    The next thing you should be doing is to open Chrome Dev Tools Console, from the Google Chrome menu itself and then select ‘More Tools’. After this, you should click on ‘Development Tools’ and then on ‘Console’.

    Once you click on ‘Console’ you will be able to check validation errors. If things are smooth and working just fine, the validation process should be a success.

  3. The third option you could follow is to go to this website – validator.ampproject.org and paste your AMP URL in here, in the URL field mentioned. Once you paste it, you should click on “Validate”.

    If there are any errors or problems, this tools is going to highlight them and flag them in the HTML.

Submitting your AMP URL for indexing process

If you followed the AMP Validation process through Google Search Console, you can later click on “Submit to Google” directly, once you have seen the test as valid.

If you are not, there is another option for you. This one would work if you have logged in to your Google Search Console Account. Once you have done that, you can search for “Submit to Google” and then submit your site URL directly.

When you are submitting the AMP site page to Google through the alternative way, Google is going to index your AMP site page later, whether it is internally linked and listed in the XML sitemap or not.

View Google Search Console to troubleshoot every error.

The next step is to learn to manage your AMP site pages from one location, which is the Google Search Console. You should log in to Google Search Console and from there, under the ‘Search Appearance’ tab, you should click on ‘Accelerated Mobile Pages’.

When you do this, you will be able to see how many of your AMP pages are indexed and which ones are not. The ones that have not yet been indexed must have errors of some sort, which will be displayed here as well. If you identify the critical issues, you can later troubleshoot these errors with the help of tools mentioned in the previous step.

Testing Page Speed.

Once, everything mentioned above has been completed, you should now begin to see the benefits. To see if your efforts have been fruitful or not, you should try to run your AMP pages and your standard mobile site pages through speed tools like WebPageTest. You should also compare the results from the two different pages.

And voila! You are done. You can get started with your journey of AMP.

Google is amping up its efforts while unveiling a miracle in the form of mobile-first indexing and page speeding process. By doing this, they are now becoming a ranking factor for many sites and businesses today. The technical initiative taken by Google in the form of AMP is a crucial step for all modern businesses and Mobile App Development Companies today. Not switching to the same could become problematic for you in the long run! Don’t be afraid, make that switch! You’ll thank us later.

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One Comment

  1. Thanks a lot for this well explained post … Recently Updated my WordPress blog and it working excellent.

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