How to set up AMP on your WordPress Website

Post by Mark B Picture of Mark B
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Google announced a tectonic shift in the way they’ll be cataloguing the web – well, not just yet… But they are currently testing a mobile first approach which will inevitably become the norm. So, how usable is the mobile version of your website? Don’t worry if it’s not great, you’ve still got time to get it to the level it needs to be.

There’s one thing that you can do to get ahead of your competition though; and that’s implement Accelerated Mobile Pages on your website.

What is an AMP?

An Accelerated Mobile Page is, in simplest terms, your web page without the unnecessary additions that slows it down. AMPs make your content instant, because it’s already loaded and ready to go when they’re on the results pages.

Instant content makes your users happy and more likely to engage, which is exactly what you want to happen on your website.

Are AMPs important?

It’s the next step in content technology. Instant content that users can engage with anywhere they want, what’s important about that?

When Google announced their Accelerated Mobile Pages project way back in 2015; they made it clear that this itself wasn’t a ranking factor. But, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t influence other factors. Google favour websites that are fast and engaged with, and AMPs help you to improve both of those things.

We’ve been converting some of our blog posts to AMPs too, such as this one. As you can see the design is much different to our regular layout. It’s images and simple text, as opposed to our abundance of graphics and styling changes. It’s a simple way to connect the user with the sole reason they clicked the article: to engage with the content.

From the 70,000 domains already using AMPs, success has been fairly universal. Almost every website using them has found that more people engage with their content, and fewer people leave straight away. Tempted yet? I thought so; let’s get to the important part.

How do you make your own?

Website usability and responsiveness is one of those things where you rarely want to deal with it; but you have to. Thankfully, Google were kind with AMPs. The process is generally stress-free, so long as it’s done right. However, be warned, if a web page contains something that is responsive or will require additional styling to work then AMP implementation may be much more difficult. Let’s get into how to AMP-lify a simply static content page.

Step One: AMP it up

There’s a plug-in from WordPress that makes it easy to get start with your AMP renaissance, install the plug-in onto your website here to get started. This plug-in adds ‘/amp’ to the URLs for the pages you want to be altered. You should then test it by adding the tag to the end of the affected URLs; just to make sure it’s worked before you carry on.

Step Two: Glue it together

Now you’ve tested your pages, but you’ve noticed that they’re in the basic black and white format that Google attaches to them. This doesn’t look great compared to the rest of your website which is all carefully branded; how do you change this? Yoast has your back.

Download the Yoast Glue Plugin, this carries across all your data and design from the original page to the AMP version of the page. Once you download and activate the plugin, go to your YoastSEO menu and click AMP. Here’s where you’ll make the necessary changes to the design of the pages.

Now you should have an AMP version of your website available. See how simple that was? I bet you’re wondering what’s next, when does it start to make my content more engaging? Well, that’s where you’ll need to monitor.

Step Three: Keep your eye on it

Watching the performance of your AMPs is crucial to their success. Monitoring the best and worst pages allows you to see what works with your audience and what needs tweaking to work better, from this you can work out what your users engage with the most about your business and take advantage of this.

Was that so hard?

See, nothing to it. If you’re still struggling with this, then get in touch with us at Ixis to find out if we can help you with your project.

 

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